Jacksonville’s Best Museums and Festivals

Discover what you can expect when visiting Jacksonville’s most popular museums, art galleries, and music festivals! A concertgoer makes a heart shape with their hands at an outdoor music festival during the day.

Those new to Jax or just visiting may be surprised that the Gateway to Florida is known for its thriving artistic scene. Music, art, and history pervade Jacksonville’s unique culture, forging a beachside oasis for connoisseurs of creativity and community. Whether you’re up for a solo adventure or are hoping to make memories with the whole family, here are our local tips for can’t-miss museums and festivals you should plan to visit in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Music Festivals

Thanks to stunning year-round weather, festival culture thrives in Jacksonville throughout the year. From massive celebrations to family-friendly concerts, here are just a few of River City’s most iconic music festivals, which are essential for tourists and locals alike.

Three friends holding red solo cups in front of a stage at an outdoor music festival.

Jacksonville Taco & Tequila Festival

When kids head back to school in September, the margaritas come out to play. Downtown Jacksonville’s annual Taco & Tequila Festival is a celebration of Mexican culture and cuisine that invites highly recognized musicians to perform in Metropolitan Park, with 2023’s headliners including rapper Lupe Fiasco, OutKast frontman Big Boi, and the alt-reggae group Iration. The festival is a massive fundraiser for various local non-profit organizations, so you can sip your tequila while benefiting the community.

Pro Tip: In 2023, the festival introduced a shaded and tented stage to highlight cultural music and immersive performances, so take a break from the sun to enjoy a cooking class or dance lesson!

Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Spend Memorial Day weekend at one of the largest free jazz festivals in the country. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival celebrates all things jazz, including music, art, food, and fun. Past legends who graced this iconic stage by the St. Johns River include Miles Davis, Harry Connick Jr., Mavis Staples, and more. The four-day party includes a Jazz Marketplace for artists and makers to showcase their creations, and the annual Piano Competition has become an essential part of the festival for emerging and seasoned musicians to show off!

Pro Tip: Every year, the festival commissions an artist to design a one-of-a-kind commemorative poster for the event, so be sure to collect yours!

Florida Fin Fest

Heading out to the beach, Florida Fin Fest is a beachside music festival centered around ocean conservation. Round up the whole family for hands-on learning courtesy of Natural Life, which features touch tanks, talks from expert scientists, and environmentally friendly vendors—all while enjoying live music from various renowned artists.

Pro Tip: In keeping with the event’s core message, all beverages are served in 100% recyclable aluminum cans. Grab a snack and drink from a bar or food truck!

A man with a beard receiving hot dogs from a friendly employee at a food truck.


Not all of Jacksonville’s festivals are held on massive stages. Every November, Historic Springfield becomes an iconic, family-friendly music festival featuring dozens of bands playing live on porches throughout the neighborhood! PorchFest is a free event and proceeds from merchandise support the arts in urban Jacksonville. Enjoy craft beer and food trucks while enjoying the sounds of the city.

Pro Tip: Bring your dog on a leash to enjoy the fun!

Springing the Blues Festival

Are you a big fan of the blues? The Springing The Blues Festival brings together local and international blues musicians every April to share their art at Jacksonville’s Beaches’ Seawalk. The 2023 lineup included Albert Cummings, Bywater Call, Eddie 9V, and more legends, so don’t miss the Southeast’s premier blues event.

Pro Tip: Besides the music, you can partake in a blues dance workshop, explore the artisan marketplace, and let your kids enjoy the designated kid-friendly area.

Jacksonville Museums

Are you looking for a more relaxed way to engage with Jacksonville culture? Visit a Jacksonville art or science museum for an enriching educational experience the whole family can enjoy. See below for our recommendations.

Five empty, gold picture frames hanging on the gray wall of an art museum.

The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens

Established in 1958 by art and garden enthusiast Ninah Cummer, the Cummer Museum boasts permanent and traveling exhibitions, with the campus centering around the beautiful Cummer Gardens for lovers of nature and sculptures. With a core goal of making art accessible to all, the Cummer Museum is a must-see Jacksonville attraction.

Pro Tip: The museum offers summer camps for kids of all ages to express creativity!

Museum of Science and History

Lovingly nicknamed MOSH, Jacksonville’s Museum of Science and History offers opportunities for people of all ages to engage with the art of science and the natural world. Check out core exhibits that explore 12,000 years of Florida history, oceanic wildlife, movement science, energy sources, and more, in addition to incredible traveling exhibits. Thanks to MOSH’s Arts Infusion program, you can also support local and up-and-coming artists.

Pro Tip: For an immersive interstellar experience, stop by the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium, which is one of the country’s largest single-lens planetariums!

Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville

As northeast Florida’s only museum dedicated to contemporary art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA) calls attention to the art created here and now, emphasizing works from the 1960s to the present day. MOCA is a cultural institute of the University of North Florida that highlights student artists and professionals alike, so stop by to appreciate the museum’s storied past while celebrating its present and future.

Pro Tip: If you’d like to enjoy a refreshment during your visit, stop by the MOCA Bar, Setlan Coffee Co., or SoulFULL Eats to eat and drink locally.

The Art Center Cooperative

For art fanatics looking to explore off-the-beaten-path, the Art Center Cooperative, Inc. offers rotating exhibitions from a diverse collective of artists. From photography to sculptures, TAC always has something new to experience. A range of original art is available for purchase, so you can bring local Jacksonville art into your home!

Pro Tip: Are you an artist looking for space to create in Jacksonville? TAC has studio space available for rent at Jax Art Studios!

Dames Point Bridge gives a scenic silhouette in Jacksonville, FL, at sunrise.

Make Room for More Art and Music With Atlantic Self Storage

If you’re drawn to Jacksonville’s music and artistic culture, chances are you own vintage records and art pieces as cultural memorabilia. Art and music enthusiasts need somewhere to put their invaluable vinyl records, posters, and paintings so they can be preserved and cherished for years. 

That’s where Atlantic Self Storage comes in. Our industry-grade climate-controlled storage units in Jacksonville are the perfect place to keep your prized possessions. These units are ideal for temperature-sensitive items prone to warping, tearing, curling, and melting if not kept at a consistent temperature. Climate-controlled storage stays cool on the hottest days and warm through the chilliest winters, helping curb the adverse effects of the elements.
You can find us at a Jacksonville storage facility near you, and feel free to contact us to learn more about how we can support your passion!

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