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. All of this can be quite overwhelming.
We’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to (oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhops—movers in Jacksonville, FL and throughout the country).
You’ve most likely seen the neighborhood section in our Jacksonville City Guide. This list, along with our “Best Up and Coming Neighborhoods in Jacksonville,” “Best Neighborhoods in Jacksonville,” and our “Best Neighborhoods for Families 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.
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There are more than 500 neighborhoods in the Jacksonville, Florida area. That’s a lot. But as the largest city in the contiguous United States by area, it’s not surprising. The greater Jacksonville area is divided into several major sections: Northside, Westside, Southside, and Arlington (what happened to the Eastside?), and the Jacksonville Beaches area. As you’ll discover in this guide, because the city is so spread out, some of the suburbs we list here may actually be within the city limits, rather than outliers as traditionally defined.
This is a comeback story if there’s ever been one. When the Great Fire of 1901 nearly destroyed all of downtown Jacksonville, the Springfield neighborhood was spared. But, that doesn’t mean it was easy for this area of town to bounce back. It wasn’t, and it took years for the neighborhood to prosper again. But there’s a reason Southern Living named Springfield one of the top comeback neighborhoods in the South. Modern-day Springfield is one of the most attractive areas in Jacksonville, due to its beautiful architecture, gridded streets, and walkability. Though this community isn’t quite fully rehabilitated, it’s getting there. And it’s perfect for anyone looking to become part of an up-and-coming neighborhood.
Springfield’s neighborhood association is active, with regular meetings and events for residents to take part in, such as community dinners and beer-pairings. It’s also close to a variety of restaurants, bars, attractions and shops in the downtown area.
Springfield contains some of the best examples of late 19th century and early 20th-century architecture in the city. The neighborhood is known for its Queen Anne and Prairie-style homes. See what’s for sale and rent.
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. Sure, there’s plenty of other things to do you’re living on the beach! What could be better than that?
Besides the beach, there’s Jarboe Park, with playgrounds, a lake, walking trails, and sports courts. As far as eating and drinking, we recommend North Beach Fish Camp and The Flying Iguana Taqueria and Tequila Bar. Grocery stores include Lucky’s Market and Native Sun Natural Foods Market. And there’s plenty of other shopping there as well, like Beaches Town Center, various boutiques and gift shops, as well as a flurry of surf shops.
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.
If you’re a golf fan, you’re already familiar with Sawgrass, which is known for The Players Championship from the PGA Tour. If you don’t like golf, you might want to skip this entry because it’s pretty golf-centric. Located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Sawgrass is a residential area with 38 smaller neighborhoods within a larger gated community. It’s about 45 minutes from Jacksonville. This is an exclusive community, and by exclusive, we mean wealthy. It’s by the ocean and beautiful, and it’s got the TPC Sawgrass Golf Course nearby.
Though there are things to do in Sawgrass, if golf isn’t your thing, or hanging out with golfers at the Sawgrass Country Club, or going to the beach, then this isn’t the community for you.
Part of the Broward County Public Schools System, Sawgrass offers a few public school choices such as Sawgrass Springs Middle School. And there are private school choices such as Sawgrass Adventist School.
There are a variety of options in Sawgrass, from modern waterfront condos to huge Mediterranean-style homes to bungalows and Craftsman-style homes. They range in price from the $300,000s into the millions. See what’s for sale and rent.
Like Sawgrass, this is a master-planned community. It’s got one of the lowest crime rates around 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.
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.
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.
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.
The town of Orange Park is in the northeastern part of Florida, about 25 minutes outside of Jacksonville. It’s got a rich history dating back to 1877. This is a great community for commuting, with plenty of things to within the area and easy access to all that Jacksonville has to offer.
Not only are the beaches and Jacksonville nearby, but there’s plenty to do within the city as well. Orange Park has many parks like Clarke House Park, Town Hall Park, and Somer’s Sunshine Park (what a great name, too) to name a few. The town holds annual community-wide events like a fall festival, a July 4th celebration, Kids’ Fest and more. There’s also the Orange Park Farmer’s and Arts Market. The Orange Park Mall is a great place to get your shopping done as well.
Known as one of the better schools in the area, residents can send their kids to Orange Park Elementary School, which is part of the Clay County Schools system.
Because the town sits on the west bank of the St. Johns River, many of the homes in Orange Park are on the higher end of the price range due to their waterfront location. But there are a number of houses that are more rural, with newer construction offering more modern and affordable houses. Prices range from around $60,000 up to more than $700,000. See what’s for sale and rent in Orange Park.
Neighborhoods are about location and lifestyle, to be sure. But they are also 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, FL and we would love to help!
Good luck with your move to the Jacksonville suburbs!
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