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Fleming Island is the perfect location for travelers looking to visit Jacksonville or northeast Florida and be conveniently located to all the nearby attractions. Staying at The Flemingo in Fleming Island is the perfect jumping off point to visit Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Beaches, St. Augustine and Itchetucknee Springs…a  local secret and favorite. Here is the perfect 4 day spring/summer itinerary to make sure your trip is filled with relaxation, history and fun.

Day 1-Jacksonville Beach, 40 min. drive from The Flemingo: Hit the beach at Jacksonville Beach, or Jax Beach if you’re a local. Parking is available at most avenues where they meet the beach or head to the public parking lot at 2nd Street North. It’s best to head there early to get parking and beat the Florida afternoon showers. There are so many good cafes, restaurants and ice cream shops to choose from but here are our personal favorites: Florida Juice and Bowl for poke bowls, heathy juices and smoothies, TacoLu for…well…tacos, Grom for lunch and Cookies and Cream Jax Beach for ice cream.

Day 2-St. Augustine, 50 min. drive from the Flemingo: No trip to Northeast Florida is complete without a day trip to St. Augustine. There is so much to do but here are some favorites for a day trip. First, head to the public parking garage at 1 Cordova St. From there, walk to see the Castillo de San Marcos or what we call “the fort”. The fort is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States and was built to protect Spain’s claims in the new world. At this time, they are open every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving day.  The fort will take about an hour to see.

After seeing the fort head across the street to the Old City Gates, also the entrance to St. George Street. Step back in history as you walk this long pedestrian only street to browse sweets shops, souvenirs and The Oldest Wooden School House which dates back to the early 18th century. Do an internet search to find a great restaurant for lunch and take a break.

After lunch backtrack to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not at 19 San Marco Ave. Purchase admission to the museum and the red train. Kids and adults alike love this unusual museum. You’ll have a chance to cool down while witnessing oddities, memorabilia and artifacts. After exploring this attraction head outside to the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not parking lot to catch their red train. This is a 60 minute narrated open train ride. The tour takes you around most of the old town and really gives you a chance to see everything in such a short amount of time and learn a lot of history. After the train tour, head to a fantastic dinner to end the evening.

Day 3-Jacksonville, 45 min. drive from the Flemingo: Get ready for a day of adventure and head to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens at 370 Zoo Parkway. Florida gets HOT in the summer so plan to get there right when they open which is usually at 9:00. There are quick serve restaurants at the zoo so no need to pack a lunch. Our favorite exhibits are the mighty gorillas and feeding the graceful giraffes.

After an exciting but hot day at the zoo, travel about 15 minutes to 400 North Hogan St to Sweet Pete’s Candy. Even if you don’t have kids, adults are amazed and intrigued by Sweet Pete’s wimpy, magical atmoshphere. This multi-story candy store and restaurant is located in a 22,000 sq ft historic downtown mansion and will make you feel like you are in a Willy Wonka movie. Book a candy making class before hand and visit the ice cream floor to grab a root beer float after a hot day at the zoo. Fun fact: Sweet Pete’s is the son of the Peterbrooke Chocolatier founder which has a location in Fleming Island. It is known that the owner of Peterbrooke named her chocolate shop after her two children…Peter and Brooke.

Finally to end the day, head back towards Fleming Island and stop at one of the many restaurants at the Shoppes of Avondale at 3590 St. Johns Ave, Jacksonville. There are 4-5 restaurants to choose from on this historic strip. On the way here hopefully you will see some beautiful historic Riverside homes.

Day 4- Itchetucknee Springs, 90 min. drive: Florida has over 700 springs, more than anywhere else on Earth! Luckily for you if you’re staying at the Flemingo, a beautiful vacation rental in Fleming Island, one of the best springs is only an hour and a half away. Soak up the sun while floating down the narrow blue-green waterway nestled underneath a canopy of trees. The water at Itchetucknee remains a constant 72 degrees so it’s a great place to come when it’s hot out. The park only lets so many cars in for the longer tube launch so it’s very important to get here at opening time. Tube rentals and tram wristbands can be purchased at the General Store at the south entrance at 12087 Southwest, US-27, Fort White, Florida. The area is fairly remote so don’t forget to pack a cooler for lunch, snacks and drinks and fill up the gas tank. Remember to do research in advance because closures and rentals can change.

Well there it is, four amazing day trips from Fleming Island, Florida in the spring and summer. Choosing the perfect vacation rental can be a challenge. Knowing you’ve found a vacation rental that has the highest cleaning standards and aims to give you a five-star experience makes that choice so much easier. If you’re looking for a Jacksonville vacation rental, consider The Flemingo in Fleming Island for your next stay!

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