The Jacksonville Zoo, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, recently opened its much-anticipated “Land of the Tiger” exhibit. Five tigers – two Sumatran and three Malayan – are the main attraction. Other Asian animals sharing the 2.5 acres include pigs, otters, and hornbills. Asian plants complete the immersion experience.
One of the most notable aspects of the exhibit is a fenced-in walkway, made to look like a strangler fig, which gives the tigers an opportunity to pass over the pedestrian courtyard to move to a different environment. (Yes, this walkway is for tigers – not people!)
At the time of my visit, three Malayan tigers were out – one walking along the back fence, the others sunning by the pond. I read not to expect to see both species roaming around at the same time. The explanation – “they just don’t play well together”.
“Land of the Tiger” is the most significant addition to the zoo since Range of the Jaguar opened in 2004 and is an experience not to be missed! For more information, visit the Jacksonville Zoo website.
Tallahasse and Gainesville are a distance away, and tickets to a Florida or Florida State game can be hard to find. But there’s lots of spirit here at Jacksonville University, and tickets to the Dolphin football games are priced right! There’s even a pep band and tailgate parties. I attended last Saturday’s game to watch my alma mater Stetson in their inaugural football season. (They did not win.)
Mascot John B Stetson cheers the Hatters on
Games are played at the Jacksonville University campus. Admission for adults is $10, $5 for children and seniors, free parking. Bring a lawn chair; there are food and drinks for sale.
Another win for the JU Dolphins
Ready to Ride offers guided bike tours in Jacksonville’s Riverside/Avondale, San Marco, Olde Mandarin, Springfield neighborhoods and more! Everything is provided, including Trek bikes, helmets, water and snacks. I chose the San Marco tour – an 11-mile ride that included parts of the Southbank Riverwalk, historic San Marco Square, and tree-lined streets along the St. Johns River.
Here’s our group at Treaty Oak
My bike’s name was “Glad”, and I was glad I was given that bike to ride, because it was so comfortable! The 3 hours passed quickly. Leigh, our leader, was a wealth of information, as we stopped at at points of interest along the way. I was amazed at how much I learned about the community. A wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning!
For more information visit the Ready to Ride website (e2ride.com) or call 904-945-1571.
Yikes! Dinosaurs have also returned to the Museum of Science & History. Travel back in time 65 million years in this interactive Be the Dinosaur:Life in the Cretaceous exhibit. State of the art video game technology takes you back 65 million years in time and even allows you to take control of your very own dinosaur.
There are other dino-centered activities, including family dino day, a dino-tastic camp, lectures and more. And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out the Planetarium, where the current show is Sea Monsters. More information at www.themosh.org.
Dinosaurs have returned to the Jacksonville Zoo. See 21 life-size, life-like dinosaurs and experience the prehistoric world like you’ve never seen it before. Nestled in trees along a winding dirt trail, these creatures move and roar. You’ll think you’ve come to Jurassic Park!
Dino-Trek will be at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens through June 30th. There is a small fee in addition to Zoo admission. For more information visit dinotrekjaxzoo.org.
Everbank Stadium is the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Here are a few photos I took on a recent tour:
The field seems much larger when you are standing on it!
Here is where our players work out
Strategy sessions begin here!
Oh, no – my son is a Carolina Panther! (Photo taken in Charlotte, NC)
Several years ago, the was a huge beach refurbishment project to restore the St. Augustine beaches. Today, even after several Nor’easters and tropical storms, you can still enjoy walking on an expansive sandy beach. One of my favorite places is at the pier in St. Augustine.
There is amply parking (at least in the off-season), the pier (small fee for walking or fishing), a large covered pavilion, volleyball courts and more. Before you leave the area, walk across the street for lunch or dinner at Panama Hatties or visit the Lighthouse and Museum nearby.
Yes, we can successfully produce citrus in Jacksonville, Florida. As a matter of fact, Mandarin got its name from the Mandarin oranges that were grown here. While we do have to take precautions during a hard freeze where temperatures drop below 28 for 4 or more hours (I use heat lamps), most winters I have been able to harvest my crops with little difficulty. And you will be AMAZED at how much fruit one little tree will produce!
Here is a picture of my Meyer lemon tree:
I keep the height of my trees about the same height as I am, and have 5 trees along one side of my back yard – a Meyer lemon, key lime, tangerine, an orange, and a Ruby Red grapefruit. They are ripe and ready between the months of December through March.
The Veterans Memorial Wall honors Jacksonville’s fallen from all wars and conflicts since World War 1. Organized according to the high school they attended, over 1500 names are included from World Wars 1 and 2, the Korean War, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and those who died serving during the global war on terror.
The Memorial is constructed of black granite and is similar to the Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. There is a continual flame on the center post of the wall. Jacksonville’s Memorial Wall is said to be the only wall that honors veterans from all six branches of the military, including the Merchant Marines.
On this Veterans Day, the Memorial Wall is a sobering place to remember the veterans who have fought and continue to fight for our freedom.
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority Trolleys offer flexibility in getting around Downtown, Riverside and the Beaches. Fares are $1.50
The Riverside Trolley route runs from downtown Jacksonville to Riverside and back. Stops include Hemming Plaza, Jacksonville Landing, Memorial Park, and Riverside Park.
The Beaches Trolley runs North and South along A1A from Atlantic Beach to Ponte Vedra. Stops include Atlantic Village, Hugenot Park, Jacksonville Beach City Hall, South Beach Parkway Shopping Center, and South Beach Regional Shopping Center.