Amelia Island is at the southern end of a chain of barrier islands that hug America’s east coast stretching from South Carolina through Georgia, ending here in northeast Florida.
Amelia Island’s 13 miles of Atlantic seashore attracts the most visitors in summer season. Amelia’s lovely beaches are a quiet escape in autumn and winter. Beachcomb to find shark’s teeth, starfish, shells, and sand dollars. Amelia’s flat beaches at low tide allow bike riding on the shoreline. Spend time at the beach.
Explore By Water
Take a boat tour or go fishing. Learn about local nature while you paddle a kayak.
While known for its posh oceanfront resorts featuring golf, pampering spas, and tennis (Omni Amelia Island Plantation and the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton), across the island at the other end of the spectrum is Fernandina’s Victorian vibe.
Downtown FernandinaTake historic tours on foot (also via trolley or horsedrawn carriage), to explore the riverfront city of Fernandina Beach, with 450-plus historic structures on the National Register of Historic Places. Wander around foot-friendly Fernandina, the pub hub with a nice variety of restaurants, shops, art galleries and antiques.
Fernandina holds claim to being the “birthplace of the modern shrimping industry in America.” When dining out, ask about the availability of wild-caught shrimp. Also visit the Shrimping Museum at downtown marina, and the main Amelia Island Museum at 233 S. Third Street.
A must-see attraction is Amelia Island’s Civil War-era fortress on the waterfront (with over 1,100 preserved acres of maritime forest and beautiful shoreline on both river and ocean), Fort Clinch State Park (904)277-7274. Extra-special reenactments happen the first weekend each month.
Florida’s OldestAmelia Island is also home to the oldest existing lighthouse in the state of Florida, the Amelia Island Lighthouse, dating back to 1838, the oldest surviving hotel (the 1857 Florida House Inn), and the oldest continually-operating Saloon (The Palace).
Coastal NatureSea turtles nest on Amelia Island and summer visitors can watch local volunteers escavate nests, a wonderful learning experience.
Amelia Island is located within a great neighborhood of islands. Slightly north is amazing Cumberland Island, Georgia (National Seashore).To Amelia’s south is Big Talbot and Little Talbot (undeveloped, natural islands, protected Florida State Parks). While getting to Cumberland Island requires a ferry, you can actually ride a bike trail that connects Amelia with Big Talbot.