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Jacksonville's Avondale District

A neighborhood profile

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Avondale in Jacksonville

A quiet street in Avondale

Photo credit: Edward R. Jenkins

The line between Avondale and Riverside, the latter of which is adjacent to the north, is not always clear cut. It's so blurry, in fact, many refer to the neighborhoods as one, calling the duo Riverside-Avondale. Some also consider Avondale to be a sub-district of Riverside, much like Five Points is. Avondale, however, is a separate area, and an entirely separate district on the National Register of Historic Places, where it landed in 1989, four years after the Riverside district.

Avondale is generally said to start where St. John's Ave. begins, ending right around the boundary between Roosevelt Blvd. (US 17), separating the district from Murray Hill and the heart of Jacksonville's Westside.

In the heart of Avondale is what the neighborhood may be best known for: The Shoppes of Avondale, an eclectic collection of shops and restaurants ranging from a late-night hookah lounge to upscale boutiques.

RELATED:: Avondale Photo Gallery

The Shoppes of Avondale also feature an upscale specialty toy store (The Green Alligator), an authentic '50s diner (The Fox), a hand-made Oriental rug shop (Hooshang), and several high-quality restaurants, including Biscotti's, The Blue Fish, The Brick, Mojo No. 4 and the West Inn Cantina. As with most of the other shopping districts in the historic Riverside area, you won't find many large chains selling mass-produced items. Almost everything in Avondale is local.

Housing in Avondale ranges from affordable quad apartment buildings and bungalow homes, to beautifully preserved historical homes and mansions. While much of the neighborhood is wealthy, middle-income households can surely find something affordable. As with Riverside, many of the rentals are managed by the locally-owned Traditions Realty group. It's also not uncommon to see For Rent by Owner signs, as many rentals are privately managed.

The Avondale district isn't home to as many events as Riverside, but because of the proximity, it's a moot point. Still, Avondale hosts The Jacksonville Fine Arts Festival, an outdoor arts festival which transforms the beautiful Boone Park into an outdoor gallery complete with digital art, ceramics, paintings and more, and the Riverside-Avondale Luminaria (which extends through Riverside and involves the Riverside Arts Market). The area also hosts a number of other seasonal events, primarily within the confines of The Shoppes of Avondale.

Like many other Jacksonville neighborhoods, Avondale is home to a number of impressive parks, including the Willowbranch Park, Boone Park and Fishweir Park.

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