A few weeks ago my family and I had the opportunity to visit Amelia Island. Even though I spent my childhood years growing up in the beautiful state of Florida, this was my first visit to this peaceful, relaxed seaport community. Located just off the coast of northeast Florida, Amelia Island is very easy to get to, but so very hard to forget.
Amelia Island is filled with history, heritage and attractions as we soon discovered. With over 400 years of recorded history, this island is an especially historical island that, “The French visited, the Spanish developed, the English named, and the Americans tamed.” And did I mention pirates?
A fabulous spot to start exploring the island’s intriguing history is the Amelia Island Museum of History. Located in the heart of town, this museum showcases more than 4,000 years of natural and human history with historic artifacts, plus displays and photography that highlight the area’s history.
Walking around historic Fernandina Beach is the best way to explore the island. Many of the buildings are on the National Register and we just loved all the sites, shops and attractions to be seen.
A must-see attraction on Amelia Island is Fort Clinch State Park with its civil-war era fortress overlooking the Cumberland Sound. The park sprawls across more than 1,400 acres on the island’s northern tip and the scenery is breathtaking with panoramic waterfront views and sand dunes, along with the historic fort itself. From the park’s entrance at Atlantic Avenue in Fernandina Beach, it’s about a 3-mile drive along a beautiful, shaded wild tree canopy to reach the brick fortress. There’s plenty of parking, public restrooms, picnic areas with tables and barbecues. It is $6 a vehicle to enter the park and $2 per person if you wish to tour the fort.
The weather at Amelia Island is to die for. With abundant sunshine and mild temperatures year round, it is always perfect. We were on the island during the winter and what we experienced was dry, crisp air, very comfortable with long walks along the beach spotting wildlife and birds of all varieties. We also enjoyed viewing all the gorgeous boats that were docked on the Amelia River.
With all the walking over the weekend we certainly built up an appetite, and there were no shortages of restaurants to check out.
A couple of our favorite spots to dine on the island –
Brett’s Waterway Cafe – Served in a casual dining atmosphere, you can enjoy the view as you overlook the Fernandina Harbor and marina on the Amelia River. This venue is open for lunch and dinner and features a full bar and extensive wine list. The service was wonderful as was the food.
Cafe Karibo – Home of the Turkey Cuban and world famous Veggie Burger, Cafe Karibo was a big hit with our family. With only the freshest ingredients and the dessert was worth the trip alone! Open for lunch and dinner, suitable for parties large and small. We highly recommend this restaurant when visiting the island.
Will your travels lead you to beautiful Amelia Island, Florida? I’m looking so forward to returning.