By Matthew Winship, DVI Intern
Need a change of scenery in your routine workout? Part three of our Downtown Itinerary series shows you how Downtown offers plenty of options indoors and outdoors to burn a few calories while enjoying Downtown’s scenery.
Run or walk along the Riverwalk
There’s a built-in running track Downtown, and it’s called the Jacksonville Riverwalk. This scenic pedestrian pathway is a great place for short or long-distance running. Plus, chances are you’ll see other fitness friends along the way, especially in the busy late afternoon/early evening time-frame.
Whether you’re looking for a shorter route or testing your endurance on a longer run, Downtown provides great paths to get in that exercise. Check out our #RunDTJax blog for examples of locals’ favorite spots (complete with a map of their path), as well as our list of running routes. Running the bridges is a popular Downtown exercise routine with its beautiful skyline views. With the new and improved Southbank Riverwalk, you’ll enjoy every scenic second of your workout. MapMyRun is also a great source for Downtown run routes – it offers a database of more than a dozen Downtown routes mapped by locals.
Lifting weights, classes and more at Downtown gyms
Need a place to pump iron or practice yoga in air-conditioned comfort? Downtown offers six gym locations for your total-workout needs. Give them a call for hourly, daily and monthly pricing, classes and equipment information:
- Anytime Fitness (100 N. Laura St., 904-723-1766) *second floor
- New Jax Gym (2 Independent Dr., 905-707-8276)
- River View Fitness Center (841 Prudential Drive, 904-396-6122)
- University Athletic Club (1301 Riverplace Blvd., 904-396-0403) *must be a member of the University Club of Jacksonville
- Yates Family YMCA (221 Riverside Ave., 904-355-1436) *pool
- YMCA Bank of America (50 N. Laura St., 904-356-9622)
Stretches and drills at parks
Need a little green space to comfortably stretch and run drills? Metropolitan Park has plenty of room for you to move around in or sit and stretch on a comfortable lawn. The riverfront park is equipped with restrooms, benches and picnic tables, among other amenities and is open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset unless closed for special events. A Southbank option would be to take your workout to Treaty Oak Park, where there’s plenty of shade from the magnificent Treaty Oak to cool down your stretches and other workouts.
Hemming Park is an open space right in the heart of Downtown where you can work on your balance and flexibility with yoga. Starting in March Yoga 4 Change and Hemming Park will provide free yoga classes. See the Hemming Park website for more information.
Another hot spot for exercise downtown is Unity Plaza. From yoga to running to dance Unity Plaza has a number of activities that is sure get your heart pumping. Visit their website or their events calendar for more information.
Cycling over Downtown Jacksonville bridges is a popular activity for city cyclists. North Florida Bicycling Club organizes routes that go all around Jacksonville, such as the Tour de Jax, which goes through the heart of Downtown. For more information on those routes, check out NFBC’s maps page. CityCycle in Riverside also provides great locations for getting to know Jacksonville, including group routes that go over the Acosta. Check the shop’s calendar for up-to-date ride information.
You can also find a list of cycling routes on our website.
- Parking meters are free every weekday after 6 p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday. Or if you prefer, check out the parking garage and lot options.
- The Skyway, now free, operates Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and during special weekend events. Visit our page for more information.
- The Jacksonville River Taxi hours are Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m and Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m closed Monday. For a one-way ticket, fares are $5/adult and $4/children ages 3-12. Children younger than age 3 ride free. Check out their website for more information and special events fare.
- If you need assistance Downtown, our Downtown Ambassadors are here to help. Look for them in their orange polo shirts or call 904-465-7980.
For more information on Downtown destinations, check out our online directory. Many Downtown destinations also hold various special events throughout the year. Be sure to check our events calendar often, or sign up for our weekly events e-newsletter.