Amelia Island is a beautiful barrier island just north of Jacksonville, Florida. There are lots of things to see and do here, but this is a list of my favorite things about Amelia Island.
1. Time passed it by. Even though Amelia Island has miles of beautiful beaches, a temperate climate, and lots of beauty, it hasn’t been overrun by mega-hotels and concrete. There are two state parks protecting the natural beauty of the island, one on the north end and one on the south end. There are plenty of hotels and places to eat, but the beach isn’t crowded with them. There are tons of unspoiled and no so crowded beaches, lots of parks for the kids, nature trails, and so many quiet places just to sit and think.
2. Fernandina Beach. This little town has been in place for over a hundred years. The traffic is slow, the walkers are many, and it is full of shops, galleries, bars, and restaurants. The people are friendly and the sunsets are breathtaking.
3. The Beaches. The beaches aren’t too crowded on Amelia Island. There are several major accesses, complete with restrooms, showers, and playgrounds. But there are many quiet little accesses with parking lots all along the beach, because of the aforementioned lack of mega resorts. These beaches are great places for walking and shell hunting. Though you will run into a few people no matter where you go, you won’t be fighting for elbow room on Amelia Island.
4. The Restaurants. Despite being such a small community, Amelia Island is quite diverse in it’s cuisine. From Japanese and Korean to Seafood and Fast food, you won’t be hungry here. I recommend T-Rays for burgers, and the Surf is great if you want seafood with an ocean view. A great place for tourists is also Sliders, with great views of the Atlantic and a playground for kids.
5. The Scenery. Call me old fashioned, but I love wondering around looking at historic homes and places. You won’t lack any of that here. The houses near downtown are big and beautiful, and the downtown itself is historic. Historic Fernandina nearby current downtown is even older, and boasts the house used in the 1988 Pippi Longstocking movie. The cemetery is very photogenic, and of course, the old Spanish moss draped oak trees make a nice backdrop.
6. How Family Friendly It is. Amelia Island is super great for families. Tons of playgrounds and parks abound. The shops cater to kids with toys, clothes, and souvenirs. There are lots of great events, parades, and festivals all year long. And the beach makes the best natural playground. Not only does this place cater to your human family, but your furry one as well. Dogs are allowed on many of the beaches, as well as in many of the shops in Fernandina Beach. Amelia Island is fun for the whole family.
7. Amelia Island loves itself, in a good way. Amelia Island is proud of it’s heritage and boasts that it is the only place in the US to have been under the rule of eight flags. The history of pirates is celebrated, as well as the past huge shrimping industry. Amelia Island tries to protect it’s natural beauty. Two state parks are located on the island, protecting the fauna and the wildlife therein. Amelia Island is also big on recycling, and the residents try to keep the beaches clean and the wildlife safe. And that, Amelia Island, is something to be proud of.