21 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO NEAR NAS JACKSONVILLE
By Kevin Lankes
IntroductionHere at NAS Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida, tons of fun things are available to keep you busy during your new PCS. You’ll be met with a whole city full of things to do. Not to mention the surrounding area is packed with adventure as well. Of course we’re talking about Florida with its subtropical climate, covered in beaches, wetlands, and more. Here are just a few things to try out while you’re here. Know what you are looking for? Click the number(s) to go right to where you want to go: (1-2) Gyms (3) Sports (4) Pools (5-9) Attractions (10-16) Outdoor Recreation (17-19) Museums (20) Bowling (21) Golfing
Suggested Read: Naval Air Station Jacksonville: In-Depth Welcome Center
COVID-19 NoticeDue to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, many businesses, venues, and parks may be temporarily closed or operating under restricted hours. Many, if not all, of the ones listed here, are likely subject to such restrictions for the time being though new re-openings and closings occur all the time. Therefore, a place we mention here may not currently be open or available for the time being. Check individual websites provided in each section or call to find out each place’s current hours and situation.
Things to Do Near NAS Jacksonville
NAS JAX Gym
1. NAS Base GymBldg. 614 Gillis Street Jacksonville, FL 32212
Phone: 1 (904) 542-2930 The gym on base has everything you could need for your workout. There are tons of free weights, machines, courts for basketball and racquetball, and a number of usable gear like frisbees and softball equipment. There are intramural teams to join in a variety of sports as well.
2. NAS Jacksonville Fitness CenterBldg. 867 Enterprise Avenue Jacksonville, FL 32212
Phone: 1 (904) 542-3518 The fitness center offers a range of cardio options like treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, and more. The cardio equipment is set up in a theater space with multiple televisions tuned to a variety of stations. The fitness center also offers aerobics classes and free weights.
3. McCaffrey Softball ComplexBldg. 614 Gillis Street Jacksonville, FL 32212
Phone: 1 (904) 542-2930 The McCaffrey Softball Complex hosts three softball fields. It has a concession stand for anyone who wants to enjoy a snack and watch a game from the stands. Each field has its own announcers booth and a 16’ fence.
NAS JAX Pool
4. NAS Jacksonville Outdoor PoolBldg. 419 Jacksonville, FL 32212
Phone: 1 (904) 542-2930 The outdoor pool on base is three to twelve feet deep and features a 150’ waterslide. There’s a concession stand, a bath house, a children’s pool, and more. The pool is free for service members, their families, staff, and retirees. Swimming lessons are offered in groups or individually.
5. Adventure Landing4825 Blanding Blvd Jacksonville, FL 32210
Phone: 1 (904) 771-2804 Adventure Landing is a theme park on the St. Johns River. It features minigolf, laser tag, go-karts, an arcade, and tons of tasty food stands. Adventure Landing offers multiple passes for admission, including a season pass, along with a 10% military discount.
6. Autobahn Indoor Speedway and Events6601 Executive Park Ct N Jacksonville, FL 32216
Phone: 1 (904) 425-5005 This indoor speedway offers go-kart racing inspired by F-1 with speeds up to 50 miles per hour. Guests can walk in or make reservations. Kids must be over eight years of age for their junior karting. If you’re not into go-karts, come for the axe throwing. Reserve a lane with friends, or sign up for their league events. You could win the chance to compete on ESPN in the World Axe Throwing League.
7. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens370 Zoo Parkway Jacksonville, FL 32218
Phone: 1 (904) 757-4463 The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is home to numerous animals and exhibits, a 4D theater, a bamboo garden, and much more. They offer multiple programs for children and families, conservation education, hikes and other events. Become a member to enjoy free access to the zoo and gardens year-round, as well as admission to members-only events and discounted tickets to partner zoos and aquariums. Children under two get in free.
8. Jax Navy Flying ClubBldg. 847-A Jacksonville, FL 32212
Phone: 1 (904) 542-8509 The Jax Navy Flying Club on base is for anyone who wants to get some air time. They offer lessons all the way from beginner to certified flight instructor. They also offer aircraft rentals for pilots with an existing license.
9. bestbet Orange Park455 Park Ave Orange Park, FL 32073
Phone: 1 (904) 646-0001 This 65,000’ facility offers a Vegas-style betting arena with live greyhound racing. Regular poker tournaments happen daily, and host both amateurs and professionals. They can fit you in at their 37 tables, so drop in when you’re in the mood to risk it all.
10. NAS Jacksonville FishingBldg. 1072 Ranger Road Jacksonville, FL 32212
Phone: 1 (904) 542-3260 Fishing at NAS Jacksonville is allowed in two locations with a permit. The first location is the St. Johns River, with no restrictions. The second is the north side of Casa Linda Lake, where fishing is strictly catch and release.
11. NAS Jacksonville Mulberry Cove MarinaBldg. 1072 Ranger Road Jacksonville, FL 32212
Phone:1 (904) 542-3260 The Mulberry Cove Marina at NAS Jacksonville is located along the St. Johns River. Here you can rent kayaks and canoes, learn to sail, and rent camping equipment.
12. The Rudder Club of Jacksonville8533 Malaga Ave Jacksonville, FL 32244
Phone: 1 (904) 264-4094 A sailing club for members only. They host weekly races here for spectators. The club will hold your own boats in dry and wet storage areas. Kids can come for the sailing camps at The Rudder Club over the summer and learn the ropes. They also offer sailing lessons for adults. Members also gain access to the onsite pool, bar and lounge, and outdoor patio.
13. Southbank Riverwalk1001 Museum Cir Jacksonville, FL 32207 1 (904) 630-2489 This one and a quarter mile promenade stretches along the St. Johns River. It’s filled with art installations and is a perfect place to job or take a date to watch the sunset. From here you can see the boats and aquatic adventurers on the lake while taking in a good book or listening to a podcast.
14. The Ghost Town of YukonYukon Jacksonville, FL 32244 Yukon sprouted up in the early 1800s. Once a bustling town, it was shut down by the Navy and most of the buildings were torn down and turned into a park. However, remnants of the town remain, like the business district, the bus depot, the local tavern, and more. The overgrown streets can be walked like hiking trails.
15. Doctor’s Lake Marina3108 US-17 Orange Park, FL 32003 A dry dock in Orange Park that serves your water-going needs. You can rent pontoon boats for the whole family, fishing boats for a trip with your buddies, or go on a solitary expedition in a canoe or kayak. However you’re looking to get on the water, Doctor’s Lake Marina can help. Fleming Island
16. Moccasin Slough Park4393 Raggedy Point Rd Fleming Island, FL 32003
Phone: 1 (904) 284-6378 A family friendly park with playground equipment for children, fields for various sports, and hiking trails.
17. Hands On Children’s Museum8580 Beach Blvd Jacksonville, Fl 32216
Phone: 1 (904) 642-2688 With twenty five exhibits, the Hands On Children’s Museum promotes cooperative problem solving and cognitive growth among children. They host field trips and birthday parties, with very affordable admission. It’s $4 for kids ages 1-3 and $5.50 for anyone older than that.
18. Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville333 N Laura St Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: 1 (904) 366-6911 A partner institution of the University of North Florida, the Museum of Contemporary Art showcases many programs and tours for visitors. There are programs for children, after hours meetups, and more.
19. Clarke House Park1039 Kingsley Ave Orange Park, FL 32073
Phone: 1 (904) 264-2635 The Clarke House was built in the early 1900s and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. These days it houses the Orange Park Historical Society. Around the house, The Clarke House Park holds a number of outdoor offerings too, like volleyball courts, picnic tables, and hiking trails. You can reserve space here for birthday parties or other events.
NAS JAX Bowling Alley
20. NAS Freedom Lanes & Pro ShopBldg. 609 Gillis Street Jacksonville, FL 32212
Phone: 1 (904) 542-3493 Knock down some pins right here on base at the Freedom Lanes. They have bowling of all kinds, from the traditional ten frames to “Xtreme bowling.” And you can grab some great grub at The Gutterball Grill.
NAS JAX Golf Course
21. NAS Jacksonville Golf CourseBldg. 809 Mustin Road Jacksonville, FL 32212
Phone: 1 (904) 542-3249 It wouldn’t truly be a military aviation installation without a golf course, and NAS Jacksonville has a great one. With 27 beautiful holes, a PGA pro staff, and a pro shop, the NAS Jacksonville Golf Course has a lot to offer for golfers of all skill levels.
ConclusionThere’s no lack of things to do around NAS Jacksonville. Whether on base or around the metro area, you’ll find all kinds of entertainment and fitness options for the whole family.
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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