Explore Ortega

Old Ortega
“Historic Ortega lies on the St Johns River just south of the historic Riverside area. Ortega is bordered by the St. Johns River on the East, the Cedar River on the North, and the Ortega river on the West, practically making it an "inland island." The history of the area includes a number of interesting characters: botanist William Bartram; highwayman and cattle rustler Daniel McGirtt; and Don Juan McQueen, who attempted to establish a plantation on his 1791 Ortega land grant, but was forced to leave due to attacks of Georgians and the French. Gangster George "Machine Gun" Kelly and his wife were rumored to be the mysterious couple who abruptly left their rented Grand Avenue home hours before a midnight police raid in 1933.
Ortega is home to hundreds of mid-size to large, turn-of-the-century homes and Southern Style mansions. Many of these homes are situated directly on the river, and the nature of the "island" allows ease of access to the waterways for all residents. Along with Avondale and Riverside, Ortega is home to some of the wealthiest of Jacksonville families. It is marked by a distinctly traditional Southern culture complete with one of the South's most exclusive debutante coiteries. The island is almost exclusively residential, the only exception being a small square in the section known as "Old Ortega" on the northside where a small collection of restaurants, boutiques, and a pharmacy are found. Ortega, with its giant oaks, waterfront mansions, and series of parks is widely considered one of the most beautiful residential areas of Northeast Florida. Naval Air Station Jacksonville is also located on the southside of this neighborhood.”
Parks and Historic Districts

We encourage you to explore a neighborhood that was designed by prominent architect, Henry J. Klutho and recently designated as Jacksonville’s third nationally recognized historic district: Old Ortega.

“The Old Ortega Historic District is a U.S. historic district (designated as such on July 14, 2004) located in Jacksonville, Florida. The district is bounded by Roosevelt Boulevard, Verona Avenue, and the St. Johns and Ortega Rivers. Ortega Boulevard (SR 211) is the primary route throughout the district, which contains 597 historic buildings.”

Ortega Restaurants

It is a beautiful walk to the nearby shopping center that features casual and fine dining. If you are looking for a cup of coffee or lunch, the neighborhood provides all the conveniences you are looking for. If you are looking for a particular cuisine in Ortega or in the surrounding areas, please visit the Jacksonville Dining Guide @ http://jacksonville.diningguide.com/ for more information.
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