National Parks / Natural World in Jacksonville

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fun things to do in
Swansboro
Venture to Bear Island and reward yourself with vivid memories of one of the most unspoiled beaches on the Atlantic coast. Accessible only by passenger ferry or private boat, there's just one thing at Hammocks Beach that's crowded the list of things ...
Seven Springs
At the turn of the century visitors flocked to the area. They drank mineral water from local springs to cure their ills and they took riverboat excursions to the cliffs. Things have changed since then, however, the cliffs remain virtually unaltered, ...
Kelly
Bring your group to Singletary Lake State Park and enjoy group camping in a land of mysterious origins. A portion of the unique Carolina bay ecosystem found nowhere else in the world, Singletary Lake lies within the 35,975 acre Bladen Lakes State For...
Washington
Giant, old oaks draped in Spanish moss welcome you to this special world where broad, lazy Goose Creek joins the Pamlico River.
Kure Beach
Enjoy a leisurely day at the ocean shore. Comb the beach for sea stars, keyhole urchins and whelk shells. Or, simply lie back on the sand and enjoy the aerial acrobatics of seagulls, terns and brown pelicans as they soar above the waves.
Elizabethtown
Venture to Jones Lake State Park and view one of the greatest geological mysteries of the eastern United States the phenomenon of the Carolina bays.
Lake Waccamaw
The cool, tea-colored waters at first appear similar to other lakes in the area, but Lake Waccamaw is one of the most unique bodies of water in the world. You will find here species of animals found nowhere else on the planet, rare plants and endange...
Orrum
Lumber River State Park contains 8,438 acres of land and 115 miles of state natural and scenic waters, 81 miles of which are also designated national wild and scenic waters. The park's recreation activities are currently centered at two access areas,...
Lillington
Spend some time at Raven Rock State Park and let nature refresh your spirit. feeling you are likely to experience at Raven Rock is one of renewal. Here, the forest reigns as each year the timeless cycle of growth further heals age-old wounds infli...
Creswell
With more than 1,300 acres of land around Lake Phelps and more than 3,000 acres along the Scuppernong River, with an additional 16,600 acres of water, Pettigrew State Park is an ideal blend of nature, history and recreation.
Apex
Located on 33 acres, Crowder District Park offers visitors a variety of recreational and educational opportunities. Enjoy an afternoon walk or a picnic. Park amenities include playgrounds, picnic shelters, volleyball court, play field, an outdoor amp...
Raleigh
Tucked between the growing cities of Raleigh, Cary, Durham and the corporate world of Research Triangle Park is an oasis of tranquility, a peaceful haven William B. Umstead State Park.
Hollister
Should the humdrum of nine-to-five leave you with the urge to travel and explore, head to Medoc Mountain State Park. A pleasurable excursion awaits just a 1.5 hour drive from the Research Triangle.
Wake Forest
Hours of relaxation await you at Falls Lake State Recreation Area. Just moments away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Falls Lake is a great way to escape urban life.
Apex
Imagine relaxing in a cove, listening to the sounds of water rippling. Then, you feel a firm tug on your fishing line. It's going to be a big one! Picture the surface of the lake glistening, water spraying your face, the boat motor ahead roaring.
Durham
Minutes from Durham, Hillsborough, and Chapel Hill the Eno River State Park offers secluded wilderness trails with the serenity of a clear river drifting and cascading over a rocky stream bed.
Henderson
Set a course for Kerr Lake State Recreation Area to enjoy sailing, fishing, water skiing and camping. This 50,000 acre, man-made lake is a haven for water sports enthusiasts and landlubbers alike. One of the many fun family places to visit if you're ...
Nags Head
There are many reasons why millions of people visit Jockey's Ridge State Park. Some come to see the tallest sand dune on the Atlantic coast; others come for the spectacular sunsets.
South Mills
Feel your daily stresses melt away as you cross the historic Dismal Swamp Canal and walk along the 300-foot boardwalk into this geological wonder. For the adventurer, there are 16.7 miles of
Albemarle
Enjoy the gifts of nature surrounded by the remnants of a once mighty range of peaks. Upon first encounter, the Uwharrie Mountains may seem like a mountainous mirage. These steep, rugged hills unusual topography for the area—form a stark contrast w...
Dan Nicholas Park
(1)
(172 Miles)
Salisbury
Come for the wildlife park, stay for the aquarium, the mini golf, the boats, the petting barn, the gem mine - hey, just stay!
Chesterfield
Pocahontas State Park offers a variety of outdoor natural, historical and recreational activities including camping, canoeing, swimming, nature programs, guided hikes, birthday parties, scout programs, special events, summer concerts, races and marat...
Boones Cave Park
(182 Miles)
Lexington
Explore the cave and hiking trails spotting wildlife and flowers, visit a 170ft tall tree, plus fish, swim, canoe or kayak.
Beaverdam Park
(189 Miles)
Gloucester
Gloucester's largest park (1340 acres) is located in the central part of the county and surrounds a 635-acre lake. Beaverdam Park is open 7 days a week year-round and only closes on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Hours of operation through Labor ...
Maymont
(190 Miles)
Richmond
Maymont is home to many native Virginia animals including mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and fish. Hundreds of animals, representing more than 100 species, reside within Maymont's groundsat the Children's Farm, in the Wildlife Exhibits and in t...
Danbury
Not far from the cities of the Triad area, off the four lane highways there's another North Carolina to be discovered sheer cliffs and peaks of bare rock, quiet forests and cascading waterfalls, views of the piedmont plateau that stretch for miles.
Huddleston
In addition to a full range of water related activities, including swimming, fishing and boating, the park offers miles of hiking trails, housekeeping cabins, camping, picnicking, a visitor center and interpretive programs.
Pinnacle
Fun, from relaxation to exhilaration, is easy to find here. Treat yourself to a horseback ride through the woods or challenge the river from raft or canoe. A seven-mile woodland corridor joins two sections of the park, each section offering a wealth ...
Troutman
At Lake Norman State Park, fun is just a matter of scale. On one hand, there's the largest manmade lake in the state, Lake Norman.
Roaring Gap
Stone Mountain is not immediately visible upon entering the park that bears its name, but this magnificent 600-foot granite dome is well worth the wait.
Spotsylvania
In the summer months, kids can learn from experts about panning for gold! There are 11 trails within the park, plus a visitor centre, and opportunities for boating, fishing and seasonal swimming.
Connelly Springs
Nestled deep in the woods, South Mountains State Park is the perfect place to enjoy nature. Here you can see a majestic mountain range peeking out from the gently rolling landscape of the piedmont.
Gap Mills
Tucked away among the hills on the southeastern edge of the state lies Moncove Lake State Park. Located in the pastoral setting of Monroe County, Moncove Lake State Park seems worlds away from everyday realities.
Nebo
Tucked away in rolling hills at the base of Linville Gorge is Lake James, a 6,510-acre lake with more than 150 miles of shoreline. This impressive waterway is the centerpiece of Lake James State Park. Here, nature offers scenic vistas of the Appalach...
Todd
Elk Knob State Park is one of the newest additions to the North Carolina state parks system.
Beech Mountain
(265 Miles)
Beech Mountain
Come play a mile up! At 5,506 feet our town has many fun things to do! Come try out our free sledding hill, go ice skating, snow tubing, try skiing or snowboarding, or enjoy a delicious cup of hot chocolate. No matter what season, Beech Mountain has...
Chimney Rock
This is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and spend time with family and friends. The Park, located 25 miles southeast of Asheville, North Carolina, offers the best of the mountains in one place-spectacular 75-mile views, hiking trails for a...
Hinton
Encompassing over 2,100 acres of rugged, heavily forested, mountainous terrain, Bluestone State Park provides a wide variety of water-oriented activities for guests and residents of southern West Virginia.
Greenville
Bike and hike trails, fishing, boating - canoe, pedal boat and kayak, adventure play, swimming and geocaching. Excellent for day visits and campers also welcome.
Hillsboro
Beartown State Park is a natural area of 107 acres located on the eastern summit of Droop Mountain, seven miles southwest of Hillsboro, West Virginia. Development of the park has been minimal in order to preserve the natural attractions of the area
Brooks
"Wings of Wonder - West Virginia Birds of Prey" presentation is fairly general in scope,custom-tailored to the ages and needs of our audiences. Each presentation includes live birds of prey from Three Rivers Avian Center, and the individual case hist...
Fort Pulaski
(278 Miles)
Savannah
The Battle for Fort Pulaski in April 1862 marked a turning point in military history. It featured the first significant use of rifled cannons in combat. Explore the historic fort, or take a scenic nature walk. Spend a day fishing, kayaking, hiking, o...
Marlinton
Watoga State Park is located in the mountains of Pocahontas County just 14 miles south of Marlinton, West Virginia. The park consists of 10,100 acres filled with a multitude of recreational activities including hiking, swimming, fishing and boating. ...
Greenville
A stunning public greenspace with the central point being a unique cantilevered bridge from which to observe the waterfall.
Greenville
A 17.5 mile multi use accessible trail suitable for hiking, biking and other non motorised travel with great views.
Savannah
Located near historic Savannah, this barrier island has both salt and fresh water due to estuaries and marshes that flow through the area. The park borders Skidaway Narrows, a part of the intracoastal waterway, and provides scenic camping and picnick...
Dunmore
Oldest of West Virginia's state forests, Seneca borders the beautiful Greenbrier River in Pocahontas County.
Botanic Gardens
(285 Miles)
Washington
Hey Kids! The USBG is looking for Junior Botanists! You can become an Apprentice Junior Botanist by asking for an Adventure Folder and exploring our Conservatory. Bring along an adult adviser with an official ID (e.g., a driver's license) so you can ...
Beaver
Little Beaver State Park is a 562-acre day-use park that features many outdoor recreational opportunities. At the center of the park is an 18-acre lake open for fishing year-round.
Dumbarton Oaks
(286 Miles)
NW Washington DC
These beautiful 10 acre gardens are a great place to take a baby for a walk - you can take a guided tour of both the museum and gardens

Top 10 most viewed fun things to do near Jacksonville with kids

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All Stars Family Fun Center

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Day At The Farm

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Blackbeards Lair

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Cliffs of the Neuse State Park

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Jump in Jax

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Cape Fear Riverboats

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Childrens Museum of Wilmington

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Jungle Rapids Family Funpark

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Hammocks Beach State Park

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Battleship USS North Carolina

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Fun places to visit in Jacksonville with kids

There are so many fun places to go with kids in North Carolina - great zoos and aquariums, museums, theme parks, water parks and swimming pools, places to visit outdoors (many of which are cheap or free), historical places of interest, activities and indoor play centres for toddlers as well as the usual family tourist attractions - take a look above, lots of the best things to do with children in NC