Military memorials. Outdoor recreation. Beautiful weather.
There’s no shortage of reasons to visit Jacksonville throughout the year. Our city’s unique combination of history, culture, nature and community makes it an affordable destination for families, couples or individuals.
- We’re home to the largest Marine Corps base on the eastern seaboard. Established in 1941, the base and surrounding community is home to an active duty, dependent, retiree and civilian base dedicated to training and equipping today’s modern Marines. And, when it comes to celebrating military heroes, nobody does it better. Plan a visit to Lejeune Memorial Gardens. USA Today highlighted this public park with walking trails in 2017. The memorials include the second largest Vietnam Memorial in the USA, 9/11 heroes, those lost in the Beirut Bombings in 1983 and more.
- Hammocks Beach State Park is a favorite nesting ground for endangered loggerhead sea turtles. These oversized female turtles only come to shore every three to four years to nest and lay their eggs, then the hatchlings must make their way back to sea. You can learn more about island wildlife at the Welcome Center and find a spot for a picnic. You can reach the island on private boats year-round. A public ferry runs to Bear Island on weekends starting in April. The ferry runs Wednesday-Saturday in May, and starts daily service during the summer. The ferry takes a break in the winter.
- The sun shines in Jacksonville. Our mild climate lets you enjoy the outdoors 12 months of the year. Take a look at our enviable average monthly temperatures, perfect for biking our robust offering of trails.
- Jacksonville NC is a city of firsts. It’s home to the first bomb-sniffing dogs. The Montford Point Marine Memorial honors the first African-American Marines who trained here during World War II. Check out the monument and the Montford Point Marine Museum. Volunteers at the museum help civilians get on base; be sure to give them a call a month in advance of your visit. The museum houses photos and artifacts in the former dining hall used by these brave men from 1942-1949.
- Jacksonville NC is a great year-round destination. Our event calendar is packed with fun activities, festivals and family fun. From live music and the arts to sports and outdoor recreation, there’s something for everyone. Are you a runner? Test yourself with our heroes and visitors from around the country. Camp Lejeune offers the Grand Prix Series: 10 public runs on base with obstacle courses, mud, and other tests of fitness and stamina throughout the year. Do you love the water? Come kayak, paddleboard, cruise and fish with us.