"Jacksonville's Mandarin Neighborhoods" Mandarin by HSC123

Mandarin Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 10 photos

From historic hamlet to popular suburb

Located in the southernmost part of Jacksonville between Interstate 95 and the St. Johns River, Mandarin is an attractive suburban district with a unique history of its own. Officially incorporated as part of Jacksonville in the 1960's when the city and Duval County consolidated, Mandarin was once a peaceful riverside hamlet where oranges were grown and shipped up river. At one time, famous author Harriet Beecher Stowe owned a home here. During the Civil War, the steamship Maple Leaf was sunk in the St. Johns River off Mandarin Point, where it remains today. Still defined by its beautiful canopy of twisted water oaks dripping with Spanish moss, today's more developed Mandarin is a mix of mansions, upper and middle class neighborhoods, horse farms, shopping centers, restaurants, and offices.

Under the tree canopy

While the Mandarin stretches of Interstate 295 and San Jose Boulevard rank as two of Jacksonville's worst rush hour traffic corridors, the back roads of Mandarin remain quite beautiful and tranquil. Mandarin Road is the best place to take in the oak hammock ambiance by car. The two lane road passes riverfront neighborhoods and provides access to two noteworthy riverfront parks: Walter Jones Historical Park & County Dock and Mandarin Park & Marina.

Where roads lead to the Avenues

Near Mandarin, in an area bound and crossed by Interstate 95, Interstate 295, State Highway 9A, US Highway 1, and Southside Boulevard is the appropriately named Avenues Mall. The Avenues is a two-story mall featuring a mix of upscale and traditional retail tenants under striking glass skylights and domes. Other commercial attractions in Mandarin include a comedy club and a movie multiplex.

Overall, Mandarin is a naturally beautiful area with nice neighborhoods, but it probably won't be on the radar screen for most visitors to Jacksonville. Other parts of Jacksonville and its beaches are far more interesting. Nevertheless, a quiet nature walk through Walter Jones Park, distant skyline views from County Dock, or a shopping excursion to the Avenues Mall might be enough enticement for some.

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