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Archive 2012 · Driving to Jacksonville FL in Feb, sites in the area?
David Ralph

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p.1 #1 · Driving to Jacksonville FL in Feb, sites in the area?

We are driving to from the Finger Lakes area of NY to Jacksonville, FL, in the second week of February, for a week or so down there for family purposes. But, I am hoping to be able to slip away for some photography relief, and have put a few extra days in the itinerary for that purpose.

Any suggestions as to interesting natural areas within day trip range of Jacksonville at this time of year?

The winter timing is not great to say the least, but I have wanted to stop in the Charleston, SC area for some time, for instance to the Magnolia Gardens; again, what would one find there in February.


Dec 08, 2012 at 02:44 AM
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p.1 #2 · Driving to Jacksonville FL in Feb, sites in the area?

Charleston and Savannah, GA are both wonderful towns to visit, especially if you are interested in architecture or history. Many barrier islands are great natural areas, with Jekyll Island (near Brunswick, GA) one of my favorites for its hundred-plus-year-old "cottages" of some of America's richest families. Lots of natural areas around Jacksonville, too, with beautiful beaches and marsh lands. Be sure to visit St Augustine, one of our most historic cities. You won't have enough time to see all the opportunities.

Dec 08, 2012 at 03:17 AM
John Webb
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p.1 #3 · Driving to Jacksonville FL in Feb, sites in the area?

Just north of Jax is Cumberland Island. As there is no bridge, access is via ferry from Saint Mary's Georgia. This is a national seashore. Great place to see an unspoiled barrier island. Can normally find wild horses around the Dungeness ruins or on the beach.

Also north west of Jax around Folkston Ga is the Suwannee entrance to the Okefenokee swamp. There is a nature drive and off the drive is a nature trail / boardwalk that extends about a mile into the swamp and takes you out to an 50ft observation tower that looks out over the swamp prairie. Boardwalk is raised several feet above the ground level and you'll pass a number of areas where if you look down gators may be only 5 - 10 ft away. From the observation tower you get a sweeping vista of the swamp prairies. I believe you can also rent canoes or get a guided canoe tour at the visitors center , but its not something I've done. Have always had an enjoyable time in visiting and grateful that the gators weren't smart enough to realize that if they climbed on the boardwalk after I passed they could have a nice meal as once your on the boardwalk you have to come back the same way or wade through the swamp.

South of Jax in. Saint Augustine is the Alligator farm. Besides alligators it's a wonderfull venue to shoot egrets, herons, spoonbills in a natural habitat. In the spring and early summer the boardwalk that runs through mangrove gets close enough to the roosting area that we could smell the fish being regurgitated by the mothers in feeding the chicks. When there are chicks in the mangrove branches there are gators below, as it's not uncommon for a chick to fall out of the nest and into waiting gators mouth. For diner definetly try Captn jacks over in Vilano beach or Salt Water Cowboys on St Augustine Beach.

I'm in Atlanta and we have been visiting the area over the past 25 years, now looking to retire in the area somewhere
between Jax and Saint Augustine.

Have a great visit

Dec 08, 2012 at 02:35 PM
David Ralph

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p.1 #4 · Driving to Jacksonville FL in Feb, sites in the area?

Thanks for taking the time to reply with such helpful observations.

Dec 08, 2012 at 09:35 PM

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