JaxBest winners: The spots that make Jacksonville shine

By Nick Jones - Digital producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Showcasing the best that Jacksonville has to offer, JaxBest is a voter-centric guide to all of the local things that make our city unique.

Throughout the year, you've been voting for the spots that make Jacksonville shine! Here's a look at the winners so far.


Round 1 winners

Best animal attraction: Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary

Looking to get up close and personal with animals, specifically some big cats? The first stop on your list should be the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, the 2019 JaxBest pick for best animal attraction.

Runners up:

2. Celestial Farms
3. Diamond D Ranch Inc.


Best brewery: SJ Brewing Company

It's the first brewery in Yulee, and SJ Brewing Company is also the one spot taking the 2019 JaxBest award for best brewery.

Runners up:

2.Tabula Rasa Brewing
3. Wicked Barley Brewing Company


Best coffee shop: That Coffee Chic

Finding a really unique cup of coffee can be difficult for a true connoisseur. That Coffee Chic does just that, from a really unique venue -- a camper!

Runners up:

2. Brass Tacks Coffee
3. Twisted Compass Brewing Co.


Best dog park: Julington Creek Animal Walk

The dog park gives your four-legged friend an entire 9 acres to stretch his or her paws, all without a leash. There are also pools, nature trails and a splash pad!

Runners up:

2. BrewHound Dog Park + Bar
3. Ed Austin Regional Dog Park


Best fishing charter: Team Buck Rogers

If your summer adventures are taking you offshore for a deep sea fishing trip, you'll want to call Capt. Chad with Team Buck Rogers, the 2019 JaxBest pick for best fishing charter.

Runners up:

2. Majesty Deep Sea Fishing
3. Southern March Fly Fishing Charters


Best golf course: Jacksonville Golf and Country Club

The fairways at Jacksonville Golf and Country Club are pristine and the course is immaculately maintained making it a perfect fit for golfers of all skill levels.

Runners up:

2. Long Point at The Amelia Island Club
3. Eagle Harbor Golf Club


Best public art: Guido van Helten's "Unity"

Chances are you've seen it while you're riding over the Hart Bridge into Downtown Jacksonville -- Guido van Helten's "Unity" -- the 2019 JaxBest choice for best public art.

Runners up:

2. Case Maclaim: "The Function of Education"
3. Okuda: "The Dance of the Seven Sins Muses"


Best surf spot: Jacksonville Beach Pier

When it comes to the best spot to soak up some sun and catch some waves, the Jacksonville Beach Pier took top honors, receiving the 2019 JaxBest award for best surf spot.

Runners up:

2. Vilano Beach
3. Big Talbot Island State Park


Best local trail: Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens

The Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens is a 120-acre urban woodland, and it's the 2019 JaxBest choice for best local trail.

Runners up:

2. Amelia Island State Park
3. Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve


Best water sports rentals: Riptide Beach Services and Tours

If you're looking for a day of fun on the water, Riptide Beach Servies and Tours has you covered with two locations in Fernandina Beach. Its local guides are experienced naturists and experts in water sports.

Runners up:

2. Kayak Amelia
3. Amelia Island Paddle Surg Company


Round 2 winners

Best family-friendly park: Alpine Groves Park

Looking for a place to enjoy a day outdoors with the family? Look no further than Alpine Groves Park, the 2019 JaxBest winner for best family-friendly park.

Runners up:

2. Kathryn Abbey Hannah Park
3. Ed Austin Regional Park


Best live music: Daily's Place

It first opened its doors in May 2017, and in just two years, Daily's Place has quickly become a popular venue to see a concert. It's also the 2019 JaxBest choice for best live music.

Runners up:

2. Cheers Park Avenue
3. Florida Theatre


Best place to dock and dine: Palms Fish Camp

If you're taking your boat out for a day on the water and looking for a bite to eat, you'll want to drop anchor at Palms Fish Camp Restaurant, the 2019 JaxBest pick for best place to dock and dine.

Runners up:

2. River City Brewing Company
3. Safe Harbor Seafood


Best sports bar to watch Jaguars play: The Brix Taphouse

Planning on getting together with some friends on a Sunday to watch the Jaguars? Instead of staying at the house, why not get together at The Brix Taphouse, the 2019 JaxBest top pick for sports bar to watch the Jags.

Runners up:

2. Big Dawgs Sports Restaurant
3. Harps American Pub & Grill


Best sunset views: Palms Fish Camp

Yes, you named it twice! For the best view of a sunset in the Jacksonville, set your compass westwardly and head for Palms Fish Camp Restaurant, the 2019 JaxBest winner for best sunset views.

Runners up:

2. River City Brewing Company
3. Black Sheep


Best tacos: El Agave Azul

Really good tacos put a smile on everyone's face, and if you've got a hankering for some traditional street tacos, you'll want to head to El Agave Azul, the 2019 JaxBest choice for best tacos.

Runners up:

2. TacoLu
3. El Taco Naco


Round 3 winners

Best local vegan restaurant: Murray Hillbilly

Runners up:

2. Southern Roots Filling Station
3. House of Leaf & Bean


Best local sandbar: Huguenot Memorial Park Sandbar

Runners up:

2. Guana River Sandbar
3. Katherine Abbey Hanna Park Sandbar


Best local kayak and paddleboard launch site: Little Talbot Island State Park

Runners up:

2. Blue Cypress Park
3. Fort George Island Cultural State Park


Best local restaurant for Mayport shrimp: Singleton's Seafood Shack

Runners up:

2. Safe Harbor Seafood Market & Restaurant
3. Palms Fish Camp Restaurant


Best local farmers market: Jacksonville Farmers Market

Runners up:

2. Riverside Arts Market
3. Fernandina Beach Market Place


Best local historic neighborhood: Historic Springfield

Runners up:

2. Riverside/Avondale
3. San Marco Historic District


Round 4 winners 

Best local Oktoberfest: Beaches Oktoberfest

Runners up:

2. German Schnitzel Haus
3. Wicked Barley Oktoberfest

Best local bait shop: On the Line Bait and Tackle Shop at Amelia

Runners up:

2. B&M Bait and Tackle
3. Rick's Bait & Tackle

Best local sweet shop: Southern Dessert Plate

Runners up:

2. Cinotti's Bakery-Sandwich Shop​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
3. Sweet Pete's Candy

Best local history museum: Mandarin Museum and Historical Society

Runners up:

2. Kingsley Plantation​​​​​​​
3. Clay County Historical Museum

Best local haunted house: 13th Floor Haunted House

Runners up:

2. Haunt Nights at Adventure Landing
3. Amelia Island Museum Ghost Tours

Best local boutique: Jaffi's

Runners up:

2. Red Daisy
​​​​​​​3. Sunrise Surf Shop

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