Beaches are nice but water is not near as warm as south florida, and gulf coast. most jax beach hotels and amelia hotels are around $150 per night. You can find deals. try hotels across the street from the beach. On Amelia the best western and the Hampton inn on Sadler are a few blocks from the beach and in that price range. There is also the Amelia Inn and suites that is across the street from the beach, not sure of the cost though. The trip takes about 35-45 minutes, no need for a rental car on the island, Southern Comfort Transportation is a great inexpensive car service to get you to and from Jacksonville international airport (approx $45 to either Amelia or Jax Beach)
Call Charlie at Southern Comfort Transportation. He is very knowledgeable about getting around Jacksonville and they don't charge even as much as so called shuttle rates. We even got a Towncar upgrade for free last time we got picked-up. No call takers, the owner answers the phone every time and knows who you are when you call. so refreshing to still find true southern hospitality. Prices are the best in the area, and quality around here has no comparison. Have you seen the other cab drivers and vehicles...