Written by Kyah Williams, 2023 Ponte Vedra Focus Blog Scholarship Winner
Life can get pretty busy, as we all know. Sometimes a break is just simply needed, somewhere to go in between meetings or on the weekends. Your body, and mind, need rest. It’s necessary to perform well at anything and everything you do. It’s natural, human, to need to find some sort of peacefulness in this busy world.
Stop and take a moment for yourself so that you can get the rest that you deserve. The Northeast Jacksonville area has plenty of places where you can sneak away for a few hours with some peace and quiet.
This may seem like an obvious one to some – but most forget that the most peaceful place is right in our backyards! Neptune Beach is the best place to go for some peace and quiet. Even in the winter, you can pull up a chair and get cozy with a book and a blanket. In the summer, enjoy the heat and the ocean breeze by tanning in the sun. Along with this, you could bring a tube and float in the ocean, letting the waves take your worries away quickly. The beach is the perfect place to sit back, relax, and have your toes in the water.
The other beaches in Northeast Jacksonville are all amazing as well, however, Neptune Beach is the least crowded one to ensure that extra sense of peacefulness during your busy workday.
Noticing a theme here? Jacksonville is home to some of the most gorgeous nature trails, beaches, and outdoor-themed activities. One of these is the one and only Hanna Park. Here, you can spend hours walking the hiking trails, relaxing at the beach, or even spending the night in a camper! If you’re looking for some time away, Hannah Park is separated from the busyness of life. Located in Mayport, it is the perfect opportunity to get away for some peace.
This is also an excellent place to stay the weekend at for some extra time away. Hannah Park has campers that can be rented as well as campgrounds if you prefer to bring your own camper or tent! Hanna Park has a park, bathrooms within walking distance to all campgrounds, and beach access open to the public. There is an entry fee, however, it is certainly worth it for all that Hanna Park provides!
Although it is in the busy downtown area of Jacksonville, there is nothing busy about this museum. The Cummer has everything you could think of – paintings, sculptures, exhibits that rotate based on the time of year, and even a garden! The garden is personally my favorite part. As the Cummer is located on the Saint Johns River, the view from the garden is just that. It’s beautiful. The Cummer has a café as well so if you wanted to, you could walk the museum and then grab a bite to eat! This is most certainly one of my favorite places to visit, specifically to find some time away from the busyness of life.
Downtown River Walk
While you’re downtown, you can also walk along the river. Again, this has the view of the Saint Johns River and is ideal for clearing your head. Along this walk, there are plenty of benches to take a break and breathe for a minute. This would be a place where you could bring a book, or your work assignments, and sit down for a nice view. You could even hit two in one with the Cummer and the River Walk!
Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park
Heading over to Clay County, another nature-themed place awaits. This would be the Gold Head State Park. Like Hanna Park, this offers the ultimate package of camping, hiking, fishing, biking, surfing, even horseback riding! Immerse yourself in nature through this park’s amazing list of experiences that will take all your worries away.
This state park offers lodging as well as amenities such as restaurants, an amphitheater, a beach, a museum, gardens, a lighthouse, and so much more. Feel like you’re truly on vacation by visiting this state park! If you aren’t looking for an extended stay, visit just for the day! You are guaranteed to find peace here, as well as loads of fun.
I know first-hand how the busyness of life can slowly take over. From having a job to going to school or college to even being a parent, there can be times that feel like life is beating you down. Escape that feeling by going to one, or more of these places. Rejuvenate and re-energize yourself so that you can have the ability to get up and go to work every day. Giving yourself a break can lead to a better performance in your job and a better mindset. Your body needs rest, as does your mind. Give that to yourself; these places are sure to make you feel at peace.
About the Author
Kyah Williams is a Fletcher High School graduating senior and is the Ponte Vedra Focus 2023 Blog Scholarship Winner. She will attending Florida State University in the fall where she will be majoring in criminology.