WJCT's "Hidden Gems" is a web-only series checking out some of the great places in Jacksonville you may not know exist. This week, it's a place we all know but may not always fully appreciate.
It’s located where the water meets the land. It’s the ultimate statement from Mother Nature, ever changing, ever inspiring, and always beautiful. Some people in Jacksonville have not visited this place in years. In the morning you can feel all alone, just you and a beautiful sunrise, or at night just you and a Harvest Moon rise. On the weekends it can be teeming with people, little ones and big ones and all the sizes in between. You’ll find people riding their bikes, running, walking, studying, sleeping or just keeping an eye peeled for a shark’s tooth. Children spend hours working on sand castles, while their parents work on their tans.
My hidden gem is the Atlantic Ocean, a wonder that many take for granted or seem to forget lies just below a buttermilk sky on the far eastside of Jacksonville.
I encourage everyone to go to the beach. It is our most accessible natural wonder. You can access the ocean from Hanna Park to Ponte Vedra. It’s always open and there is never a cover charge. Bring your bike, your kayak, a blanket or your best friend and don’t forget to bring your sunscreen. A day at the beach will quickly make you forget a week at work.
Come on in, the water’s fine. When it’s time to return home, don’t leave anything behind but your foot prints.