Most newcomers in Jacksonville have heard a number of assorted facts and figures about the city even before setting foot in town. For example, most people know that Jacksonville is, geographically, a huge and sprawling area.
Most probably also know that, as a north-eastern city, we're in a sub-tropical area that still gets mild seasons, but never really gets cold enough for snow or harsh winters. It's general knowledge that Jacksonville deals with hurricane season, although we rarely get hit bad. Plus, you don't need to be a local to know that the Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the, if not the biggest athletic franchise in town.
These, however, are some facts that many newcomers have to figure out on their own...
- There will be lizards. There will be lizards in your yard, lizards on your car, and probably lizards in your house. The little reptiles we have around here are generally harmless, though, and they eat bugs. Try wearing one as an earring!
- You'll need to pick a college football loyalty: University of Florida, Florida State University, or University of Georgia. And no, it doesn't matter if you ever actually attended any of them.
- It may not snow here, but it when it does get cold, it's a very damp chill that can get right down into your bones.
- Many locals insist on wearing shorts and sandals all year round - not because it never actually gets chilly, but because "This is Florida, darn it!" and it's a matter of principle.
- It's not always easy to find a place to order food after 10pm. If you're going out, you might want to eat dinner before, not after.
- In the summer, lots of businesses overcompensate for the humidity and heat by cranking their air conditioning down to arctic temperatures. You may want to keep a light jacket and hoodie in your car for those occasions.
- If someone tells you to go somewhere on University Boulevard, ask for more information. There's a North University, a South University, a West University... there's a lot going on there, you know?
- We have fireworks for... basically every occasion.
- If you're into country music, you won't ever be at a loss for concerts to attend.
- We have a Skyway downtown, but it pretty much doesn't go anywhere and no one really uses it. They'll probably do something new and useful with it some day...