Travelers have the opportunity to enjoy the accommodations of several wonderful Amelia Island bed and breakfast inns. Guests can stay in some of Fernandina’s most treasured, historic homes located in the quaint historic district downtown (near Centre Street and riverfront), or on the opposite side of the island at the Atlantic Ocean beachfront.
Downtown Fernandina is a foot-friendly place to walk around and browse the boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops. There are many restaurants and pubs concentrated in the historic district within a few blocks of the main corridor of Centre Street. Walking to the Amelia riverfront by the city of Fernandina Marina is another convenience, where charter fishing boats depart as well as a selection of boat tours (eco-nature, sunset cruises and more). Plus downtown is the hub of historic tours via horse and carriage, trolley or walking tours led by knowledgeable Amelia Island Museum docents. If you wish to explore by bicycles, staying at one of Fernandina’s quaint bed & breakfasts inns is a nice option since most offer complimentary bicycles and it’s just a 2-mile ride across the island along Atlantic Avenue to Main Beach Park and Fort Clinch State Park from historic Centre Street.
Amelia Island Bed & Breakfast InnsHoyt House Bed & Breakfast Inn (904) 277-4300, circa 1905, was modeled after the Rockefeller Cottage on Jekyll Island. This lovely inn sits at the intersection of 8th Street and Atlantic Avenue (the main east/west corridor between Main Beach Park and Fernandina’s historic district). Innkeepers, Myrta and Deborah, welcome visitors to enjoy this 10-guest room inn featuring 3-course gourmet breakfasts, a heated swimming pool, hot spa and garden gazebo. (P.S. — Hoyt also offers opportunity for a yachting experience. Their private yacht, “Nice Aft” can be booked overnight or for sunset and day cruises). Read more about Hoyt House with two additional photo galleries, a special feature article. Fairbanks House 904-277-3103, with its distinctive architectural style, “Italiante,” and the 15-foot high tower topping this historic mansion, stands out in Fernandina Beach. Circa 1885, it was built by Major George R. Fairbanks, a prominent Fernandina citizen, and had marvelous innovations for the time period, including a telephone, a concrete sidewalk and indoor running water. The historic Fairbanks House features oversized rooms (nine in the mansion) and three cottages, a swimming pool and amenities such as wireless internet access, spa robes, evening cocktail hour and more. There’s a neat suite taking up the entire 3rd floor and tower, offering 1,600 SF. If you’re thinking about eloping, Fairbanks House offers an Elopement Package that includes a horse and carriage ride to “secret location” for vows, an officiate for vow exchange, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, a small wedding cake and dinner for two. On the other hand, leave the guys at home and catch up on old times with the gals with the Fairbanks House’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Getaway.” The Florida House Inn 904-491-3322, circa 1857 (located at 22 South 3rd Street in Fernandina Beach), is noted as Florida’s “oldest surviving hotel.” The original structure was built by David Yulee’s Florida Railroad. During the Civil War, Union soldiers occupied the hotel. Notorious guests include Ulysses S. Grant, early film stars such as Laurel & Hardy, and members of America’s elite families, the Rockefellers and Carnegies. To the rear of the Florida House Inn is a lovely courtyard with outdoor seating. A mermaid fountain adds to the ambiance in this outdoor setting, a lovely venue for weddings. Within the inn, a small English-style pub offers a cozy atmosphere for cocktails (called the Mermaid Bar).
The Addison on Amelia (800) 943-1604. Offering 15 elegant guest rooms, The Addison on Amelia combines three Antebellum-style homes around a courtyard, with the original home dating back to 1876. The historic building still has its original heart-of-pine floors, high ceilings and 5 fireplaces (“now decorative fireplaces”).
Amelia Island Williams House (800) 414-9258. Offering 11 guest rooms, the Amelia Island Williams House (circa 1856) treats visitors to the historical ambiance of an Old Florida era. One of the oldest homes in Fernandina, its namesake, Marcellus Williams, participated in the Underground Railroad, and there’s a secret room at the inn that formerly sheltered runaway slaves. Union soldiers used the Williams House as a headquarters.
The Blue Heron Inn (904)445-9034 (some may know as the former Ash Street Inn), has been restored by new owners, a turn-of-the century home featuring six guest rooms (all with private baths). The inn also offers a garden area and swimming pool. For those in Fernandina during certain holidays, the Blue Heron Inn is located on Ash Street, an ideal location for watching parades pass by, if you happen to be in town for the historic city’s various holiday parades.Resembling a Nantucket-style inn, the Elizabeth Pointe Lodge (904)277-4851, is a 25-room, oceanfront boutique hotel. Enjoy its sweeping oceanfront verandah, cozy rooms, excellent breakfasts –a charming lodge at the Florida seaside in Fernandina Beach. It’s just a short walk from Elizabeth Pointe oceanfront lodge at 98 South Fletcher Avenue to Main Beach public beach park in Fernandina, with retro putt putt mini golf, picnic tables, gazebos, and Sandy Bottoms beach bar. Sidewalks connect visitors to Fernandina’s historic district (about a 2 mile walk or bike ride from the beach across the island to historic district and harborfront).
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