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Jacksonville Friendship Fountain and city skyline at golden hour sunset.

Best Neighborhoods in Jacksonville for Families

Moving to Jacksonville with your family? One of the best places on the East Coast, Jacksonville has excellent year-round weather—along with high-quality schools, affordable waterfront housing, and more. Check out these five top neighborhoods in Jacksonville for families!

Avondale

Spanish-style home in Avondale, Jacksonville. Photo by Instagram user @markpariani.

Photo via @markpariani

  • Home Price: $308,400 median purchase price; $1,080 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 59% of Jacksonville neighborhoods

If you’re looking for a neighborhood that has a tight-knit community, consider Avondale. Residents frequently gather together for local events like First Friday and the Riverside Arts Market. This historic area is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Jacksonville, with green spaces like Edgewood Parks, Hollywood Park, and Fishweir Park intermixed with vintage cottages and Colonial-style homes with riverfront views. Along with large houses and friendly neighbors, Avondale has top-rated Jacksonville schools—like Fishweir Elementary, nearby Riverside High School, and Florida State College at Jacksonville Kent Campus.

Things to Do in Avondale

Let your children swing, jump on trampolines, or race down slides at Boone Park South Playground. Support local JAX businesses like clothing and toy store Willie’s, or bike repair shop Tucker Cycles at the Shoppes of Avondale along St Johns Ave. Enroll your kids in art classes or leave them at home for a dinner party at the world-renowned Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. Wake up to a Shot In the Dark, Clean Gladiator cold brew, or Sunrise Sandwich at Social House Coffee. Order hearty brunch favorites like Banana Fosters French Toast, Bluefish Breakfast Burger, or Shrimp & Grits at The Blue Fish. Fill your belly with authentic Italian cuisine like We Call It Pesto Pie or Ale Stromboli at Ale Pie House. Dig into Middle Eastern dishes like Addas Soup, a Falafel Wrap, or a Hummus and Lamb Shawarma Pita at The Casbah Cafe. Sample USDA fresh ground beef in burgers like The Raj or The Hoss—or show up for the weekly Fish Fry—at Pinegrove Market and Deli.

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Downtown Jacksonville

An apartment complex, The Lofts at Jefferson Station, in Downtown Jacksonville. Photo by Instagram user @kevin.otoole.

Photo via @kevin.otoole

  • Home Price: $76,700 median purchase price; $322 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 32% of Jacksonville neighborhoods

Located in the heart of The River City, Downtown Jacksonville is perfect for families who want to be near the action! Residents will always have plenty of kid-friendly activities in Jacksonville with outdoor places like the Riverfront Plaza, Metropolitan Park, and Friendship Fountain nearby. This Jacksonville neighborhood also offers parents affordable housing in townhomes, apartments, and condos. And students living downtown can receive a quality education from public and private schools in Jacksonville like The Cathedral School, LaVilla School of The Arts, and the downtown campus of Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Things to Do in Downtown Jacksonville

Explore exhibits like Art as Social Commentary, Material As Meaning, or The Evolution of Mark-making at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. Have a date night filled with musicals, symphonies, concerts, or other performances at the Jacksonville Center for Performing Arts. Take your aspiring poets to spoken word performances at Jazz Poetry Cafe. Cheer on the Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) or Jackson State University Tigers (NCAA) with the whole family at TIAA Bank Field. Start your day with Quiche Lorraine, Mag’s House Hash, or Mag’s Breakfast Platter at Mag’s Cafe. Try crowd favorites like The Duval burger, Jumpin’ Jax Salad, or The Caveman pizza at Jumpin’ Jax House of Food. Have an easy dinner night with a Philly Steak-N-Cheese or Homemade Reuben for the little ones at D&G Deli and Grill. Or order the BBQ Pulled Beef sandwich, Dirty Burger, or Hummus Shawarma at Gili’s Kitchen.

Mandarin

  • Home Price: $283,125 median purchase price; $336 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 66% of Jacksonville neighborhoods

Looking for a Florida neighborhood with waterfront access? Mandarin may be the perfect place for families in Jacksonville! Near the St. Johns River and Old Bull Bay, the former riverport gets its name from imported oranges. Homeowners can find Tudor and Ranch-style homes with beautiful riverfront views and oak trees with Spanish moss in their yards. Along with the access provided by most homes in Mandarin, this neighborhood in Jacksonville offers plenty of outdoor recreation at places like Chuck Rogers Park, Walter Anderson Memorial Park, and the nearby Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve.

Things to Do in Mandarin

Fish off Bull Bay Pier, walk the trails, or support your kids on the monkey bars at Mandarin Park. Learn about the neighborhood’s history at Mandarin Museum and Historical Society. Check out bedtime stories at the Jacksonville Library South Mandarin Branch. Enroll the kids in martial arts and karate lessons at Tersak’s Family Martial Arts Academy. Chow down on Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, Tidbit Special Salad, or Lemon Pound Cake at Clara’s Tidbits. Savor the Egg Foo Young, Dragon & Phoenix, or House Special Mein Fun at Great Wall Restaurant. Dig into Grilled Octopus & White Bean Salad or Abaco Conch Fritters with Lemon Aioli at Julington Creek Fish Camp. Or taste Italian dishes like Chicken Parmigiana, Baked Ziti, or Tortellini Rosato at Dolce’s Pizza.

Neptune Beach

  • Home Price: $348,450 median purchase price; $1,270 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 80% of Jacksonville neighborhoods

Neptune Beach is a great place in Jacksonville for families because of its safety, ample things to do outdoors, and affordable housing. Neptune Beach has two-story Neocolonial houses and large Ranch-style homes, ideal for growing families. Slow and safe Neptune Beach is close to the Atlantic Ocean, with three miles of beaches, access to the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Tide Views Preserve. To top it off, this quaint neighborhood in JAX offers education options like Neptune Beach Elementary, Duncan U. Fletcher Middle School, or Duncan U. Fletcher High School, so kids don’t have to travel far for school.

Things to Do in Neptune Beach

Lace up your rollerskates or practice your skateboard tricks at Oceanside Rotary Skatepark. Grab a partner for pickleball, volleyball, basketball, or tennis matches at Jarboe Park. Bring your kids to events like Pop-Up Storytime, Little Readers, or Starfish Book Club at the Beaches Branch of the Jacksonville Public Library. Attend yoga classes, author readings, book signings, or live music performances at the Beaches Town Center. Choose from the Malted Belgian Waffle, North Beach Omelette, or the Crab Cake Benedict at Ellen’s Kitchen. Fill up on a St. Louis Ribs Platter, Char-Grilled Chicken Sandwich, or 1949 Burger at Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q. Sink your teeth into wild-caught seafood like Seared Ahi Tuna, Seafood Cobb Salad, or Soft Shell Crab BLT at Two Dudes Seafood Restaurant. Or dine at Sliders Oyster Bar for Lucky Gouda Oysters, Sliders Cajun Alfredo, or The Kona Bowl.

San Marco

  • Home Price: $281,360 median purchase price; $804 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 7% of Jacksonville neighborhoods

Less than ten minutes from Downtown Jacksonville, you’ll find the historic neighborhood of San Marco. This cultural district is lined with quirky boutiques, vibrant art galleries, trendy dining spots, and an iconic fountain—all found inside San Marco Square, a walkable intersection inspired by the Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy. Families will appreciate the affordable housing in San Marco in styles like Colonial, Spanish Revival, and Mediterranean. Parents also like that San Marco has so many opportunities for learning—whether it’s fine arts instruction or attending institutions like Steam On Learning Center, Spring Park Elementary School, and Julia Landon College Preparatory and Leadership Development School.

Things to Do in San Marco

Snack on popcorn and candy during a blockbuster film at the San Marco Theatre, a historic Art Deco movie house. Get your teens to tap into their imaginations with classes for improv, acting, stand-up, and screenwriting at Creative Veins. Attend Everything’s A Circle—a show specifically for babies—and other performances at Jacksonville’s longest-running community theatre, Theatre Jacksonville. Hit all the right notes when you sign up for private guitar, piano, drum, or singing lessons at Taylor Robinson Music & Voice Lessons. Get a taste of Southern barbecue like Pulled Pork, Brisket sandwich, or Burnt Ends at The Bearded Pig BBQ. Stop by the Seafood Island Bar & Grille for a Surf n Turf Burger, Salmon with Honey Cilantro Lime Glaze, or Homemade Seafood Gumbo. Pick up fresh sushi like the Pink Dragon Roll, Dynamite Roll, or Spider Roll at Fuji Sushi. And end the day with cool treats in flavors like Very Yellow Marshmallow, Chocolate Mint, or Cappuccino at Marble Slab Creamery.

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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

Best Jacksonville Neighborhoods for Families