Best city I have ever lived.
I have lived in Jacksonville for more than 5 years. Now I am leaving for Northeast for my job but I really loved my time here. It was wonderful. As a part time Uber driver, I have discovered and driven through entire city and that really helped me to understand different parts of city.
To start off, Jacksonville is big and it says it has high crime but it really doesn't feel like it. It's crime is entirely concentrated in the Westside and Northside. Honestly, I have been there many times as a Uber driver but it seems fine. Just run down and dilapidated. But I would not live there, knowing that there are crimes in that area and there is nothing to do there anyways. All the big shopping mall, costco, Sams Club, restaurants are located in South of the St. John's River. Arlington is okay if you want to save some money but really good place to live starts from Southside.
Now best of the city is located in Southside, beach & Suburbs. I have not seen or heard any crimes in this area. Car break-ins are almost non-existent. Burglary is low. You can't say things like that for any other major city. Overall, I feel completely safe in these areas. If you are young professional, I would consider Apartments around town center for easy access to restaurants, shopping and work. If you wan more of hip city living, I would suggest Riverside, Avondale, and San Marco. These areas are safe but can be sketchy at times. Just use your judgement and you will be fine. If you are married have kids want to buy a house, I would consider Bartram, Mandarin, Fruit Cove, and St. Johns area. If you are a beach person, Jacksonville beach is nice to place to live as well.
Jacksonville definitely has a small town feel, which is very nice for me but some people may find boring but for even young person it is fun to go to club in Riverside or bar in the Jax beach. Also, Savannah and St. Augustine is good place to visit on the weekends. Fabulous restaurants and sightseeing available in both cities. Another good thing about Jax is it is only 2 hours away from Orlando. Me and my friends took trips there plenty of times for clubbing and amusement park. Someone said traffic is bad in Jax, I kinda laughed. Traffic is almost non-existent for big city. I have been many different big cities in the US and Jax definitely has best traffic compare to other cities. Good drivers, too.
Now the downside is that ethnic restaurants are hit and miss. It is definitely not up there with the best. There are options but they are usually limited and many are simply not good. If you are coming from big city like Atlanta, New York, LA, or dallas you might miss your local cuisine.
Weather was fine for me. It is hot most year although it gets cold around December to January. We do experience hurricane time to time but if you live inland, you should be okay. Check your house or apartment history to see if it has been flooded before.
Overall, I really loved Jax. It is by far best place I lived.
Robert | Jacksonville, FL