North Amelia Island Park/Ramp - park, with three-lane ramp, other amenities (like bathrooms - third photo), good access to St. Mary's River entrance. There also appears to be a fishing pier.
Two pictures are from the river and the other three are from the boat ramp area on land.
There's also a ramp at the foot of Ash St., downtown Fernandina Beach: shallow water, shoaling, heavily used by commercial fishermen and often amusing incidents to watch when people are attempting to launch their boats.
Equipment: Boat, trailer and towing vehicle, plus whatever fishing gear you want.
When we first came down in Dec 2000, I wrote: "This is a municipal marina. Their rates vary by the season. In season (Oct to Dec 15th) it is $1.00/foot. I think in the summer it is 95 cents a foot and in the winter it is 90 cents a foot. They have a seasonal rate of $5/foot for a week. Dockage is cheaper for local residents, and they do have a liveaboard rate. They have new concrete floating docks on the north side with electricity, and there are cable TV connections but they are not hooked up. They have an internet connection in the office. They have showers, fuel and ice. The old town is right there in walking distance, but a grocery store is about 2 miles away. They do not take reservations."
The other (south) side - the docks closest to shore there had no water at low tide. Tourists come by our boat sometimes and want to take their picture with it or something.
Equipment: Most of the time, they put transients on the outside dock. But this is really unsafe and certainly uncomfortable in a NW wind. If you have a shoal draft boat sometimes they put you on the inside of the south piers A, B, C etc. These are the docks that are out water in some places at low tide. We have to go on the ones on the north 1, 2, and 3.
The cost in 2002 was $1.10/ft plus $7.14/day for electricity (30 amp is $3.50) and taxes. In March 2002, the fuel was $1.13/gal for diesel. When the winds die to nothing we are eaten alive by no-see-ums, esp. at low tide.
Dinghy dockage (from the anchorage)is $2 + tax/day. Showers are $1.50/person. Garbage is 50 cents a bag.
Weekly rate is $10 + tax without showers, and $20 +tax with showers (up to 3 people) and trash disposal. This is as of Jan 1, 2002. Monthly is $35 without showers and $60 with.
Tried to stay here on our first trip in 2000, but they wouldn't answer either the phone or the VHF. So we've never tried since then. They have a repair facility, a chandlery, pumpout, showers, and a nearby restaurant. They are about a 5 minute walk from town.
They are no longer in the guidebook I have so they may not accept transients.
Equipment: I took these pictures on the way to Fort Clinch
My sister apparently has always had a desire to ride on the beach like in the movies. Amelia Island is one of the few places where you can do this. Debbie brings the horses to the Ritz Carlton beach and you can canter if you want to.
She wrote: "I reconnected with my youthful riding instruction on a quieter walk-trot ride ($45, you are in a line of 6 to 10) and so was prepared for the next one. Woman comes up in a trailer with four horses, her prize palomino, one saddled English for a 16-year-old experienced girl, two saddled Western, one for me, one for the girl's cousin who had hardly ever been on a horse. (This ride is $60 according to the website)
"Off we went. I was very pleased with how I did. My horse insisted on being in the lead, despite my attempts to go second. She was 18 years old but she like to GO. The least encouragement and whoosh she would break into a trot and then a canter. What a thrill! You can imagine. A half-hour down, partly by the shoreline, partly up a little further because it was high tide, dodging people and kites.
"I felt sorry for the cousin but the owner, Debbie Manser, was pretty good at assessing what you could do. The main instruction she gave, interestingly, was to look straight ahead, that if you looked down you would be off balance. And to put weight on the balls of your feet in a trot."
Equipment: "I had gone out and bought boots with heels. The cousin wore sneakers. Geesh."
"From the first ride I learned that horses smell your breath and I remembered that they can feel your confidence in your legs. So I ate apples, relaxed my thighs, used my stomach muscles, and sat up straight. Maybe that helped"
I suspect that I would not have done as well, because when a horse canters I always fall off. I'm also much heavier than my sister and my sister has been a dancer most of her life so she's quite a bit more limber than I am.
NOTE: When my sister visited Amelia Island again and booked a ride, she was MUCH less happy about it because first they said the weather was not good enough to ride, and then the next day it actually WAS too bad to go, so she didn't get her ride.
The main advantage to this marina is that they are nice people and they take reservations. The main disadvantage is that it is too far from town to walk, so we've never stayed there. Also we'd have to wait until high tide to get in. Current rates are $1.30 per foot per night and a surcharge of $4.00 and $7.50 for 30A and 50A power.
Equipment: They have floating docks, washer and dryer, ice, free pump out, and are protected from wind, current and wakes. But the approach depth is only 3' They have a courtesy car for shopping, and there is a restaurant about 3/4 mi. away.
You don't see a lot of tennis tips on VT--even less tennis tips here than golf tips and believe me there aren't many golf tips either.
But if tennis is your game, you could do much worse than the Amelia Island Plantation. They have twenty-three clay tennis courts. You don't see many clay courts in the U.S.
Each year in the first week of April the Plantation hosts a WTA (Women's Tennis Association) tournament. That was only days after our stay and I went over to the tennis courts to look at the construction crews putting up the big grandstands for the spectators. Fairly big operation to hold such an event.
We stayed at the Amelia Island Plantation which boasts of three golf courses. Our room overlooked the fairway of one of these courses. If you look closely at the photo you can see a building hidden behind the trees across the pond (that was our building).
I did play one round of golf, but not at the Plantation. I played the Golf Club of Amelia Island which was fun, but not worth the $160 that the Ritz Carlton charges its guests for play at the course. I was lucky enough to play with a member.