South of Downtown and east of the St. Johns River, San Marco/San Jose is a vibrant community with a potpourri of architectural styles and housing options that range from riverfront mansions to quaint bungalows. With its tree-lined boulevards and unique architectural elements, the area serves as a picturesque home for hundreds of Jacksonville residents.
San Marco, which gets its name from the Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy has many historic properties that preserve the history of the area. The San Marco Preservation Society makes sure to keep an eye out to ensure this community’s historic properties are being restored to their original intent.
In the center of San Marco you will find ornately-made bronze lion sculptures accompanied by a fountain and gazebo, which are the square’s trademark. On either side of the square are a vibrant array of shops and a mix of local fare and cafes and restaurants from which to choose. The square offers the perfect setting for their Annual San Marco Arts Festival bringing fine arts and wares from all over the state of Florida. The square is also home to Theatre Jacksonville, the oldest continuously running community theatre in the U.S.
Travel south of San Marco on Hendricks Avenue and you will come to the area known as San Jose. Within minutes, it becomes obvious you are now surrounded by more than the traditional-styled homes offered in San Marco. San Jose is where magnate Alfred I. DuPont built his expansive 15,000-square-foot summer home, Epping Forest, which has since been converted to a yacht club that is the center of an exclusive residential community. Epping Forest, which includes 58-acres with 3,200 feet on the St. Johns River, is known for its superb fitness facility and walking paths.