Set on the banks of the scenic St. Johns River and flanked by the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville, Florida, is a major port and metropolitan area. A major East Coast center of U.S. Navy operations, with two naval installations for air and sea power, Jacksonville also boasts a booming downtown ripe with nightlife, activities, art and music, and an increasing number of fine shopping outlets, world-class restaurants and museums. Jacksonville visitors also can enjoy watching the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars or real jaguars at the Jacksonville Zoo.

The "First Coast," as the Jacksonville area is affectionately known, is also a water-lover's destination, with white-sand beaches plus exceptional fishing and surfing. Add to that mix a number of great golf courses, and Jacksonville is one of the premier outdoor destinations of the southeastern U.S.

True, by midsummer Jacksonville's weather is downright hot and humid, but cross-breezes from the Atlantic Ocean and the river help keep temperatures almost bearable, and the mild climate during the other three seasons more than makes up for a few scorching months. Fall, winter and spring are all ideal times to visit Jacksonville.

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