When you live in San Marco, Florida, beach season never ends. The weather is warm all year round. This quaint neighborhood is a suburb of Jacksonville, which is the largest city in both Florida and the Continental United States. Jacksonville spans 22 square miles and has a population of almost 900,000. San Marco's population is around 35,000. The area is dotted with residential neighborhoods and white sandy beaches.
Although much of the suburb of San Marco is residential, it is also home to San Marcos Square. The Square is San Marco's go-to commercial destination where most of the suburb's restaurants, bars, and retail stores are located. The square's major landmark is the restored 3 lion statues, originally inspired by Venice's Piazza San Marco.
1. Beach Locale With a Strong Economy
San Marco is located south of Downtown Jacksonville, just across St John River. With a median age of 35, Jacksonville has the youngest population of any city in Florida. The area's diverse business and recreational opportunities, along with its younger population, make Jacksonville a top choice for young professionals and those with growing families.
Because tourism and hospitality are major industries in the area, jobs are plentiful in hotels, restaurants, bars, and other recreational venues. Unemployment in Jacksonville is 5% which is slightly lower than the national average of 5.2% and the job market is expected to grow by nearly 40% over the next 10 years.
2. Jacksonville's Vibrant Arts and Music Scene
Along with beautiful white sand beaches and a strong economy, Jacksonville is known for its arts and music scene. The city holds festivals and arts events year round.
Every Memorial Day weekend, Downtown Jacksonville is taken over by the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. JazzFest is one of the largest jazz festivals in the country. Food trucks provide local fare while jazz musicians entertain on one of three stages. Admission to the festival is free.
On the first Wednesday of every month, Jacksonville holds the Jacksonville Art Walk. The art walk is a mix of pop-up galleries and freestanding artists. Admission is free and the walk is self-guided. The artwork features hundreds of artists on display across over 60 different venues. In conjunction with the Art Walk, Myth Nightclub holds its monthly "Silent Disco Artwalk After Dark Event." The nightclub features DJs on 4 channels, art vendor displays, dance performances, and drink specials all night.
Held twice a year, the San Marco Art Festival is held along the suburb's main stretch of San Marco Boulevard. It is a two day festival of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, handmade jewelry, collage, mixed media, and photography. Artwork by over 100 artists from all over the country is displayed in the outdoor showcase. All the art featured is "Original Art Handmade in America." Artists can have the work included in a juried competition and compete for prizes.
Art walks and markets are held in different parts of town on a weekly or monthly basis. Jacksonville's other artworks included the Downtown Artwalk, Jax Beach Art Walk, North Beaches Art Walk, and Riverside Arts Market.
3. Did We Mention the Beaches?
Jacksonville's white sand beaches are situated on an unnamed barrier island that is nicknamed San Pablo Island. Collectively known as "the Beaches," Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Jacksonville Beach make up Florida's "First Coast." Swimming and surfing, golfing, boating, sunbathing and sea kayaking are just some of the activities you can enjoy.
Beachgoers often get a chance to see dolphins swimming nearby But if you want to make sure you get a chance to swim with dolphins, the Marineland Dolphin Adventure in St Augustine is a short drive from Jacksonville. The aquarium provides lectures from dolphin trainers as well as the opportunity to swim alongside trained dolphins.
Many animal lovers will also appreciate that the Jacksonville area is home to wildlife preserves including the Catty Shack, a refuge for big cats, and B.E.A.K.S, the Bird Emergency Aid and Kare Sanctuary.
San Marco and Jacksonville offer vast beaches and ample entertainment for all members of the family. It's the perfect place to move for those who appreciate art, music, and outdoor activities such as swimming, surfing, golfing and boating. Because tourism dominates the economy, it would be a good move for those who work in tourism and hospitality.