United States

Jacksonville, FL

Best Places to Run in Jacksonville, Plus Nearby St. Augustine and Amelia Island

Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida and also the largest city by geographic area in the United States. Downtown is a mix of Old South atmosphere and Mediterranean architecture, with gleaming high-rises. A pleasant riverfront area, stately residential neighborhoods, nearby beaches, and numerous large parks with extensive trails offer great opportunities for running in Jacksonville. Nearby, we also have extensive running guides for the Amelia Island and St. Augustine areas.

In the downtown area, which is divided into northwest and southeast sections by the St. Johns river, there is good running on the Riverwalk, a route incorporating the numerous bridges, and the south bank sector consisting of the historic community of San Marco. The neighborhoods of Venice, Ortega, Baymeadow, and Forest Circle offer great opportunities for running. The beaches, located 17 miles east of downtown, offer 20 miles of hard-packed white sand that’s great for running, as well as well as wide boulevards. For trails, we love Guana River State Park, Theodore Roosevelt Preserve, and the Durbin Creek Peninsular Preserve Trail.

Note that Jacksonville can be very hot in summer. As for transport, there is some downtown but the area is very spread out and a car is generally needed.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Jacksonville, FL

See All Routes
  • All Routes
  • Iconic Routes
  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

Jacksonville has a humid subtropical climate. Summers are hot and wet, with high temps around 90F and near daily thunderstorms. November through April is drier. Winters are typically mild and sunny. January high temperatures average in the mid 60s and it can be chilly at night. Bring layers. It’s not as warm as south Florida! 

Whether you seek upscale resort settings, luxury downtown hotels, or cozy bed & breakfast inns, Jacksonville has lodging options to suit you. Over 18,000 guest rooms are located throughout the Downtown, beaches, and suburban areas. Area resorts offer an additional 11,000 rooms to visitors. All facilities share the area’s sun-drenched tropical climate and boast inviting Southern hospitality.

Downtown: Graced by the beautiful St. Johns River, and minutes away from pristine white sand beaches, Downtown Jacksonville is truly unique. Cross over one of the seven bridges spanning the river or take a sunset water taxi ride for the best city views!

The Riverside & Avondale Neighborhoods: Stroll through the charming tree-lined streets of historic Riverside & Avondale for fabulous antique shopping, cafes, and boutiques. View the world-class art collection at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens and don’t miss the exciting Five Points area for dining and shopping options with a hip, local twist.

San Marco: San Marco is a historic neighborhood just a few minutes from Downtown. Visit San Marco’s distinctive boutiques and art galleries and enjoy the full-fledged dining district which has plenty of outdoor cafe seating and diverse options.

Northside & Airport: Check out the Northside and Airport areas where you can visit the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens or tour the Budweiser Brewery. The beautiful Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve offers numerous outdoors activities and historic sites like Kingsley Plantation for a glimpse into the past.

Westside & Orange Park: Some say the Westside offers the best city skyline views in Jacksonville. Take in the historic mansions in the wealthy Ortega neighborhood or enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, camping, fishing, and boating in nearby Orange Park

List of Hotels.

1st Place Sports:  Has been recognized as one of the Best Running Stores in America. With more than 30 years as Jacksonville’s Running Headquarters they know what it means for a runner or walker to be in the right footwear. 1st Place Sports manages over 50 races in Jacksonville each year, including the Gate River Run, the Jacksonville Bank Marathon, the Subaru Distance Classic, and the Jacksonville Grand Prix series of races. They take the time to understand your personal running and walking style to insure that you have what you need to achieve your fitness goals. Check out their weekly group running series here.

Jacksonville Running Company: At JRC, they pride themselves on helping people improve their running experience. Whether it’s shaving a few minutes off your PR, or fnidng the best shoe that fits your running form, they are here to help. Check out their Running Club as well as their Weekly Group Runs.

JTC Running: Northeast Florida’s preeminent promoter of healthy lifestyles through running, fitness, and fellowship. Current group runs include interval workouts at the Bolles School track as well as others at various locations during the week.  JTCRunning’s newsletter “The Starting Line” and this web site have details. **There is an annual fee to join.

Looking for road or trail races in this area? Find them on RaceRaves, the best online race calendar and reviews community for runners!

Find races in Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville Marathon Course

This race takes place in December. 26.2 miles of beauty. Large oak, magnolia and Maple trees line this very scenic and flat course. Starts and finishes at The Bolles School.

Subaru 1/2 Marathon Course

Thanksgiving Day. Starts on San Jose Blvd just south of Baymeadows Road. Great course through some of Mandarin’s most scenic roads.

Northbank River Walk 5K

Typically in May. A great course along the Riverwalk starting and finishing at the Hyatt Hotel on Coastline Drive.

Festival of Lights 5K Course

December. The course starts in San Marco from the San Marco Square. One of Jacksonville’s most scenic 5Ks! The race is at night, so the course is lit by luminaries