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Jacksonville, FL Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 121
Total Sleeping Rooms 14,059
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 951
Committable Meeting Rooms* 41
Convention Center Space 275,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 78,500 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 10,140 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $91
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $51
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $184
*Maximum for a single hotel

Jacksonville, FL Meeting Planning Overview

Though meeting hotspots such as Miami and Orlando are just miles away, the beautiful city of Jacksonville is stealing the spotlight as a top meetings and events locale in Florida. With Jacksonville event venues for 10 to 10,000 people and 13,323 guest rooms in the city alone, the city matches the world-class amenities of other Sunshine State cities – often at a lower cost. In fact, just as the temperatures drop in many northern U.S. cities, the price to stay in Jacksonville drops to an affordable $84 to $129 per night.

Year-round, Jacksonville's clear blue skies welcome meetings and events with an impressive array of six multi-purpose, group-specific event spaces. Included in this set are the 76,000-seat Municipal Stadium, 4,000-seat Equestrian Center, and nine-acre Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

Headlining the options, the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center offers 265,000 square feet of space within its attractive Greek and Roman columned façade. Two boardrooms, pre-function space, a grass pavilion and a spacious lobby are among the several spaces available for events at the center. Also topping its group meetings options, the Times-Union Center offers picturesque riverfront seating, three exhibit halls and elegant lounges and galleries.

Jacksonville's pleasant temperatures are sure to have attendees longing for a brief respite from the boardroom. Fortunately, the city is home to numerous unique event facilities. Just minutes from the convention center, the immensely popular Jacksonville Landing is home to several restaurants available to host post-event cocktail receptions.

Invite attendees to a casual day out at the outdoor Metropolitan Park, which offers various picnic areas and a spacious riverside pavilion to accommodate up to 3,000 people. Or, engage guests in one of the state's favorite pastimes by holding a meeting or dinner at one of the city's numerous golf courses and clubs. The expansive 77,000-square-foot Mediterranean Revival clubhouse at the Tournament Players Club has several luxurious rooms for a posh affair.

Traveling to and from such attractions may seem daunting in a city defined as having the largest contiguous land area in the continental United States; however, Jacksonville's public transportation options make traversing the city quick, efficient and affordable. Downtown trolleys offer scenic and free rides to popular sites such as Jacksonville Landing, while a bus and light rail network provides extended service. Arriving to the city itself is hassle-free as well. The Jacksonville International Airport, currently undergoing a $170 million expansion project, supports non-stop flights from over 30 cities.

Jacksonville's economy is booming; in fact, it was named the 10th fastest growing city in the United States by Forbes in 2007. Many Fortune 500 companies call Jacksonville home, including CSX Corporation, Fidelity National Financial and Winn-Dixie.

About Jacksonville, FL / Additional Info

Situated in the northeastern corner of Florida, Jacksonville dates back to the Timicua Indians, who settled in the area over 6,000 years ago. After the arrival of the French Huguenots in 1562, the city changed hands repeatedly. Throughout the years, French, Spanish and U.S. Confederate and Union flags all flew high above the city. It was not until the 1940s, however, that Jacksonville's development took off, thanks to the establishment of three naval bases in the city.

Today, over 1.3 million people call Jacksonville's sunny shores home, making it the 3rd most populous city on the East Coast, following New York and Philadelphia. A diverse cultural mosaic, the city has the 10th largest Arab population in the United States and a number of Filipino and Hispanic and Latino residents.

Visitors can celebrate the mélange of these varied backgrounds at attractions found throughout the city and in neighboring St. Augustine. Discover the legacy of the African-American community at the Ritz Theatre and La Villa Museum, located in the neighborhood once known as "Harlem of the South." Savor authentic Cuban fare such as ropa vieja and masas de puerco at Madrid Restaurant on Beach Boulevard. Embrace the city's Asian community by exploring the popular Asian Bamboo Garden at the Jacksonville Zoo.

Equally diverse as its attractions is the cityscape they populate, a mix of over 2,500 historic buildings, seven expansive bridges, and soaring skyscrapers. Cutting through the heart of downtown, the St. Johns River defines the cityscape as much as it does the attractions. The Jacksonville Riverwalk, one of the most popular places to visit, is a 1.2-mile stretch along the river where visitors can enjoy scenic views of the water and Jacksonville skyline. Home to attractions such as the Navy Memorial and Jacksonville Maritime Museum, the Riverwalk's famous 200-foot-wide Friendship Fountain is also a great spot to picnic.

Despite its bustling urban downtown, Jacksonville offers plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air and sunny skies. In fact, it is home to the country's largest urban park system, encompassing a stunning 111,669 acres. Enjoy the characteristic Floridian landscape with a visit to the 450-acre Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park. Offering the best of sand and shore, the park has 1.5 miles of beach coastline and a 60-acre freshwater lake, perfect for fishing, kayaking and canoeing. At Huguenot Memorial Park, guests can spend a day bird watching or a night stargazing from one of the park's 70 primitive campsites.

After an active day, guests discover that the city's nightlife shines just as brightly as the daytime sun. Colorful beachside bars dot the coast, while the Five Points district offers a number of locations for live music and spoken-word performances. Truly a star among the city's nightlife options, the riverside Jacksonville Landing is a two-level shopping and dining hub. Unwind at the chic Twisted Martini's Ultra Lounge, or let loose on the dance floor at Mavericks, the Landing's self-described rock 'n honkytonk. Whatever the setting, Jacksonville's welcoming environment and top-notch attractions will have guests thinking twice before passing over the city "where Florida begins."

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