Next week the PGA TOUR heads to my neck-of-the-woods for the PLAYERS Championship. For those of you making your way to Jacksonville, here are some of my favorite spots around my home-course.
If you’re traveling to Jacksonville, I hope the weather stays like it’s been for the past few weeks. BEAUTIFUL! (With just a tiny bit of rain.) This is the first time the best field in golf will battle TPC Sawgrass in the month of March since 2006. Everyone has been wondering what the weather will be like. I hope it stays like this!
Jacksonville is my second home, moving here for the PGA TOUR in 2016. As a matter of fact, the PLAYERS Championship was my first week on the job! Talk about throwing me into the fire! It was a blast!
Much like my hometown of St. Louis, Jacksonville is pretty spread out and broken up into unique neighborhoods, each with their own flavor. So here’s a breakdown of my favorite spots in each community.
Atlantic Beach (Neptune Beach)
- Lemon Bar — laid-back beach bar, where you can drink with the locals.
- Hawker’s — Asian street food and small plates. We love sharing and sampling when we come here.
- Flying Iguana — their mango margaritas and freshly made guac, table-side, are to-die-for!
Golf: Atlantic Beach Country Club — home of the Web.com TOUR Championship for the past three years. If you can get a member-guest, I highly recommend taking them up on the offer.
- The Pier Cantina — their ceviche shrimp taco is my favorite
- Hoptinger Bier Garden — continue your trek of the “beach bars” and head down to Hoptinger’s after the Pier to grab a pint. (Their Riverside location, in downtown Jacksonville, has a cool rooftop bar.)
- Salt Life — fun atmosphere and a beachy vibe both inside and on their menu. (Haha! I’m not sure if that makes sense, but you’ll see what I mean if you go. Their St. Augustine Beach location is even cooler!)
Honorable mentions: TacoLu (pro tip: get their “Tacos on 12” at the tournament to beat the tournament-week crowds), Safe Harbor — don’t let the big line fool you, it moves fast. More hush puppies and a bigger fried fish sandwich than any one person can eat, but it’s good!
Golf: Jax Beach Golf Club — a newly renovated muni. This is a little gem among all the iconic courses in the area.
Ponte Vedra Beach
- Nona Blue Tavern — golfer Graeme McDowell’s up-scale sports bar, with excellent food and the best dirty martinis I’ve had in Jax.
- Barbara Jean’s on the Water — best brunch with a view of the intercoastal. Get the coconut shrimp!
- 3 Palms Grille — if you want some golf course views, check out the Oak Bridge Golf Course restaurant down the road from TPC Sawgrass — you won’t be disappointed.
Golf: Ponte Vedra Beach Inn & Club — with TPC Sawgrass closed to play for the tournament, this resort course is a good challenge too. But you must stay on the resort or get a member-guest invite to play.
St. Augustine Beach
- Cap’s on the Water — best dinner with a view on the First Coast!
- Harry’s Seafood — you must sit outside in the courtyard
- Tini Martini — super cute martini bar. Go for post-dinner drinks and get their salted-caramel martini!
- Treylor Park — cute name and even cuter atmosphere (and great food).
- M Shack — my favorite burger joint in the area!
- Coastal Wine Market — you know how much I love my wine!
Golf: St. John’s Golf & Country Club — just outside Nocatee, this one is worth the short drive and has hosted Web.com TOUR Qualifying School numerous times.
- Coopers Hawk — my favorite wine bar in the area with phenomenal food.
- True Food Kitchen — delicious, healthy lunch spot. MUST get the roasted cauliflower
- Cantina Laredo — authentic Mexican food with an upscale twist. Get the assorted cheese dips!
Golf: Topgolf — Jacksonville’s new location is a great place to get some swings in before you head to the tournament if you want to beat the crowds, or party the night away with their fun atmosphere.
Other areas to checkout:
- San Marco
There are so many great places to check out while you are here, I couldn’t come close to naming them all. Comment below on your favorite spots around the PLAYERS Championship or reach out to me on Instagram!