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Jags v. Lions

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PA
posts: 3
reviews: 1
Jags v. Lions

I'm flying into Jacksonville Saturday morning with my brother for a weekend stay until Monday for the Jags/Lions game. We are staying downtown at the Hyatt. We're both young professionals in our older 20s. Basic outline of our plan was to head to the beach area Saturday afternoon for lunch, and stay downtown Saturday evening for dinner (Steak or Seafood place), and to head to a sports bar to watch the CFB games that night. For Sunday, head to the area around the stadium before, and after the game do the same sports bar thing for the rest of the NFL action.

I have a few questions since this is my first time in Jacksonville:

Does this sound like a good strategy? Or would you recommend maybe the beach for its restaurants/sports bars on a Saturday evening? Also, what beach? Atlantic? Ponte Vedra? Need help with that!

Does anyone have any suggestions on sports bars in the beach area and downtown area? Like I said earlier, we're both in our late 20s just looking to catch the game. We want to be somewhere where there's a fair amount of people, but not obnoxiously "clubby" if you catch my drift.

Judging from previous responses, it looks like the Hyatt is a pleasant walk to the stadium? I don't have to worry about anything on that front?

Would you recommend renting a car, instead of cabbing it everywhere? I know the city and surround areas are quite expansive.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide!!

Orlando, Florida
posts: 501
reviews: 11
1. Re: Jags v. Lions

The walk is safe...I'm a season ticketholder & I see many people walking that route before & after the game. As far as a car rental, since you are going to the beach, I would definately rent one. Car rental companies have last minute weekend deals, there's a list at http://www.rentalcodes.com/last_minute.html .

Your time is valuable, why spend it waiting for a taxi?

Jacksonville...
posts: 1,472
reviews: 199
2. Re: Jags v. Lions

Let me start by saying this...if you're here for at least 24-48 hours, I'd rent a car. The amount of money you'll spend on cabs will be far more expensive than a 2 day rental. Jacksonville is a spread out town and most of the things "to do" are in little pockets around town.

On another note, as Reply #1 says, the walk from the Hyatt to the stadium is safe.

As for beaches, I'd recommend Atlantic Beach and Jax Beach. Ponte Vedra Beach is very, very nice--but it's also very residential (with a few beach clubs mixed in). Not much in the way of bars here.

Your basic outline/plan sounds great. My huge recommendation would be...do NOT eat downtown. Not to disparage downtown restaurants (there are a few good ones), but you'll find a much better meal in San Marco, Riverside, or Avondale. Especially if you're looking for steak/seafood.

I'll get back to you with some recommendations re: bars later today. Typing on my phone.

Ben

Jacksonville...
posts: 1,472
reviews: 199
3. Re: Jags v. Lions

As for which bars to go to, check out this local blog:

metrojacksonville.com/article/2012-oct-river…

You don't have to go to everything listed, but it has some good reference points. If you have a car, I recommend driving (1 or 2 miles from downtown) to Park & King District. Tons of bars, very few clubs, tons of beers on tap. There's also an array of good restaurants around there. (In the map above, I'm referring to the area where Rogue, Loft, and Garage is.)

Neptune Beach, FL
posts: 2,587
reviews: 78
4. Re: Jags v. Lions

Hi JDT,

How much do you want to drink? Maybe you should take taxis.

A sports bar with multiple big screens in Jacksonville Beach, is Sneakers. It's popular. There are many other bars in Jacksonville Beach within a couple blocks of Sneakers which is at the end of Beach Blvd at 1st Street.

Enjoy the weekend!

Spirit

PA
posts: 3
reviews: 1
5. Re: Jags v. Lions

I appreciate all the help so far everybody. Ben, that article and your advice has been quite helpful. Printing and jotting all these ideas down. Park and King sounds very promising.

Spirit, we're not looking to drink too much. We just want somewhere with a fun/lively atmosphere to watch the games.

Any actual restaurant or bar suggestions (steak and seafood/moderately priced) in the Jacksonville Beach or Park & King Dist. that anyone has been to and would recommend?

I kind of want to hit a bunch of areas. So I'm rethinking my plan and have no idea now if I want to hit the beach area up in the aft or evening, now with knowing about Park & King.

Keep the advice coming. It's very helpful!!

PA
posts: 3
reviews: 1
6. Re: Jags v. Lions

And Sneakers looks great as well. Decisions, decisions!!

Neptune Beach, FL
posts: 2,587
reviews: 78
7. Re: Jags v. Lions

The better beach restaurants are at the end of Atlantic Blvd which divides Atlantic Beach from Neptune Beach. This area is 3 miles north of Sliders in Jax Beach. Ragtime Restaurant is a popular and long established favorite. Another good one right there is Mezza Luna, There is a little nest of restaurants there. Fish is a main staple of our diet here. The fishing boats bring it in fresh every morning. Virtually every restaurant will have fish on the menu and it's pretty hard to find bad fish. And I can't think of a restaurant that doesn't have steak.

Jacksonville...
posts: 1,472
reviews: 199
8. Re: Jags v. Lions

A good food/good priced option in Park/King is Pele's Wood Fire (steak, seafood, pizzas, Italian). There's also the new Black Sheep Restaurant which is a few blocks away from Park/King in 5 Points.

http://www.peleswoodfire.com

http://blacksheep5points.com

In San Marco, I'd try AIX or Taverna.

http://bistrox.com

http://www.tavernasanmarco.com/home.html

Jacksonville...
posts: 56
reviews: 25
9. Re: Jags v. Lions

There are also really good bars right up the street from the Hyatt, Dos Gatos, Burro Bar, Mark's. Along with good food at Indochine, and Burrito Gallery and Chomp Chomp. I mention that for convenience, but Park and King, and 5 points are your best bets for food and drink.

Jacksonville...
posts: 1,472
reviews: 199
10. Re: Jags v. Lions

Craig is right regarding the bars downtown. Downtown may be pretty dead compared to most cities, but the above-mentioned bars are very, very quality.

I will say--although BG, Chomp Chomp, and Indo have GREAT food--I'd recommend branching out a bit (why I mentioned Aix, Taverna, Peles, Black Sheep, etc). After all, you'll probably find yourself at Chomp for some late night munchie snacks anyway. I think BG is open late-night on the weekends, too.