A twilight view of the St. Johns RiverJacksonville lines both banks of the St. Johns River, the state's longest river, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean about 20 miles from downtown. The St. Johns flows north for 310 miles before turning east to the ocean at Jacksonville. 

More on the St. Johns River

Jacksonville's deep-water port is the 14th largest in the U.S. and handles shipments from around the globe.

The 'River City' is Florida's most populous city as well as its leading financial and insurance center. Jacksonville has more than 800,000 residents, and the six-county Northeast Florida region has more than 1.1 million.

Population data from the U.S. Census Bureau for Jacksonville/Duval County:

2010 actual: 864,263  (An increase of 85,384 or 11 percent from the 2000 Census) 

There is room to grow on Florida's First Coast. When the city was consolidated with Duval County in 1968, Jacksonville became the largest city in land area in the contiguous United States, covering 841 square miles. The area's population increased by more than 11 percent between 2000 and 2010, making Jacksonville's commitment to managed growth especially important. 

People enjoying the Riverwalk.Jacksonville has one of the lowest overall costs of living in Florida and the U.S. The area's cost of living is 92.6 percent of the national average, with housing and utilities being the best bargains. The median age of Jacksonville residents is 36.3. The mean household income is $65,491 while the median household income is $50,301, according to 2008 data from the American Community Survey.

The city's appeal has been reinforced by national media, including a steady ranking among the 'top ten best places to live' by Money magazine. Plus, for the second time in fours years, Jacksonville tops Expansion Management Magazine's list of 'America's Hottest Cities.'