Jacksonville, with its beautiful beaches and miles of palm trees, is a perfect example of why Florida is known as the Sunshine State. However, on Monday, August 21, the sun will take a brief hiatus from the city. Americans are preparing to watch the first total solar eclipse in 38 years, and the residents of Jacksonville will be able to view a partial eclipse from their position along the coast.
The city is outside the path of totality (the portion of the country that will witness 100 percent of the sun being blocked from view), but those in Jacksonville will be able to see roughly 90 percent of the solar covering.
If you find yourself in Jacksonville during the eclipse, know that it begins at 1:16 p.m., peaks at 2:48 p.m., and ends at around 4:11 p.m. You can step outside wherever you are in Jacksonville and witness the rare solar event, or you can head to one of the locations listed below for an out-of-this-world viewing experience.
Jacksonville Public Library
Whether you’re exploring the eclipse with kids in tow or a gaggle of adults, the Jacksonville Public Library is a great place to do so. The facility is one of the best places to view the solar eclipse in Jacksonville as it features informational exhibits and activities about outerspace, and provides eclipse-viewing glasses during the main event.
Lemon BarHave you ever dreamed of spending your Mondays at a beachside bar with a cool one in hand? For those looking to celebrate the eclipse while sipping on a tropical beverage, visit Lemon Bar in nearby Neptune Beach. The venue will offer free eclipse viewing glasses to the first 300 guests in the door, and a live band will add an air of merriment to the occasion.
The folks at Seachasers are throwing a beach bar celebration for the eclipse. Grab a seat at the bar, sip on a beverage of your choosing, and use free eclipse viewing glasses to witness the event overhead. There will be food, live music, and creative cocktails available on the beach bar and patio to help ring in the eclipse.
Hanna ParkHanna Park is one of the city’s most idyllic places. With beaches, park grounds, and an abundance of hiking and biking trails, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the area. Experience the solar eclipse from Hanna Park by bringing a picnic to the beach, touring the area by bicycle, or simply spending some time outdoors as the event occurs.
University of North Florida
Looking for one of the best places to view the solar eclipse in Jacksonville? The university’s physics department is hosting a viewing party from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. This free, public event will be held on campus at the Coxwell Ampitheater, which is located next to the Student Union. Members of the physics department will be available to answer questions about the eclipse, in addition to having viewing glasses and telescopes handy.
Timucuan National ParkThe Timucuan National Park will host a solar eclipse celebration from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Arrive at the Fort Caroline and Kingsley Plantation to participate in this free all-ages event that will include informational exhibits and viewing devices for public use.
Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa
The popular nearby resort is throwing a special eclipse celebration. For $18, those present will enjoy eclipse-themed cocktails, activities for the whole family, and live entertainment. Let loose and get ready to watch the sky darken!