Downtown Fernandina Wins “Florida Great Places” Award

The Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association presented Fernandina Beach with the 2015 “Great Places in Florida” award for its downtown historic district.

On The River, Downtown Fernandina Beach
Riverfront, Downtown Fernandina Beach (David Yulee & Peg Leg Pete)
Amelia Island and Fernandina receive lots of accolades, often appearing on “Top 10 Lists,” (i.e. the best islands, the best beach towns), and as a distinctive destination for its historic preservation. Locals and repeat visitors know the allure of this barrier island and its Victorian-era riverfront city.

Recently, the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) visited Fernandina Beach to present the city with the 2015 “Great Places in Florida” award for the downtown historic district.

According to an APA press release, “the Great Places in Florida award is an annual selection of places that represent the gold standard of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement and a vision for tomorrow.”

An “Old-Fashioned” American Main Street

Evening On Centre Street, Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach
Evening On Centre Street, Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach
For those unfamiliar, Fernandina’s downtown historic district is anchored by the harbor with vintage buildings dating back to America’s Victorian-era lining the sidewalks. This “Old Florida” streetscape is a looking glass to the past. Read more about the historic district, “Fernandina’s Main Street Called Centre.”

Many would agree it’s Fernandina’s downtown along the riverfront that adds the regal crown to this “Isle of Eight Flags,” named after princess Amelia (daughter of King George II of England).

Downtown Fernandina Beach was also recently awarded designation as a “Florida Main Street” community. The Florida Main Street program is “aimed at identifying, evaluating, and preserving Florida’s historic resources,” according to the Florida Division of Historical Resources.

For those planning a trip or searching for a new place to live in Florida, visit Fernandina Beach. Its small-town atmosphere, boating opportunities and beachfront are relaxing to enjoy, whether for a few days or as a place to put down roots. The downtown riverfront is also a great place to watch a sunset from the docks.

Downtown Fernandina on the Riverfront. Great Place to Watch a Sunset,
Downtown Fernandina on the River, Great Place to Watch a Sunset.

More About The Award

“Celebrating Great Places in Florida and the communities that sustain them,” an APA selection committee narrowed the Florida finalists to four, followed by online voting to pick the “people’s choice,” with Fernandina winning. The other three Florida nominees were downtown Lake Worth, Tallahassee’s Gaines Street District and Lakeland.

Also visit the city of Fernandina Beach’s website for further information about the “Great Places” award.