Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is a good location for visiting the largest city by land area in the USA. An hour walking the riverwalk of the St. Johns River was an opportunity to pick up history of the First Coast region. This area is a major transportation hub of Florida.
St. Johns River view from Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.
St. Johns River is 310 miles in length and one of the few rivers in the USA to flow north. The river provided early access to the interior forests of northern Florida and the timber industry was active here over two hundred years ago. Like many places in the U.S., once the Americans seized control of the land in the early 1800s, clear cutting forests got out of control.
More relevant to travel and tourism is learning the St. Johns River provided access to Florida winter resort havens following the Civil War and into the 1890s. During this time period there were more luxury steamer boats navigating the St. Johns than on the Mississippi River.
Jacksonville was known as the ‘Winter City in Summerland’ and attracted New Englanders with its desirable climate.
Crowne Plaza Jacksonville on the south side of the St. Johns River from the Hyatt.
Walking along the riverfront I met a woman who told me she saw four dolphins leaping out of the St. Johns River yesterday. A sign on the riverfront says the upper St. Johns River at Blue Spring State Park is one of only two locations where the manatee population is increasing in Florida. Apparently there are only about 2,500 manatees remaining in the wild. Jacksonville is the lower portion of the St. Johns River.
The farther west I walked along the riverfront, the more homeless I saw occupying the benches. Nobody said a word to me.
Then I got a clue as to why all the silence for this camera-toting tourist.
No Panhandling in Jacksonville.
The bridge across the St. Johns River was beautiful in blue light last night.
St. Johns River in Jacksonville at night.
This morning I was walking along the riverfront by the blue bridge as the center section started rising. I looked up and down the river for a big container barge like I commonly see in San Francisco Bay.
Sailboat with a tall mast on the St. Johns River heading out to sea.
Time to get my motor running and drive out of Jacksonville, Florida.