Located at the Florida-Georgia border, Amelia Island’s eastern Atlantic coastline features 13 miles of scenic seashore. Its western shoreline along the Amelia River (Intracoastal Waterway), is home to the historic riverfront city of Fernandina Beach.
What attracts visitors to Amelia Island?
The island’s largest beach parks are Fernandina’s Main Beach Park, Peter’s Point Park, and Burney Park at American Beach, offering the most beach parking. Overnight guests should consider getting up early to witness a sunrise at the Atlantic coast beachfront, a wonderful way to begin a day.
Amelia Island State Park on the island’s southern tip is the only Florida State Park offering horseback riding on the beach.
#2 Downtown Fernandina
The island’s historic city of Fernandina Beach is considered the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry in America. Stop by the Shrimping Museum at the downtown Fernandina Marina to learn more.
Enjoy the Victorian vibe and historic architecture of the preserved 50-plus-block historic district. With its main corridor along Centre Street, easily spend a few hours in this foot-friendly downtown, learn more.
Historic District Tours
The riverfront city is a great place to take a narrated history tour with Amelia Island Museum docents around downtown (or visit the exhibits at the museum itself). Other fun things to do include a trolley tour of historic highlights, a horse-drawn carriage ride and distillery tour. Also browse shops, art galleries, and antiques. Love being out on the water? Then hop aboard Amelia River Cruises for a variety of boat tours (departing from downtown dock).
There are plenty of dining options to choose from in the historic downtown hub of restaurants and pubs. Those downtown toward the end of the day should linger to watch a beautiful sunset over the Amelia riverfront.
# 3 Fort Clinch
The largest natural area on Amelia Island, spend time in the great outdoors exploring coastal nature. The park features stunning panoramic waterfront views along extensive shoreline. With over 1,400 acres, the state park sprawls across Amelia Island’s northern tip.
Enjoy Fort Clinch State Park’s hiking and biking trails, extensive beachfront, campground, picnic tables, Visitors Center/gift shop, and museum. Plus tours of the Civil War-era fortress itself, considered one of the “most well-preserved 19th century forts in America.”
It’s a 3-mile ride from entry Ranger station to the brick fortress overlooking the Cumberland Sound. For birders, the park is the gateway to the eastern section of the Great Florida Birding Trail. Fort Clinch is located at 2601 Atlantic Ave., Fernandina Beach, for more info call 904-277-7274.
Especially for first time visitors, a trip to Amelia Island would not be complete without spending some time at these three areas of the island that travelers enjoy most.
Learn much more about Amelia Island beaches, park amenities and beach ordinances. Or read the latest coastal news and views, see BEACHES articles.