Sandy beaches, pure waters, a rich history and serene natural views on all sides—what could be a better getaway than Amelia Island?
Named after the daughter of George II of Great Britain, Amelia Island is a 13-mile-long chain of barrier islands located in Nassau County, 30 miles northeast of downtown Jacksonville. It is one of the prime vacation destinations within the sunshine state, and for good reason—with its relaxed atmosphere, Amelia Island is the perfect place to unwind with your loved ones.
The beach—with 40 different entrances within the island—is said to be one of the best in Northern Florida. Its inviting warm waters and clean, unpeopled environment are a perfect source of refreshment. Take a leisurely stroll alongside the calming surf; or take a dip in the Atlantic ocean as dolphins swim nearby.
Rent a pavilion on the beach park for a romantic evening as you wine and dine by the calming waves. Make an afternoon of horseback riding by the beach. Take advantage of the boat rentals and go sailing; or if you were to seek thrill, surfing, parasailing, hang gliding, and paragliding are also available. Even away from the beach, you can go kayaking, canoeing and fishing. Not to be missed is the tranquil waterway cruise, during which you may even spot an alligator or wild horse. This barrier island is unique in its natural beauty of marshlands and maritime forests; you can take advantage of the bike or hike trails through the state park and indulge in the serene atmosphere, or go on a guided nature walk.
And if nothing else, simply laying your towel along the shores of Fernandina Beach is enough to restore your freshness.
Amelia Island is rich in culture as well. Take a guided carriage-ride tour through the enchanting 50-block downtown historic district; this quaint Victorian seaport village is known for its colorful history of pirates—don’t forget to visit the Amelia Island Museum of History!—and shrimpers.
Speaking of shrimps, watch out for the Isle of 8 Flags Shrimp Festival, held annually between April 28th and May 3rd. The Pétanque America Open tournament in November invites players from all over the country in 2 days of competition for a $10,000 prize. Notable also are the Amelia Concours d’Elegance, Rendezvous Film Fest, various kinds of music festivals (blues, jazz, and chamber) and book festival. And finally, Amelia Island is proud to boast its 117 holes for golf, making it an unparalleled golfing expedition destination.
Downtown, a plethora of unique shopping and dining opportunities await. Charming, whimsical and simply one-of-a-kind artisan handicrafts are to be found in any of the several shops all over Amelia Island. And with over 90 different restaurants of all kinds to choose from—ranging from eateries offering fresh seafood and local produce to fine-dining by the beach—you’ll never fall short of exciting options to whet your appetite for fine food.
Amelia Island truly has it all. Start planning to explore one of Florida’s finest, today!