San Marco/St. Nicholas
Look no further for historic charm than San Marco. Plopped right outside of the Downtown district and rolling along the St. Johns River, you can have both worlds at your fingertips. Living here, you will get the overflow of the downtown hustle and bustle, relaxing parks, boutique restaurants and shopping right near your doorstop. Theatre Jacksonville, the oldest community theatre in the country dating back to 1938, is also located within the square. This is the only place in town where you can enjoy dinner and drinks while watching a show.
San Marco may be a small residential area but it packs a powerful punch in the realm of art, culture and fine food. Here, you will find professional bike enthusiasts, people strolling while shopping, dog walkers and gardeners. The entire area is centered around the fountain of lions that reflect the neighborhood’s association with the Venice, Italy business district. The beauty of the St. Johns River envelopes the area and often times onlookers will see dolphins frolicking about. Picturesque scenery of San Marco, canopying trees sets the backdrop of the eclectic houses…many of which are hundred years old. Properties managed in San Marco come in a mix of choices. San Marco offers a combination of housing choices ranging from small bungalows to quadraplexes, garage apartments, new condos and estate homes. When residing in San Marco, you will be near to some iconic destinations such as The Metro Diner (which has been featured on the hit show “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives” for fabulous blueberry pancakes!), Hendricks Elementary School, Epping Forest Yacht Club, The Museum of Science of History (commonly known as MOSH and inclusive of a planetarium, a science show and live animals), The ChartHouse (for fine dining along the St. Johns River), Matthews (a AAA 4 diamond award winning upscale restaurant with Italian Influence), Maple Street Biscuit Company (you know it…for the best southern biscuits and gravy!) and much much more!
The San Marco Preservation Society was formed in 1975 as a non-profit corporation to protect the integrity of San Marco’s residential neighborhood and to enhance the revitalization of the business district. The society’s active members have succeeded in keeping the old-world charm and character of San Marco intact. This, along with San Marco’s scenic layout, lack of commercial intrusion and proximity to downtown continue to make San Marco one of Jacksonville’s most popular neighborhoods. Center Stage is the San Marco shopping district. It is an artsy entertainment district just south of downtown and is the mecca of San Marco entertainment. It is centered around the Three Lions Statue and is banked by restaurants, a movie theatre, a San Marco performance theatre and lots of shopping. It provides the backdrop to annual celebrations such as Christmas in San Marco as well as the San Marco arts festival. It is now become one of Metropolitan Jacksonville’s trendiest shopping and dining destinations.
St. Nicholas is a small neighborhood on the south side of the St. Johns River, just east of San Marco. Like San Marco it was inhabited long before the area now comprising Downtown Jacksonville. After the Civil War this area was the site of vacation and retirement homes for several wealthy Jacksonville residents. Some of their former homes remain in the area.
Today St. Nicholas is a chiefly residential neighborhood with some commercial zoning along Beach and Atlantic Boulevards. It is a lovely are predominately full of single-family residences and with a splash of privately owned apartments close to I-95, I-10 and downtown.