Authorized in 1842 (and laid out in 1849) on the banks of the New River, Jacksonville, NC, was originally a port for receiving products and agriculture shipped inland from the Atlantic Ocean. It has since become the principal city and county seat of Onslow County, and home to the largest Marine Corps base on the eastern seaboard.
In 1941, the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was established in Jacksonville. It was soon followed by six satellite facilities, including the Marine Corps Air Station New River in 1943/1944. Since then, Jacksonville has grown rapidly, setting 2018 US Census population estimates over 70,000.
Jacksonville’s location along New River and Wilson Bay lends it to lovely water views. Downtown there are 5 parks located along the shore: Sturgeon City Park, Wilson Bay Park, Kerr St. Park, and Riverwalk Crossing Park and LP Willingham Park in the historic district. Residents can access the waterways from Jacksonville Landing (boat and kayak launch), Northeast Creek Park (boat and kayak launch), and Riverwalk Marina (kayak launch and boat day dock).
The barrier beaches are also not very far. Jacksonville is located just 18 miles from North Topsail Beach on Topsail Island, where visitors can enjoy a day in the Atlantic Ocean. For all authorized DoD ID card holders with proper base access, Onslow Beach at Camp Lejeune is also a recreational option.
Several festivals and events are held throughout the year in Jacksonville, including Jacksonville’s Night Out, Jazz in the City, Winterfest, Jacksonville Jamboree, and Oktoberfest. The area also has multiple races, triathlons, and sports-based events. But what makes Jacksonville unique is the community outreach that provides support to military families who often don’t have family in the area.
Jacksonville has a diverse offering of primary and secondary education, including Montessori, year-round, early college, and private academies. It’s located in the Onslow County School District. To see how students perform in Jacksonville schools and how teachers compare to others in North Carolina, you can see school and district report cards at the North Carolina Public Schools website.
For those wanting to pursue a higher education, the city is home to Coastal Carolina Community College and Miller-Motte College. Craven Community College, Lenoir Community College, University of North Carolina - Wilmington, and Cape Fear Community College (Wilmington and Surf City) are all located less than 50 miles away.
#10 on America's Best and Worst Cities for Crime (Smallest Metro Areas) #83 on America's Most (and Least) Stressful Cities (117 Smallest Metro Areas) #113 Forbes Best Small Places for Business and Careers (#2 in Cost of Doing Business) Jacksonville has also received the titles of “Tree City” (National Arbor Day Association) and “All-American City” (National Civic League).
If you have questions about living in Jacksonville, we invite you to contact us. Jacksonville and the nearby coastal communities have hundreds of neighborhoods and lots of new construction. Let us help you narrow down your home search!
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