Amelia Island in North Florida has always been a family favorite. For a while it seemed as though every summer, autumn and spring we were headed that way. The kids love it and the beach is never far from a hotel and shower.
Here’s my top 5 must do for the beautiful Amelia Island:
Fort Clinch receives top of the list. This is worth the $6 per carload entry fee. You can camp (make reservations online prior) in the park itself, take advantage of their biking and hiking trails, explore the fortress and barracks, walk along the long sandy beaches all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to Cumberland Sound, swim, fish from the pier and check out the coolest lighthouse view from the Egan’s Creek boardwalk over the marshes.
Take a cruise out along the Cumberland River with views of Georgia’s Cumberland Island. With luck you will get a glimpse of the wild horse that roam on this protected island.
3. Look for Sharks Teeth
Every good seaside (and river town) has a great city beach, and Amelia Island is no exception. Check out Main Beach at the end of A1A before it hangs left- they have toilets & outside showers, and take a long walk along the beach where sharks teeth are numerous. Boogie Boarding is fun too, but beware of the rip tip. My daughter got turned over in a wave – luckily I grabbed her, but her swimming mask was swept off to Georgia in the under current.
4. Cuddle with a Pirate
Yeah, downtown historic Fernandina Beach is adorned with plaster pirates decorating the exteriors of Centre Street’s shops. There’s a visitor center at the head of the street by the docks. Check out the cute book stores, artsy shops and beach finds. And don’t miss an ice cream at the busiest place on the street. If you are lucky you will get a seat or perch on the wall outside.
Drag the kids out of bed, or leave them with your partner and go on your own. A magnificent sunrise on this Atlantic vantage point is not to be missed. You can always go back to bed afterwards, or head out to an early breakfast.
Bonus: Though not on Amelia island, this place receives an honorable mention because of it’s close proximity: Little Talbot Island . Relax on long white sandy beaches without a view of civilization in sight. Yes, it is worth it!