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Morning at Timucuan Preserve- what to see?

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Saint Paul...
posts: 102
reviews: 44
Morning at Timucuan Preserve- what to see?

Hello,

We are flying in Jacksonville, staying by the airport and want to spend the morning at Timucuan Preserve before heading north to Jekyll Island for afternoon and Beaufort at night. I know that's limited time and it seems like there is a lot to see at Timucuan. I'd love some suggestions on which sites are most interesting. We are a family of 5 (kids are 6, 13, 15) and love hiking and history. 6 year old loves to get the jr ranger badges...

My first inclination is to stop at Fort Caroline/ Visitor Center and then do the Hammock Trail Loop. Then head over to the KingsleyPlantation and see that. I figure that might take care of our 3-4 hours? I'm a little concerned that it's 30 minutes drive time between sites and then we'll have to backtrack when leaving.... Thoughts?

Jacksonville...
posts: 1,472
reviews: 199
1. Re: Morning at Timucuan Preserve- what to see?

Indeed, there is a lot to see at Timucuan. Probably too much for 1/2 a day. That being said, I do think it's a fine idea to stop there and spend a few hours walking around before you hop back in car.

I think you already have a good idea of what you're doing. FC, Hammock Trail, Kinglsey. You may do a little backtracking, but what's 30-60 minutes when you're sitting in the car for the whole day?

What are you planning on doing at Jekyll? Between FC, the trail, Kingsley, backtracking, Jekyll...that's a lot of stuff to do!

For what it's worth: Beaufort is ~2.5-3 hours from Jacksonville.

Saint Paul...
posts: 102
reviews: 44
2. Re: Morning at Timucuan Preserve- what to see?

Thanks for the reply Ben!

After writing this down, I've been thinking that the stop at Jekyll might actually fit better in our return trip. We're flying into JAX, day 1-hitting Timucuan, then heading north to Beaufort for 1 night, then Charleston for 3, Savannah for 4 and back to Jacksonville for 1 night. Thus, we can take in Jekyll (kids want to see the Sea Turtle Center) on the return trip. First day, we still have a substantial drive up to Beaufort- but it does loosen up the day's itinerary. If the weather is nice and we're enjoying Timucuan, we can stay longer!

For what it's worth, a 3 hour drive is piece of cake compared to the road trips we usually take on during spring break! We often rack up 2000 miles in 10 days. (that's what we get for living in the middle of the country!) We're really excited about less time in the car for this trip!

Jacksonville...
posts: 1,472
reviews: 199
3. Re: Morning at Timucuan Preserve- what to see?

Your plan sounds pretty good to me. Jekyll Island is probably better on the way back.

Charleston and Savannah are two of my favorite cities in the country. I lived in Charleston for 5 years and I go to Savannah quite often. Let me know if you need any help planning.

If I were you, I'd do 4 nights Charleston, 3 Savannah. Charleston has much more to see than Savannah.

Saint Paul...
posts: 102
reviews: 44
4. Re: Morning at Timucuan Preserve- what to see?

I found that Charleston lodging was incredibly expensive- thus we opted for one night in Beaufort (instead of 4 in Charleston), to cut the drive and save $$. I got a fantastic VRBO in historic district Savannah for less than 1/2 the price of any lodging I could find anywhere close to Charleston. Charleston, we're staying in a hotel outside of town, to make it affordable. If I had realized this earlier, I might of just opted for a St. Augustine, JAX and Savannah trip. But we were too far down the road in planning and had a kid that had his heart set on seeing Fort Sumter.

Jacksonville...
posts: 1,472
reviews: 199
5. Re: Morning at Timucuan Preserve- what to see?

You'll have a blast in Charleston. Entirely worth the extra bucks. What's the VRBO # on the Savannah rental? Going up there in a few months and would like to check it out (if you don't mind). A street address would help, too.

Saint Paul...
posts: 102
reviews: 44
6. Re: Morning at Timucuan Preserve- what to see?

VRBO # 164549

It's on the 2nd floor above a framing shop on Boughton, by Jefferson.

Jacksonville...
posts: 1,472
reviews: 199
7. Re: Morning at Timucuan Preserve- what to see?

Great location, gorgeous property. Have fun!

Neptune Beach, FL
posts: 2,585
reviews: 78
8. Re: Morning at Timucuan Preserve- what to see?

Hello CityGal,

Are you not going 30 miles south of Jacksonville to Saint Augustine because you have already been there?

Saint Augustine has lots more to see and do than all these other places mentioned put together.

Spirit

Saint Paul...
posts: 102
reviews: 44
9. Re: Morning at Timucuan Preserve- what to see?

I'm embarassed to admit that I'd never heard of Saint Augustine before I had trouble finding housing in Charleston and someone (on the forums here) suggested I skip Charleston altogether and go to Saint Augustine instead! It just wasn't on my radar at all. Once I looked it up, I agree that it looks very interesting and would warrant a visit. It's curious that it's such a well-kept secret, (or else I'm just not paying attention!)

We might have time to stop there before we fly out of JAX at the end of our trip- but it does seem like there is a lot to see and might warrant more than just a quick trip. We just don't have any flexibility to change housing at this point.

Jacksonville...
posts: 1,472
reviews: 199
10. Re: Morning at Timucuan Preserve- what to see?

I'd rather spend time in Charleston than St. Augustine any day of the week. St. Augustine, to me, is one of those "been there, done that"--except for going to the outlet malls or going for the occasional good meal (Tasting Room, for instance), I try to skip St. Augustine all together. It's a little too touristy for me.

You have a good trip planned--no regrets!