Jacksonville Florida has a history steeped in a multi-cultural heritage of Native American, French, Spanish and British influences. Inhabited by Native American tribes for thousands of years, this city is the largest land mass area in the State of Florida. Home to the annual College Football rivalry game between the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs, Jacksonville has evolved into a city with incredibly diverse offerings of old world and high tech. The football scoreboards at the Gator Bowl display just the first level of fan devotion. The area has also been dubbed as the biggest outdoor cocktail party and is something to behold.
The city of Jacksonville is one of the port cities in Florida that offered unique opportunities for a growing population. Named after President Andrew Jackson, it has suffered through everything from European takeovers to a massive fire that almost devastated the city. It was the major seaport in the Revolutionary War and during the Civil War it was the port that shipped cattle and hogs. There weren’t any actual battles fought in Jacksonville, but it was the center of possession controversy between the Confederate and Union military forces. In the early 1900’s it became known as the Winter Filming Capitol, as the blossoming movie industry sought out good climate locations with low overhead. This led to the building of over thirty movie studios in the early 1900’s and brought a stream of money and investment into the area.
The addition of Florida State University at Jacksonville added the touch of an educational level as well as enhanced college sports. Museums, art galleries and ocean front attractions enticed a higher income population bracket, while the sports added their football team of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sports is a major interest in the area and soon a multitude of minor league baseball teams appeared. The glorious weather created the ability to offer golf tournaments; and Jacksonville began to grow into a sports center of the state.
In the late 1990’s, Jacksonville began to attract technology companies. When many of the cities in the state were reverting to their focus on the retirement communities, Jacksonville offered tech companies a safer haven to grow their companies, drawing in the higher tech staff from around the country. In a ten year span, Jacksonville quietly began to be recognized as a Silicon Valley of the East Coast. The city invested in better quality transportation, schools and community offerings and this led to a higher real estate boom. The concept of supply and demand integrated better infrastructure to support the needs of the growing population.
One of the main attractions of Jacksonville is the topography that seems to give the locale the ability to remain out of the paths of hurricanes. In a state that is often devastated by these natural disasters, Jacksonville has appealed to many residents and businesses for settlement and relocation.
Sports enthusiasts view Jacksonville as a focal point for the variety of sports teams and games. But it is football that continues to reign supreme. The Gator Bowl has been held in Jacksonville since 1946 and there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. The football scoreboards compliment the outdoor activities that bring local residents and alumni back to attend the game. The many parks, stadiums and recreation areas that have sprung up around the city offers the sports fan a location to prove their loyalty to their teams. Many of the students that attended the University find themselves returning as residents due to the appealing weather, culture and as sports fans.