Congrats on your long distance move to Jacksonville, from your friendly national movers.
Jacksonville, home of the Jaguars and not much else… That’s the stereotype, anyway. In actuality, Jacksonville holds the distinction of being both a beach town and a river town, thanks to its proximity to the St. Johns River (and the Atlantic Ocean, naturally). That’s right, people, the waterfront city 25 miles south of Georgia sports so many bridges you’d half expect actual trolls to be residing in the area. There aren’t any, but you will find alligators, possibly under your car.
Don’t be alarmed. It’s just Florida. The dang things are everywhere.
If the state of Florida carries the reputation of being the Land of the Retired, Jacksonville would serve as the outlier. The median age of the city residents currently stands at 35.6, making it the city with the youngest population in the state. For comparison, the median age for residents in Miami and St. Petersburg currently sits at median age is 39.1 and 42.1, respectively.
Florida. See? It’s not just Disney, spring breakers, and AARP members.
But if a young populous city with access to water doesn’t seem like much, not to worry; Jacksonville has much more to offer.
Living in Jacksonville
Many Florida cities enjoy a reputation for not actually being Florida cities so much as extension offices of other states and countries. The Cubans have Miami, New Yorkers claim Tampa (it’s impossible to find anything but New York-style pizza in that city), and Jacksonville apparently got Georgia. Despite being the Youngest City in Florida, Jacksonville enjoys a Deep South vibe that might call to mind old cities with a progressive mindset like Nashville or Charleston.
What does that mean to someone relocating to Jacksonville? Well, Southern niceties such as addressing people with a respectful “sir” or “ma’am” will be a standard feature, as will greetings like “how y’all?” We stress this fact whenever highlighting cities located south of the Mason-Dixon Line because, quite frequently, people coming to the south from other regions find the terms “sir” and “ma’am” to be indicators of old age. They’re not. Take it as the sign of respect that it is and don’t get cross.
Also, soda will be referred to as “soda” or “coke.” You want to call it something else, go visit Sarasota.
If geography, everyday terms, and sheer charm don’t indicate how southern the city of Jacksonville is, then consider the Florida-Georgia football rivalry. No, not the Jaguars and the Falcons; we’re talking a century-old college football rivalry that has taken place in Jacksonville every year since 1933.
So how does a football game played by two teams outside of Jacksonville city limits serve as a qualifier of Southern culture? Because the Florida-Georgia game has long been known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” Take that, Kentucky. Jacksonville sees your Mint Juleps and raises you a Georgia Bulldog.
Quick note: there’s been an effort to stop referring to the rivalry by that name. Don’t believe it.
Weather Considerations for Moving to Jacksonville
As with most Florida cities, Jacksonville gets hot in the summer, gets mild in the winter, and gets a lot of rain. Like 50 inches of rain. The national average for rainfall is 38 inches. Invest in an umbrella and rain boots.
July will bring temperatures in the 90s that feel like the 100s because of heat indexing. The coldest month, January, will bring lows somewhere in the low 40s. Unless it doesn’t. Florida tends not to participate in national weather trends, especially in the fall. We’re not sure if it’s geographical or whether the entire state just can’t deal with 60-degree weather before November, but sunscreen and comfy shorts will be your best friends from April through Thanksgiving.
Working in Jacksonville
The Census ACS 1-year survey reported the median household income for the Jacksonville Florida metro area was $58,709 in 2017, with median household income $6,115 higher than the median Florida household income and $1,627 less than the US median household income.
In other words, Jacksonville has a young population and it’s cheaper than Miami and Key West.
The big tradeoff for being affordable appears to be the traffic situation. Jacksonville boats easy access to both Interstate 10 and Interstate 95, two of the biggest traffic routes in the state. That means getting anywhere by car or bus will most likely involve some time being stuck in a traffic jam. However, if downtown Jacksonville happens to be the destination, travelers can park their vehicles and make use of the Downtown Trolley, Skyway monorail, and water taxis to get around.
Just be sure to perform regular maintenance on the vehicle. Hot weather and heavy traffic can be a rough combo for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and probably even unicycles. Also, don’t take a unicycle on the interstate, as you’ll either be arrested for causing a traffic disturbance or, more likely, sideswiped by an irate Vespa.
Things to Do Once You’ve Moved to Jacksonville
If college or professional football doesn’t sound like your cup of tea (or cocktail), consider the numerous beaches including Atlantic, Neptune, Ponte Vedra, and Sawgrass. And those are just the big ones; places like Huguenot Memorial Park allow drivers to take their vehicles on the beaches. Just keep in mind the rules vary for each beach, and being able to drive on one won’t guarantee the right to do the same elsewhere.
Still, try to do it at least once. You haven’t really experienced a beach until you’ve parked near the surf. Plus, it’s the east coast, so beach access guarantees gorgeous sunrises.
Like golf? Jacksonville has TPC Sawgrass. Like art? Check out the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. Like coffee? Hit up Riverside/Avondale and its boutiques. And if you like anything to do with the theater, the city has three classics to choose from: The Florida Theater, The Sun-Ray Theater, and the Ritz Theater and Museum.
Man, Jacksonville sounds kinda ritzy.
The Culture of Jacksonville
It’s the unofficial extension office of Georgia and it sports a huge active-duty military culture to go along with the southern charm.
Let’s Go, Jaguars!
Jacksonville sounding awesome, but not sure where to begin your relocation adventure? Don’t panic about how to get there; Colonial Van Lines can help. We get that moving down the street can be stressful, and moving to a new state can be downright horrifying. But Colonial Van Lines has the experience and the expertise to make sure your moving experience will be straight forward and stress free.
Call a Colonial Van Lines professional and find out how to start your journey to Jacksonville.