Travel the St. Johns River southward from downtown Jacksonville and you’ll soon enter a magical community offering tranquility with a dash of modern-day charm. You are now in historic Riverside/Avondale. Known for elegant homes in a multitude of styles, Riverside/Avondale is closely watched by Riverside Avondale Preservation, or RAP, to maintain the historic integrity of this charming community. This community offers a mix of riverfront condos, upscale retirement living and apartments. There are also parks where you’ll see families with kids laughing and playing. The Riverside/Avondale Shopping District is neatly planted in the middle of this community and offers a multitude of quaint eateries. This community becomes a bustling destination during the holidays as RAP members work to line the city streets with Luminaria in celebration of the season. Jacksonville residents from all over can be seen driving by absorbing the somber, beauty and charm of the spectacle. Riverside/Avondale, while home to the largest National Historic District in the Southeastern U.S., is experiencing a re-development. Riverfront condos are going up near St. Vincent’s Medical Center, in an area just east of the Five Points Shopping District. This area is slated for a huge mixed-use development near Memorial Park. Drive south along the St. Johns River in Riverside/Avondale and, as the river curves, you will eventually get to one of the oldest, most charming neighborhoods in Jacksonville — Ortega.
Ortega, recently named the 46th wealthiest neighborhood in the U.S. by Worth magazine is home to the Florida Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the state. Like Riverside/Avondale, Ortega boasts quiet, charming tree-lined streets and beautiful homes ranging from quaint to breathtaking. The community’s shopping district is the staging area for Ortega’s annual Fall Festival where you’re sure to see horse-drawn carriages offering rides, lots of families having plain, simple fun.