One of my best friends lived in Jacksonville all throughout college, so me and a bunch of other girls would always go visit her for events like her birthday, Halloween, the Florida/Georgia college football game, or just to spend the weekend at the beach. She knew the city like the back of her hand, so she’d take us to all the best places to eat, shop, and, most importantly to us at that time, meet boys.
Most of my friend group was single, so we were always looking to flirt… and maybe even find a potential boyfriend. But you don’t need an insider to meet singles in Jacksonville. We have 11 fun, fast tips for taking your J-Ville dating life to the next level!
Jacksonville Dating Sites
There’s no better way for Jacksonville singles to connect than through online dating. Because you can narrow down your search to your city (and even five miles from where you live), trying to find a needle in a haystack becomes more like shooting fish in a barrel. Online dating is our life, so we’ve scoured the web and provided a breakdown of the five best sites — including information on their audiences, prices, matching features, messaging systems, reputations, and success rates.
Best Singles Site
It’s Match.com — that’s all we really need to say about the best dating site to ever exist. But we can elaborate for those who need a little more convincing. Match has been around for more than two decades (1995), so the site basically showed all the other ones how it’s done. And what Match has accomplished is incredible — it’s responsible for the most first dates, second dates, relationships, marriages, and babies than every other dating site.
Best Site for Professionals
Career-driven men and women often have the most difficulty finding time for dating because they’re so busy working — not to mention juggling family and life obligations. With Elite Singles, you can take dating out of the juggling act. The site does almost everything for you — just register and wait for the matches to come in. Over 80% of Elite Singles’ members have a college education (earning a bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate degree, or a combination of the three), so matching you with someone who has a similar work ethic and lifestyle is super simple.
Elite Singles is the premier dating site for educated professionals. Most members are upper-income with college degrees, and its impressive Fraud Detection system ensures no-nonsense dating. Full Review »
|Gender Ratio||M: 43% | F: 57%*|
Over 50 & Senior Site
For singles over 50, OurTime is a dating site for sore eyes. While other platforms are fast-paced, overly complicated, and focus on quantity, OurTime cares about quality and provides only the most important features you’ll need to find a friend, date, or partner. These include organized profiles, age- and interest-based matching, and your standard messaging system. Another upside of using OurTime is you don’t have to input any payment info, so you have nothing to lose when you create an account.
For Black Men & Women Only
Black men and women make up more than 30% of Jacksonville’s population, while biracial men and women make up 2.8%. The most efficient way for them to connect online is by joining BlackPeopleMeet.com. Every month, the site gets more than 1.4 million visitors from various backgrounds and cultures within the African-American community. BlackPeopleMeet is also a welcoming atmosphere for interracial dating.
Hookup & Sex Site
According to SEMrush, a search engine marketing and search engine optimization tool, the word sex gets 2.3 million searches a month, which goes to show that love isn’t everyone’s end game. That’s why Adult Friend Finder was created — to give turned-on singles a place where they won’t be looked down upon for their sexual appetites. While a premium membership costs $14.95 each month, a basic membership has everything you need, including free registration, profile creation, and browsing, to get the hookup(s) you’ve always desired.
Popular Dating Apps
Mobile dating is a trend that began in the mid-2000s and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. That’s because a dating app can save you time, money, and headaches. Downloads are usually free, and you’ll start receiving compatible matches within seconds. It seems like almost every day a new dating app pops up on iTunes and Google Play, so we’ve zeroed in on the three that we know you’ll have the most success with:
Zoosk is the number one app for finding dates, and if you sync up your Google+ or Facebook account, you can have a profile in seconds. The app has 38 million members and will deliver matches to your inbox on a daily basis based on your behavior such as who you search for, like or don't like, and message. The Carousel is another section for matching (tap the heart if it's a yes and the X if it's a no).
|Gender Ratio||M: 48% | F: 52%*|
|Available On||iOS, Android|
Available via the App Store and Google Play, Match is a fantastic app for dates and relationships. With a user base of 30 million singles, Match is where you'll have a high chance of success. It's free to download, create a profile, search for and receive matches around the corner and across the world, find missed connections, "like" people, as well as send and receive winks.
|Gender Ratio||M: 49% | F: 51%*|
|Available On||iOS, Android|
Commitment-minded, professional daters will feel at home with Elite Singles, which can be downloaded for free in the App Store or Google Play. Not only is everyone looking for a long-term partner, but 80% of members hold a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree. Elite Singles sees 210,000 visitors and 2,500 users finding love every month, so it's one of the fastest growing and most reputable apps.
|Gender Ratio||M: 43% | F: 57%*|
|Available On||iOS, Android|
Jacksonville Singles Bars
Throughout history, bars have been given all kinds of other names — alehouses, saloons, taverns, honky tonks, cocktail lounges, public houses, and so on. But their purpose has always been the same: to bring people together over a good drink (or two). Sometimes all it takes is a little sip of liquid courage to make approaching that cute stranger less scary. Jacksonville has an exciting bar scene that’s sure to please any palate, but we’ve decided to highlight the area’s 10 go-tos.
Sidecar is known for its award-winning cocktails, including the Trailer Park Pool Party (made with High West Double Rye and Cap'n Crunch, among other ingredients) and the Hypocritical Kiss (made with Milagro Anejo and coffee liqueur, among other ingredients). Beer, wine, and cider lovers will find their poison as well thanks to Sidecar's extensive menu.
"Jacksonville's original cocktail lounge," Dos Gatos specializes in classic drinks (from martinis to mules and margaritas). It's also right across from the Florida Theatre, so you can make a night of it! Run by Manager Casey Shelton and bartender Cody Mashni, Dos Gatos is open every day until 2 a.m. and has a location in St. Augustine as well if you feel like taking a short drive.
Black Sheep is a bar, restaurant, and rooftop lounge serving handcrafted spirits and contemporary American food made with quality ingredients from local and regional farmers and purveyors. For $30 on Sundays, couples can get buttermilk fried chicken for two, served with mashed potatoes, creamed peas, collard greens, and biscuits. Another perk is it's happy-hour pricing all night!
Speakeasy fans, rejoice! The Parlour brings the 1920s and '30s to 21st century Jacksonville. With 4.7 out of 5 stars on Facebook, the Parlour is one of the most beloved bars and nightclubs in the city. In addition to delectable libations, the Parlour also hosts numerous events like Harry Potter trivia, distillery takeovers, and jam sessions. You should also know that Wednesdays can be the busiest night, so get your single ass over there!
If "social sophistication" is what you're looking for, Suite Jacksonville has it. This premier lounge "stimulates the senses" with its cocktails and wines, which are said to be made for those with mature palates. Suite is serious about its dress code, too. You'll want to look your best when you're grabbing a drink after work or attending a seasonal mixer.
The Volstead is somewhat of a new kid on the block, but it's already made a name for itself in the Jacksonville bar community. The lounge focuses on high-end bourbon and whiskey as well as handmade cocktails, and its mission is to make Jacksonville the place to be for jazz. Some menu items that caught our eye include the Baked Apple Sazerac, the Apricot Pisco Sour, and the Fred and Ginger (named after, you guessed it, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers).
7Flask & Cannon
Flask & Cannon claims to have "the world's best cocktails," and we encourage you to go see for yourself. A tiki bar founded by Rigby Flask and Bartholomew J. Cannon, rum legends in their own right, Flask & Cannon serves classics, such as Mai Tais, with personality — using the hashtag #TikiAF. Matthew C. reviewed the bar on Yelp, saying, "Light up the tiki torches and throw on your best Hawaiian button-down because Flask & Cannon delivers a one-of-a-kind Polynesian experience!"
The Rogue is the second speakeasy on our list, but its vibe is more rock 'n' roll "with a whiskey-inspired rebellion." Head to Riverside and that's where you'll find the Rogue, which provides games, including darts and ring toss, if the conversation is lacking. Patrons also rave about Rogue's attentive and knowledgeable staff and the chef's out-of-this-world tacos!
From EDM Wednesdays to Throwback Thursdays and Latin Friday and Saturdays, Cuba Libre has the tunes to satisfy any Jacksonville single. But it's not just about the music — Cuba Libre also makes sure its light show is the best you'll see from any bar and nightclub. In terms of the drink menu, we'd recommend trying a smooth avocado martini or a tart Pinot Grigio!
Founded in 2000, Lemon Bar sits right on the ocean and is open seven days a week as long as the weather permits. Voted "The #1 Beach Bar" by VOID Magazine, Lemon Bar whips up beach-inspired drinks and food such as Orange Cream Dream and seared ahi tuna. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., and during this time you can get $3 draft beers, wines, and certain kinds of rum. It's a steal if you see someone you want to buy a drink for!
Jacksonville Speed Dating
Dating is a lot of work — you’ve got to decide what avenue you want to use (dating sites, friend recommendations, etc.), you’ve got to do the searching and sorting, and then, once you finally meet someone cool, you’ve got to plan an unforgettable date. When you want to take a breather and have someone else take the reins for a while, you can trust the experts at Jacksonville’s speed dating events. Not only do these events have the activities covered — from mixers to Halloween parties and trivia nights — but they also have the clientele. You’ll be surrounded by dozens of people who meet your specific criteria.
Jacksonville Singles Events
If you’re not one for bars or online dating, or if you simply want to explore every dating option you can, singles events might be right up your alley. These events range from the tame, like jazz nights, to the extreme like white-water rafting. The one thing they all have in common is they’re stress-free — no awkward silences or bumbling introductions. Since there’s an activity going on, and everyone is participating in it, the getting-to-know-you phase goes smoothly.
Jacksonville Singles Clubs
Music? Check! Drinks? Check! Crowds of people? Check! Your best outfit? Check! Clubs provide the perfect atmosphere for meeting that special someone… or that special someone for the night. No matter your personality (extroverted or introverted), musical taste (country, hip hop, or Latin), or sexual orientation (LGBT or straight), Jacksonville has a club where you’ll fit right in. Yelp has a comprehensive list of local clubs with actual Jacksonville residents rating the price, drinks, and atmosphere, among other things, for each.
Jacksonville Chat Rooms
Jacksonville chat rooms put you right in front of your desired audience and allow you to test out your moves without fear of face-to-face rejection. You can try out a few pick-up lines or intros and see what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes it’s easier to be yourself when you have time to think about what you want to say. Plus, on the five sites below, filling out a profile and chatting won’t cost you anything.
Nobody really picks up a newspaper anymore — let alone places a personal ad in one. Today, practically all of our reading and dating is done online. It’s easy, convenient, affordable, and fruitful. Personals sites aren’t that much different from dating sites. For example, DateHookup (linked below) could be considered both, while Craigslist (also linked below) is strictly the former. However, personals sites do tend to emphasize brevity more so than dating sites do. You know, something like “single white female looking for Leonardo DiCaprio look-alike.”
Join a Sports League or Attend Pro/Minor Games
Jacksonville has a diverse sports scene — the beach offers swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, volleyball, and skim boarding, while the inner city offers football, baseball, softball, basketball, golf, rugby, and soccer. JaxSport.com is a resource you should take advantage of. The site’s search feature allows you to browse through the city’s leagues by sport, season, days, location, and level of competitiveness. With so many active singles around, your heart will be getting a physical and an emotional workout.
If you’re not much of an athlete, that’s OK! Every week there’s a game or match where you can mingle with fellow fans. For college, you’ve got the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University. For minor league or pro, you’ve got the Jaguars, the Jumbo Shrimp, the IceMen, the Axemen, and the Giants.
Help the Community
According to the 2016 Florida Homeless Report, there are 330 people in Jacksonville who are chronically homeless. And let’s not forget about the homeless animals. By volunteering, you can do your part to help those in need. Not to mention a philanthropic heart is one of the most attractive qualities a person can possess.
Go to the Landing
The Jacksonville Landing is one of the city’s top destinations, and you’ll never run out of things to do and people to meet there. Located at the corner of Independent Drive and Laura Street (along the Riverwalk), the Landing is a U-shaped pavilion and has 126,000 square feet of space.
It’s been around for more than 30 years and hosts more than 600 events every year. Some of the best known include Florida/Georgia, as I mentioned earlier, the TaxSlayer Bowl Game, the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, parties for New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day, and live entertainment every weekend. With so many options, it would be almost impossible not to meet people.
In the River City, You'll Never Be Lonely!
After my friend graduated and moved out of Jacksonville for her first job, we stopped visiting the city like we used to, which is a shame. We have a lot of fond memories, especially those when we were chatting up cute guys at a football game or at Mavericks. Hopefully, we’ll get back there soon and relive our college adventures. Until then, maybe those who are living in Jax can take over for us by using these tips!
Photo sources: zanda.com, 10best.com, abridgedreading.com, metrojacksonville.com, timeout.com, usctguide.com, jaxfray.com, fcnmhp.org, travelocity.com, 904happyhour.com