By Jennifer Heller
I’ve spent so many mornings at Memorial Park a few years back. As an avid runner back in the day and a member of the PRS Running Club I would run track at Memorial Park on Wednesday mornings at 4:45am …. Yes you read that right – I was one of “those” people! What I failed to notice in the wee hours of the dark morning in Memorial Park, was the beauty, serenity and views this park offers.
If you’re not familiar with Memorial Park, it’s located in Riverside at 1620 Riverside Avenue on the St. Johns River. Located between Margaret Street and Memorial Park Drive, near 5 Points, it’s the perfect spot for breakfast at Einstein Bagels or Arepa Please, or maybe just coffee at Starbucks followed by a walk in the park. A plethora of lunch and dinner options are within walking distance including Hawkers Asian Street Food, Corner Taco, Als Pizza, Tijuana Flats and River and Post.
Over a century ago, Memorial Park was designed by the Olmsted Brothers and is one of Jacksonville’s premier, historic public parks honoring the 1600+ Floridian women and men who lost their lives in World War I while heroically serving our country. It is also the third oldest park in Jacksonville and in 2017 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Memorial Park is 5.5 acres, perfect for a family picnic and play day in the grass area, surrounded by incredibly large oak trees and a walking path. Think mini Central Park in Jacksonville! Overlooking the St. Johns River with views of the Jacksonville surrounding area makes Memorial Park the epitome of peace and tranquility.
On any given day when you visit this park, you might find yourself watching a wedding taking place, a photography session or any happenstance private event … you just never know! Today the park was filled with people just enjoying the lovely breeze coming off the St. Johns, sipping morning coffee and enjoy the walking path to close out their rings (it’s a thing!) For me it was an opportunity to sip my coffee and take in all that Jacksonville has to offer if I just take the time to drive outside my home area, explore and love where I live.
Jennifer Heller is the Operations and Marketing Manager with The Volen Group, Keller Williams Luxury International, with over 15 years experience in Real Estate. She is a Jacksonville resident via New York since 1991 and an avid fitness enthusiast.