The most unique aspect of the Jacksonville area is its strong Southern influence. I expected the quaint beach towns, charming boardwalks and fresh seafood but the Southern flair that makes the area unusual was a delightful surprise. I became aware of this great mesh of cultures during my first dinner in the area. I ordered fresh Mahi Mahi and was happily surprised when it arrived accompanied by collard greens, grits and ham gravy. Jacksonville’s hip and vibrant beach towns blend perfectly with a distinct Southern charm. The culture is a harmonious blend of fresh seafood, sandy beaches, a bounty of Spanish moss and the slow pace of the South.
I traveled from St. Simons Island, Ga., all the way south to Ormond Beach, Fla. Each coastal town mesmerized me with its unique characteristics and historical roots. Take a look at my recommendations for the best food, culture and of course locally owned Trapp retailers!
Culture Snap Shot
Pictured from Left: Neptune Beach, Stockton Park, Mahi Mahi from North Beach Fish Camp, St. Simons Lighthouse
At Home 677 Atlantic Blvd Atlantic Beach FL 32233
This Trapp retailer has great gift items that you might want to keep for yourself! Be sure to check out their wide selection of Trapp fragrances and products. www.athomeatlanticbeach.com
Elements of Design 62 E. Granada Blvd. Ormond Beach, FL 32176
This Trapp retailer has a chic beach vibe and offers interior design services. www.obelementsofdesign.com
St. Simons Historic Lighthouse
St.Simons proved to be a destiatnion all in itself. Here you can tour the 1872 lighthouse and the Keeper's dwelling, climb the 129-step spiral staircase to the top, wander around the beautiful gardens and enjoy the harbour view.
Atlantic Beach, FL
A charming beach-side town full of shops and restaurants. The pizza below is from Al's Pizza.