San Marco- Great Jacksonville Neighborhood!
I recently moved from Miami, Florida. Miami is a city full of nightlife as well as quaint neighborhoods. When I arrived in Jacksonville I yearned to find a neighborhood that would provide me with all of the things that I loved in Miami. Finally, I stumbled upon the neighborhood of San Marco. San Marco is a pretty large neighborhood and consists of mostly residential blocks, however you are pleasantly surprised when you reach San Marco Square.
San Marco Square is located just south of Downtown Jacksonville. It is an artsy shopping and dining district that attract all ages. On my most recent visit I enjoyed a homemade lunch in Balis Park, which is located in the center of the square. There is a small fountain and you can almost always count on some sort of live entertainment provided by public citizens. I enjoyed the pleasant blues music of a Jacksonian playing the harmonica and guitar. As the night grew dark, the pavilion located in the park, hosted a fire breathers and fire dancers! Yes, people dancing in and out of fire!! Balis Square even hosts various small events from time to time such as yoga.
The streets of San Marco Square are lined with small shops, restaurants, bars, art galleries, a movie theater, and even a Starbucks! Located directly next to the Starbucks is Indochine San Marco & Buddha Lounge. Indochine has delicious authentic Thai food. My favorite is the TOM–KHA GAI soup, a lemon grass and coconut milk broth soup. Soooo good! The Square tends to get pretty packed on the weekends and I've noticed the busy day is Friday. Free street side parking is available but of course may be limited on the weekends so it's a good idea to get there early to avoid crowds.
I love San Marco Square, it provides a perfect mix of small town feel with the trendiness and excitement of the big city.
[Photo courtesy of Metrojacksonville.com]