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Place Category: Beach Towns
Amelia Island offers a tranquil getaway for those who are looking for a relaxing time with family or friends. This small but vibrant island is located at the tip of Northeast Florida and is part of a chain of barrier islands along the east coast of the United States and facing the Atlantic Ocean. Amelia Island is home to the communities of Amelia City and Fernandina Beach.
The island is known for its rich history starting from its original settlers of American Indians. As a matter of fact, the island claims to have eight flags to flown over it in the past, including that of the Spanish, British, Green Cross, Mexico, Floridian, United States Confederate, and United States. Amelia Island offers an amazing array of activities that you will never forget. The island has consistently won among in many contests as one of the top 10 islands in the United States.
Attractions in Amelia Island, Florida
• Lounge at the Beaches – There are numerous beaches dotting the coast of Amelia Island. The island offers more than 13 miles of golden-sand and pristine beaches. Best of all these beaches are not crowded most time of the year.
• Join Festivals – Amelia Island is a host to numerous festivals and events every year. This includes the Shrimp Festival which is held in downtown Fernandina Beach. Other festivals are Concours d’Elegance, Jazz Music Festival, Petanque America Open and many other smaller holiday celebrations.
• Visit Historical Areas – Having a rich past, there are a lot of museums, buildings, parks, and even a fort that showcases the amazing history of this barrier island. At the northern part of the Island is a state park where you will be able to see a fort that is used by the Spanish when they used to have colonies in Florida. Museums including the Amelia Island Museum of History, Maritime Museum of Amelia Island, Amelia Island Historical District and Amelia Lighthouse.
• Search for Pirates at the Amelia Island Historic District – This area offers an excellent opportunity to experience the old Florida. You will find boutique shops, antique stores, and amazing restaurants. This area used to be a settlement for pirates who patrol the seas nearby.
• Amelia Island Lighthouse – The lighthouse is located at the highest point of the island. Volunteers offer a guided tour of this lighthouse which is only available about twice a month. It is considered the oldest lighthouse in Florida and is still operational to this day.
• Experience Nature – During specific seasons such as the winter, you may have the chance to see some of the world’s mightiest living creatures – the rare Atlantic Whales during its migration. Additionally, there also many eco and nature tours available which allow you to see the natural wildlife of the island.
• Try Golfing – Prepare your golfing skills and go against other golfing enthusiasts as the island offers at least two upscale golf clubs.
• Visit State Parks – Amelia Island is home to at least two state parks, the Amelia Island State Park located in the southern part of the island and Fort Clinch towards the north. Enjoy nature at its finest and opportunities to enjoy hiking, biking, picnics, fishing, camping and many other activities.
• Go on a River Cruise – Sit back and relax as you go along the Amelia River on a cruise. Here you can see pristine waters numerous unique flora and fauna.
• Shop Till You Drop – You will find numerous boutiques, shops, and stores offering anything from upscale brands to quirky items.
How to Get There
Amelia Island is part of the Greater Jacksonville Area, it is about 25 miles away from the city of Jacksonville. If flying to Florida, you can choose to fly to Jacksonville International Airport or fly directly to the smaller Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport. If you are driving, from Jacksonville take I-95 North and exit at 373. Turn right towards A1A East until you arrive at Thomas J. Shave Bridge, and turn right to Amelia Island Parkway towards the different areas of the island.