Some of the most beautiful and historic neighborhoods in Jacksonville can be found in the Westside Jacksonville Florida area. From Avondale to Ortega, from Normandy to Cedar Hills, tree-lined streets and historic homes sit eye-to eye with trendy malls and busy shopping areas in a harmonic balance of the old and the new that is typical of the Westside Jacksonville Florida area. From the 1920's to the 1980's Jacksonville has grown from a collection of culturally diverse small towns to its current position as one of the largest cities in the nation, and the Westside is a perfect example of that growth. It is home to the Paxon School for Advanced Studies, rated one of the best schools in the nation by academics since 2003, and many similarly impressive institutions including several "Magnet" schools and the like. Close to the Downtown area are such neighborhoods as Lake Shore, with its handsome old homes, and Riverside, where you will find the popular entertainment/shopping area known as Five Points. Riverside is also known for its extensive historic renovation project, sponsored by the Riverside/Avondale Preservation District since the 1970's. Carriage rides are offered down the wide streets lined with spreading live oaks, some of them the original brick construction. During the winter holidays there is even a "Luminaria" festival, with the beautiful yards and walkways of the neighborhood outlined with thousands of white paper bags glowing with flickering candlelight, an extremely memorable alternative to the usual electric light display. From whatever angle you approach it, from culturally diverse family neighborhood to charming historic areas, there can be little doubt that the Westside Jacksonville Florida area has many appealing facets to any traveler.