JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, THINGS TO DO NEAR NS MAYPORT
By Andrew Karcher
IntroductionWelcome to Naval Station Mayport, located in Jacksonville and adjacent to St Johns River, Florida’s longest river. Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida and is home to over 900,000 residents. It is also, when measured by land area, the largest city in the lower 48 states. Combining those factors with its close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and yearlong warm temperatures, you will find plenty of Jacksonville, Florida, things to do. Below, we have listed some activities and organized them into several categories. By no means is this list exhaustive, but it provides a good recreational starting point. Due to ongoing coronavirus concerns, many businesses and venues are likely subject to some form of restrictions. It is best to call ahead to confirm what their specific rules and hours are. Related read: NS Mayport: In-Depth Welcome Center
ITT MayportContact NS Mayport’s Tickets and Travel Office for potential discounted tickets to attractions in many Southern states as well as offers for hotel and cruise reservations.
Tickets and Travel Main Office245 Baltimore Jacksonville, FL 32228
Phone: 1 (904) 270-5145
MWR MayportNS Mayport’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) center offers many fun activities for the whole family. This article will cover some of these offerings, but for a more comprehensive list, click here to head to their website.
Jacksonville, Florida, Things To Do
MWR Mayport Gym
1. MWR Fitness Center1391 Bailey Ave. Jacksonville, FL 32228
Phone: 1 (904) 270-5451 The on-base Fitness Center is the most convenient and cost-effective way to work up a sweat during your posting. The Fitness Center, which has no membership fees, includes a diverse set of fitness options, including high-intensity training, competitive adult sports programs, and a family fitness room. Trainers are also available to assist with a personalized program, but if you prefer to go solo, free weights and machines are available. Among the many amenities are two Olympic-sized pools, racquetball courts, a spin room, and a sauna.
NS Mayport Movie Theaters
2. Cinemark Jacksonville Atlantic North and XD11567 Atlantic Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32225
Phone: 1 (904) 915-2091 The closest multiplex to NS Mayport is the Cinemark Jacksonville Atlantic North and XD. There, you can catch the latest blockbusters in a clean and modern movie theater while you recline in a lounge chair. You can even rent out your own theater starting at $50.
3. Sun-Ray Cinema1028 Park St. Jacksonville, FL 32204
Phone: 1 (904) 359-0049 Sun-Ray is the spot for movie nerds to catch flicks and a more unique experience than the standard multiplex. Right when you walk in, you’ll notice the unique, sci-fi-inspired decor and murals. They’ll screen some recent releases but will also hold special events for cult classic movies. You can enjoy the standard movie snack fare like candy and popcorn, but they also serve specialty items like Cuban sandwiches and customizable personal pizzas, which pair nicely with their generous beer list. Check in on Yelp to receive a free large popcorn with admission!
NS Mayport Bowling Alley
4. Pinz Bowling Center244 Baltimore St. Jacksonville, FL 32228
Phone: 1 (904) 270-5377 Another MWR Mayport service is their bowling alley, Pinz Bowling Center. Pinz is perfect for a night out with the family or friends and a great spot to host a birthday party. Leagues are available for avid bowlers.
NS Mayport Museums
5. Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens829 Riverside Ave. Jacksonville, FL 32204
Phone: 1 (904) 356-6857 Arts fans will enjoy spending a lazy weekend day meandering through Cummer Museum. The art collection includes pieces spanning 8,000 years of art history. If you’re not an art fan, there are four lush gardens to stroll through, and the Cummer Café offers an ideal spot to rest and grab a salad or sandwich during your stay.
6. “Hands On” Children’s Museum8580 Beach Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32216
Phone: 1 (904) 642-2688 “Hands On” Children’s Museum is a fun opportunity for kids to explore various exhibits. It’s a playground with different themed rooms, such as a veterinarian clinic, a space station, and a fire station. At $4 admission for ages 1-3 and $5.50 for ages four and up (adults included), it’s a budget-friendly way to inspire your child’s imagination.
NS Mayport Golf Courses
7. Windy Harbor Golf Club1981 Maine St. Jacksonville, FL 32228
Phone: 1 (904) 270-5380 Windy Harbor Golf Club, located on NS Mayport and another perk of the MWR, offers an 18-hole course at affordable rates. Tee times can be booked ahead online for as little as $27, a bargain compared to most other Florida golf courses. If you don’t have time for a full round, a driving range is available for you to take a few swings at a bucket of balls. Looking to work on your game? Instruction is available for adults and children.
8. Atlantic Beach Country Club1600 Selva Marina Dr. Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
Phone: 1 (904) 373-2222 You won’t need to search very hard to look for off-base golf courses in Florida. Atlantic Beach Country Club is nearby and offers the beautiful Florida landscape to enjoy while you play a round. Members can also enjoy the fitness center, tennis courts, and family-friendly pool – they even offer swimming lessons.
NS Mayport Events
9. Jacksonville JaguarsTIAA Bank Field 1 TIAA Bank Field Dr. Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: 1 (904) 633-6100 Florida is football crazy. The state is home to three NFL teams and three universities that have won FBS national championships since the turn of the century. One of those professional teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars, play their home games only 15 miles from NS Mayport. Statista estimates that the average Jaguars ticket only costs $81 – the second-lowest figure among all NFL teams. However, if college football is more your game, TIAA Bank Field hosts an annual event that could be of interest...
10. Florida-Georgia RivalryJacksonville hosts the annual game between bitter rivals: the University of Florida and University of Georgia. These two national powers are regularly ranked among the top 25 teams in the sport, and both have won national championships in the past 15 years. Suffice to say, if you’re a college football fan, it’s a can’t-miss game. The game, often referred to as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” is also a big deal for tailgating. Even non-football fans can enjoy a day in the Florida sunshine grilling and drinking beers with buddies outside the stadium.
NS Mayport Outdoor Recreation
11. Castaway Island Preserve2921 San Pablo Rd. S Jacksonville, FL 32224
Phone: 1 (904) 374-1107 Enjoy a daytime hike through Castaway Island Preserve and keep an eye out for the local marsh wildlife. Dogs are welcome on the hiking trails, so it’s a great way to get your pups some exercise too!
12. Dutton Island Kayak Launch793 Dutton Island Rd. W Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
Phone: 1 (904) 247-5828 There are many outdoor activities available at Dutton Island Preserve, like fishing, hiking, and camping. But the highlight might be kayaking and canoeing. The paddle trail is well-marked and features beautiful scenery and wildlife. Lucky paddlers might even catch a glimpse of bottlenose dolphins during their journey. Kayaks can be rented directly from the boat ramp if you don’t have your own.
ConclusionNo matter how you enjoy spending your leisure time, you’ll never be bored during your posting at NS Mayport. There are simply too many Jacksonville, Florida, things to do! Every member of your family will find something they enjoy, from seeing the latest blockbuster movies, watching big-time football in-person, or exploring nature. Jacksonville offers much more than is contained in this list, so be sure to check with friends and neighbors to see what some of their favorite recreational activities are. They might even know about some hidden gems in this large and diverse city.
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