It's a new year and Florida's northernmost big city has some new centers for fun to attract visitors. Less than five hours from Atlanta, Jacksonville is known for beaches and Jacksonville Landing , among other things. But a goodly number of new drinking establishments have arisen in the past few months and more are scheduled to open soon, as well as a fun first-rate golfing establishment. Here are some of the most appealing new enticements in Jax.
Jax's first full-scale distillery opened its doors downtown last autumn, not far from the St. John's River. Locally owned and operated, Manifest Distillery distills a non-GMO Potato Vodka, an organic Gin and an organic Rye Whiskey. The vodka and gin products are available and the rye whiskey is aging nicely, thank you very much! Meanwhile, whiskey lovers should check into the operation's Manifest Whiskey Project. Manifest Distillery offers 30-minute guided tours every Friday and Saturday, a more in-depth distiller's tour once a week by appointment, and private guided tastings are available for groups of 10 or more.
Manifest Distillery, 960 E. Forsyth St., Jacksonville, 904-619-1479, www.manifestdistilling.com
The Jax Ale Trail now has nine craft breweries on tap, three downtown, two of them new, three at the beach and two out in the burbs, with two others – a second downtown Bold City Brewery location and a first Hyperion Brewing Company facility – on the way later this year. The new entries are Intuition Ale Works Downtown, which opened a downtown facility with a tap room and rooftop bar in the heart of the Sports Complex, and the second Engine 15 facility, Engine 15 Downtown Brewery & Biergarten. The new Ale Works Downtown is also home to another location of the city's popular Black Sheep Restaurant. Engine 15 has food trucks standing by to serve its patrons.
Jax Ale Trail, 800-733-2668, www.visitjacksonville.com/jax-ale-trail
Coming just anytime now at Jacksonville Beach, the first location in the U.S. mainland for the popular bar associated with SURFER Magazine, Surfer The Bar, is getting close to opening. Food, drinks and great ocean views will be here soon!
Surfer the Bar, 200 First St. North, Jacksonville Beach, 904-372-9756, surferthebar.com/locations/jax-bch-florida
The newest addition to Jacksonville's already exemplary golf scene is Topgolf in the city's Southside neighborhood. Opened late-October last year, the new facility features more than 100 climate-controlled driving range bays, a full service restaurant, bars, and a rooftop terrace.
10531 Brightman Blvd., Jacksonville, 904-328-2002, topgolf.com/us/jacksonville
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