Jacksonville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Florida, and is the county seat of Duval County. Since 1968, as a result of the consolidation of the city and county government, and a corresponding expansion of the city limits to include almost the entire county, Jacksonville became the largest city in land area in the contiguous United States. Consequently the majority of Jacksonville's metropolitan population resides within the city limits, making it the most populous city proper in Florida and the twelfth most populous in the United States. Jacksonville is the principal city in the Greater Jacksonville Metropolitan Area, a region with a population of more than 1,313,228.
Jacksonville is located in the First Coast region of northeast Florida and is centered on the banks of the St. Johns River, about 25 miles (40 km) south of the Georgia border and about 340 miles (547 km) north of Miami. The settlement that became Jacksonville was founded in 1791 as Cowford, so named because of its location at a narrow point in the river where cattle once crossed. In 1822, a year after the United States acquired the colony of Florida from Spain, the city was renamed for Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of the Florida Territory and then-future President of the United States.
The city center includes the Jacksonville Landing and the Jacksonville Riverwalks. The Landing is a popular riverfront dining and shopping venue, accessible by River Taxi from the Southbank Riverwalk. The Northbank Riverwalk runs 2.0 miles (3.2 km) along the St. Johns from Berkman Plaza to I-95 at the Fuller Warren Bridge while the Southbank Riverwalk stretches 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from the Radisson Hotel to Museum Circle.
Beside Museum circle is St. Johns River Park (aka Friendship Park), location of Friendship Fountain, one of the most recognizable and popular attractions for locals as much as tourists in Jacksonville. This landmark was built in 1965 and promoted as the “World’s Tallest and Largest” fountain.
Just east of the fountain is the Jacksonville Maritime Museum, located in an enclosed pavilion on the riverwalk. Their collection includes models of ships, paintings, photographs and artifacts dating to 1562.
In 2003, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) opened next60,000-square-foot (6,000 m2) to the Main Library downtown. Tracing its roots back to the formation of Jacksonville's Fine Arts Society in 1924, the museum features eclectic permanent and traveling exhibitions. In November 2006, JMOMA was renamed Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA Jacksonville) to reflect their continued commitment to art produced after the modernist period.
The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) is found on Jacksonville's Southbank Riverwalk, and features a main exhibit that changes quarterly, plus three floors of nature and local history exhibits, a hands-on science area and the Alexander Brest Planetarium.
Brest, founder of Duval Engineering and Contracting Co., was also the benefactor for the Alexander Brest Museum and Gallery on the campus of Jacksonville University. The exhibits are a diverse collection of carved ivory, Pre-Columbian artifacts, Steuben glass, Chinese porcelain and Cloisonné, Tiffany glass, Boehm porcelain and rotating exhibitions containing the work of local, regional, national and international artists. 
Three other art galleries are at universities in town. Florida State College at Jacksonville has the Kent Gallery on their westside campus and the Wilson Center for the Arts at their main campus. The University Gallery is on the campus of the University of North Florida.
The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens holds a large collection of European and American paintings, and a world-renowned collection of early Meissen porcelain. The museum is surrounded by three acres of formal English and Italian style gardens, and is in the Riverside neighborhood, on the bank of the St. Johns River. There is also a hands-on children's section.
The Karpeles Manuscript Library is the world’s largest private collection of original manuscripts & documents. The museum in Jacksonville is in a 1921 neoclassical building on the outskirts of downtown. In addition to document displays, there is also an antique-book library, with volumes dating from the late 1800s.
The Catherine Street Fire Station building is on the National Register of Historic Places and was relocated to Metropolitan Park in 1993. It houses the Jacksonville Fire Museum and features 500+ artifacts including an 1806 hand pumper.
The LaVilla Museum opened in 1999 and features a permanent display of African-American history. The art exhibits are changed periodically.
There are also several historical properties and items of interest in the city, including the Klutho Building, the Old Morocco Temple Building, the Palm and Cycad Arboretum, and the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, originally built as Union Station train depot.
The Art Walk, a monthly outdoor art festival on the first Wednesday of each month, is sponsored by Downtown Vision, Inc, an organization which works to promote artistic talent and venues on the First Coast.
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens boasts the second largest animal collection in the state. The zoo features elephants, lions, and, of course, jaguars (with an exhibit, Range of the Jaguar, hosted by the owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Delores and Wayne Weaver). It also has a multitude of reptile houses, free flight aviaries, and many other animals.
Shipwreck Island in Jacksonville Beach is the only waterpark in Duval County. It opened in 1995 and changes rides every few years to keep the season passholders coming back.
Adventure Landing in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach are the only amusement parks in Duval County.
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