Amelia Island

by on March 9th, 2015
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Amelia Island

Amelia Island is one of the top tourist attractions in North Florida, covering only about 18 square miles in Nassau County. Amelia offers a quiet change of pace from harried city living. For those who want city conveniences, Jacksonville is only a half hour away. There are two bridges connecting Amelia to the Florida mainland, and I-95 is about 15 miles to the west.

The history of Amelia Island goes back almost as far as St. Augustine and is now known as the island of eight flags for all the flags that have been raised there. For those wanting to stay in historic accommodations, the Williams House bed and breakfast is a two-story southern mansion with expansive balconies.

On the north side of the island is Fernandina Beach, with Amelia City farther south. The large Amelia Island Plantation resort occupies the south end of the island, offering several golf courses to visitors and residents. The Ritz Carlton Amelia Island Resort is another popular place, and Amelia has more than 13 miles of beach. The Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport is in the middle of the island.

Fort Clinch State Park is a year-round paradise offering family camping facilities, a fishing pier and beach access. Visitors can hike through the coastal mangrove nature trails, and there are picnic benches. On the northeast tip of Amelia Island, Fort Clinch offers 61 campsites divided in two groups.

Every first weekend in May is the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, held along Centre Street in historic downtown Fernandina Beach. A pirate invasion and parade tops off the festivities.

The first spoken history museum in Florida, the Amelia Island History Museum offers several walking tours to visitors. At 233 South Third Street in Fernandina Beach. For a family bistro within the historic district, stop at 29 South Eats. For those longing for real southern cooking, head to Barbara Jean’s.


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