Take A Ride Down By The Riverside -. Awarded one of the top ten neighborhoods in America in 2010 by the American Planning Association, this attraction brings you to the Riverside - Avondale area is one of the wealthiest areas of Jacksonville and popular with those families who prefer to own large old Southern Style homes along cool shady oak lined back roads, with easy access to the river, just next to downtown. This attraction set alongside the St. John’s River sees the tides of change where after the great Jacksonville fire of 1901 it prospered with people moving out of Jacksonville to here, then it decayed in the 50’s and 60’s and now there is rebirth. The richness and variety of homes seen on this ride is remarkable. Architectural gems include Prairie, Georgian, Shingle, Queen Anne/Victorian, Bungalow and Tudor styles and they are in abundance. Free Parking. Restaurants, shops and an art museum and fishing are available after the attraction.
The development of Riverside accelerated soon after a great fire destroyed most of Downtown Jacksonville in 1901, as more and more prominent families migrated to this tranquil setting near Jacksonville along the St. John’s River. With oak-canopied streets and a row of great mansions, Riverside Avenue was admired as the entire city’s most elegant residential street.
If you enjoy history, here is a bit of history on the Riverside Avondale area that we will be riding. If not, scroll down to purchase your tour.
Confederate veteran Miles Price sold 500 acres of his property, known as Dell's Bluff, to a Yankee, Edward M. Cheney, and financial backer John M. Forbes of Boston for $10,000 in gold. Forbes and Cheney built grand riverfront homes in 1868 and waited for the influx of residents. For more than 30 years, they remained the only homeowners in the very rural area. It wasn't until the period following the great fire of 1901 that residents left the downtown area. Architects and construction companies from all over the country had flocked to Jacksonville for a unique opportunity, and Riverside benefited greatly. Innovative home designs were commissioned by lumber magnate Wellington W. Cummer and his two sons, Waldo and Arthur, Jacksonville's Mayor J.E.T. Bowden, Col. Raymond Cay and Episcopal Bishop Edwin G. Weed. Homes were designed by Mark & Sheftall, Henry Klutho and Addison Mizner. By 1911, the riverfront on Riverside Avenue was lined with elegant mansions and was called one of the most beautiful streets in America. Riverside lies on the St Johns River just south of Downtown Jacksonville and is home to the historic "Five Points " and "King Street" business districts, with apartment towers along the river and hundreds of large, spacious, turn-of-the-century homes, and even some brick streets. Since the 1970s, the "Riverside/Avondale Preservation District" has guided the rebirth of this late-1900s era neighborhood. Along with Avondale and Ortega, Riverside was originally the home to the wealthiest of Jacksonville families. In the late 1950s & '60s, the area went into decay, with many of those grand old homes being converted into rooming houses. However, after being designated a "National Historic Neighborhood", by the late 1990s, Riverside had recovered, with many homes restored to their original form. The Avondale, Riverside, and Ortega area is popular with those families who prefer to own large old Southern Style homes, with easy access to the river, just next to downtown.
During the peak years of Riverside’s development from 1895 to 1929, a profusion of residential building styles gained popularity across the nation. With the influx of building tradesmen who came to the city after the Great Fire, Riverside became a laboratory for aspiring architects and competing residential fashions. The richness and variety of homes built during this period was remarkable. Prairie, Colonial Revival, Georgian Shingle, Queen Anne/Victorian, Bungalow and Tudor styles were popping up everywhere and and many are still here today.
Take a ride down by the shady riverside of one of North Florida’s most eclectic neighborhoods set along the St. John’s River. The area boasts some of the most spectacular views of the river, along with charming residential and artsy shop lined streets. One of the oldest sections of North Florida, Riverside has charm, character and personality. Neighboring Ortega has the rich beautiful scent of the early Spanish influence. Free Parking. Shops, restaurants,an art museum and fishing are available after the attraction.
The Riverside/Avondale attraction departs roundtrip from the following:
Riverside Avondale Preservation Society
2623 Herschel Street
Jacksonville, FL 32204
Free Parking. Reservations are required and may be made same day if available. Please read our FAQ's before making your reservations. Tour is $64 per rider. Tour is $39 if your bring your own bicycle, helmet, water and snacks. Helmets are required and may be rented for $5 if you are bringing your own bike. $5 service and handling fee per credit card transaction. Ask us about our group discounts.