The following segment aired on The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television. Joining the show was Lyndsay Rossman from Visit Jacksonville to discuss the historical city and the list of unending treats that await families who visit.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television Host Beth Troutman: We like to take The Balancing Act viewers to some lesser-known places to showcase those undiscovered destination gems worth visiting. As part of the My Weekend Series on The Balancing Act, we are all about helping plan your weekend. This latest destination boasts some very interesting facts. It was the home for over 30 movie companies in 1916, with stars like Oliver Hardy and Fatty Arbuckle making movies there. It is also known as “The River City by the Sea” and was the first Florida tourist destination. It’s also home to the country’s largest urban-park system, with almost 112,000 acres of parks. We’re talking about Jacksonville, Florida.
LYNDSAY: Jacksonville is a very unique destination. It is a city that is 840 square miles, making it the largest city in the Continental United States, land wise. So there are many opportunities for a diversity of attractions. Jacksonville has great beaches, with over 20 miles of beaches, as well as an urban core in downtown with lots of great performing arts, museums, wonderful dining and nightlight throughout the area, spas, shopping, you name it.
The Balancing Act Lifetime Television: What about things like the festivals that people love to go to when they’re thinking about a vacation? Does Jacksonville have a lot of festivals to offer?
LYNDSAY: Jacksonville does have a lot of festivals throughout the year. Many are low-cost or even free. Jacksonville has wonderful music festivals like the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, which takes place downtown, as well as Springing The Blues which is a three-day blue festival at the beach, alongside the ocean and both are free events.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: I am ready to plan my trip now. Free is for me! What kind of food can The Balancing Act viewers expect when dining in Jacksonville?
LYNDSAY: We are in Florida along the ocean, so seafood is definitely on the menu in Jacksonville. The two festivals to take advantage of that are The Great Atlantic Seafood Festival and The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival that takes place in the spring. I am sure The Balancing Act viewers will not be disappointed.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: Earlier I mentioned that Jacksonville used to be home to more than 30 movie companies. Can you tell The Balancing Act viewers a little more about the history of film in Jacksonville?
LYNDSAY: Jacksonville does have a rich film history. The city pays homage to that every year with the Jacksonville Film Festival that takes place in October.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: It sounds like we’re going to be able to find a festival no matter what weekend we choose to visit Jacksonville. How about family-friendly destinations?
LYNDSAY: Jacksonville is definitely a destination that families enjoy. There are a lot of opportunities to take advantage of there. The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a wonderful property along Trout River. They have a wonderful amount of animals that were born there this year, including a jaguar, a giraffe, three stingrays which were born this year and are part of the interactive stingray bay where you can pet them, and new this year, sharks! Also, Adventure Landing is a wonderful water park that we have and Kids Kampus is a downtown park that is also educational and showcases Jacksonville’s history.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: We mentioned earlier that there are 112,000 acres of parks in Jacksonville. I would imagine that Jacksonville is pretty friendly for the eco-tourists who want to come and have a green vacation?
LYNDSAY: Eco-tourism is big in Jacksonville as the city has a wonderful array of national, state and city parks. These are perfect spots for kayaking and hiking. You can even go camping along the ocean. Jacksonville also has a unique attraction where you can actually segway in the national park and see the flora, fauna and history right there in the park. There are also a lot of great farmers markets where you can buy local produce and local artwork.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: Seems like a perfect vacation destination for families, couples and individuals looking to get out and have some fun. We at The Balancing Act thank you for the great destination idea!
The Balancing Act Lifetime Television is the only morning show in America produced by women specifically for women. Every morning, The Balancing Act on Lifetime hosts Danielle Knox and Kristy Villa tackle the issues that face today’s woman. Popular show segments include live weather updates with Mark Mancuso, surprise celebrity visitors, and news about the latest trends affecting your life, home, career and family. The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television airs daily on Lifetime at 7 a.m. ET/PT. For more information, visit The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television’s website at www.thebalancingact.com.