Love being on the water? Then you’ll love exploring Amelia Island’s waterways!
For some, there’s nothing like the pleasure and relaxation of spending time on the water around Amelia Island. Whether your ambition is to catch a fish or just absorb coastal nature, take a leisurely boat ride on local waterways.
Fernandina Beach is the gateway to Florida on the water for mariners heading south (Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Mile 716). Westrec manages Fernandina Harbor Marina operations. The Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina is host to many charter fishing boats as well as sightseeing tour boats. The marina conveniently sits adjacent to historic Centre Street. Mariners stopping at the city’s marina have easy access by foot to Fernandina’s charming historic district, boutiques, and restaurants called “downtown.” One of the best spots on Amelia Island to watch an island sunset is along the Amelia riverfront at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina.
MARINA WELCOME CENTER FERNANDINA BEACH
Mariners who arrive at the city of Fernandina’s harbor can visit the marina Welcome Center and restroom facilities. Fernandina Harbor Marina (904-491-2090 dockmaster) amenities include fuel, moorings, dockage, 30 and 50 amp power, showers, and washers and dryers. For those who trailer boats, there’s a city public boat ramp at the Fernandina marina, next to the Welcome Center.
AMELIA ISLAND NATURE CRUISES, BOAT TOURS
Amelia River Cruises offers nature tours on the water and “Twilight” cruises with live entertainment (BYOB adult-themed tours), ask about the seasonal schedule. Nature tours feature salt marsh, riverbank, the wilderness beachfront of Cumberland Island, Georgia, and the opportunity to possibly glimpse dolphins, shore and wading birds plus the wild horses of Cumberland that often graze along its shoreline. To make a river cruise reservation call 904-261-9972 or visit their website for more information.
Top local fishing expert, Captain Terry Lacoss of Amelia Angler Outfitters, offers charter fishing, sailing, sight-seeing tours, and fishing school. The Amelia Angler Outfitters store is located at 111 Centre Street, a short walk from the Fernandina Harbor Marina. The shop rents surf fishing tackle and sells bait, plus offers outdoor wear, hats, sunglasses, fly and light fishing tackle.
AMELIA ISLAND KAYAKING
Read related article, “Amelia Island Kayaking. See Nature Closeup With A Paddle on the Waterways.”
DEE DEE BARTELS BOAT RAMP ON THE AMELIA RIVER, FERNANDINA BEACH
Besides the Fernandina Harbor marina in the city, another wonderful asset on Amelia Island is located toward the island’s northwest, the Dee Dee Bartels public boat ramp on the Amelia River/Intracoastal Waterway. Also called the North Amelia Island Park/Ramp, it’s a favorite spot of local boaters to launch. But even if you don’t have a boat, this location is a great spot to enjoy a peaceful waterfront setting and spectacular sunset view. To reach Dee Dee Bartels boat ramp and pavilion (North Amelia Island Park/Ramp), from Atlantic Avenue in Fernandina Beach, head north on 14th Street and go over the 14th Street bridge, then left. There’s an expansive parking lot to accommodate loads of vehicles and boat trailers, and the ramp is free to the public. The boat ramp itself is very wide, allowing three boats to be launched at the same time. Two fishing piers/walkways jut out into the water a fair distance, and flank the ramp. Two floating docks, one on each side, are below the elevated walkways. The large pavilion provides a nice gathering spot and a shelter to wait for a rain shower to pass (there is a restroom facility, too).
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