1 year ago

Discover Jacksonville 2017


COMMUNITIES Every neighborhood in Northeast Florida has its own flavor of fun. Residents in Jacksonville Beach enjoy the benefits of living by the ocean, as well as experiencing fun right in their backyard. Here, children play on the Spider Jump at the Seawalk Music Festival, one of many annual events in the community. (Bob Self/Florida Times-Union) A place to call home From multimillion-dollar homes on the water to rural communities, Northeast Florida has a variety of neighborhoods that are sure to fit your lifestyle and budget. A resident enjoys a morning on the water by stand-up paddleboarding toward the downtown skyline on the St. Johns River. (Mark Woods/Florida Times-Union) 28 | 2017 DISCOVER JACKSONVILLE This corner of the world may be spread out, but an individual or family can find a niche within one of the many towns, cities and neighborhoods. However, the area’s expanse can make finding your way a difficult task. Names such as the Westside, Baymeadows, Murray Hill, Arlington or Loretto may pinpoint that particular area for the people who live there, yet be meaningless to newcomers or those not familiar with that part of town. These brief capsules of many of our communities give a glimpse of the people who live there, work there and raise their families there. You’ll find many interesting people and places, plus homes in a wide range of prices — sometimes in unexpected places. In this corner of the world, there are diverse places and a diverse population — with some embracing the past, some embracing growth, but all embracing the individuality of their communities. BAKER COUNTY Macclenny and Glen St. Mary Best of both worlds For those who want small-town friendly and big-city bustle, Baker County is ideal. Downtown Jacksonville is a 30-minute drive from Baker County, where you’ll find all the friendliness and hospitality that is part of a small town.

For relaxing with family and friends, Baker County offers swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, camping and hunting. Shoals Park has more than 1,600 acres of hiking, ATV and equestrian trails, while Ocean Pond, an 800-acre lake, offers picnic areas and modern camp sites. The St. Marys River and the Little St. Marys River are pristine waterways that take you back to nature. Take advantage of the fresh air and nature in the Osceola National Forest, a federally managed forest of 220,000 acres, which provides some of the best hiking and hunting in Florida. Macclenny’s residents are diversified in their career choices with many commuters to neighboring Jacksonville. Other residents work for Baker County schools, hospitals or the Walmart distribution center. Glen St. Mary has its own appeal and history. A northern vacationer, Alverdo Geiggey, was so impressed with the community, he invested in 12,700 acres of Baker County land making him the first real estate developer. He named the streets after U.S. presidents and some of Glen's horticultural products. At the turn of the century, Glen St. Mary was a thriving little town. Within the township limits were at least three boarding houses, two general stores, a doctor's office with pharmacy, a train depot, an ice-cream parlor, a livery stable, a cotton and lumber mill, a large strawberry farm, a boom citrus and lumber industry, an alcohol-free billiard hall, various churches and their crowning glory, the Glen St. Mary Nursery. All this industry took place south of Highway 90, which was just a dirt road then. Growth and development have not diminished the town’s original appeal. The area offers large acreages as well as houses that average $146,400 in Macclenny. The average home price in Glen St. Mary is $155,600. COMMUNITIES Baker County Neighborhoods 2017 DISCOVER JACKSONVILLE | 29