At a quick glance, the quiet streets of Springfield seem an unlikely host for one of the nation’s newest music festivals. Imagine laughter, libations and good food mingling together in harmony, all while the smooth tunes of local talent pours out from a dozen porches. It happened this year at the second annual Porchfest, an outdoor music festival unlike any other. It’s an event that can only happen in Springfield. Where else can you find an abundance of friendly porches and endless charm?
Later, Springfield will be frosted for the holidays. Bright lights will glitter along the streets, beckoning visitors to come for a self-guided walk during the neighborhood’s annual Holiday Home Tour. Expect strings of lights dripping like icing and classic holiday decorations adorning both interiors and exteriors — think life-sized gingerbread houses. Those architectural details have never looked so good.
Springfield’s diversity and versatility should make it a serious contender among Jacksonville’s recreational destinations.The quaint historic neighborhood boasts a burgeoning community that includes everything from restaurants and parks to a community garden.
Several business are slated to open in early 2016, including Main Space, a mixed-use facility encouraging fashion, music and food. Springfield’s rich history is noteworthy and everywhere. A drive down Main Street is a time hop into another decade where you’ll find old buildings fashioned in late 19th century style. Historical architecture isn’t the only thing this booming neighborhood has going for it. There are many other delightful surprises.
Here is a crash course on how to “Springfield” for beginners and locals alike:
Take It to the Open Air
There is an abundance of outdoor space in Springfield. Try a round of disc golf (also known as frisbee golf) at the Henry J Klutho park, appropriately named for the city’s famed architect. For dog lovers, Confederate Dog Park is only steps away. Enjoy some one-on-one with your favorite furry friend while you take in the city’s beautiful skyline.
Grab a Joe
Recharge any time of the day with a cup of good coffee at Three Layers. In addition to traditional java, the cafe serves up blended options, too. If that doesn’t hit the spot, step into the Cellar where they can fix you up with a nice cocktail or glass of vino. Whatever your preference, save room for a healthy slice of one of their many cakes.
Springfield is home to a great diversity of cuisine ranging from Caribbean to Mexican and Asian to Middle-Eastern. Caribbean Sunrise Bakery serves up comforting plates of Island Stew and Kingston Curry. If you want something on the opposite side of the spectrum, order up at Uptown Kitchen and Bar. They specialize in fresh American fare like a fried green tomato sandwich or beef short ribs slow-braised in local Intuition brew.
Spread the Good Vibes
Successful communities thrive thanks to good people and great actions. Give back to Springfield by donating to Sustainable Springfield, a non-profit hoping to build a healthier community by establishing public gardens. Their projects include the Laura Street Community Garden and the Community Orchard where you can find fruit trees (peaches, figs and apples) growing in the middle of the city.