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Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular 10/20 - 10/21

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Germany
posts: 88
Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular 10/20 - 10/21

We will be in Florida (Panama City Beach) in October. My husband wants to see the "Blue Angels" in Jacksonville at the Sea & Sky Spectacular.

Where is the best place to stay for one night? Is it worth to travel from Panama City Beach to Jacksonville Beach just to see the Sea & Sky Spectacular? What else can we see instead of the Blue Angels?

Nicole

Neptune Beach, FL
posts: 2,595
reviews: 80
1. Re: Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular 10/20 - 10/21

Hello Nicole,

It’s 280 miles, a little under a 5 hour drive, from Panama City to Jacksonville Beach.

The Blue Angels put on a very good air show.

Useful information is that they always practice the whole air show on the day before the official show days, so it’s possible to see the show without the crowds of people.

The center point of the show is 6th Avenue North in north Jacksonville Beach, but you can see (and hear!) the show from many blocks on either side of the center of the show.. (Bring ear plugs!!) The planes fly way up and down the beach barely offshore. They do most of their crossings, rolls, dives, etc near the center point but you can see it all very well from blocks away..

These are the hotels in Jacksonville Beach that are on the ocean near the center point of the air show: Quality Suites, Best Western, and Casa Marina. A couple blocks farther north in Jacksonville Beach are the Comfort Inn (just bought by Hampton Inn), and Marriott Courtyard. And not on the ocean but just across the street from the Marriott is the Fairfield. There probably isn't much difference between these hotels except for the Casa Marina which is privately owned rather than being one of a chain of hotels. Two miles north of the center point of the air show is the Seahorse Oceanfront Inn in Neptune Beach which is a great place to stay in the most desirable area of the beaches for restaurants and boutiques, and the best value on the beach. Also in that area is Ocean One but most if it's rooms don’t have balconies.

For the day before the air show, or the days of the air show, I would stay in a room with a balcony on the ocean in the Best Western or Quality Suites which are almost at the center point of the show. The Courtyard Marriott is about a mile north of the center point, but you could still see the show nicely from your balcony. Otherwise, my recommendation would be to stay at the Seahorse Oceanfront Inn for the nice area it is in and just walk down closer to the center point for the air show.

Downtown Jacksonville has the St. John’s River meandering through it, and there are nice views of it from The Landing on the north bank of the river. The Landing has various bars and restaurants and is a good place to have a drink to enjoy the view.

Saint Augustine is 30 miles south. That's a nice little place for sightseeing, history, shopping, eating...

Spirit

Edited: 1:37 pm, July 15, 2012
Germany
posts: 88
2. Re: Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular 10/20 - 10/21

Thank you Spirit for all the information!!

Are the Blue Angels the main attraction at this event?

It says Sky & Sea, are there some Navy ships to see or is it just a boat show?

I have to check if we can get a good and not too expensive room on the beach.

I`ve never seen an air show before!

Nicole

Jacksonville...
posts: 1,478
reviews: 200
3. Re: Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular 10/20 - 10/21

The Blue Angels are the main attraction. I do believe there are some ships...but it's mainly an air show. Spirit would probably know more.

Jacksonville...
posts: 56
reviews: 25
4. Re: Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular 10/20 - 10/21

If you stay at the beach. There are Dolphin tours, airboat rides, and kayak rentals at the Crazy Fish, plus other locations. You can also drive to the Mayport Ferry eat at a local seafood restaurant (super right off the boat fresh). while there you can schedule a kayak or seway tour of Ft. George Island, and Kingsley Platation. October is the perfect time of year to be outside in Jacksonville.

Germany
posts: 88
5. Re: Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular 10/20 - 10/21

Thank you Craig. But we will be in Jacksonville only for one night to see the Blue Angels. We have a condo rented in Panama City Beach for our complete stay in the US.

The hotels are very expensive for this weekend. I think we will stay overnight outside of Jacksonville on our way back to PCB.

Jacksonville...
posts: 1,478
reviews: 200
6. Re: Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular 10/20 - 10/21

You shouldn't really have to stay "outside" of Jacksonville to get a good rate. I'm sure there are some hotels off JTB or near I-95/JTB that can suit your price range.

Neptune Beach, FL
posts: 2,595
reviews: 80
7. Re: Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular 10/20 - 10/21

Hi Nicole,

You should see at least one air show in your life! It is quite an event! You not only see the planes, but you fell the power in the planes going by overhead, and you definitely hear them! In their past air shows at Jacksonville Beach, the Blue Angels were the primary event, but the Navy (or Marines?) staged a landing on the beach from a ship specialized for that purpose. The show lasts a couple hours.

Two hotels that aren't on the beach and might be cheaper are the Holiday Inn Express on Beach Blvd in Jacksonville Beach. It's a mile from the ocean. And there's a Hampton Inn in Ponte Vedra on the service road next to Butler Blvd.

Spirit

Germany
posts: 88
8. Re: Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular 10/20 - 10/21

Yes you are right, I don`t know when I get the chance to see an air show again!!

When does the show start (at noon or earlier)?

I saw Jets fly over a football stadium (it was my first football game) which blows me away! It was extremly loud and I could feel their power!

Neptune Beach, FL
posts: 2,595
reviews: 80
9. Re: Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular 10/20 - 10/21

Sorry, I can't find the times. Only the dates. Check back when we're closer to the air show date.

Germany
posts: 88
10. Re: Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular 10/20 - 10/21

I booked the Palms Retro in Atlantic Beach. Looks nice!