5 Hidden Gems in the Jacksonville Area When Relocating to Florida

5 Hidden Gems in the Jacksonville Area When Relocating to Florida

Jacksonville, FL, has been gaining in popularity in recent years. Rated one of the best places to live in the U.S. and best places to retire, this northern Florida city is welcoming new residents on a regular basis. If you’re unfamiliar with where to live in Florida, here are 5 hidden gems in the Jacksonville area when relocating to Florida.

Which are the Best Jacksonville Suburbs to Move to?

Jacksonville is situated in the northeast part of Florida, right on the Atlantic coast. From here, some of the most unique suburbs and north and south of the city. So, if you’re unsure of where to live in Florida, Dream Finders Homes has some insider information.

St. Johns, Florida

Are you looking for Jacksonville suburbs that sit on the Atlantic coast? St. Johns could be the perfect hometown for the beach life you want. St. Johns is 38 miles south of Jacksonville and just north of St. Augustine, so you are close to some of the most beautiful beach areas along this coast. 

Being so close to the ocean, the outdoors are a big part of life in St. Johns. Among the many parks, Veterans Park is popular for skateboarders. Veteran Park’s soccer fields, basketball courts, and dog parks add to its appeal. You can also spend your free time outdoors at Julington Creek Plantation Park or Aberdeen Park. Rivertown Park is a great place to catch of view of the sunset over the St. Johns River.

One of the most family-friendly Jacksonville suburbs, St. Johns is known for its great schools. From pre-kindergarten through high school, you’re guaranteed your child gets a top quality education when you live in St. Johns.

St. Augustine, Florida

The beautiful town of St. Augustine is rich with Spanish architecture, which makes sense since it was built by Spaniards in the 1500s. It’s the oldest continually inhabited city in the country. 

St. Augustine sits between the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the St. John’s River on the west side, so you can choose the waterfront where you want to live. If you like surfing, the Atlantic would be a good location, but if calmer waters are your preference, choose the St. John’s River. Either way, relocating to Florida in St. Augustine rewards you with a truly satisfying quality of life,

Speaking of quality, the St. Augustine schools—public, private, and magnet—are highly regarded. Flagler College, an acclaimed liberal arts college, has a beautiful campus in St. Augustine, with many historic buildings.

Recreation is a given in most Florida cities along the coast. St. Augustine is no exception. Aside from the water sports and beaches, take to the links at the pristine St. Augustine Shores Golf Club, and the many other championship courses in the area. Not far from St. Augustine is TPC Sawgrass, one of the top golf resort destinations in the U.S. and home of THE PLAYERS Championship.

The arts are thriving in St. Augustine, too. St. Augustine Amphitheatre hosts live music events, including the renowned St. Augustine Music Festival. Music. Art By the Sea brings artistry of many kinds to the St. Johns County Pier in St. Augustine, a weekly festival of music, art, food, and fun.

While Jacksonville suburbs like St. Johns are beachy, St. Augustine boasts historic charm. If you’re planning to commute to Jacksonville, it’s an easy drive up I-95 or through Eastside Jacksonville, about 45 minutes.

Palm Coast, Florida

About an hour south of Jacksonville, Palm Coast is another of the suburbs to consider when relocating to Jacksonville, FL. Palm Coast is ranked #2 of the most affordable cities in Florida, 13% lower than the national average, so it’s a smart choice for getting the most value. With a population of about 103,000 residents—a blend of families and retirees—it’s also a very safe city, considered safer than 53% of cities across the country.

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is the perfect Florida park. You’ll find a bit of everything that makes the state such a wonderful place to live—stunning gardens, natural habitats, reflection ponds, and a beach. In one park, you can wander through exotic gardens that are lovingly tended and then walk to the beach with the second largest outcropping of coquina rock. And there’s more! Hiking, biking, surfing, paddling, scuba diving, boating, camping, fishing, horseback riding, shelling, birdwatching, stargazing, and viewing the wildlife that lives here—all in this one amazing park in your hometown of Palm Coast.

The town has many more parks and recreation areas, so you always have choices for outdoor activities. What’s your sport? Golf, tennis, racquetball, an aquatics center, sports fields and courts, playgrounds, and a skate park are a short drive when you live in Palm Coast, FL.

You can also get a unique perspective on Florida’s natural wonders at the Princess Place Preserve in Palm Coast. Tour the scenic 1,500-acre preserve by foot, bike, on horseback, or from a kayak or canoe—and it’s pet-friendly, so the whole family can enjoy this incredible experience. Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher or just appreciate the majesty of eagles, be sure to look upward when exploring Princess Place Preserve. 

Palm Coast is about an hour’s drive from Jacksonville, a scenic, relaxing ride!

Yulee, Florida

If you’re not familiar with Jacksonville suburbs, you might completely overlook the towns north of the city when you’re relocating to Florida.

Yulee, FL, is about 25 miles north of Jacksonville, putting it close to the Georgia border. It’s a small town—population: 13,766—that’s growing at a steady pace, and considered #2 on Niche’s “Best Places to Live in Nassau County”. The public schools are excellent, and Florida State College has a campus in Yulee.

One of the top benefits of living in Yulee, FL, is its close proximity to Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach for waterfront activities. You can quickly get to these popular destinations and then return home to a less crowded community. It’s easy to spend a full day (or more) at Amelia Island State Park in Yulee, but get there early during the summer. When 300 people take up space in the parking lot, they close the park to more visitors until some of them leave.

For shopping, dining, and entertainment, Yulee has a good variety of locally owned businesses. Being so close to both Jacksonville and Georgia, if you want more, you can head in either direction.

Orange Park, Florida

Sitting just outside the Jacksonville city limits, the town of Orange Park is a thriving suburb that still maintains a small town vibe. Orange Park is a family-friendly town with a rural atmosphere that’s in contrast to the urban experience that is just a few miles away. Navy families relocating to Jacksonville, FL, for the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, also like the quality of life in Orange Park because of the easy commute to the base.

Orange Park is situated on the St. John’s River and many locals like to frequent the parks along the waterfront to take in the panoramic views. 

Clarke House Park is one of the most popular attractions for families. Its new playground and picnic pavilion make it a great place for a birthday party or family gathering. Visitors also take advantage of the sand volleyball court, nature trails, and gardens.

Although relatively small in population (less than 9,000), Orange Park offers plenty of shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. The Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts is a local treasure. The 1,700-seat theatre brings in nationally touring musicians and dance troupes.

The townspeople also enjoy the community events happening throughout the year, including the Farmers Market, Fall Festival, Hometown Holiday in the Park, and Orange Park After Dark, plus block parties and fun runs.

Find a Home with Dream Finders

As you can tell, these 5 hidden gems in the Jacksonville area for those relocating to Florida present exciting options for any homebuyer! 

Dream Finder Homes makes it even easier. We are building communities of new homes for sale in Jacksonville and all of these Jacksonville suburbs. For an energy efficient, brand new townhome or exquisite single-family home, work with us to explore all of these cities and towns. Each community has its own character and amenities. Our floor plans span a wide range to accommodate your lifestyle and budget. 

And if you’re on a tight timeline for relocating to Jacksonville, FL, Dream Finders Homes has quick move-in homes and townhomes ready for you. Plus, our Design Studio professionals are always available to share their expertise to curate your interior details.

Contact Us Today for the Best Homes for Sale in Jacksonville, FL!

Relocating to Florida doesn’t have to be challenging. Dream Finders Homes’ experience with guiding newcomers to the Sunshine State gives you the personal attention and understanding to guide you to the best decision for your needs and wishes. Contact the new home specialists at Dream Finders Homes to learn more about our new homes for sale in Jacksonville, FL, and the best Jacksonville suburbs.