After traveling to Nashville, The Crimson Tide has two homes games in a row against Arkansas and Georgia. After that, it is on to Jacksonville, Florida to play Florida State. I’ve never been to J-ville, so my suggestions will be based on what I find after about 2 hours of Googling Jacksonville.
Jacksonville has a metropolitan population of more than 1.3 million. The city is centered on the banks of the St. Johns River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The settlement that became Jacksonville was founded in 1791 as Cowford, because of its location at a narrow point in the river across which cattle were once driven. The city was renamed in 1822 for Andrew Jackson. Jacksonville is also the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who play in Alltel Stadium.
Places of Interest
One place that is right next to Alltel Stadium is Metropolitan Park. This is a beautiful place with a public docking space, playground, picnic areas, landscaped gardens and riverfront walk. I get the feeling that this could be prime tailgating real estate (if tailgating is allowed there that is). It stays open from 7 am to sunset.
Another good place to visit is the Jacksonville Landing, a large place to shop, enjoy river-view dining, and find some nightlife. This place is very close to a lot of downtown J-ville hotels. And, it is on the north side of the river, which is the same side that the stadium is on. This is the biggest shopping and restaurant place you’ll find close to Alltel Stadium since it is the hub of the downtown entertainment district. There is some sort of Friendship Fountain across the river from the Landing. It is supposed to be one of the largest in the world… who knows?
Last, but not least, The Beaches! This town is further away from the stadium than the other places, just to let you know.
Food, Drinks, & Nightlife
If you decide to not eat at Jacksonville Landing, there are other areas for those of you with different or more expensive tastes. The River City Brewing Company is a popular spot to visit. It is pretty much directly across the river from the Landing. Their food is a little on the expensive side. But, you could just sit on the patio and kick back a few drinks looking at the river scenery. Dinner starts around 2:30 pm, which is the same time the brewery opens. The lunch menu looks reasonably priced. Don’t worry, the beer doesn’t seem to be that expensive based on the websites I’ve seen.
Another place that you might like is Biscottis, on St. Johns Avenue. This is further away from the stadium than that Brewing Company, but it is pretty highly rated. The dinner specials on the website doesn’t show any prices. I’m not sure what to think of that. The pizzas sound really good to me right now. The rest of the food pricing seems pretty reasonable.
If you feel like going all out, try Morton’s, The Steakhouse on Riverplace Blvd. I personally wouldn’t go there since the average cost for 2 people is $170. But, the food looks amazing.
Honestly, Jacksonville Landing seems to have a lot of different places to eat and enjoy some nightlife. If you’re cost conscious, the Landing is probably a good place to check out. Mongo’s looks interesting to me. They prepare anything you want on a 72″ flat hot grill.
Also at the Jacksonville Landing is The Twisted Martini. If you want a martini bar with a patio and plenty of dancing, this is your place. They do serve food as well.
So there you have it. After the Jacksonville game, Alabama will come home to play Houston for Homecoming. After that, Alabama goes on the road again to play Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi. expect a different kind of tour guide for Oxford, Starkville, and Auburn. You’ll get a college town feel in these areas. Until next time….