Most tourists visit Amelia Island to enjoy beautiful beaches and to experience the laid-back “Old Florida” feel of yesteryear by visiting Fernandina’s downtown historic district.
With about 13 miles of shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean, Amelia Island offers city and county beach parks plus two Florida State Parks.
Amelia Island Activities
BIKE RIDING ON AMELIA ISLAND
Amelia is a great place to ride bikes and many island residents and visitors spend leisure time biking along miles of sidewalks as well as biking trails (including the 6.2 mile Amelia Island Trail on the southend of the island). Read article about the best places to ride bikes on Amelia Island.
MUST-SEE FORT CLINCH STATE PARK
The island’s largest state park with easy access, Fort Clinch State Park (904-277-7274) offers opportunity to tour a Civil War-era fortress and see amazing waterfront vistas. This park also features a half-mile-long fishing pier, beach access with restrooms, hiking/biking trails, camping, and picnic tables. Entry to the state park costs $6.00 per vehicle (2 to 8 passengers) or $2 per person riding in on a bicycle. With huge cannons pointing out to the Cumberland Sound, the fortress is an interesting artifact of the Civil War era (the fort tour itself is an extra $2.00 per person). The most natural area remaining on Amelia Island, be sure to visit this lovely state park. Entrance located at 2601 Atlantic Avenue, near the Fletcher Avenue intersection, close to Main Beach Park.
EXPLORE FERNANDINA’S DOWNTOWN HISTORIC DISTRICT
Fernandina’s foot-friendly downtown historic district and its main corridor of Centre Street provides visitors an easy venue to wander around at one’s own pace with many shops, restaurants, pubs and art galleries to explore — plenty within walking distance of each other. Tourists also have option of taking a sight-seeing trolley tour of top attractions and learn about local history. Or take a seat and enjoy a narrated horse-drawn carriage ride in historic downtown Fernandina Beach while you listen to local history highlights.
AMELIA ISLAND MUSEUM OF HISTORY
Trained docents tell the story of Fernandina’s historic past under eight flags. The museum is located at 233 South Third Street, (904)261-7378. Besides touring the museum’s exhibits, there are hosted Walking Tours downtown, noting “Golden Age” (1878-1912) homes and buildings in the 50-plus block historic district. Visit the Amelia Island Museum’s website for further information about various history tours including a “Happy Hour” pub crawl and ghost tour.
AMELIA ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE, OLDEST IN FLORIDA
One of the most historic landmarks in Fernandina Beach, Florida is the Amelia Island lighthouse, perched high on a bluff above Egans Creek. If you’d like to see Florida’s oldest lighthouse, then book a tour to visit the grounds of Amelia Island’s lighthouse built between 1838 to 1839. Lighthouse tours can be arranged through the Fernandina Beach Recreation Center (904)310-3350. Reservations are required in advance. Keep in mind the lighthouse tour is only given two days per month (the first and third Wednesday monthly at 10 am). The tour costs $5 per person.
KAYAKING AROUND AMELIA ISLAND
For the adventurous, how about paddling in the tidal creeks and marshes? Read related article with photos and video about kayaking around Amelia Island waterways. “See Nature Closeup With A Paddle On The Waterways.”
BOATING TOURS & FISHING
The waterways around Amelia Island offer the avid boater and fisherman hundreds of hours of year round pleasure (as much as your free time will allow). Several marinas offer boat slips including the Amelia Island Yacht Basin, and the Fernandina Harbor city marina. There are public boat ramps for those who trailer boats. Find further info about boat sight-seeing tours on the water, charter fishing and Amelia Island’s waterways and marinas.