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5 Things to Do in JAX: When Your Friends Have Homework and You Don’t

By Carley Stickney

I’ve heard the phrase “there’s nothing to do in Jacksonville” at least one hundred times since starting school at Jacksonville University. It has crossed my mind and it’s probably crossed yours, but this just isn’t true! There are fun things to do all around Jacksonville and JU is right in the center of it all! Museums, local shops, bakeries, cafes or parks! Places that make perfect study spots, locations for great Instagram material, or activities to keep you busy when all your friends have homework and you don’t.

Chamblin’s Uptown | 215 N. Laura St.

Housing over two million used books, Chamblin’s is a great place to explore new literature, movies, music, and local art. Trade in your old, used books for credit towards new-to-you books! They have every genre imaginable, and you can even enjoy your new reads with a sip of coffee in the in-house cafe.

Chamblin’s Uptown

Urban Grind & Garden | 45 W. Bay St.

Grab a coffee, sandwich, or smoothie from this rustic shop, and make sure to step out into the Urban Garden to enjoy the sounds of the city in a comfortable, shaded sitting area that’s perfect for chatting with your friends or cracking open that book you have been meaning to start.

Urban Garden at Urban Grind

Hemming Plaza | 135 W. Monroe St.

Enjoy a meal from your favorite food truck with music from local bands and musicians in Hemming Park on a Friday afternoon! It’s the perfect place to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city and get a fix of nature at the same time, surrounded by local restaurants, shops, and art.

The mouth of Hemming Park originally featured in Jacksonville’s Museum of Science & History (MOSH)

Jacksonville Public Library | 303 N. Laura St.

Enjoy some quiet time at the Main Jacksonville Public Library. The library is 300,000 sq. feet of artistic activities, interesting literature, and art exhibitions in the Jax Makerspace Gallery. You can obtain a library card with your JU ID! For a full list of cultural and educational events, you can visit their online calendar.

Banksy’s Haight Street Rat at Jacksonville Public Library’s Writing on the Walls exhibit

The 5 and Dime | 112 Adams St.

Enjoy a play, musical, cabaret, or reader’s series production at one of Jacksonville’s amazing local theatres. The have local art on display in the lobby and produce shows that are thought-provoking and often rarely performed, only 15 minutes away from JU!

The 5 and Dime, taken by Daniel Austin (@eyeofdna)

Street parking downtown is free after 6:00 p.m. and on weekends. There are also parking garages located all over the downtown area. For more information about the parking garages downtown, visit the Downtown Jacksonville parking directory.

If you find yourself visiting any of these places, post your adventures on Instagram using #WanderingWednesdays! Until next time, “let your curiosity wander unleashed.” (James C. Collins)