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How to Explore Jacksonville, N.C., on a Budget

Sep, 09 || 1 Comment | Tags: , , ,
Evation Travel Blog World travel blog family holiday vacation website - How to Explore Jacksonville

Whether you’re visiting family at Camp Lejeune or just wanting to discover an outdoorsy spot near the North Carolina coast, you’ll find that Jacksonville has no shortage of things to do and see. How can you enjoy this growing town on a budget? From taking advantage of free outdoor and military activities to booking affordable Jacksonville hotels like the Baymont Inn at, the following tips and tricks will help you save money on your visit.

Cheap Hotels in Jacksonville

Since Jacksonville is a mid-sized town with fewer tourists than larger cities like Asheville, it’s easy to find good deals on Jacksonville hotels. In fact, you rarely will have to ever pay over $100 per night. Budget-friendly options include the Days Inn near downtown, Ramada Jacksonville, and Sunset Inn, all of which sometimes offer rooms as cheap as under $60 per night. Last-minute hotel rooms are often easy to find, but know that during times with large military events, rooms may get booked up further in advance than usual.(Image by Homewood Suites Jacksonville South)

Evation Travel Blog World travel blog family holiday vacation website - Hotels in Jacksonville how to Explore Jacksonville

Free Beach Excursion

You don’t have to spend much money at all when traveling to Jacksonville because the city offers a host of free activities for those seeking a little adventure. Jacksonville isn’t directly on the coast, but if you hop in the car, you’ll be frolicking on the white sandy beaches at Topsail Island in just 30 minutes. You can enjoy free public beaches with free parking, and you can go fishing if you’d like to catch your dinner. Plus, there are three quaint island towns to explore.

Budget-Friendly Outdoor Adventures

For only a few bucks, take the Bear Island Ferry Service over to Hammocks Beach State Park, which is less than 18 miles from Jacksonville. Enjoy fishing year-round, hunting for unique shells, and viewing protected wildlife. You might even get lucky and see endangered sea turtles laying eggs on the beach.

With over 17 parks throughout the city, Jacksonville is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Three of these parks are downtown along the New River. There are also over 17 miles of greenways and trails in Jacksonville that are perfect for jogging, walking, and biking. You can also visit Jacksonville’s Commons Complex, which features a challenge bike trail, skate park, tennis courts, indoor basketball courts, and more.

A Rich Military History 

Jacksonville is a military hub, so whether you’re a history buff or just want to pay respect to our armed forces, you can visit several powerful military memorials. The Lejeune Memorial Gardens contain three important tributes to the troops. There’s also the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that honors those who fought in the Vietnam war. Another site worth visiting is the Beirut Memorial, which features the names of 273 service members who lost their lives in Beirut in the 1980s. The Lejeune Memorial Gardens also feature a 9/11 memorial with an actual beam from the Twin Towers.(Image by Jacksonville NC)

Evation Travel Blog World travel blog family holiday vacation website - Lejeune Memorial Gardens how to Explore Jacksonville

Yet another free military attraction to visit is the Freedom Fountain. This large fountain near downtown honors those who serve the country in Onslow County.

There are many interesting yet inexpensive things to check out in Jacksonville. Let us know some of your favorite places to see in the comments!

Author Bio:

Emily Starbuck Crone is Hipmunk writer and avid globetrotter based in San Antonio, Texas. Emily has traveled to 15 countries and over 20 U.S. states so far, with hopes of exploring many more in her lifetime. Learn more about her at


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Feature Image via Flickr by Craig ONeal

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