Best Neighborhoods for Families in Jacksonville

Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live, especially when you have a family. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options. House styles and sizes, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, and the convenience of location are all things to consider. It can be quite overwhelming.

But don’t stress: 

That’s why we’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to (oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhop —Jacksonville movers and movers throughout the country).

If you’ve seen our Jacksonville City Guide, you’ve noticed the brief neighborhood section listing a few of our favorite Jacksonville neighborhoods. This list, along with our “Best Up and Coming Neighborhoods in Jacksonville,” “Best Neighborhoods in Jacksonville,” and our “Best Suburbs in Jacksonville” posts are more in-depth neighborhood guides. These provide links to helpful resources and suggestions for nearby activities, grocery stores, venues and restaurants, and more.

A Little About Raising Families in Jacksonville

If you’ve got kids and you’re thinking to yourself, “Jacksonville, I don’t know anything about Jacksonville. Also, I’ve got kids. Are there even any kids in Jacksonville? It’s just full of retirees,” allow us to clarify a few misconceptions for you. Jacksonville’s population is the youngest in Florida. That doesn’t mean it’s full of babies…though wouldn’t it be funny if it was, and the city government was run by babies? We’re kidding…kinda.

So, Jacksonville, or Jax, as the kids call it, has 22 miles of beaches, and it has the largest urban park system in the nation, with more than 80,000 acres of green spaces for your kids to run or ride their bikes, scooters, and hoverboards on. It’s got a reasonable cost of living, there are plenty of great schools to choose from, and it boasts terrific museums such as the Museum of Science and History and the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville.

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“But what about the neighborhoods,” you think to yourself as you read this.  “I need to know about the best neighborhoods for my family.” Yes, we understand.

Let’s get on it with it.

But before we do, is it just us, or are you still thinking about a bunch of babies running Jacksonville? No, that’s just us? Okay, let’s carry on then…

Neptune Beach

Neptune Beach is known as one of the top suburbs in Jacksonville. A city of 7,500 residents, it’s located in Duval County on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s about 30 minutes outside of Jacksonville. Because it’s a beach, residents enjoy plenty of swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. Neptune Beach isn’t rowdy, but rather a casual oceanfront town that’s just right for families.

What’s Happening in Neptune Beach

Besides the beach, there’s Jarboe Park, with playgrounds, a lake, walking trails, and sports courts. There’s also Castaway Island Preserve, with a kid-friendly interpretive nature trail, kayak and more. And for exciting adventures in the ocean, there are deep-sea fishing charters for an occasional family outing you’re kids will never forget.

Schools in Neptune Beach

Neptune Beach is part of the Duval County Public Schools system, with many residents sending their kids to Neptune Beach Elementary. There are a couple of private schools as well including The Beaches School.

Homes in Neptune Beach

Neptune Beach is filled with beachfront cottages, modern townhomes, and bungalows. The average list price for homes is $450,000.



Oceanway is a safe, affordable area in Jacksonville conveniently located near I-95 and the I-295 beltway in the northeastern part of Jacksonville. Oceanway is bordered by the New Berlin, and Yellow Bluff neighborhoods, and together are the fastest-growing areas in the city. This community has more people of Portuguese and Greek ancestry living in the area than almost any other neighborhood in America, making it diverse and culturally rich.  

What’s Happening in Oceanway

For your shopping needs, River City Marketplace is home to major retailers like Wal-Mart and Lowe’s, as well as a movie theater and a variety of family-friendly restaurants like Olive Garden and Buffalo Wild Wings. The William F. Sheffield Regional Park is a great option for outdoor family fun. It’s got playgrounds, sports fields, trails and more. And the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens is only 15 minutes away.

Schools in Oceanway

Schools in the Oceanway area include Oceanway Elementary School and Oceanway Middle School, among others.

Homes in Oceanway

Oceanway is filled with single-family homes and luxury apartments. The average house price is around $165,000 and the average rent per month is $1,400.

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Palm Valley

The sizeable Jacksonville neighborhood of Palm Valley has made it to our list with its charming craftsman and sprawling Mediterranean-style homes. Its neighborhood association is one of the oldest, continually-operating organizations in North Florida. Palm Valley is located in Ponte Vedra Beach, which is about 30 minutes away from Jacksonville.

What’s Happening in Palm Valley

There’s always something going on in the Palm Valley neighborhood. Besides the restaurants in the area, some family-friendly attractions include Fantasy Farms, a wildlife sanctuary your kids will be sure to love. There is, of course, plenty of other family-friendly activities to do in Jacksonville as well.

Schools in Palm Valley

Over 11 top performing schools serve Palm Valley. Nearby are Ocean Palms Elementary School and Valley Ridge Academy.

Homes in Palm Valley

With a mix of new and old single-family homes and a few apartments, Palm Valley’s average house price is around $430,000, while the average rent is $1,240 a month.


Atlantic Beach

The oceanfront neighborhood of Atlantic Beach earns a spot on our list with plenty of amenities for families to enjoy. Home buyers have their pick of chic modern condos, beachside cottages, and spacious craftsman-style homes. Pick up fresh local produce or shop local artists at the Wednesday Market. Arts and culture enthusiasts will love community events like Shakespeare in the Park and Arts in the Park. Residents also enjoy numerous shopping, dining, and entertainment options in the Beaches Town Center.

What’s Happening in Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach is full of opportunities for quality family time. Check out the Atlantic Beach Market,  Elementary Soccer Field and all sorts of parks and recreational facilities.

Schools in Atlantic Beach

Some of the schools near Atlantic Beach are St. Peter’s School, General George H. McCall Elementary and Middle School, and Charter High School for Architecture and Design.

Homes in Atlantic Beach

A mix of historic homes and newer ones, condos, townhomes, and apartments, Atlantic Beach’s average home value is around $350,000 while the average rent per month is $1,250.


Nocatee is a master-planned community. It’s got one of the lowest crime rates around and is a place that provides residents with employment opportunities, shopping, schools, recreation, along with a variety of homes. Located in Ponte Vedra as well, Nocatee is the third best-selling community in America. It’s got a number of neighborhoods in the area to choose from, with residents ranging from young couples and families to active adults.

What’s Happening in Nocatee

Nocatee has plenty of things to do at the Nocatee Town Center, with all sorts of dining and shopping options. There’s also the Nocatee Splash Water Park, which is a hit with the kids, and the Nocatee Community Park, a great place to run around and get some energy out. Residents also have easy access to the beach and nearby golf courses.

Schools in Nocatee

Families with children can send them to schools within St. Johns County and Duval County. Because Nocatee is still a newer community, it’s got big plans for schools within the community, with reserved land for five elementary schools and one middle school. The goal is to have an elementary school within walking or biking distance from most homes. For now, see which schools are zoned for Nocatee.

Homes in Nocatee

Nocatee offers a variety of home sizes throughout. Each neighborhood has its own feel. The community is great for first-time home buyers or those looking at second and third homes, with luxury estates, townhomes, village homes, and neo-traditional homes. There are also a few condos. Home prices range in price from around $230,000 up to $1.5 million. See what’s available at Nocatee.

There you have it: The Best Neighborhoods for Families in Jacksonville, FL

Neighborhoods are about location and lifestyle, to be sure. But more importantly, they are about the people who live in them. These neighborhoods offer a variety of lifestyles to meet most anyone’s needs.

We hope this guide helps you make the right choice to fit your lifestyle. If you decide to move in or to Jacksonville, don’t hesitate to reach out. We coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Jacksonville, and we would love to help!

Good luck with your move to the Jacksonville area!

Interested in learning more about Jacksonville? Check out our other guides to Jacksonville

Harrison Stevens