Named after the seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida and steeped in American history.
If you're contemplating a move to The River City, this guide will offer you plenty of helpful tips and resources to make your transition as flawless as possible.
Like many notable cities in the Sunshine State, Jacksonville is categorized as a humid subtropical climate. During the winter months, weather is generally mild but can have some short-lived hard freezes at night. Temperatures range from the mid 40's to low 70's in December, January and February, and rise between mid 60's and low 80's in the spring.
In contrast, be prepared for high heat indices during the hot summer months, and frequent thunderstorms during the afternoon hours. Temperatures are the hottest in July and August, generally in the 80's and 90's.
With over 500 neighborhoods in Jacksonville and its surrounding areas that include Downtown, LaVilla, Brooklyn, Springfield, Eastside, San Marco, Riverside and Avondale, there are plenty of options to suit your living needs.
Over 3,000 people live in the Downtown Jacksonville area, which is the central business district of Jacksonville, and often referred to as the historic core of the city. Major corporations like Fidelity National Financial, Wells Fargo, AT&T, Aetna and Bank of America are featured in the city, along with City Hall and the Jacksonville Main Library.
For a more suburban feel, you may want to look into Springfield or the Avondale and Riverside area. Springfield has many residential buildings and prairie-style homes, historic parks and recreational facilities along Hogan's Creek, as well as a thriving independent film industry. Avondale and Riverside, developed from old plantation land, contain many city parks, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, and an upscale shopping center called the "Shoppes of Avondale."
Registering Your Car
You have 10 days to register your car in Florida from the date you begin working in the state, or register a child in a Florida school. You must have proof of ownership of your vehicle, verification of your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), and proof of Florida insurance requirements.
You have 30 days to transfer your existing out-of-state driver's license to a Florida driver's license. To do so, you will need your primary identification, proof of Social Security Number and two documents verifying your Florida address. The Florida DMV issues over 400,000 new resident licenses per year, and advises you to know your requirements and have your documents ready prior to going to the office.
Jacksonville's public schools are operated by Duval County Public Schools and have over 125,000 enrolled. Jacksonville is also home to two of the top 10 high schools in the US: Stanton College Preparatory School and Paxon School for Advanced Studies. DCPS is the 15th largest school district in the US, and sixth largest school district in Florida.
Higher education facilities in Jacksonville include: University of North Florida, Jacksonville University, Edward Waters College, Webster University, Jones College, Columbia College, Florida Coastal School of Law, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Remington College, Florida Technical College, Florida Metropolitan University, St. John's River State College and the Fortis Institute.
Being that Jacksonville has the largest deepwater port in the south, and second largest port on the East coast, imports and distribution comprise much of Jacksonville's industry. The area depends on financial services, biomedical technology, insurance and consumer goods in addition to its principal exports like lumber. The city provides 8.5 percent of national jobs in manufacturing, and its unemployment rate sits slightly below the national average at 7.4 percent. The Mayo Clinic employs over 5,000 people and Blue Cross Blue Shield employs over 9,000.
Jacksonville also has a large military presence, particularly in Naval operations, which is the largest employer in the city, generating over $6 billion annually.
Living Costs in the City
For an average family, you will need approximately $3,000-$4,000 a month for your expenses. Homes in the city can start at around $100,000 and continue upwards based on residential location. Homes in Avondale generally run upwards of $300,000. Renting a one bedroom apartment in Jacksonville can range from $500-$1,000 depending on the area, and basic utilities can run $150-$300 based on the time of year.
The average hourly rate for management positions in the area is above $43, computer related jobs are above $30 per hour, and business jobs average over $25 per hour.
Jacksonville Moving Resources
Jacksonville moving companies and storage companies are ready to help you with your move, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Florida. Be sure to get estimates from multiple moving services before you make your decision on which mover is best for you. Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at Movers.com to get quotes for the following services:
Over 200,000 vehicles travel Interstate 10 and Interstate 95 daily, making Jacksonville a traffic-heavy city with most residents depending on their cars for transportation. However, public transportation is operated by Jacksonville Transportation Authority, which includes a regular and express bus service at multiple locations throughout the city.
There are downtown trolleys in addition to the bus system, and the JTA Skyway people mover. The people mover travels less than three miles from King Street's parking garage to the Convention Center, and is used as a park and ride.
JTA's bus service travels over 8.5 million miles per year on over 50 routes. For complete list of schedules and fairs for JTA's services, visit the JTA website.
CSX Transportation and Florida East Coast Railway call Jacksonville home, as well as a daily Amtrak service.
Culture & Contemporary Life
Whether you're interested in sports, the arts, film/television or music, Jacksonville has a wide array of attractions and events to intrigue tourists and locals alike. Home to a number of performing arts venues, many close to 100 years old, Jacksonville has a variety of live performances in the Ritz Theatre, Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, and the Alhambra Dinner Theatre.
Films such as Creature from the Black Lagoon, G.I. Jane, Sunshine State and The Devil's Advocate were all shot in Jacksonville due to filmmakers' attraction to the exotic location, warm weather and convenient rail systems. NPR and PRX's radio show, State of the Re: Union is also headquartered in Jacksonville.
Residents and visitors can catch the annual Gator Bowl in college football, the second largest jazz festival in the nation, Jacksonville Jazz Fest, and the Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament for fishermen. Jacksonville is also home to the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, and hosted the Super Bowl in 2005.
While there isn't any quintessential cuisine depicting the Jacksonville area, the food culture is ever changing and has a variety of elements, much like its multicultural inhabitants. In the same day, you might find yourself dining at a typical southern barbeque restaurant and later enjoying food from a Jewish deli or Indian restaurant.
Jacksonville Relocation Tips
- If you can afford it, financial experts say it is cheaper to buy than rent in the city, so do some research on real estate and appropriate loan options for you before making any housing commitments.
- The weather is warmer, but Jacksonville is also prone to hurricanes and tropical storms. Have a hurricane kit handy with supplies like flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food items, blankets, waterproof gear and bottled water.
- Moving during the winter months is not only economical; it will help you beat the heat as well. Since June, July and August are considered the hottest months in Jacksonville, you probably don't want to lug heavy boxes up and downstairs in 90-degree weather. If you have no other choice, make sure you pace the move and stay hydrated.