Jacksonville, Fla. By Tom Stanley

Now, Florida is an interesting state on our route for a number of reasons. While I've ventured down this way in the past - during a spring break jaunt two years ago that I won't soon forget - I am not a Florida expert. I do know that there are a handful of major cities in this state, which leaves me with the task of deciding which are worth visiting, and which we can skip. This, my friends, is not an easy task.

Driving south from Savannah, our first encounter in the Sunshine State will be with the fine city of Jacksonville. The city was named after our nation's seventh President, Andrew Jackson, a statue of whom appears at left and stands in the city's downtown section. In terms of land area, this is the largest city in the contiguous United States, as well as Florida's most populated. And yet, sadly, Will Smith has written exactly zero songs about Jacksonville.
It wouldn't be fair of us to skip over Jacksonville the way that Big Willie has, especially with all the summertime activities that this lively metropolis has to offer. While we're scheduled to tackle this town in the same day as the following visit to Daytona Beach, somehow I don't see it working out that way.
But for now, let's explore a few must-dos and photo ops that we'll be looking for in town.

-Jacksonville Beach (at left)

-Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville

-Florida Theatre

-Museum of Science and History

-Jacksonville Landing

-Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens (at right)

-Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve

-River City Brewing Company

-Benny's Sandwich Shop

-World Golf Hall of Fame

(From top) Photo courtesy of Visit Jacksonville; photo courtesy of Visit Jacksonville; photo by S. F. Pitman courtesy Flickr.com; photo by S. F. Pitman courtesy Flickr.com