Amelia Island Beaches Along Atlantic Coast Shoreline
Browse Amelia Island beach scenes, photos taken along the 13-mile shoreline from northend to southend. Read summaries below about each of Amelia Island’s beach parks including the island’s two Florida State Parks (Fort Clinch State Park and Amelia Island State Park).
MAIN BEACH PARK, FERNANDINA BEACH
Looking for Amelia Island beach access with a few concessions and activities? Then head to Main Beach Park (located at Atlantic and South Fletcher Avenue). Main Beach Park offers public restrooms, outdoor showers, picnic tables, barbecues, gazebos, volleyball courts and children’s playground. Park vehicles at Main Beach’s large parking lot and enter the beach for free. A casual beach bar and restaurant (Sandy Bottoms) is located at Main Beach. Also at Main Beach is Fernandina’s Putt-Putt (serves milk shakes, ice cream, soft drinks at the beach). Main Beach has three lifeguard towers during the summer season with Ocean Rescue protecting the beach Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
PETER’S POINT PARK, AMELIA ISLAND
Peter’s Point, on South Fletcher Avenue, is a free Amelia Island beach park on Amelia Island (Nassau County, Florida) with very large parking area (including equestrian horse trailer parking), restrooms, outdoor showers, picnic tables and barbeques. The Amelia Island Trail, a 6.2 mile path for biking and hiking opened in 2013 and begins at Peter’s Point, read related article about Amelia Island Trail with photo gallery. Those with children (and all the beach gear that goes with kids) and a 4 wheel drive vehicle will find beach driving here particularly convenient. (See more further below about beach driving permits.) Peter’s Point has three lifeguard towers with Ocean Rescue personnel daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
SEASIDE PARK, FERNANDINA BEACH, FLORIDA (TWITTER VINE VIDEO)
— Amelia Island Living (@Florida32034) July 29, 2013
In between Main Beach Park toward the north end of Amelia Island, and Peter’s Point toward the southend of the island, is Seaside Park near Sliders (at the roundabout of South Fletcher Avenue and Sadler Road). There is a smaller public parking lot at Seaside Park (free) with dune walkovers and a couple of picnic tables, and public restrooms have now been added to this beach access. Limited beach driving is allowed at Seaside Park, so with 4 wheel drive vehicle, it’s possible to drive onto the beach and park. Beware, it’s tempting to drive onto the beach, and this beach access is frequented by tow trucks servicing those who get stuck. Sliders located at Seaside Park is an oceanfront restaurant with outdoor tiki bar and often has live entertainment in the evenings. Also across the street from Seaside Park near the roundabout is a beach gear rental shop and place to rent bicycles, for those who’d like to bike ride on the beach and pedal around Amelia Island. Seaside Park has lifeguards during the summer season.
FORT CLINCH STATE PARK (TWITTER VINE VIDEO)
— Amelia Island Living (@Florida32034) July 20, 2013
Fort Clinch is a must-see attraction on Amelia Island, with over 1,200 acres, a half-mile long fishing pier, historic fort tours, picnic area with playground equipment, hiking and biking trails. The entry fee for Fort Clinch State Park is $6.00 per vehicle, 2 to 8 passengers. Fort Clinch State Park is open daily from 8 am until sunset. Tour the historic fort itself for an additional $2 per person. Like sleeping under the stars? A camping adventure awaits you at Fort Clinch State Park, with some campsites just steps away from the riverfront. The Fort Clinch entrance is located at 2601 Atlantic Avenue, near the South Fletcher Avenue intersection (close to Main Beach Park in Fernandina Beach). For more information call Fort Clinch State Park at (904)277-7274. (Note that there are no lifeguard towers in this state park.)
BURNEY PARK AT HISTORIC AMERICAN BEACH
Burney Park is located on Amelia Island’s southend in between Summer Beach and Omni Amelia Island Plantation (beach access #109, turn onto Gregg Street from First Coast Highway/A1A). Beach park offers restrooms, outdoor showers, picnic tables. Located at historic American Beach, the Burney Park area features a dune system called “Nana,” the tallest dune in the state of Florida. (Nana was formerly part of Amelia Island Plantation, but the resort donated 8.5 acres to the National Park Service’s Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve to save this dune). The 200-acre historic American Beach was a vacation spot for wealthy African Americans back when beaches in America were segregated. The founders of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company purchased American Beach back around the Great Depression. Today, American Beach is the first stop on the Florida Black Heritage Trail, with approximately 50 homes remaining from the 1940s and 1950s.
AMELIA ISLAND STATE PARK
At the southern tip of the island is the Amelia Island State Park located near the southend bridge, First Coast Highway/A1A) with over 200 acres of beachfront and forest, a wonderful natural environment. Park admission fee is $2. This area of Amelia Island is a favorite spot of local fishermen who cast from the shore and from the dedicated fishing bridge at this location. Driving on the beach is allowed (with permit for non-county residents) in Amelia Island State Park. Drive on the beach around low tide, since the beach gets narrow at high tide along the entry/exit area of the park. Note that there are no lifeguard towers in this state park. For further information call (904)251-2320. Kelly Seahorse Ranch operates horseback riding tours from this state park.
BEWARE OCEAN RIP CURRENTS
When at the beach, pay attention to signs and flags warning ocean conditions (i.e. red flag, yellow flag, green flag, purple flag). Sometimes dangerous rip currents are present and swimmers can drown. Information about rip currents are posted at the beaches, also see more at the city of Fernandina’s website.
BEACH RULES — IT’S NOT BYOB
Don’t bring alcohol to Amelia Island’s beaches. There’s no littering and no glass allowed on Amelia Island’s beaches. It’s unlawful for any person to drink beer, wine, or alcoholic beverages at any County-owned or controlled recreation area. Possession of any open container holding an alcoholic beverage is prohibited. Violations are punishable by a fine not exceeding $500 and/or ten days incarceration.
DOGS LEASH LAW
Dogs must be under a leash at all times at the beach and littering is prohibited. Bring doggie bags and pick after pets immediately. Pet owners not complying can be the recipient of an expensive ticket.
DRIVING ON AMELIA ISLAND BEACHES
Don’t drive on the beach unless you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Only drive in the limited designated areas where signs are posted (Seaside Park in the city, county beaches at Peter’s Point, Scott Road, Burney Park) and also Amelia Island State Park at southern tip of the island. Plenty of tourists get stuck in the sand and require a tow truck, a common sight next to Sliders at Seaside Park. Non-Nassau County residents are required to obtain a permit to drive or park on county beaches. No permit is required for vehicle owners who are handicapped or disabled. According to Nassau County’s website, beach driving permits can be obtained at: Flash Foods 904-261-3113 (5518 South Fletcher Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL), the Nassau County Historic Courthouse 904-491-6430 (416 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach), Judicial Annex 904-548-4500 (76347 Veterans Way, Yulee, FL) and the A1A Express Discount 904-310-6163 (3331 South Fletcher Avenue, Fernandina Beach).
TIDAL POOLS FOR THE KIDS AT LOW TIDE ON AMELIA ISLAND
Low tide sometimes offers wonderful tidal pools on Amelia Island’s beachfront, ideal oceanfront puddles, making convenient playgrounds for the little ones. So, for those with young children, a wonderful time to visit Amelia Island beaches is about a 3-hour time frame around low tide (an hour and a half before to an hour and a half after). Low tide is also the best time to ride bicycles on the beach when it’s the widest and flattest, and is usually a good time for beachcombing, too.
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