What is there to do on Amelia Island?

Amelia Island is best known for its bluff-height dunes and white, wide beaches. The best way to get there is to travel north via Route A1A, which involves taking a car ferry across the mouth of the St. Johns River at the naval town of Mayport.

Before you reach Mayport, stop at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, where you can play in the ocean, picnic, kayak, go lake fishing and camp. Past Mayport, about two miles on Route A1A, turn off at Fort George Island to see Kingsley Plantation Historic Site. Learn how cotton was farmed and tabby houses were built.

Little Talbot Island State Park lies a few miles to the north, if you’re looking for a place on the beach away from the crowds. Be sure to check out the hiking trails previously traveled by early explorers and colonists.

Up A1A about six miles, cross the bridge to Amelia Island. Fort Clinch State Park, at the island’s north end along Route A1A, is a good place to visit the beach and experience some of the island’s history. Civil War soldier re-enactors bring history to life and weekend candlelight tours are a hit with visitors. From the fort’s embankments, you can see long sweeps of beach and Georgia’s Cumberland Island.

To reach downtown Fernandina Beach, head west on Atlantic Avenue, which turns into Centre Street, the heart of the historic district. This well-preserved pirate seaport and former playground of the rich showcases a Victorian influence and is known for its bed and breakfast inns. Learn the history on a visit or specialty tour from Amelia Island Museum of History in the old jail. Check out the Palace Saloon, shop in the unique boutiques and fill up on white shrimp, a local specialty. Hook up with a local kayak tour of the salt marshes on the islands leeward side or hire a fishing captain and see what you can catch.

  • On June 12
    Natalie Wearstler answered the question: Natalie Wearstler

    What is there to do on Amelia Island?

    Amelia Island is a beautiful piece of Old Florida that's managed to retain its charm and character over the years, without falling victim to the urban sprawl and franchise development that you'll see elsewhere in Northeast Florida. Many of the activities here are family-friendly (this is a resort destination, after all). Take your pick from one of these options to create memories you'll cherish forever:

    1. Get out on the water. From fishing expeditions and kayak adventures to guided river cruises and scuba lessons, there's no shortage of ways to enjoy the bountiful water that surrounds this barrier island. 

    2. Be "art-rageous." On the second Saturday of each month, the island hosts its "Artrageous Art Walk" at the galleries and shops in Fernandina Beach. Sip wine and converse with artists while you keep an eye out for a unique masterpiece to bring home.

    3. Eat, eat, eat. This island may be small, but its selection of independent restaurants and chef-driven bistros is quite impressive. Be sure to try locally-caught seafood at least once during your visit. The annual Amelia Island Restaurant Week (usually held in January) that allows visitors to enjoy a three-course, prix-fixe meal at several local restaurants. Make reservations early, as this popular event draws diners from all over Northeast Florida.

    4. Listen and learn. Walking tours of historic Fernandina Beach are a fun way to learn more about the area's past while also soaking in that signature Florida sunshine. After the tour, head to the Amelia Island Museum of History to continue your quest for more knowledge about the area.

    5. Enjoy one of the island's festivals. This active community sure knows how to throw a party; if your visit to Amelia Island coincides with the annual Concours d'Elegance antique car show, the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival or the Holiday Home Tour in Fernandina Beach, consider yourself very lucky.
  • On March 5, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    What is The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance?

    Rashba.com The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance features rare and classic cars from around the world on display in a sophisticated event on Amelia Island, Florida. Held every year on the second full weekend in March, the 2013 event takes place March 8 through 10 on the grounds of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and the gorgeous greens of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach. While the event is exciting fun for collectors and enthusiasts  (and for anyone wanting to enjoy a beautiful Floridian weekend) it’s also for a good cause — The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation raises money for charities around the area, donating more than $2 million to date.

    The 2013 event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911, Corvette Sting Ray, Ford GT40 and Lamborghini, while Emmy-winning sports broadcaster and racecar driver Sam Posey will be this year’s honorary chairman. Test-drives, seminars, a silent auction and more fill the weekend itinerary but the main event is the more than 300 rare automobiles competing for trophies at The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
  • On March 5, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    What is The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance?

    Rashba.com The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance features rare and classic cars from around the world on display in a sophisticated event on Amelia Island, Florida. Held every year on the second full weekend in March, the 2013 event takes place March 8 through 10 on the grounds of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and the gorgeous greens of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach. While the event is exciting fun for collectors and enthusiasts  (and for anyone wanting to enjoy a beautiful Floridian weekend) it’s also for a good cause — The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation raises money for charities around the area, donating more than $2 million to date.

    The 2013 event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911, Corvette Sting Ray, Ford GT40 and Lamborghini, while Emmy-winning sports broadcaster and racecar driver Sam Posey will be this year’s honorary chairman. Test-drives, seminars, a silent auction and more fill the weekend itinerary but the main event is the more than 300 rare automobiles competing for trophies at The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
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  • On March 5, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    What is The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance?

    Rashba.com The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance features rare and classic cars from around the world on display in a sophisticated event on Amelia Island, Florida. Held every year on the second full weekend in March, the 2013 event takes place March 8 through 10 on the grounds of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and the gorgeous greens of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach. While the event is exciting fun for collectors and enthusiasts  (and for anyone wanting to enjoy a beautiful Floridian weekend) it’s also for a good cause — The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation raises money for charities around the area, donating more than $2 million to date.

    The 2013 event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911, Corvette Sting Ray, Ford GT40 and Lamborghini, while Emmy-winning sports broadcaster and racecar driver Sam Posey will be this year’s honorary chairman. Test-drives, seminars, a silent auction and more fill the weekend itinerary but the main event is the more than 300 rare automobiles competing for trophies at The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
  • On March 5, 2013
    Jordan Lawson answered the question: Jordan Lawson

    What is The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance?

    Rashba.com The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance features rare and classic cars from around the world on display in a sophisticated event on Amelia Island, Florida. Held every year on the second full weekend in March, the 2013 event takes place March 8 through 10 on the grounds of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and the gorgeous greens of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach. While the event is exciting fun for collectors and enthusiasts  (and for anyone wanting to enjoy a beautiful Floridian weekend) it’s also for a good cause — The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation raises money for charities around the area, donating more than $2 million to date.

    The 2013 event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911, Corvette Sting Ray, Ford GT40 and Lamborghini, while Emmy-winning sports broadcaster and racecar driver Sam Posey will be this year’s honorary chairman. Test-drives, seminars, a silent auction and more fill the weekend itinerary but the main event is the more than 300 rare automobiles competing for trophies at The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
  • On November 19, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    When is the best time to visit Florida?

    Since Florida is a warm-weather destination, there’s really no bad time to visit.

    Although there’s been little activity in recent years, hurricane season runs from June to November. If you decide to go during that time, just be prepared and pay attention to weather reports.

    Another factor you may want to take into account is the throngs of spring breakers and tourists. Most spring breaks fall between March and April, and the busiest spots around that time tend to be Daytona Beach, Key West, Miami and Panama City Beach. The peak season for the northern half of the state tends to be the hot summer, while the southern part of Florida sees most of its tourists in the winter. If you travel to the Sunshine State during the fall, you’ll avoid the horrific heat and most tourists will have gone home by then.
  • On November 12, 2011
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is there to do on Amelia Island?

    Amelia Island is best known for its bluff-height dunes and white, wide beaches. The best way to get there is to travel north via Route A1A, which involves taking a car ferry across the mouth of the St. Johns River at the naval town of Mayport.

    Before you reach Mayport, stop at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, where you can play in the ocean, picnic, kayak, go lake fishing and camp. Past Mayport, about two miles on Route A1A, turn off at Fort George Island to see Kingsley Plantation Historic Site. Learn how cotton was farmed and tabby houses were built.

    Little Talbot Island State Park lies a few miles to the north, if you’re looking for a place on the beach away from the crowds. Be sure to check out the hiking trails previously traveled by early explorers and colonists.

    Up A1A about six miles, cross the bridge to Amelia Island. Fort Clinch State Park, at the island’s north end along Route A1A, is a good place to visit the beach and experience some of the island’s history. Civil War soldier re-enactors bring history to life and weekend candlelight tours are a hit with visitors. From the fort’s embankments, you can see long sweeps of beach and Georgia’s Cumberland Island.

    To reach downtown Fernandina Beach, head west on Atlantic Avenue, which turns into Centre Street, the heart of the historic district. This well-preserved pirate seaport and former playground of the rich showcases a Victorian influence and is known for its bed and breakfast inns. Learn the history on a visit or specialty tour from Amelia Island Museum of History in the old jail. Check out the Palace Saloon, shop in the unique boutiques and fill up on white shrimp, a local specialty. Hook up with a local kayak tour of the salt marshes on the islands leeward side or hire a fishing captain and see what you can catch.
  • On November 11, 2011
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best beachfront hotels in Northeast Florida?

    Book a hotel in Northeast Florida if you’re looking for fabulous ocean views. Amelia Island, in particular, offers a Forbes Travel Guide Four Star resort overlooking the beach — the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. But that’s just one hotel; here are the best beachfront hotels in Northeast Florida:

    1. Plantation Island: You’ll get great views of the Atlantic Ocean at Amelia Island Plantation Island. If you really want to take in all of the natural beauty around the hotel, take an environmental tour with one of the on-staff naturalists.

    2. Elizabeth Point Lodge: At Elizabeth Pointe Lodge, there are a number of ways to enjoy the beautiful view: Sit in the big rocking chairs in the wrap-around porch, eat breakfast in the sunroom or use the complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas to spend the day in the sand.

    3. Ponte Vedrea Inn & Club: The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is a 300-acre resort that sits along picturesque Ponte Vedra Beach. Even if you don’t feel like going in the ocean, you can enjoy the scenery from one of the resort’s four oceanfront pools.

    4. Ritz-Carlton: The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island overlooks Amelia Island’s 13 miles of lovely beaches. Even better: Every room comes with a private balcony that offers stunning coastal or ocean views.
  • On November 11, 2011
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    When is the best time to visit Florida?

    Since Florida is a warm-weather destination, there’s really no bad time to visit.

    Although there’s been little activity in recent years, hurricane season runs from June to November. If you decide to go during that time, just be prepared and pay attention to weather reports.

    Another factor you may want to take into account is the throngs of spring breakers and tourists. Most spring breaks fall between March and April, and the busiest spots around that time tend to be Daytona Beach, Key West, Miami and Panama City Beach. The peak season for the northern half of the state tends to be the hot summer, while the southern part of Florida sees most of its tourists in the winter. If you travel to the Sunshine State during the fall, you’ll avoid the horrific heat and most tourists will have gone home by then.
  • On November 11, 2011
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is there to see on Amelia Island?

    Amelia Island has a colorful past — it’s been part of France, Spain and Mexico, among other countries. There you’ll find the charming city of Fernandina Beach, which has a thriving port at its harbor and a 50-block restored Victorian historical district, among other sites. Here are the best things to see on Amelia Island:

    1. Fernandia Beach: The quaint village of Fernandina Beach within Amelia Island has a long maritime history, which is evident nowadays in its waterfront restaurants and still-thriving shrimping boat business. The town boasts lovely Victorian-era architecture, and many of its buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    2. History museum: Amelia Island Museum of History features artifacts and exhibits that recount 400 years of settlement under eight flags. Among the items on display are materials from a 17th-century Spanish mission archaeological site, artifacts from 18th-century shipwrecks and 19th-century "Golden Age" decorative arts and photographs. Docent-guided tours are available.

    3. State Park: Found at Florida’s most northeastern point, Fort Clinch State Park features an old fort with brick ramparts that offer a view of the Georgia shoreline and the Atlantic Ocean. A living history interpretation is provided by park rangers dressed as Union soldiers from the 1864 garrison. Visitors can partake in swimming; fishing from a 1,500-foot pier, the shore and jetties; nature trails, picnicking; and camping.