Do absolutely freakin' NOTHING
Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island is generally uncrowded and sedate. There are few hotels on Fletcher Avenue, just south of Fernandina. It's all private homes/private rentals and B&Bs. There are literally times during the day when you may see nobody else on the beach.
Just kick back and enjoy. Visit my tip about the lighthouse B&B and stay there for a really great place to relax. Ice your beer, put on your swim trunks and get your beach umbrella and chaise lounge. Do what you came to Fernandina to do......NOTHING.
Only get up and move when it's time to saunter into town to find some fresh seafood for dinner.....or make a run for more beer. Watching my daughter spend hours playing in the surf.
Watching a storm come into the area from the top level of the Lighthouse B&B. Nature's fury at its most awesome. If you go to Fernandina/Amelia Island and you stay several days, here's hoping you get at least one storm. It's well worth the adventure.
Gather at the docks at sunset
The pelicans gather along the boatyards at sunset awaiting any lagging fishing boats. Always on the lookout for a free handout of bait not used that day. If the handouts are scarce, the sunset from the port overlooking the marshes is still beautiful. Though, I believe the pelicans are probably more interested in fish than sunsets.
Fort Clinch State Park
One of many well kept State Parks around the Fernandina/Amelia Island neighborhood. Don't hestitate to stop at the ranger's office and ask for the best places to go.
The pier here is a great walk and a great view almost a 1/2 mile out.
Open on Thanksgiving
My sister and BIL ate here twice (without us) and styled it a 'good but pricey' restaurant. I guess they wouldn't have gone back had they not liked it.
There is an early bird special - 25% off your bill when you are seated by 6:45. But there is a $6 plate charge for shared entrees.
There is live classical/jazz guitar Friday/Saturday/Sunday. There is both a dining room and a screened porch My sister sent me a menu, and checked off the following items that they had which she said were very good:
Crab Cake Confit mixed with herbs and sauteed golden brown with savory onion $6.95
Vegetarian Black Bean Soup Cuban influenced topped with fresh sour cream $2.95
Crisp Sweet Diver Scallops, brocolli, lime rissotto cake, orange scented broth and fried leeks $22.95
Seafood Medley, sauteed shrimp, mussels and scallops simmered with oven roasted tomatoes, herbs and jumbo cous-sous in a savory broth $23.95
Vegetarian black bean cakes, grilled seasonal vegetables, lingine, chef's marinara served with Parmesan cheese $16.95
They have specials each night, a children's menu, home-made desserts and they serve wine and beer.
~ Amelia Island & Fernandina Beach, Florida ~
"The beginning of Florida's coastline"
A heavily wooded barrier island boasting broad beaches of white quartz sand, Amelia Island is a quaint blend of the very old, the very exclusive and the very natural. This northernmost island in all of Florida is often grouped with Jacksonville & its Beaches due to its close proximity, just across the Nassau River from the city's Talbot Islands State Parks.
The northern third of Amelia Island is dominated by the historic pirate town of Fernandina Beach, birthplace of the modern shrimping industry. Much of the red brick architecture along Centre Street reflects the 1800s and early 1900s. Today, a number of interesting shops and restaurants add to the street's allure. Bed & Breakfasts are also plentiful in Fernandina Beach, occupying grand Victorian homes in the Historic District and a variety of cottages along the beach.
Fort Clinch in Fernandina Beach is a large, well preserved, red brick Civil War fort surrounded by beaches and nature trails. It sits at the very northernmost tip of Amelia Island, looking across the wide harbor that marks the state line.
"Coexistence of nature and luxury"
Venture a little further down the shore from Fernandina and you'll find that much of the island's mid-section is an exclusive playground of the rich lined with posh oceanfront resorts, high rise condos and well respected golf courses. Tiny American Beach was founded as a resort for blacks during the age of segregation in the early 1900's. Today, the tiny community that inspired the movie "Sunshine State" struggles to keep its identity while bookended by the luxury highrise developments of Amelia Island Plantation and Summer Beach. (By the way, "Sunshine State" was actually filmed in both Amelia Island and Jacksonville).
Posh Summer Beach is also home to the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, one of the world's top rated hotels. Concours de Elegance, the largest antique, rare and celebrity-owned car show in the Eastern U.S., draws the rich and famous to the Ritz Carlton every year. Meanwhile, nearby Amelia Island Plantation is a large resort area featuring shops, a spa, a golf course, and nature trails.
Although the island's mid-section does a good job of balancing upscale development with its naturally dense woods and marshlands, Amelia Island State Park, at the southernmost tip of the island facing Big Talbot and the ocean, is all about nature. Grouped with three neighboring state parks in Jacksonville as part of the Talbot Islands Geoparks (see Jacksonville - Must See Activities), Amelia Island State Park stands out as one of the few places in Florida where visitors can ride horseback along the seashore thanks to the Kelly Seahorse Ranch.
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