8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida

8 Great Things to Do in Amelia Island Florida

Eight different nations ruled the 13 mile long barrier island in northeast Florida called Amelia Island. Being the only place in the USA claiming this distinction, Amelia Island businesses incorporate the “eight flags” theme as much as possible.

Among the things to do in Amelia Island is experience and explore Old Florida (history and nature), eat amazing fresh seafood, and mingle with some of the most artistic and quirky people in the US. Avast ye, more pirates trolled these shores than anywhere else in the US. Who can say whether any privateer or buccaneer descendants still abound? Local legend says pirate booty is hidden somewhere on the island. Shiver me timbers!

McCool Travel tip: while South Florida and Central Florida experience an overwhelming number of visitors between January and April, Amelia Island is relatively quiet but still has great weather.

Here is the McCool Travel list of 8 great things to do in Amelia Island.

Thank you to Amelia Island tourism for inviting me to experience the island. I was not otherwise compensated and this content represents my independent thoughts about Amelia Island.

Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida

Beaches

Amelia Island beaches regularly appear on lists of top beaches so you know they must be gorgeous. They are! Amelia Island beaches are wide, have white quartz sand (feels great on the feet!), and, in certain areas, are firm enough for 4 wheel drive vehicles to drive on (the beach, not your feet). The City of Fernandina Beach lends beach wheelchairs to residents and visitors. How cool is that? Keep reading for the McCool Travel inside scoop on where to find shark teeth. Yes, shark teeth!

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida

Amelia Island beach in Florida

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida

Amelia Island beach in Florida

Fernandina Beach

The historic downtown of Fernandina Beach houses the oldest bar in Florida and the oldest hotel in Florida. In fact, the National Register of Historic Places recognizes and protects 50 blocks and 400 structures in downtown Fernandina Beach. Allow plenty of time to walk the historic district and shop, eat, drink, and view the architecture. Take a photo of Kate’s Tree, a magnificent canopied oak in the middle of the street, named for the woman (Kate Bailey) who refused to let the town remove it. Amelia Island Trolleys provides narrated tours of the historic district and Old Town. Coastal Living‘s readers recently voted Fernandina Beach as the Best Historic Downtown and #4 Happiest Seaside Town. Pelicans in the marina and a Pétanque tournament (with participants from more than 12 countries) entertained me during my latest visit.

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida

tiled exterior in Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida.

Kate’s Tree, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida.

Pétanque America Open in Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida

Fly Pelican Fly! Fernandina Beach Marina, Amelia Island, Florida

Food

Truly experience a dizzying range of culinary amazingness on Amelia Island. Salt (at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island) is one of only three AAA 5 diamond restaurants in the entire state of Florida—there are only 51 AAA 5 diamond restaurants in the entire US. In the heart of the historic district, Timoti’s serves only wild caught seafood. Slider’s is a local favorite, right on the beach, with a tiki bar, live music, and a fun playground for the kiddos. The setting, vibe, and local presence at Green Turtle Tavern reminds me of Key West. Allow time to drink a beer at The Palace Saloon, Florida’s oldest bar.

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida

clementine sorbet and tuna tartare at Salt, The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island Florida

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida

Slider’s in Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida

fresh grilled seafood at Timoti’s in Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida

Green Turtle Tavern, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

Fort Clinch

Fort Clinch State Park occupies the northern end of Amelia Island. Look across the water to see Cumberland Island in Georgia. More than just an historic fort, though, the 1,400 acre state park provides many recreation opportunities. Hike and bike the oak canopied trails, fish or swim in the ocean water, camp in an authentic “Old Florida” setting, and search for shark teeth on the 3 miles of shoreline. I found a shark tooth on the beach in front of the fort!

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida

Fort Clinch State Park, Amelia Island, Florida

Kayak

Kayaking in Lofton Creek highlighted my Amelia Island visit. Amelia Island Kayak Excursions provides all the equipment and a passionate, knowledgeable guide who enhances the adventure. My 2 hour tour glided by gorgeous, natural, old Florida—no housing developments, traffic, or commercial enterprises. Tannic acid runoff from decaying vegetation causes the black water of Lofton Creek.

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida.

kayaking on Lofton Creek, Amelia Island, Florida

Relaxed Luxury Lodging

After staying at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation and The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island properties on this trip, I created the term relaxed luxury. With rooms facing the ocean, massive and pristine beaches, amazing recreational opportunities, and phenomenal cuisine, both resorts epitomize relaxed luxury. Other enticing lodging options on Amelia Island include several other hotels, vacation rental properties, and magnificent inns in the Fernandina Beach historic district.

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida

Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Florida

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida.

The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, Florida

Explore Nature

Amelia Island contains the largest sand dune in Florida. It is named Nana and is protected as part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve (National Park property). Visit Nana in American Beach, just south of The Ritz-Carlton property. A little further south, across the bridge, is Big Talbot Island State Park. Magnificent 100 foot driftwood trees litter Boneyard Beach.

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida.

Nana sand dune, Amelia Island, Florida

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida.

largest sand dune in Florida, Amelia Island

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida.

epic trees at Big Talbot Island State Park, Florida

8 Great Things To Do in Amelia Island Florida.

giant driftwood trees at Boneyard Beach, Florida

In addition to kayaking, boating, and hiking, many visitors love bicycling around Amelia Island. Choose from several miles of bike paths, including many with gorgeous oak tree canopies.

What would you add to my list of things to do in Amelia Island?


Amelia Island Resources

Amelia Island CVB (tourist office): website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Fabulous Relaxed Luxury Resorts in Florida

Hidden Gems of Amelia Island, Florida

Soak Up Beachfront Charm at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Savour the Flavors of Amelia Island Restaurants in Florida

5 Reasons to Plan a Family Vacation to Amelia island

 


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13 Responses to “8 Great Things to Do in Amelia Island Florida”

  1. knycx May 1, 2017 at 12:50 am #

    Thanks for introducing the Island and there are some interesting things to do – for example, I would be interested in trying Pétanque 😛 @ knycx.journeying

  2. Megan Claire (@mappingmegan) April 30, 2017 at 11:19 pm #

    We love Amelia Island – definitely has some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. We were fortunate enough to live close by for a year, so got to take the kayaks out and enjoy the outdoors quite often 🙂

  3. Priya Vin April 30, 2017 at 9:31 pm #

    Haven’t heard of Amelia Island before, but it looks like a lovely place to experience and explore. Love those spooky looking trees, driftwood and quiet beaches.

  4. diningtraveler April 30, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

    Like that term “relaxed luxury”. Looks like a great place to sit back, enjoy the views and have great food. I love the culinary program of the Ritz Carlton. They do food right!

  5. Marion Halliday (Red Nomad OZ) April 29, 2017 at 11:17 am #

    Cool! I’ve never heard of Amelia island, but weirdly, it has a few things in common with some of the places I’ve been to downunder! Things like great beaches, stained water, and no crowds – which makes it my kind of place!

    • McCoolTravel (@CharlesMcCool) April 29, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

      Thank you, Marion. Appreciate the comment. Oh, I should visit Australia in order to do an in-depth comparison.

  6. Guru April 27, 2017 at 5:20 am #

    Thank you for sharing the great information

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  1. Fun Places to Kayak in US • McCool Travel - May 12, 2017

    […] at relaxed luxury resorts is not the only thing to do in Amelia Island Florida. Kayaking through gorgeous, natural, old Florida in Lofton Creek with Amelia Island Kayak […]

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