1. Jacksonville Sets National Precedence For Urban Parks

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Jacksonville via Facebook

Jacksonville lays claim to an extraordinary amount of green space - an excess of 111,000 acres of preserved land space to be exact. Its Parks & Recreations department provides services to more than 300 park-designated locations. As a result, Jacksonville proudly holds the title of running the largest urban parks system in the U.S.

2. The Nation's Only Breast-Cancer Dedicated Marathon Calls Jacksonville Home

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Martha Marshall

In 2008, three-time breast cancer survivor and Jacksonville native Donna Deegan made history with the debut of the 26.2 With Donna National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer. Since then, more than $3 million has been raised, ALL of which has gone directly to breast cancer research and assistance efforts. Beneficiaries include The Mayo Clinic and The Donna Foundation, a non-profit organization Deegan started over a decade ago.

3. It's One Of Five Cities In Florida Where You Can Cruise

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Herkie

The Jacksonville Port Authority opened the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal in 2003. It was first serviced by Celebrity Cruises. The following year, Carnival Cruise Line came into the fold, christening its then newest ship Carnival Miracle at the port. Currently, guests can take 4 and 5 day cruises from Jacksonville to The Bahamas and Key West aboard Carnival Fascination.

4. Budweiser Has A Brewery In Jacksonville (And Offers Tours There, Too)

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user fabbio

Budweiser operates five U.S. breweries, including one located in J-Ville. You can take a free tour of the highly innovative and efficient facility, and see up-close how Budweiser produces its quality beer. Feel free to dabble in samples of the brew as long as you're at least 21.

5. Tour Florida's Natural History via a U.S. National Park

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Ken Lund

The history at the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve dates back more than 6,000 years. Onsite exhibits include the history of the ancient Timucuan Indians, the French's contribution to Florida history, and the richness of the local preserved wetlands.

6. Right Off The St. Johns River Is The Perfect "Landing" For Dining, Shopping And Entertainment

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Rob Bixby

Jacksonville Landing is a waterfront complex that combines great dining destinations (like Benny's Steak and Seafood), a variety of great stores and boutiques (like Cherish Couture), and lively entertainment for locals and visitors. It's also a popular venue for monthly and annual events, such as Art Walk and the 4th of July Celebration.

7. It's Truly "All The Way Live"

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: JaxLive via Facebook

Jacksonville's premier live entertainment destination is JaxLive, where top-notch entertainers provide vibrant and electric performances to packed crowds. Past and current performers include Everclear, the Michael Cronin Band, and Colourside.

8. Jacksonville Is A True Blue Football Town

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Joe Shlabotnik

The Gator Bowl has a history that spans nearly 70 years, and served as one of many platforms for legendary players and coaches. Among those are Bobby Bowden, Dan Marino, and future Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning. 1995 was the year the city got its first professional sports team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, one of two expansion teams that year. Since then, the Jaguars has scored two division titles, and made six playoff appearances.

9. Every April, Jacksonville "Springs" The Blues

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Springing The Blues Festival via Facebook

Jacksonville dedicates the first weekend of each April to celebrating the Blues. The festival features an impressive list of live performers. The venue, the Oceanfront Seawalk Pavilion, offers fantastic ocean views and the best part of all - the event is free!!

10. Jacksonville Is The Largest City In Florida And In The Continental U.S.

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user gojeffrey

The land space in Jacksonville totals 874.3 square miles. As a result, the city is the largest in the continental United States in terms of land size. It's estimated that the city population of 830,000 makes it the largest in the state, surpassing other major cities in Florida including Miami (second largest), Orlando, Tampa, and Tallahassee.

11. Upscale Country Club On A National Historic Site

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Robert Neff

The Epping Forest Yacht & Country Club is rooted in history. Once the luxurious estate of successful businessman Alfred du Pont and his wife Jessie Ball du Pont, this lavish property now serves as a full-service country club, complete with a marina and other five-star amenities (including an aquatics center and spa). The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the name "Epping Forest" comes from the plantation home of Jessie Ball's relative, Mary Ball Washington (the mother of George Washington).

12. It's A Very Jazzy City

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Jacksonville Jazz Festival via Facebook

Since 1979, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival has demonstrated and celebrated the best in traditional and smooth jazz. The festival has featured some of jazz music's elite, including Miles Davis, Chuck Mangione, Najee, George Benson, Kenny G., and Noel Friedline. The festival also includes live performances from R&B artists. Companies like AARP and Coca-Cola, along with several local businesses, have provided sponsorship for the annual event.

13. The Jacksonville Area Is A Huge Beach Community

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Paul Hamilton

The beaches in the Jacksonville area can be accurately described with one word: expansive. Locals and visitors have 20 miles of pristine beaches to enjoy. Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Mayport, Neptune Beach, and parts of Point Verda Beach make up this unique beach community. Activities like fishing, surfing, kiteboarding and jet skiing can be found around any of those parts. For those looking for a classic beach experience, sugary white sands are just steps away from the ocean.

14. Get Yourself (And Even Your Car) Across The River - No Swimming Required

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: St. Johns River Ferry via Facebook

Needing to get from the north end of A1A to the south end? Do you work on the mainland but live on the island? Getting back and forth across the St. Johns River is fully accessible with service from the St. Johns River Ferry, operating seven days a week. It transports passengers and vehicles from Mayport to Ft. George Island.

15. You Can Take A Trip Around The World Without Ever Leaving The City

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: World of Nations Celebration via Facebook

Jacksonville honors the multicultural diversity of the city with a three-day World of Nations Celebration at Metropolitan Park. You can explore and enjoy one of a kind artistry, music, customs, rituals, and cuisine of the nations represented at the festival. In 2014, 33 countries will be represented at the festival, including Cambodia, Peru, Senegal, Poland, The Bahamas, and South Korea.

16. Affordable Five-Star Dining

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: bb's Restaurant via Facebook

BB''s Restaurant makes everything from scratch, uses fresh, local ingredients of the highest quality, and offers a chic and upscale décor. This culinary establishment is both inviting and surprisingly affordable.

17. The Blending Of Music And Seafood Is An Annual Ritual

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Great Atlantic Music & Seafood Festival via Facebook

The Great Atlantic Music and Seafood Festival is an unique annual celebration that includes both artistry and food. There's fresh food from local chefs, live music performances, and an expansive marketplace perfect for shopping. You can try a fish taco, buy a custom made bracelet, or watch a live musical performance from local talent.

18. Food Trucks In The Plaza

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Mama's Food via Facebook

The food truck revolution has taken over dozens of cities across the U.S., and Jacksonville is no exception. Every Thursday and Friday, food trucks from around the city set up shop downtown in Hemming Plaza and offer their culinary creations to eager foodies and locals in search of some good quality food.

19. Carnival Rides, Funnel Cakes, And All Around Good Old Fashioned Fun

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Jacksonville Fairgrounds via Facebook

A fair is the quintessential family fun experience, and the Greater Jacksonville Fair & Expo Center provides that to the area each November. This fair has everything you would expect to see at a city or county fair: thrilling rides, live entertainment, exhibits, and a culinary smorgasbord.

20. In Downtown, You Can Do EVERYTHING

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Rob Bixby

Downtown Jacksonville is where you can work, play, and live all in one spot. You can find everything downtown: eateries like The Hourglass Pub, shops like Hemming Plaza Jewelers, and hotspots like Club 616. Some of the biggest events in the city are held downtown, like WWE's Road to WrestleMania, and performances from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Downtown is also the site of some of the best hotels in Jacksonville, including the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk hotel.

21. The City Possess One Of The Largest Memorial Walls For Fallen Heroes

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Wikimedia user US Navy

In an effort to pay tribute to its fallen hometown heroes, Jacksonville erected its own Veterans Memorial Wall in 1995. The standing tribute honors fallen soldiers in all six branches of service, including the Merchant Marines and the U.S. Coast Guard. Among the more than 1,600 names on the wall is Captain Scott Speicher, the nation's first casualty of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, whose remains weren't found for 18 years.

22. It Celebrates And Exhibits Achievements And Innovation In Film

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: World Arts Film Festival via Facebook

World Arts Education, a non-profit organization, created the World Arts Film Festival to explore, educate, and exhibit the different facets of film on a global scale. It exposes the city to a variety of creative works that achieve the foundation's ultimate purpose.

23. Jacksonville's "Natural" Charm Extends To Its Zoo And Botanical Gardens

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Rob Bixby

The city's zoo and botanical gardens are in the same place! For a century, the Jacksonville Zoo has been a growing and sustainable habitat for animals from around the world. Paired with the onsite botanical gardens (featuring the Asian Botanical Garden and Trout River Garden exhibits) Jacksonville Zoo further demonstrates the city's appreciation and dedication to nature.

24. Jacksonville Strives To Honor Local And National Veterans

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Rob Bixby

Like many other cities across the U.S., Jacksonville holds its own Veteran's Day Parade that draws in crowds by the thousands. Locals put their best feet forward to give a grand honor to the men and women who proudly serviced this country.

25. Take A Walk - An Art Walk, That is

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Jeff Wright

The First Wednesday Art Walk is a fantastic opportunity to peruse some brilliant works by local artists. As the name indicates, the art walk is held on the first Wednesday of each month. There are dozens of vendors selling qualities pieces to the public as well.

26. Jacksonville's Entertainment Venues

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Jeff Wright

Entertainment is a big part of Jacksonville's local culture. The city has more than half a dozen great entertainment spaces for sports, arts, live music and more. Some of these venues include Jacksonville Landing, The Oceanfront Seawalk Pavilion, The Florida Theater, and arguably the most popular, Everbank Field.

27. One Of A Kind Light Show - On The Water

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Rob Bixby

The annual Jacksonville Light Boat Parade illuminates the St. Johns River with a barrage of boats creatively covered in lights. Usually held each year at the end of November, the parade is a unique way to usher in the Christmas holiday season.

28. Fishing Highlighted In Competitive Style

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament via Facebook

For the last 33 years, Jacksonville has attracted thousands of locals and visitors to the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament, the largest of its kind. Co-branded with leading sponsor AT&T, the tournament brings fishing enthusiasts looking for some friendly competition and seeking the top prize.

29. Crowdfunding Is Huge In This City; It Has Its Own Festival

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: OneSpark via Facebook

With the rise of crowdfunding, the innovative minds at OneSpark holds an annual festival in Jacksonville where people can collaborate and learn from each other, as well as present their individual crowdfunding efforts for very worthy causes and initiatives.

30. St. Johns River Doubles As An Entertainment Venue

30 Things You Need To Know About Jacksonville Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user James Willamor

Because of Jacksonville's coastal location, waterfront entertainment venues are in high demand. River cruising takes it a step further, providing a floating entertainment ferry for all types of special occasions. JAX River Cruises is a full-service river cruise and party boat resource, offering services for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and corporate events.