Fernandina Beach -- historic pirate town
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.
While Fernandina is normally a sleepy little town, each May thousands of visitors from around the Southeast crowd Centre Street for the annual Isle of 8 Flags Shrimp Festival. This three-day art and food festival is the city's most famous and celebrated event.
If you're looking for an alternative to ritzy five-diamond oceanfront resorts, bed & breakfasts are plentiful in Fernandina Beach, occupying grand Victorian homes in the Historic District and a variety of cottages along the beach.
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Decorate the Beach
Everybody seems to have their own idea of how to "decorate" the beach. Some might call it
"relaxing" and others might call it playing on the beach. Whatever you wish to call it,
just enjoy and find the child in you. Go ahead and dig that moat or build that sand castle or
bury your friend in sand up to his head. Or perhaps walk your doggie. Or creat an original
"art piece" in the sand. The other day I saw a 12 foot aligator (made of sand of course) and unfortunately I did not have my camera with me......phooie.
Here's to the BEACH. :-)
- Water Sports
Ride your Bike on the Beach
Walking or riding a bike on the beach is considered very relaxing by many people worldwide. While on Amelia Island, I spotted these two ladies riding their bikes and asked permission to take their picture. They said they are Amish.....a religious sect.....and of course their attire reflected the Amish tradition. The Amish tend to be a very , very conservative religious group and these ladies would probably NOT be seen on the beach in a bathing suit. They wear long dresses and usually white head coverings, such as a cap. These two ladies were polite and let me take their picture.
Stroll the downtown area.....
One of America's oldest pubs exists in downtown Fernandina Beach. Outside is a statue of Dick Tracy.....don't ask me why. I don't know!!! But all the tourists have their picture taken next to the statue. There are all kinds of speciality shops lining the main streets of town. Everything from fancy resort clothing, shells, shoes, ice cream shops, jewelry shops, eateries, to real estate offices. Most eateries have outside dining, in order to enjoy the wonderful weather. Off the main street of town, along the beach, you will always be able to find a seat outside.
Visit local churches ........and graveyards
Amelia Island has both the long established churches such as the Episcopal Church on the main street of town and some brand new churches such as the First Baptist Church. At least the building of the First Baptist is new. The membership/church body has been in existance for many years. One fine sunny afternoon, the accompanying photo was taken of this particular Baptist Church. It was not until the photo was downloaded that the "white dove of peace" was seen in the cloud over the church. This was astonishing ......can you see the white dove with its wings?
Take a Sunset Cruise on Amelia River
You can watch the sun come up over the Atlantic Ocean in the morning and then scoot over to
the western side of the island and watch the sun set over the Amelia River in the evening. There is a tour company which operates out of the harbor and offers sunset cruises. This cruise will take you past Cumberland Island, which is a very tiny island that is accessible only by boat. Wild horses still roam there and an elegant hotel named the Greyfield Inn still exists where you may book a room and dine in its exquisite restaurant. Cumberland Island is the well -kept secret island where John-John Kennedy and his bride were wed. The tour guide will show you photos of the wedding where friends of the Kennedy family spilled out into the nearby pig farm ( I kid you not!!!) because the tiny chapel simply could not hold everyone. The guests arrived in the middle of the night when no one would see them because of the secrecy. Don't you know the locals were tickled to know that their island was the chosen spot for John-John's wedding? Cumberland Island is now a state park and preserved by Florida. When the state wanted to remove the wild horses because of the difficulty of feeding them, the locals put up a big outcry. I believe the locals now help feed and care for the horses. If you are lucky on your cruise, you will see the horses on the shore. The tour guide is so knowledgeable and you simply cannot take in and remember all that he tells you. However, you will always remember the glorious sunset
that you see.
- Historical Travel
- Luxury Travel
Amelia Island Charter Fishing LLC
We went fishing with Amelia Island Charter Fishing LLC our Capt. Jeff Crumpton did a great job putting us on fish and entertaining the kids too! My husband is a fly caster, but we did not mention this. Capt. Jeff is a Orvis guide as well, we will be back to fish for redfish on what Capt. Crumpton called the flood tides and the winter time schooled up redfish bite.
- Family Travel
Local Coastal Decor
While visiting Amelia Island, take a moment to visit one of the local furniture shops and get a feel
for the local flavor of decorating. That "coastal" breezy feeling permeates a lot of Florida's decor and you will see billowy fabrics on the screened porches, also known as "lanai's" , lots of white fabrics, lots of blues, perhaps some shells, and signs that remind you that "Life is a Beach!!!" :-)
Another sign reminds you that "If you are lucky enough to be at the beach, you are lucky enough".
I have to say I agree. Put me on a beach and I am a happy camper.
Much of the decor in Florida and the Caribbean is influenced by both Spanish settlers and also
the British Colonial motif. The four poster bed in the accompanying photo is just one example of the British Colonial influence.
- Arts and Culture
- Women's Travel
Take the Mayport ferry over to Amelia Island
If you are driving to Amelia Island from the Mayport, Florida area, it is a treat to take the ferry
over the inland waterway to Amelia Island. Mayport has a large Naval base nearby and while waiting for the ferry you may be lucky enough to see a squadron of heilcopters high in the air, practicing their maneuvers. Once the ferry docks, all waiting vehicles , bicyclists, and pedestrians are boarded by the most friendly and humorous fellow who makes it his job to entertain you while directing you to "your spot" on the ferry. A quick 10 minute ride and you are ready to depart the ferry and begin a wonderous vacation on one of Florida's islands. Enjoy!
Post Office - this is one of...
Post Office - this is one of the most impressive buildings on Amelia Island. It's a design based on the Medici palace in Florence. Erected in 1910, it was built in honor of the island's European heritage. Catherine de Medici sent French Huguenots here to claim land for France.
Thomson Tabby House, Ft....
Thomson Tabby House, Ft. George Island - circa 1850, this type of dwelling consisted of a conglomeration of ground oyster shells, whole oyster shells and sand. This mixture was poured in layers and allowed to dry.
Tabby Houses at Kindsley...
Tabby Houses at Kindsley Plantation, Ft. George Island - a semi-circle of these unique two-room houses border the Plantation. Each served a family unit with a kitchen area and a sleeping quarter. Time apart from work and sleep was spent in a common area outside of the houses.
Kingsley Plantation, Ft....
Kingsley Plantation, Ft. George Island - circa 1780, this indigo and sea island cotton plantation was built on Ft. George Island by one of the compassionate slave owners of the time. Kingsley's slaves were taught 2 languages, they were evaluated for their strengths and taught to master them, they were encouraged to become self-sufficient, planting their own crops, raising their own livestock, etc. Kingsley, himself married one of his own slaves, moved her and their children to Haiti when laws in Florida changed for the worse concerning interracial marriages, and left her a wealthy Floridian widow when he succumbed on a business trip to the north.
St. George - hailing from...
St. George - hailing from Palestine around 1,000 AD, just about the time of King Arthur, this patron is honored in the east window of the Mission. Episcopal Churches always face east, in recognition of the resurrection of Christ.
St. George Episcopal Church,...
St. George Episcopal Church, Ft. George Island - founded in 1877, this River Mission welcomed John Freeman Young as its' first bishop. River missions sprang up alongside southern waterways in the U.S. and were built to resemble the European Episcopal countryside churches. They were 'Carpenter Gothic' in style, that is, they boasted exposed beams along with a boat-shaped ceiling that welcomed all to their interior, just as Noah's Ark did of old. Much symbolism is incorporated into these religious structures that add to their beauty and dignity.