1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Going To Jacksonville for Gator Bowl ...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by icoverbucks, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. icoverbucks

    icoverbucks Member

    ... heard the Super Bowl there was a bust because there was nothing to do. I know this will be about 1/100th of that excitement.

    Just curious if there is anything I should know about the area or any places to check out (sites, restaurants, bars, nightlife, etc.).

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

    Merry Christmas, BYH!
  3. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Perhaps we can find a way to get into the holiday spirit and leave the snark off a thread and actually help someone who has asked for it instead of flexing our humor muscles.

    I've covered three Gator Bowls and been to Jax several other times for various reasons. Is it NY, LA or Boston? Nope. Is it a bad place to spend a few days? Not at all.

    We found a French restaurant out a ways that was a must-stop every visit. But it closed. So I got nothing on that.

    The Landing is overrated. Avoid. However, the fireworks show on New Year's Eve was very, very good every time I saw it.

    The area out by the water - Virginia Tech practiced at a high school out that way one year - is nice with a number of good restaurants and clubs. Ponte Vedra is nearby (I think that's how you spell it), good places to eat there, too.

    Gator Bowl hospitality was always pretty good, the bowl folks were pretty helpful. Little in the way of organized press availability but I haven't covered one in seven or so years. I preferred that. Practices were open and there was availability there.

    It won't be the worst experience of your life. I suspect you will enjoy it. We have several members from Jax, I'm sure they will be more helpful.
  4. writingump

    writingump Member

    Like Moddy, I covered multiple Gator Bowls (and the first ACC championship game) in Jax and found the folks to be very helpful. Jacksonville got a bad rap because the national media had to do its share of driving when the Super Bowl was down there in 2005. It's a better place than given credit for and if you go down there with an open mind, I think you'll like it.
  5. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    The Gator Bowl has, in the past, arranged a deal where they let media members play the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass for free. That is definitely worth looking into if you play golf.
  6. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    Not a golfer, so I didn't take part in the golf outing.

    I did go down to Daytona USA during an off morning. That was fun.
  7. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I live in St. Augustine (the nation's oldest city!), 30 miles south of Jax, and it's spectacular this time of year, if you can get away for a night. Fantastic downtown holiday lights, food, drink.

    Jax isn't unlike a handful of other major cities in that downtown proper is all but dead outside business hours. The Landing was supposed to help change that but, like Moddy said, meh. You gotta put a few miles on your rental car and head to the beaches or some of Jacksonville's residential/historic districts, like Riverside and San Marco. Ask a local to direct you.

    Not sure about that TPC Sawgrass deal, but if that still exists, yeah, get on that pronto.
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    No shit? I had no idea.
  9. icoverbucks

    icoverbucks Member

    Thanks for the help, much appreciated. We'll see how it goes.
  10. ColdCat

    ColdCat Well-Known Member

    Absolutely hit the beach. Downtown is pretty dead after business hours, but if you're downtown during the day, stop by Burrito Gallery for lunch. San Marco and Riverside are great for art galleries.
    There's usually some kind of live music at San Marco theater or Florida Theater or one of the many places out at the beach, especially Freebird Live.
    Lynch's is a good bar out at the beach is you just want a dive bar where the beer flows. There's also Sneakers which is good if you want a beer and a game on TV.
    If you like Mexican food, there's practically a great Mexican place every couple of blocks. If you like Chinese, avoid any place in a mini-mall will a bad "wok" pun in the name.
    If you have a free day, take the car and drive up to Fernandina or down A1A to St. Auggie.
  11. Mike Nadel

    Mike Nadel Member

    Here's my Gator Bowl story, a favorite at family functions.

    As Copley Chicago columnist, I covered the 99 game involving Notre Dame. The weather all week was spectacular. Notre Dame practices were in the afternoon and were closed, and media availability wasn't until afterward. So every morning/early afternoon, I had time to golf, and I took full advantage of the weather and the circumstance. I golfed and golfed and golfed. Also wrote some columns. But lots of golf.

    The game is played on Jan. 1, Notre Dame loses and I'm supposed to fly home Jan. 2. But a huge snowstorm in Chicago cancels all flights and I have to stay an extra day. So, naturally, one last day of golf before returning to the blizzard-like horrors that await me in Chicago.

    About 3 holes into that last round, I hurt my lower back. I kept playing, and it kept getting worse. I actually had to get down on one knee to pick my ball out of the cup, wincing in pain as I'd do so. Despite it all, I'm playing my best round of the whole week -- maybe the searing pain is making me forget about my many swing flaws. I'm 4-over after 13 (which is ridiculously good for me) when the pain really starts to take over. I double-bogey a few holes and quit after 16.

    A few hours and many Advil later, I finally make my way to the airport, fly to Chicago, and take a cab home through the snow. The next day, we desperately need to do some food shopping, but huge snow drifts in the alley behind the house have blocked the garage. Nevertheless, my wife and I try to back out the minivan, only to have it get stuck in the snow. The car is half in the garage and half out.

    A few weeks earlier, my wife had undergone major ACL surgery. She was still in a cast and still on crutches. But my back was absolutely on fire and there was no way I could shovel snow. So while I sat in the driver's seat of the nicely warmed minivan, my poor wife was limping around trying to clear snow from under the tires.

    A neighbor noticed a few minutes later and came over to help. He asked my wife: "Why isn't Mike shoveling?"

    "He hurt his back really bad."

    "Yeah, all this shoveling will do that to you."

    And then my wife says: "He didn't hurt it shoveling. He hurt it playing golf in Florida all week. I could kill him."

    Can't remember a lick about Jacksonville, but that's my Gator Bowl contribution.
  12. mbaker

    mbaker New Member

    Any time I go to Jacksonville, Clark's Fish Camp is a must. About 30 minutes South of downtown. Just be prepared to wait. Place is popular and packed.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page