Jacksonville's diverse geography and interaction with the St. John's River can cause for some confusion to 1st time visitors. One area that can cause some consternation is a moderately affluent area called, simply, Southside. In Jacksonville terminology, that can be translated to "on the south side of the St. John's River", but due to the river meandering southwest from Mayport to almost directly east and west through the Downtown area, to its southerly turn around the San Marco neighborhood, south can definitely be north, directionally speaking. Indeed, the Southside area includes areas adjacent to Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Neptune Beach, which when viewed on a map, can appear to be almost in a northern area relative to Downtown. The University of North Florida lies directly in the heart of Southside, and the north side of the Southside region intersects with Arlington. The South campus of the Florida State College at Jacksonville lies in the northern area of Southside. The area was originally called South Jacksonville, but has been just called Southside since the consolidation of Jacksonville in 1968.
Mirroring the growth of UNF, the Southside region has been an up and coming area since the 1990's. While there is still some older construction in the area, the bulk of the homes are newer, and more contemporary in styling. Indeed, many of the newer roads built in recent years have made the Southside a much easier commute to both the Northside of Jacksonville, and the northern reaches of central St. John's County. The St. John's Town Center Mall area is exploding with growth, including many upscale shops and restaurant chains, including some of the best restaurants in the city. Median incomes in the area tend to be higher than Jacksonville as a whole, and the population also tends to be a little younger than the Jax median age. It is a popular area with younger families, and offers easy access to the Beaches as well as many shops and stores. The Avenues Mall lies at the southwest corner of the Southside region, offering another upscale shopping alternative. There are some condominium options available in Southside, but a majority of the homes are single family residences.
Bounded on the North by the St Johns River at the Hart Bridge/Atlantic Blvd, on the East by the Intracoastal waterway, on the South by Duval/St Johns County Line, and on the West by Philips HWY/US1.
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