Lake Lucina – Jacksonville, FL

Lake Lucina, located in Arlington by Jacksonville University, benefits from sunny, subtropical weather. The St. Johns River wraps around this neighborhood, providing recreational activities such as boating and fishing as well as hunting and hiking in the surrounding areas. Situated 6 miles east of Jacksonville, the area's proximity to the city allows residents to enjoy employment and recreational opportunities within a short commute.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Sandwich shops, pizzerias and diners make up the restaurant scene in Lake Lucina, with access to fine-dining spots in the nearby downtown Jacksonville area. If you're craving Greek food, head to Wally's Gyros and Subs, and dig into some falafel, gyros and pitas, all made fresh to order. Try the hummus and baklava, and stop by the adjoining grocery store for Mediterranean ingredients that you can use at home. Huge portions of traditional sandwiches served on freshly baked breads make Blue Boy Sandwich Shop worth a trip. A small, unassuming joint with discounts for Jacksonville University students, this eatery whips up amazing Reubens, pizza subs and pastrami and steak sandwiches, loaded with meat, cheese and other toppings. When you want something with south-of-the-border flavor, try the California burrito at Lupita's Mexican Food, or try the fish tacos and spicy shrimp diabla. Fresh ingredients, reasonable prices and great customer service have earned this place a bunch of loyal customers. Open for breakfast, Lupita's serves up some amazing chorizo and creamy beans for breakfast. Enjoy complimentary chips and salsa while you wait for your order. Smoke a hookah, play billiards or simply unwind at Safar's Sports Bar. Locals love the pool and poker tournaments and the great selection of beer at this joint. At ladies night on Mondays, women enjoy free drinks. Watch sports on the big-screen televisions on game night.

History & Culture

Lake Lucina was one of the first areas in the United States to be visited by Europeans. The French Fort Caroline stood here between 1564 and 1565. Lumber was a major business, and many saw mills cropped up in this area. Tourism flourished due to the mild winters. Growth and development boomed after the Matthews Bridge was constructed in 1953. Get a glimpse of how this area looked 6,000 years ago at the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, with its salt marshes, coastal dunes and hardwood hammocks. It also houses the Fort Caroline National Memorial built 500 years ago as well as one of the oldest plantations in the area, the Kingsley Plantation. Every Wednesday, locals embark on self-guided tours of downtown art galleries at Art Walk, with food trucks, live music and an outdoor art market.

Transportation

Most people in the Lake Lucina area drive to and from the neighborhood. A dearth of bike lanes discourages biking except on designated trails; however, some errands can be accomplished on foot. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority operates buses, trolleys and Skyway, a free monorail train connecting businesses on either side of the St. Johns River, so residents who want to use mass transit have plenty of options. Easy access to the Interstate 295 and Matthews Bridge helps locals commute by car to Jacksonville and neighboring cities in a short time. Parking options include park-and-ride facilities and fee-based parking lots in the downtown area. Taxi services include EZ Airport Shuttle and A-Team Taxi Service, but it's best to call for a car in advance. Uber serves Jacksonville and the surrounding areas.

Cost

The cost of living in Lake Lucina runs about 5 percent less than the cost of living in Jacksonville, with the rent for a one-bedroom apartment averaging $503 a month. Gas prices typically trend about 3 percent higher than the national average. A bus trip to Jacksonville costs $3, and a pint of beer at local bars in the area costs around $4.

Shopping

The indoor Regency Square Mall contains a few big-name retail stores and a food court. The St. Johns Town Center, an outdoor mall, offers a mix of upscale stores, bargain stores, fast-food places and fine-dining restaurants. Peeple's Appliance features sales and service of major appliances to help outfit your kitchen or laundry room. Purchase replacement parts for your appliances, or peruse a wide selection of rebuilt items that have a 90-day warranty. Circle Japan, also on Beach Boulevard, sells sake, buns stuffed with sweet red beans and hard-to-find Japanese ingredients. Customers love the attentive and amiable owner and the freshly baked organic breads. Publix supermarket services the Lake Lucina neighborhood. Smaller ethnic and specialty food stores are also available within the neighborhood's boundaries. The Jacksonville Farmers Market and Beach Boulevard Flea and Farmers Market both sell fresh produce, baked goods and desserts. Several food vendors also show up on market days with hot food for sale.

Parks

Numerous parks, trails, playgrounds and even an arboretum allow Lake Lucina residents to enjoy walking, hiking and sports. Locals immerse themselves in music, theater and culture through year-round events in this area. They also enjoy activities such as fishing, boating and swimming near the St. Johns River. A nice place for kids, the Arlingwood Playground has two playground areas, canopies, benches and a trail around the play area. Make a plan to go fishing at Blue Cypress Park, which is equipped with a fishing pier and boardwalk along the St. Johns River. The park's 118 acres also include small ponds, wooded areas, a community center and a swimming pool. Spend a few dollars and visit the Tree Hill Nature Center, featuring wooded trails, wildflowers, massive oaks, an indoor discovery center and a touch pool. Kids enjoy watching the chickens, goats, alligators and turtles. Pack a picnic lunch to eat at one of the many picnic areas. The 50-acre park includes three ecosystems. Every April, this center hosts the Butterfly Festival. The Metropolitan Park in the downtown Jacksonville area serves as a venue for Jazz Fest, celebrating local and national musicians. Taste exotic foods and experience culture and art from around the world at the World of Nations event held in this park in the spring.
River City Landing
2681 University Blvd N, Jacksonville, FL 32211
1 / 66
1 wk
$676 - 946 1-3 Bed Available Now
904-900-5938