Neighborhood Shopping Areas
Five Points in Riverside
Five Points in Riverside is an urban oasis of shopping, dining, and parks located just south of Downtown. It is nestled in a little corner of an older, character-filled section of Jacksonville called Riverside. The vintage flavor of the area attracts many unique restaurants and shops. A very interesting neighborhood for people watching, Five Points has been a center for counter-culture youth for decades. In recent years, upscale vendors and luxury housing has brought a mix of stores to the area including tattoo parlors, independent music stores, antique boutiques, clothing stores and art galleries. FYI: The Shoppes of Avondale are just a couple of miles down the road (description below). From the Institute, head south on N. Jefferson Street. This road turns into Riverside Ave. You will travel around 2 miles and pass Memorial Park on your left. At that light turn right onto Margaret St. and head straight a couple blocks and you are there.
San Marco Square
One of Jacksonville's trendiest destinations, San Marco Square is an artsy shopping, dining and entertainment district on the Southbank of Downtown. You can stroll through art galleries, boutiques, independent bookstores, and upscale gift shops while trying to decide if you want to dine upscale (i.e., Taverna) or more casual (i.e., Seafood Island Bar & Grille). The streets south of the Square are lined with regal old estates and riverfront mansions certainly worth a look. The area gets busy during the lunch hour, when the downtown crowd comes over for a bite to eat, and again when they return for a happy hour or dinner. If all of the on-street parking spaces are taken, there is a large parking lot behind the shops and restaurants lining Atlantic Boulevard. For more information on this area, check out the “Dining” & “Theaters” sections. From the Institute, take 8th Street to I-95 South, go over the river, and get off at the very first exit: “San Marco.” Make a right on San Marco Blvd, the second light, and follow it down a half mile or so.
The Shoppes of Avondale
In the heart of Jacksonville's historic Avondale neighborhood lies a strip of boutiques, antique stores, bistros, restaurants and gift shops along St. Johns Avenue. While quieter and smaller in scale than other upscale pedestrian shopping districts around Jacksonville, The Shoppes is one of the oldest. The small commercial strip is nestled in the midst of restored homes built in the early 1900s. The neighborhood is filled with families, joggers, dog walkers, and young professionals. Boone Park, a scenic city park with lots of trees, a few hills, a stream, and a lovely children's playground is just a short walk from The Shoppes. If you work up an appetite shopping, restaurants such as Biscottis, The Brick, Mojo’s and Casbah Café provide fantastic eating options. FYI: Five Points in Riverside is just a couple miles down the road (description above) from the Institute head south on N. Jefferson Street. This road turns into Riverside Ave.You will travel on this road about 5 miles. Make a left on King Street, by St. Vincent’s Hospital. Take King Street one block, then make a right on to St. Johns Avenue. Take this down about 1 mile and you’re there.