Top 12 Romantic Things to Do in Jacksonville

Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Jacksonville, Florida might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of a romantic getaway, but this vibrant city actually has a lot to offer couples looking to reconnect and make new memories. From scenic riverfront views to quaint neighborhoods perfect for strolling, Jacksonville has no shortage of date spots and activities for romance.

ActivityDescription
Jacksonville RiverfrontScenic strolls with downtown skyline views.
Restaurant OrsayUpscale French dining in a romantic setting.
Blue Jay Listening RoomIntimate live music venue.
Lynch’s Irish PubSunset cocktails with waterfront views.
Romantic Carriage RidePrivate scenic tours downtown.
Jacksonville Arboretum & GardensSerene walks among beautiful flora.
Kathryn Abbey Hanna ParkNighttime stargazing on the beach.
Sunset SailRomantic cruise with skyline views.
Florida TheatreHistoric venue for shows and concerts.
First Coast Wine ToursLimo wine tasting tour.
Picnic in the ParkTranquil outdoor dining experiences.
Bike Ride on the BeachCouple’s beachside cycling adventure.

To help you plan an unforgettable trip with your special someone, we’ve put together this list of the top 12 most romantic things to do in Jacksonville. Whether you want a night out on the town with fine dining and entertainment or a more low-key afternoon picnic in the park, you’re sure to find plenty of inspiration here. Read on for our picks for the best romantic things to do in Jacksonville.

Stroll Across the Jacksonville Riverfront

Name and Location: Jacksonville’s Downtown Riverfront along the St. Johns River offers scenic walking paths, parks, bridges, attractions and views of the water and city skyline.

History and Significance: The riverfront has long been the economic and transportation hub of Jacksonville. Recent decades have seen it transformed into a vibrant destination for dining, entertainment and scenic strolling with numerous public spaces added along the water’s edge.

What to Expect: Visitors can enjoy romantic evening views of the illuminated bridges, walk hand-in-hand along the riverwalk, read love poems at the poetry garden, whisper sweet nothings on a riverside swing or take cheesy couple selfies against the city backdrop.

Visitor Information: The downtown riverfront parks and attractions are open daily free to the public. Parking information and maps can be found through Visit Jacksonville. Romantic walks are especially atmospheric around sunset.

If you’re looking to admire dazzling views of Jacksonville’s downtown skyline and the St. Johns River, an evening stroll along either bank of the riverwalk is a perfect romantic activity. On the Northbank Riverwalk, you and your sweetheart can walk hand-in-hand as you pass by waterfront restaurants, museums, art galleries and more.

Or for a peaceful walk away from the bustle, the Southbank Riverwalk has a lush, natural environment with remarkable views of the city. Find a bench along the way and cuddle up to enjoy the sunset over the glittering water. Stop to sneak a kiss as you take in the enchanting scenery together.

Have a Romantic Dinner at Restaurant Orsay

Name and Location: Restaurant Orsay is an elegant French dining venue located downtown on Adams Street offering a classically romantic atmosphere and upscale cuisine.

History and Significance: Opened in 2009 under Chef Pierre Luc, Restaurant Orsay has specialized in seasonal fine French cuisine served in an atmosphere reminiscent of old world Paris with chandeliers, fresh flowers and white tablecloths by candlelight.

What to Expect: An intimate and sophisticated setting to gaze into your lover’s eyes while enjoying dishes like escargot, caviar, foie gras, rack of lamb and decadent desserts paired with fine wines for a special evening to remember. Reservations essential.

Visitor Information: The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday evenings. Reservations recommended well in advance. Valet parking available at the adjacent hotel. Main courses range $30-60 per entrée. Call 904-381-0909 for reservations or more information.


For couples who want to tantalize their taste buds while gazing into each other’s eyes, Restaurant Orsay is one of the best romantic restaurants in Jacksonville. This upscale French eatery in the Historic Avondale neighborhood sets the mood with dim lighting, fresh flowers on the tables, and candles creating a soft glow. Share dishes like escargots Bourguignon, steak frites or bouillabaisse as you enjoy effortlessly elegant cuisine. Then toast with French wine before indulging in something sweet like crème brûlée or chocolate pot de crème.

Enjoy Live Music at Blue Jay Listening Room

Name and Location: Blue Jay Listening Room is an intimate music lounge and supper club located downtown on Adams Street offering a speakeasy vibe.

History and Significance: Opened in 2019 by musician and producer Alan Justiss, this cozy venue celebrates the Golden Era of live music with nightly performances, craft cocktails and shared small plates, encapsulating the romance of past supper clubs.

What to Expect: Low lighting sets the mood for enjoying tasty vittles and bespoke drinks while swaying in your seat to sultry live jazz, funk, soul and blues bands playing a stone’s throw away. Intimate tables encourage close conversation.

Visitor Information: Free evening shows Tuesday-Saturday starting between 7-9 pm. Small food and drink minimums per guest. Reservations not accepted. Limited seating so arrive early. Street parking available or use nearby garage.


Experience an intimate date night seeing live local music at Blue Jay Listening Room. This cozy concert venue and wine bar hosts acoustic songwriters and musicians in a candlelit performance space almost every night. Grab a spot on one of the comfy couches or chairs with your partner, order a bottle of wine and some small bites, and snuggle in. With such a romantic, speakeasy atmosphere and talented musicians to set the mood with soaring vocals or soulful instrumentals, you’re sure to feel the love.

Go for Sunset Cocktails at Lynch’s Irish Pub

Name and Location: Lynch’s Irish Pub overlooks the St. John’s River downtown on Independent Drive, offering panoramic views.

History and Significance: This authentically Irish pub has been a local favorite for over 20 years. The large deck stretches out over the water, making it one of the best spots downtown to soak up sunset views over the working river below while clinking glasses by candlelight.

What to Expect: Cozy bar seating indoors or spacious deck outdoors to watch dusk descend while nursing a proper Irish pint or specialty cocktail in each other’s arms, paired with hearty pub fare if hungry. Live music many nights.

Visitor Information: Open daily 11am-2am. Deck seating first come, first served. Indoor tables can be reserved. Entrees $10-25. Happy hour specials run 4-7pm. Located at 220 E. Independent Drive in downtown Jacksonville Riverfront Plaza building.


Sitting along the St. Johns River with sweeping waterfront views, Lynch’s Irish Pub is the ideal setting for pre-dinner drinks with your sweetie at sunset. The outdoor deck area beckons couples to cuddle up together at a table with unobstructed vistas of the glittering downtown skyline as the sun slowly dips below the horizon. Sip specialty cocktails like the Irish Kiss Martini or sip on whiskey, all while admiring the scene spread out before you and the company beside you.

Take a Romantic Carriage Ride

Name and Location: Several companies offer horse-drawn carriage rides around downtown Jacksonville, providing an intimate tour of historic neighborhoods.

History and Significance: Leisurely carriage tours recall the pace of Victorian days while offering close views of landmarks and charming areas less seen on foot. Snuggle under a blanket together as your equine guide clip-clops through gas lamp-lit streets for romantic sightseeing.

What to Expect: Leaning into each other in the intimate carriage, you’ll journey past historic churches, lavish hotels, the performing arts center, museums and more while your knowledgeable driver relates stories about the sites. Most tours last 45-60 minutes.

Visitor Information: Carriage works offer different route options, with rides starting around $50-100 for two passengers. Advance reservations recommended to ensure an available carriage. Offered seasonally, mainly October through May during cooler evenings.


For an experience that’s undeniably romantic, take a horse-drawn carriage ride with your darling around scenic downtown Jacksonville. Operators like Endless Summer Carriage offer private rides where you’ll journey down brick-paved streets and historic neighborhoods, passing by Victorian-style homes, oak tree canopies and blooming gardens. Snuggle up under a blanket as your horse trots along, stealing charming glances at your love as you create magical new memories.

Tour the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens

Name and Location: Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is located southeast of downtown along the St. Johns River, offering nature walking trails through diverse botanical collections.

History and Significance: Originally the private estate of tree enthusiast Roger Latham, the gardens opened to the public in 2008, showcasing his life’s work collecting rare and mature trees from around the world across 30 riverfront acres.

What to Expect: Miles of curated pathways past streams, springs, ponds and diverse botanical wonders including camellia forest, bamboos,wildflower meadows, champion trees and more provide intimate backdrops to hold hands conversing or steal a kiss if no one’s looking.

Visitor Information: Open daily 8am-5pm for self-guided walking tours. Docent-led group tours by request. Admission is $10, free for members and ages under 6. Leashed pets permitted on grounds. Address is 1445 Millcoe Road.


What’s more romantic than getting lost together among gorgeous flowers and lush foliage? Treat your Valentine to a peaceful walk through the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens. Wander hand-in-hand along winding pathways past rose gardens, a camellia collection, aquatic plants, Asian gardens and other vibrant, colorful botanicals. Pause to smell the fragrant flowers together or sit down on a bench to gaze into each other’s eyes amid this serene oasis. Pack a picnic to enjoy al fresco on the great lawn for the full romantic experience.

Stargaze at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

Name and Location: Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is an oceanfront park located southeast of Jacksonville in Atlantic Beach offering trails, nature preserves and beach access.

History and Significance: Once a private estate, the tranquil wooded grounds protected dunes and shoreline habitats were turned over in the 1980s for public enjoyment and conservation, creating a beautiful coastal park retreat from city life.

What to Expect: Walk hand in hand down quiet trails lined with wildflowers and Spanish moss-draped oaks to find secluded sitting spots away from crowds. At night, stargaze wrapped in blankets on the beach listening to waves and seeing constellations sparkle unencumbered by light pollution overhead.

Visitor Information: 500 Mayport Road, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233. Open 8am to sunset daily. Free entrance. Public parking available within grounds. Beach access requires a few minutes walk through wooded trails from main parking areas.


For a romantic night enjoying the starry skies with your soulmate far away from the city lights, head to Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park. This breathtaking stretch of undeveloped Atlantic oceanfront has been designated one of just 16 Urban Night Sky Places in the U.S. thanks to its prime stargazing opportunities. Spread out a blanket in the sand and cuddle up as you pick out glittering constellations overhead or watch shooting stars streak by, all while listening to the soothing sound of the ocean waves.

Take a Romantic Sunset Sail

Name and Location: Companies offer scenic sunset sailing trips in Jacksonville departing from Downtown Marina or Treaty Park in Fort George Island.

History and Significance: Floating on the waters near Jacksonville as dusk settles offers intimate views where the historic St. Johns River meets the Atlantic Ocean, enjoying champagne together as the fading light paints the passing scenery in golden hues.

What to Expect: Departing before sunset, you’ll sail past coastal islands, dolphins and wooded shores, ending in Wisteria Park to watch the sunset over the water while the captain narrates area history. Return back afterwards under the stars.

Visitor Information: Offered seasonally March-October, starting around $75 per person. Voyages last 2-3 hours all inclusive with drinks and snacks. Departs downtown or Fort George Island. Reservations required.


A sunset sail is already an amorous activity, but hoist the romance factor even more aboard the Schooner Freedom. This two or three hour cruise in Jacksonville departs as the sun begins its descent, inviting couples aboard to relax on padded benches and nets with drinks in hand as they soak up incredible skyline views and the glowing sunset. With light jazz setting the mood and the color-changing sky reflected in the St. Johns River, you and your sweetheart will feel like the only two people in the world.

Catch a Show at Florida Theatre

Name and Location: The Florida Theatre is a historic venue in downtown Jacksonville hosting concerts and live performances of all genres.

History and Significance: Constructed in 1927 during the Vaudeville era, the ornate atmospheric theater remains today as one of only four remaining in the nation. The intimate setting and excellent acoustics make seeing a show here a magical experience.

What to Expect: From national music acts and comedians to the symphony and ballet to classic films shown on the largest movie screen in town, the theater’s diverse programming ensures date night delight. The bars even allow bringing drinks to your plush seats.

Visitor Information: Located downtown at 128 East Forsyth Street. Performance schedules and ticket prices vary. Tours are also available on non-event days to see the architecture. Call the box office at 904-355-2787.


Opened in 1927 and known for its opulent Italian Renaissance interior, historic Florida Theatre is hailed as one of the most romantic places in Jacksonville. Attend a concert, play, comedy show or musical like Jersey Boys and cozy up next to your sweetie in the ornate red and gold auditorium glowing from atmospheric lighting. Gazing upward at twinkling stars and billowy clouds overhead on the expansive ceiling mural titled “A New Moon” will fill you both with wonder before the curtain opens.

Go Wine Tasting at First Coast Wine Tours

Name and Location: First Coast Wine Tours offers private luxury wine tasting transportation to vineyards located within Northeast Florida wine country around St. Augustine and Green Cove Springs.

History and Significance: North Florida’s wine making heritage stems from Spanish colonization. First Coast Wine Tours specialty is providing exclusive vineyard excursions catering to couples and small groups, making for memorable romantic outings without driving worries.

What to Expect: Travel carefree in luxury vehicles with professional guides between area vineyards and tasting rooms catering to your preferences. Learn wine making processes during private tours and sample fine wines paired with artisan foods in lush pastoral settings away from crowds.

Visitor Information: Tours offered daily by reservation only, starting at $125 per person. Transportation, tastings, tours and snacks all included. Custom private tours for two to twelve passengers available. Call (904) 813-5986.


What better way to spend a romantic afternoon than sampling delicious wines with your partner in crime? Book a wine tour that takes you to some of Jacksonville’s best wineries and tasting rooms, like First Coast Wine Tours. Hop into a limo and snuggle up in the back as you’re whisked between Vineyards like Lara Vineyards and Winery in Elkton and Alto Vineyards in Yulee. Sip chardonnays, merlots, rosés and more – tasting new wines is an adventurous experience you’ll both remember.

Have Picnic in the Park

Name and Location: Jacksonville offers over 400 public parks and nature preserves with scenic picnic spots located from downtown to beaches to the woods beyond the city.

History and Significance: Picnicking in scenic gardens and parks has long been a beloved cost-effective way to enjoy idyllic settings. Pack your own meal or pickup takeout from area eateries to relax waterside, amid roses or under shady live oak branches together.

What to Expect: Spread out snacks and blankets in sites like Friendship Fountain park downtown, Ponte Vedra’s serene Sawgrass Beach, or Kathryn Abbey Hanna’s wooded trails opening to ocean views. Many parks offer romantic backdrops for quality couple time communing over your culinary picnic spread.

Visitor Information: Over 400 public parks spanning Jacksonville provide plenty picnic sites. Refer to city guides or apps like GoParks to locate spots meeting your preferred criteria, amenities andproposed activities suited to customize your idyllic al fresco dining escape.


Pack a basket of your sweetie’s favorite foods, grab a comfy blanket, and head to one of Jacksonville’s tranquil parks for an amorous picnic date. Spanish Pond Park near the Southside neighborhood offers a lakefront setting with pretty views and walking trails to explore together after you eat. Or sit beneath the shade trees on the great lawn at Jacksonville’s Memorial Park, located along the St. Johns River where you can stroll the riverwalk after your meal. Wherever you choose, dining al fresco with your darling is quintessentially romantic.

Bike Ride on the Beach

Name and Location: Jacksonville Beaches communities situated along Atlantic shorelines offer scenic bicycling routes including hard-packed sand stretches open for beach cruising along the coastline.

History and Significance: Jacksonville’s beaches have long welcomed bicycling, with bike paths threading through communities and along inland waterways out to the barrier island sands skirting the sea. Specific zones permit bikes to traverse beaches themselves far from traffic.

What to Expect: Pedestrian-only zones of Jacksonville Beach near beach access points 22nd to 26th allow biking along the packed shoreline without cars. Further south Stanley Beach Park opens over a mile of riding on golden sands beside sparkling surf under sunny skies – an iconic coastal activity with your special someone.

Visitor Information: Bike rentals are available along Jacksonville Beaches communities, with beach rides typically allowed year-round during daytime low tides only. Route distances vary by location with amenities in adjacent public parks and along beach boardwalks.


Pedal along the shore with your sweetheart soaking up stunning ocean views on an intimate bike ride built for two. Rent a tandem bicycle, beach cruisers or kayak from companies like Beachside Bicycles Jacksonville Beach and wheel down the boardwalk hand-in-hand as seagulls soar overhead. Stop along the way to sneak sweet smooches, take silly selfies, or just take in the peaceful ambience biking side-by-side with your number one.

Conclusion

With its sweeping riverfront views, charming neighborhoods perfect for strolling, and many entertainment options, Jacksonville offers an array of romantic activities for couples. From witnessing dazzling sunsets to stargazing on the beach, intimate concerts to carriage rides through scenic streets, there are so many opportunities for creating treasured memories together. Treat your significant other to the dream date they deserve exploring all the romantic things to do in Jacksonville, Florida, a city with hidden depth and beauty waiting to be discovered by lovers.

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