Jacksonville is in the First Coast region of northeast Florida and is centered on the banks of the St. Johns River, about 25 mi (40.2 km) south of the Georgia border and about 340 mi (547.2 km) north of Miami. The Jacksonville Beaches communities are along the adjacent Atlantic coast. The area was originally inhabited by the Timucua people, and in 1564 was the site of the French colony of Fort Caroline, one of the earliest European settlements in what is now the continental United States. Under British rule, settlement grew at the narrow point in the river where cattle crossed, known as 'Wacca Pilatka' to the Seminole and the Cowford to the British. A platted town was established there in 1822, a year after the United States acquired the colony of Florida from Spain; it was named after Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of the Florida Territory and seventh President of the United States.
Harbor improvements since the late 19th century have made Jacksonville a major military and civilian deep-water port. Its riverine location facilitates two U.S. Navy bases and the Port of Jacksonville, Florida's third largest seaport. Significant factors in the local economy include services such as banking, insurance, and healthcare. As with much of Florida, tourism is also important to the Jacksonville area, particularly tourism related to golf.