7 Jacksonville Nicknames That Will Surprise You

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A bridge and skyscrapers next to a body of water
Jacksonville is a Florida city with an array of unique nicknames

Florida is home to a thriving city called Jacksonville. The city, founded in 1822, was named after the seventh United States president Andrew Jackson. While not as well-known as some other Florida destinations, like Miami and Orlando, Jacksonville has a lot to offer visitors.

You may also be interested to learn that the city has many alternate names relating to its history, accomplishments, and culture. This article includes seven noteworthy Jacksonville nicknames, from the well-known Jax to the fascinating Winter Film Capital of the World. Want to find out more? Continue reading to discover the most interesting Jacksonville monikers and their origins.

7 Nicknames for Jacksonville

America's Logistics Center is one of the many interesting Jacksonville nicknames
The Port of Jacksonville has played a big role in the city's logistics industry

America's Logistics Center

Jacksonville earned the nickname America's Logistics Center due to its location at the crossroads of major transportation networks. The city is home to the Port of Jacksonville, one of the largest container ports on the East Coast of Florida.

It is also served by two major airports, Jacksonville International Airport and Cecil Airport. In addition, Jacksonville is connected to the national rail network and has several highways running through it. Notably, the city's logistics industry is a significant economic driver, generating billions of dollars in economic activity each year.

The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce began promoting the city as America's Logistics Center in the early 2000s. The Chamber's goal with this Jacksonville, FL, nickname and associated marketing campaign was to raise awareness of Jacksonville's logistics capabilities and attract new businesses.

Bold New City of the South

In 1968, the government of the city of Jacksonville and that of Duval County consolidated into a single governmental unit. This made Jacksonville the largest city by land area in the contiguous United States. The city's leaders wanted to create a new identity for Jacksonville that reflected its size and potential; they created the nickname Bold New City of the South.

The nickname conveyed a sense of optimism and ambition. It was meant to suggest that Jacksonville was on the rise, a city that was unafraid to take risks and dream big. However, this name wasn't completely new. The Electric and Water Utilities Department published a brochure between 1940 and 1980 that declared Jacksonville the Bold New City of the South.

A beach shore with many buildings next to it under a blue sky
When you're coming from the north, Jacksonville is a gateway to the rest of Florida

Gateway to Florida

While it's not certain when Jacksonville began being called the Gateway to Florida, the name is thought to date to the late 1800s. Notably, in 1889, trains from New York began to arrive in the city, bringing tourists and even immigrants from the North. Later, with the increased use of automobiles, the number of people coming from the northern part of the country to Jacksonville rose even more.

However, most of these people weren't intending to visit Jacksonville. Instead, the city acted as the first port of entry for those looking to explore other parts of Florida, therefore, becoming a gateway to the rest of the state. Today, Jacksonville remains an entry point to the many attractions and landmarks of Florida, like its beaches, theme parks, and national parks.

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A logo in front of a building with a jaguar cartoon image and "Jacksonville Jaguars"
Jax is one of the most frequently used Jacksonville nicknames


Although Jax (often writen as JAX) is not an official nickname for Jacksonville, it is often used as a shortened version of the full city name. This moniker is most well-known as the airport code for Jacksonville International Airport.

However, there are also many other mentions of the name in relation to the city. For example, the official abbreviation for the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team is JAX. In the soccer arena, the Jacksonville Armada FC soccer team is sometimes called Jax Armada FC.

Additionally, Fox News and CBS have a website called Action News Jax Now, which focuses exclusively on news from Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce is even referred to as the JAX Chamber.

The First Coast

Another of the Jacksonville, FL, nicknames is Florida's First Coast or just the First Coast. This name refers to the area's status as the first place in the continental United States to be settled by Europeans. While the city of St. Augustine was technically the first European settlement, the surrounding Jacksonville Metropolitan area often gets included as part of a broader "first coast."

Additionally, in 1983, the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce worked with an ad agency to create a new nickname and marketing campaign for the area that makes up the "First Coast." This region includes Duval, Clay, Nassau, Baker, and St. Johns counties.

The ad agency came up with the term Florida's First Coast. It was first used in the First Coast Anthem at the Gator Bowl in 1983 and has stuck ever since.

A grassy riverside near trees under a blue sky
Jacksonville is near Florida's largest river, the Saint Johns River

The River City

Jacksonville is known as the River City for its location on the Saint Johns River. A little-known fact about Florida is that this is the state's longest river.

This natural landmark has played a vital role in the city's history, from its founding as a trading post in the 1700s to its development as a central industrial and transportation hub in the 20th century. Today, River City is a well-known moniker in Jacksonville. It's also used in logos, on signs, and as a part of business names, for example, the River City Marketplace.

The Winter Film Capital of the World

Jacksonville was known as the Winter Film Capital of the World in the early 1900s. The city's mild climate lent itself to filming away from the harsh winters in the North. In addition to its sunny climate, Jacksonville's striking natural surroundings and excellent transportation links made it incredibly appealing to film producers.

Over 30 movie studios opened in the city, including Metro Pictures, which later became Hollywood giant MGM. However, Jacksonville's reign as the Winter Film Capital of the World decreased over the years as the film industry began to move to Hollywood.

While not what it once was, Jacksonville still has a thriving film industry. You can also enjoy many other forms of performing arts in the city; for example, by watching a show at the famous Jacksonville landmark, the Florida Theatre.

In Summary

Jacksonville's nicknames reflect the city's unique character, history, and culture. This article should have taught you more about the many monikers associated with the city and their fascinating origins. If you're planning a visit to the city soon, all you need to do now is choose your favorite Jacksonville nickname to use and impress the locals!

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Written by Audrey Wilson

AudreyMW FORMER WRITER Born and living in South Africa, Audrey has lived in four countries extensively and traveled to many others across the globe. Travel is in her blood, and she plans to see more of the world.

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