Southern Living: “Fernandina Beach Best Small-Town Getaway”

“Feel welcome for a weekend or a lifetime.” Southern Living magazine features Fernandina Beach.

Photo: Fernandina's Fantastic Fudge, 218 Centre Street (904)277-4801
Fernandina’s Fantastic Fudge, 218 Centre Street

A town that makes one “feel welcome — for a weekend or a lifetime,” Fernandina Beach, Florida (on Amelia Island) appears first on a list of 17 southern American towns chosen as “Best Small-Town Getaways” by Southern Living magazine.

Remarkable, considering this comes just a month after another national magazine, Coastal Living, also featured Fernandina Beach as a “Best Little Beach Town.”  

Discovered by European explorers during the 1500s, it appears Fernandina is experiencing a national media renaissance.

Historic Palace Saloon, Fernandina Beach
Historic Palace Saloon, Fernandina

Southern Living further describes their “favorite Fernandina Beach spots” — noting Elizabeth Pointe Lodge as “favorite inn,” Le Clos “best place for dinner,” and mentions Centre Street highlights: the Palace Saloon and Fernandina Fantastic Fudge.

While the Southern Living magazine article does not have photos included of their individual best spot picks within Fernandina, Amelia Island Living & Travel is filling in the visuals from our extensive collection of local photos.

Fort Clinch

Fort Clinch State Park (Photo:

Chosen as “the most scenic spot,” in Fernandina by Southern Living, is Fort Clinch. A Florida State Park, Fort Clinch has been covered extensively in Amelia Island Living eMagazine as a must-see destination. Visitors can slip back into the year 1864 and experience reenactments of soldier life at the fort. Self-guided tours of the fort are available daily, year round. Usually at least one reenactor is present to narrate history and answer questions. However, elaborate living history reenactments take place the first weekend each month on Saturday from 9 to 5 and Sunday from 9 to noon.

The historic fortress is not the only attraction, though. Gorgeous beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean, Cumberland Sound and Amelia River are a favorite spot of fishermen and beachcombers. There are riverfront and oceanfront campgrounds, plus hiking and biking trails. This sprawling State Park is the best, most natural setting on the island to enjoy nature and the outdoors. Find out lots more, watch a Fort Clinch video with highlights in eMagazine’s TRAVEL GUIDE page about Fort Clinch.)

Photo Elizabeth Pointe Lodge, Southern Living's "Favorite Inn" Fernandina Beach in October 2010 issue "Best Small Town Getaways"
Oceanfront Elizabeth Pointe Lodge

Elizabeth Pointe Lodge

Having a stellar reputation in the lodging industry, this grey shingled inn is reminiscent of homes and cottages seen on the Cape, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. In fact, the structure was built modeling Nantucket shingle-style architecture that was popular during the 1880 to 1895 period on Nantucket.

Guests enjoy the waterfront view while relaxing in rocking chairs on Elizabeth Pointe Lodge’s sweeping verandah that overlooks the Atlantic in Fernandina Beach. Magnificent spot to watch an oceanfront sunrise.

Image French restaurant LeClos, 20 South 2nd Street, Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
French Restaurant, LeClos, 20 South 2nd St., Fernandina Beach

Flavor of France

Fernandina’s French restaurant, LeClos, is located at 20 South 2nd Street, Fernandina Beach, Florida, (904) 261-8100. Just off Centre Street, it’s across from the downtown Hampton Inn & Suites that overlooks the Fernandina Beach city marina. No doubt the setting itself, a charming yellow cottage with its white picket fence, has lured people off the sidewalk with its welcoming charm.

So, why does Southern Living Magazine “love” Fernandina Beach? In their words, Fernandina is “unpretentious and patient.”

Links to related articles:

Southern Living, “Best Small-Town Getaways,” by James T. Black, October 2010

Coastal Living Picks Fernandina As “Best Little Beach Town,” September 2010