The work-hard, play-hard city of Jacksonville in northeastern Florida is not your typical Sunshine State destination, and its business meeting and corporate retreat venues are anything but retired. With more shoreline than any other Florida city, a world-class dining scene, and cool, historic neighborhoods, Jacksonville tops the agenda as the gathering spot of choice for your next corporate retreat or business meeting.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at these eight amazing Jacksonville business meeting destinations that will blow away guests in a city that has a sunny disposition all year long.
1. TIAA Bank Field and Daily’s Place
Get this — you can actually have a business meeting at an NFL stadium. Score big by holding your meeting at TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars and several big annual NCAA football games. You can broadcast your presentations on the world’s largest HDTV video scoreboard, schedule meetings on the field or in the Jaguars’ locker room, enjoy dinner on the patio overlooking the 50-yard line, and check out the stadium’s outdoor swimming pools and luxury suites. You can even go for a two-point conversion by combining your stadium retreat with a trip to the adjacent Daily’s Place, a brand-new amphitheater that doubles as a concert hall and the Jaguars’ practice field.
2. Sweet Pete’s
The sweet spot for offsite events is Jacksonville’s Sweet Pete’s, a candy emporium and factory whose candymaking classes are an irresistible team-building experience. Sweet Pete’s accommodates groups from 10 to 100 and also offers candy-cocktail cooking classes for adults.
3. Conference Center at the Main Library
Jacksonville’s main library has a pretty magnificent conference center, with spectacular sculptures adorning its lobbies, as well as business or seminar meeting spaces for groups of any size. The conference center’s photogenic beauty makes it a popular wedding spot, especially on the rooftop courtyard with views of the downtown Jacksonville skyline.
4. Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
One of the premier events spaces in Jacksonville is the Cummer Museum, an arts museum and picturesque outdoor garden that offers views of the St. John’s River. But inside, event and occasion rental packages for up to 100 people offer options such as an auditorium with a stage and screen, a grand reception space, an event art gallery, and two tiers of gardens ideal for lunches, dinners, and cocktail receptions.
5. Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts
Home to the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and a host of other great concerts, the Times-Union Center also makes for a great meeting, dinner, or reception space. Onsite catering is available, along with a 20,000-square-foot lobby in a fun Florida riverfront location.
6. Local Craft Breweries
The local legend in Jacksonville is, of course, the Budweiser Brewery on Busch Drive, and that iconic brewery offers team-building events such as beermaster tours and beer schools. But there’s a whole new generation of up-and-coming Jacksonville microbreweries, including Intuition Ale Works and Aardwolf Brewing Co., that will let you hold a meeting in the taproom or on one of their scenic rooftop decks.
7. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
The Jacksonville Zoo is a wild option as a meeting and cocktail party venue, as elephants and giraffes strut within sight of the panoramic windows. Accommodating groups of up to 90 guests, the zoo also has some fascinating animal-themed meeting and team-building rooms that tend to the flock with terrific hospitality.
8. The Best Golf Courses
Jacksonville has nearly half a million yards of greens and some prestigious courses, including TPC Sawgrass, home of the Players Championship. Many of Jacksonville’s top golf courses are teed right up with turnkey meeting spaces for company meetings and outings, with meal service or cocktail parties onsite.
Full of cool attractions under the Florida sun, Jacksonville is an unbeatable River City for hosting conferences and more. So shore up plans to have your next meeting or retreat in Jacksonville, where professional gatherings put business in the front.