1. Symbol of The Dyal Upchurch Bldg.
The Dyal Upchurch building in downtown Jacksonville is a remarkable feat of engineering and architecture. Standing 6-storeys high, it was designed in 1901 by the passionate architect Henry Klutho and is the world's first skyscraper technology-based building. Klutho's design was revolutionary for its time, and the building has since become a symbol of Jacksonville's rich history and culture.
2. Pete's Bar: A Tourist Spot from the Bestselling Novel "Bretheren"
John Grisham's best-selling novel "Bretheren" features Pete's Bar, a simple tavern and no-frills pool hall located in Neptune Beach, Jacksonville. Grisham took extensive notes during his visit to the bar, which has since become a popular tourist destination for fans of the novel. The bar is known for its laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff, and is a great place to relax and enjoy a cold beer.
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3. Jacksonville's Kona Skatepark: A History of Fun and Funky
Jacksonville's Kona Skatepark is the oldest private skate park in America, having been open to the public since the early 1980s. Located in Arlington, this iconic skate park has been a popular destination for skateboarders and BMX riders for decades, offering a variety of ramps, bowls, and other obstacles for all skill levels. With its long history and commitment to providing a safe and fun environment for skateboarders, Kona Skatepark is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the best of Jacksonville's skateboarding culture.
4. Elvis Presley's First Indoor Concert at the Florida Theatre
In 1957, Elvis Presley made history when he performed the very first indoor concert of his career at the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville. This iconic venue, which opened in 1927, has hosted a variety of other legendary performers over the years, including The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones. Elvis' performance at the Florida Theatre was a defining moment in his career, and it remains an important part of Jacksonville's musical history.
5. The Bacardi-Martini Origin-Point: Crafting Delightful Drinks Worldwide
Located in Jacksonville, Florida, the Bacardi-Martini product development facility on the Northside is the birthplace of some of the world's most beloved martinis. From the lab here, the delicious libations are crafted and shipped to be enjoyed by people all over the globe. Whether it's a classic martini or a unique twist, the Bacardi-Martini facility in Jacksonville is the origin-point of these delightful drinks.
6. The Mug Race Regatta: 38 Miles of Thrilling Spectacle
Every year, Jacksonville plays host to the world's longest river sail-boat race, the Mug Race Regatta. Spanning 38 miles along the St. John's River, the race is a thrilling spectacle for spectators, with boats of all shapes and sizes competing for the title. The race culminates in Jacksonville, where the winner is crowned and celebrated in a grand finale.
7. The Film Capital of the South
In the early 1900s, Jacksonville, Florida was a bustling film capital, often referred to as an alternative "Hollywood". From 1910 to 1920, the city was home to numerous film studios, and was the site of many silent films and early talkies. During this time, Jacksonville was a hub of activity for the film industry, with many of the biggest stars of the era making appearances in the city. The city's popularity as a film capital eventually waned, but its legacy as an early center of the film industry remains.
8. Friendship Fountain: Power & Beauty in Jacksonville
The Friendship Fountain in Jacksonville is a sight to behold! Built in 1965, it was the world's tallest fountain at the time, with water-jets reaching an impressive 120 feet. It's a spectacular display of power and beauty, with 17,000 gallons of water shooting through 63 jet nozzles every minute. It's a must-see for anyone visiting Jacksonville!
9. Joseph La Rose: The Father of the Modern Shoe
For nearly five decades, Jacksonville was home to the father of the modern shoe, Joseph La Rose. His shop was a hub of innovation, pioneering the design of shoes that would become the standard for generations to come. From the comfort of the sole to the durability of the upper, Joseph La Rose's shoes were renowned for their quality and craftsmanship. His legacy lives on in the shoes we wear today.
10. The Birthplace of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1890, Friday Musicale is the oldest cultural organization in Florida and is located in Riverside, Jacksonville. It is the birthplace of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, one of America's most acclaimed orchestras, and has been providing the community with quality music and entertainment for over 130 years.