Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville (The River City, “Where Florida Begins”) is the largest city in Florida by population (1.3 million) and the largest city in the U.S. by area. Some of the oldest Native American pottery remains in the U.S. were found near Jacksonville, and the area has been inhabited by humans since at least 2500 B.C. Fort Caroline (French, 1564) was one of the earliest European settlements in the continental US. Today, Jacksonville is a thriving city with a diversified economy with major contributions from the military (third largest presence in the U.S.), ports (second-largest port on the Atlantic coast), banking, health care, and tourism. Jacksonville is famous for seafood (think Mayport shrimp, steamed blue crabs, stuffed flounder), jazz (second largest annual festival in the U.S.), golf (70 courses), miles of uncrowded white-sand beaches, and a beautiful city skyline at night.

Florida in the Summer!!

The uninitiated think of Florida in the summer as a hot, humid, bug infested hurricane attractor. In actuality, its often reliably cooler than the rest of the south and midwest, and many Floridians think that summer is the best season, with hot, clear mornings, daily sea-breezes, regular majestic and cooling thunderstorms, and relaxed, uncrowded restaurants, beaches, and venues. We suggest thinking like a local – do your outdoor activities in the early morning and late afternoon after thunderstorms, and enjoy the air conditioning when it gets hot. Come prepared with sunscreen, a good sun hat, a water bottle, and light, easily dried clothing. Take advantage of local field trips and events, and get out and experience some of the richest, most diverse and unique coastal and wetland habitat in the U.S.

Climate and Dress

The summer in Jacksonville is very warm and humid. In July over the last ten years the mean daily high was about 89° F (32° C) and the mean low about 75° F (24° C); the highest temperature was 100° F (38° C) and the lowest 68° F (20° C). Each July has had at least one day of 95° F (35° C) or higher. The region receives an average of about 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) of rain for the month. As a counterbalance to the heat, Jacksonville gets very regular afternoon thunderstorms in the summer, and a regular sea breeze in the afternoon.

The meeting venue, socials, and all recommended eating locations are air conditioned, and attendees may wish to bring a sweater or light jacket for the colder locations. There is no dress code for AOU meetings, though we recommend light clothing and open shoes generally for comfort. For the Banquet, casual business dress is adopted by many, though there is no dress code. For outdoor activities and tours, plan to get damp because of the steamy climate and frequent afternoon showers – lightweight synthetics will do much better than cotton in this situation because it dries faster and sticks less to your body. As you move from humid outdoors to air conditioning, you will also find synthetics get rid of the condensation more rapidly.

The sun is intense for much of the day. You will be much more comfortable with a full brim hat than a bill cap outdoors, and we recommend sunscreen and lightweight long pants and shirt to keep sun exposure to a minimum. Sun protection is especially important for children. The hotel has a pool, gym, and whirlpool on premises; bring sports clothing accordingly.