SOURCE: Visit Jacksonville

Visit Jacksonville

October 17, 2014 10:19 ET

Football Fans Score Big in the River City by the Sea

Cheer on Your Favorite Team and Have an Unforgettable Getaway in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, FL--(Marketwired - October 17, 2014) - Jacksonville's southern charm and cool ocean breezes welcome NFL fans from around the country this season. Follow your team to EverBank Field with the newly added world's largest scoreboards and swimming pools overlooking the north end zone. And, when Jacksonville isn't impressing you with its stadium, you'll be wowed by all there is to do when you're not tailgating or cheering for your favorite team. Here are the top ten things to do off the field in Jacksonville:

1.) Take the Ale Trail -- Before or after a game, the "Jacksonville Ale Trail" unites craft breweries around the city, many of them centered in downtown and the surrounding historic neighborhoods. Bold City and Intuition Ale Works located in the King Street Beer and Food District are long-time favorites, while recently opened Veterans United Craft Brewing offers a taste of craft brews on the Southside. Other breweries on the Ale Trail include Aardwolf Brewery, Engine 15 Brewing Company, Green Room, and Pinglehead Brewing.

2.) Turn it Up -- The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena hosts concerts, sporting events and other theatrics, and it's all next door to EverBank Field. Visitors can also catch popular musical acts, comedians and other performance artists at the historic Florida Theatre in the heart of downtown. For indie and local bands, head to Jack Rabbits and Underbelly, located in Jacksonville's historic downtown and San Marco districts. The venues were named two of the best live music venues in Florida by The Guardian magazine.

3.) Wine and Dine in Historic Neighborhoods -- The Riverside Avondale Night Trolley runs the first full weekend (Friday and Saturday) of every month from 6pm until 2am, connecting Downtown to these historic, hip neighborhoods. Visit 5 Points to watch cult classics at Sun-Ray Cinemas or enjoy the view from the rooftop lounge at Black Sheep, serving hand-crafted cocktails, made from local ingredients. The trolley also reaches the Shoppes of Avondale where you can hear live music at The Brick while enjoying modern American cuisine at this neighborhood hotspot.

4.) Revel in the Nightlife -- The Elbow is a collection of bars, venues, restaurants and shops radiating from the corner of Ocean and Bay Street in the heart of downtown Jacksonville. Sip craft cocktails at Dos Gatos, grab a cold beer and hang out on the open-air patio at Burrito Gallery or dance all night at Mark's Downtown Club and Lounge.

5.) Tee Off -- Bring your clubs and hit the greens at one of 72 public and private courses. Rates are affordable and great deals are offered in the fall when the weather is ideal for a day on the greens. Area courses were designed by greats like Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Mark McCumber. THE PLAYERS Championship is played here annually. The TPC course is a semi-private resort with lush, green rolling hills and steep inclines. Be sure to try your luck at the famed 17th green island hole!

6.) Learn and Play with the Kids Downtown -- Bringing the kids to the big game? Visit one of the urban core's attractions where kids can learn and play. The Jacksonville Fire Museum features fire department memorabilia from around the state of Florida and exhibits include photos from Jacksonville's Great Fire of 1901, a fully-restored 1902 American LaFrance horse-drawn fire engine and a working 1926 American LaFrance fire engine. Visit the Museum of Science and History (accessible by water taxi or the Skyway from downtown) to see live animal exhibits, a comprehensive history of Jacksonville exhibit, national rotating displays and the world's largest single-lens digital planetarium.

7.) Smell the Ocean Breeze -- Sink your toes in more than 22 miles of white-sandy beaches. Visitors can work on their tan or get active, take surfing or kiteboarding lessons, rent kayaks and paddleboards, fish at the pier or rent a fishing charter boat at Jacksonville Beach. Visit Hannah Park near the Mayport fishing village to ride on mountain biking trails, fish in the ponds or stroll the dog-friendly beaches.

8.) Remember our Heroes -- Next door to EverBank Field, pay tribute to lost and fallen soldiers at the Duval County Veterans Memorial Wall that recognizes veterans from all service branches -- Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. The names of servicemen and women from World War I through Operation Desert Storm and the current war on terrorism are etched into the 65 foot-long black granite monument guarded by an eternal flame.

9.) Window Shop -- Stroll through the St. Johns Town Center, listed as number nine on Forbes Magazine's list of Top Shopping Destinations in America. Visitors browse or buy from an incredible selection of local and national brand retailers. A new phase opened this fall anchored by Nordstrom and featuring a Natural Life, Free People and local boutique Model Citizen, among other shops and restaurants.

10.) Live Like a Local - Head to the Riverside Arts Market, held Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mingle among the locals and an array of fresh produce, local artists' crafts, unique street eats and live music on the waterfront stage. Or find entertainment, activities, food trucks, and more of what makes Jacksonville so great at local historic neighborhoods like San Marco, Riverside, Murray Hill and Avondale, all just a short bridge crossing and ride from Downtown Jacksonville.

For more information on all there is to see and do in Jacksonville and the Beaches, plus great fall offers log on to www.VisitJacksonville.com

About Visit Jacksonville

Visit Jacksonville is a nonprofit marketing organization contracted by the Duval County Tourist Development Council (TDC) to champion the growth of business and leisure tourism in Northeast Florida. Along with its nearly 400 tourism partners, Visit Jacksonville supports a vital and growing component of the local economy -- with tourism generating $2.2 billion in direct and indirect economy impact annually and supporting 22,000 jobs that span every sector of the economy. For a closer look at all there is to see and do in Jacksonville, go to www.VisitJacksonville.com or contact 800-733-2668.

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