If time is short and you really need to get away for a day, try the state and city parks for picnics along the waters of northeast Jacksonville.
Jacksonville is one of the largest cities by area in the United States. Fortunately, though, Jacksonville’s natural setting was not destroyed along the way. Jacksonville has a number of beaches and waterfront areas as well as state and city parks to allow you to get away from the hustle and bustle of your busy life.
In Jacksonville’s northeast corner, you will find a multitude of state and city parks. Big Talbot Island and Little Talbot Island State Parks are two waterfront state parks open to the public year round. They are part of a larger group of state and city parks in the immediate area that provide access to Jacksonville’s unspoiled and secluded beaches. Big Talbot Island and Little Talbot Island State Parks offer covered picnic areas and paved parking for a relaxing day at the beach. You can participate in a number of other activities as well, such as surf fishing in the ocean, fishing along the saltwater creeks along the western side, bird watching, kayaking or canoeing, surfing, or just soaking up the sun without all the crowds.
Just to the south of Little Talbot Island is Huguenot Memorial Park, operated by the City of Jacksonville. Huguenot Park lies at the mouth of the St. John’s River with wide, expansive beaches all around. A boat launch is available, with quick access to Ft. George Inlet and the inland waterways to the west of Little Talbot and Big Talbot Islands. On any given weekend you can watch the windsurfers challenge the waves along the inlet side. Huguenot Park has covered picnic areas with bathhouses for your convenience.
Because of isolation of these area parks, Big Talbot Island, Little Talbot Island and Huguenot Memorial Park are some of the best parks for picnics in Jacksonville. While on your day of rest and relaxation, you are bound to encounter any number of wild creatures, including sharks, dolphins, gopher tortoises, sea turtle hatchlings, indigo snakes, river otters, and a number of water birds.
Little Talbot Island State Park and Huguenot Memorial Park also have camping available on a limited basis. Campsites are limited, and reservations must be made with the Florida State Parks Reserve America reservation system for Little Talbot Island and with the City of Jacksonville for Huguenot Park.
For a quick day trip and the best parks for picnics in Jacksonville that feel miles away from your busy life, spend the day at the parks along the northeast side. Big Talbot Island, Little Talbot Island State Parks, and Huguenot Park are located along highway A1A, twenty minutes from downtown Jacksonville and easily accessible from anywhere in the metropolitan Jacksonville area. With fresh ocean breezes and unspoiled beaches, getting away from it all is closer than you think.