Amelia Island, Florida is a charming, coastal town off the coast of Florida, just miles south of the Georgia-Florida border. With 13 miles of natural landscapes, stunning beaches, and over 90 different restaurants, Amelia Island is a beloved place for visitors and locals alike. With many offerings for everyone in the family, there is no limit to things you can do on this beautiful little island.
Where to Eat
Timoti’s Seafood Shak
Timoti’s Seafood Shak is a staple on Amelia Island. Sourcing local seafood caught on Amelia Island, Timoti’s helps support the local fishing industry and local farmers. This restaurant is located in Amelia Island’s Historic District. You can either dine outside, where there is a large patio area, or inside. There is also a playground for all the children to play on near the patio area. Try out the blackened shrimp basket or the baja basket for a delicious seafood meal!
Located in Amelia Island’s Historic District, Wicked BAO serves a collection of delicious Asian street food to visitors and locals alike. A must-try menu item here is the steamed Taiwanese BAO buns filled with different types of meat or seafood of your choice!
29 South is an award winning, farm-to-table bistro in the heart of the historic district. With sustainably sourced food (some even from the garden just outside the restaurant) and seasonally-chosen menus, 29 South has proven itself to be a regional leader in sustainable dining. Some menu favorites are the pulled pork spring rolls, springer mountain fried chicken, and pan roasted scallops.
The Salty Pelican Bar & Grill
Located at the downtown waterfront, the Salty Pelican boasts local seafood, many bar-food favorites, and a selection of craft beers and cocktails. The Salty Pelican is a favorite for locals to watch any and all sports games at. With a large seating area and massive televisions, this place is the perfect place to bring the family for a sunset dinner or to watch the big football game with friends. Try the shrimp tacos with a side of fried plantains or the pelican wings with your choice of sauce!
Cafe Karibo is known for their eclectic dining in the heart of the historic district. There is a large outdoor space you can sit in, with towering oak trees shading you from the sunlight. They are also known for their Sunday brunch, featuring classic brunch items and seafood specialties. Try the house specialty flatbread (that changes daily) or one of their many sandwiches for a delicious, relaxing meal!
The Patio Place
The Patio Place located in the historic district is a charming bistro, wine bar, and creperie. The Patio Place is known for their lively atmosphere, with live music being played on their patio area almost every night. On the patio area you will find comfy seating areas, fire pits during the colder months, and lights hanging on the trees above you. Some favorite menu items here are the bananas foster crepe and the honey and cheese crepe with a cup of coffee (both crepes are featured in the picture above)!
Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop
A local favorite, Nana Teresa’s, is the perfect place for an after dinner dessert after a long day in the Sun. Located in the historic district, this quaint bake shops is centrally located next to all the big restaurants and shops for quick convenience. Make sure to try the macarons and cheesecakes here!
Where to Stay
Elizabeth Pointe Lodge
This beautiful, oceanfront inn on the northern part of the island is a favorite for honeymooners. With easy access to the downtown area and incredible ocean views, this inn makes for an incredible, relaxing beach vacation.
Omni Amelia Island Plantation
Omni is a luxury beachfront resort located on the South end of the island. It is a golfer’s paradise, and it also features a spa and salon, fitness center, onsite shopping, tennis, and casual and elegant dining options. This is a great place to stay for the families wanting to stay at the beach every day and are willing to spend the money for an amazing resort room.
Fort Clinch State Park
Fort Clinch offers beautiful campsites near the water. With hiking and biking trails, a fishing pier, and a full-facility campground, Fort Clinch is a great budget-friendly option for only $26 a night.
The Fairbanks House
Located just a few blocks from the center of the historic district, this charming bed and breakfast is perfect for any couple visiting the island. With delicious breakfasts, complimentary bikes, beach gear, and games, this historic bed and breakfast will make for an adventurous, fun vacation.
Hampton Inn Amelia Island at Fernandina Beach
For a family-friendly and budget-friendly place to stay while vacationing on Amelia Island, the Hampton Inn at Fernandina Beach is a perfect choice. Just blocks from the beach and local restaurants, the Hampton Inn is only a quick 5 minute walk away from a perfect sunrise or a nice evening dinner. This hotel comes with free breakfast every morning, and they welcome pets up to 25 lbs.
Where to Shop
Historic Downtown has a large range of different shops you can choose from all running along Centre Street! The Book Loft is a locally-owned bookstore with a large selection of great reads. Amelia SanJon Gallery is the perfect place to find handmade artwork and pottery to bring home from your vacation. Eight Flags Antique Market carries a large assortment of antique, vintage, and homemade finds. Twisted Sisters is a boutique with clothing, gifts, and home decor with a local flair. Go Fish features handcrafted goods, from clothing to jewelry to home decor.
Redbones Dog Bakery & Boutique
Because Amelia Island is so dog friendly, this is the perfect place to bring your furry friend or to pick up a souvenir to bring home to them! With a selection of real home baked goods and dog accessories, you will find everything you could need to bring home to your sweet dog.
A locally-owned running and fitness specialty store, Current Running is a favorite of local and visitors alike for all the running gear you need. With friendly help and a wide array of running knowledge, the owners here can help you start your running dreams with the perfect shoe.
Retail Therapy Consignment
This consignment shop is the perfect place to find all the trendy clothing and accessories you have wanted at a discount price. Retail Therapy offers a well-organized and clean store making it easy to find all those special consignment finds you have been dreaming of!
What to Do
Amelia River Cruises
Amelia River Cruises offers narrated, historic, and wildlife-filled boat tours of the Amelia Island area and Cumberland Island. Tours are available in the morning, afternoon, and at sunset. During the summer, they also offer a shrimping eco-tour for all the information on shrimping and the local shrimping industry. On these tours you may see birds, dolphins, manatees, sea otters, alligators, and even wild horses if you take the Cumberland Island tour.
Saturday Morning Farmers Market
The Fernandina Beach Market Place runs from 9 AM- 1 PM every Saturday morning throughout the year, whether rain or shine. This market is located in the heart of the downtown historic district. At the market you can find locally grown and produced goods, and it is a favorite for residents and new guests to the island! The Fernandina Beach Arts Market is located next to the farmers market, and it features local arts and crafts. The Arts Market occurs every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month.
Egans Creek Greenway
Egans Creek Greenway is a nature trail running along Egans Creek, a protected area of over 300 acres. This trail is suitable for both walking and biking and features a distinct array of wildlife such as birds, alligators, deer, and snakes.
Shark Teeth Hunting
Amelia Island is a shark tooth hunter’s paradise! For the best spots to find shark teeth, head to Fort Clinch or down to the northern part of the island. At times, you can also find great teeth near Peter’s Point. Amelia Island even has guided shark teeth hunting tours for anyone who needs a little extra help from the experts.
The Amelia Island Culinary Academy offers fun-filled cooking classes with a professional, experienced chef. On Saturday mornings, they offer a lively walk through the Farmers Market and then a cooking class demonstrating farm to table foods that you find at the market.
Sunrise at the Beach
Amelia Island sunrises compare to no other, and the people that show up at sunrise each day will attest to that. Find a cozy spot along the 13 miles of beach to watch this incredible event that happens almost every morning.
Sunset at the Marina
Amelia Island sunsets always show up on the river side of the island with the best views being at the marina. Have a nice dinner in the downtown historic district (maybe even eat with a view of the sunset), and then take a walk down to the marina for the best sunset pictures.
Kayak Amelia and Amelia Island Kayak Excursions offer professionally guided kayak tours of the Amelia Island area. During these tours you will glimpse wildlife such as birds and alligators and beautiful marsh or ocean views. There are several options and locations available for these tours so that every member of the family can see something they love!
Horseback Riding on the Beach
Amelia Island Horseback Riding can make all your beach horseback riding dreams come true! They can cater to every skill level, even if you have never ridden a horse before.
Fort Clinch State Park
Fort Clinch State Park, located on the northern end of the island, offers campground sites for overnight stays as well as a Civil War era fort, daily tours, hiking and biking trails, and fishing areas.
Sea Turtle Nesting
Amelia Island becomes home to many sea turtles nests throughout the season. There are no official turtle walks available to observe any hatchlings come out on the island. To be able to witness a remarkable event like this, you would have to stumble upon it. The Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch does allow the public to come to nest “excavations”. This occurs 3 days after they discover the hatchlings have left the nest and gone out to the ocean. It is an inventory for what is left over from the nest including unhatched eggs, dead hatchlings, and sometimes even live hatchlings. If live hatchlings are found, they are released out to the ocean at this time for the public to see. Excavations begin around mid-July and continue throughout the season until all the nests have been excavated. Check out this website for the excavation schedule. It is a lifetime opportunity to be able to see a live hatchling so try to plan an excavation watching around your schedule!
This is one of the biggest events in Amelia Island. Automobile lovers from around the country flock to this celebration of both old and new cars. With rare and vintage car auctions, Porsche driving experiences, and many other special events, this automobile celebration is a must for all car lovers.
Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival
With Amelia Island being the birthplace of the modern-day shrimping industry, this festival helps celebrate this unique Island’s history and culture. This festival has been a part of the Island’s history for over 50 years, and it features the best fine arts, music, pirates, shrimp, and seafood dishes in the Southeast. The festival even kicks off with a parade, and a fireworks show helps to end the celebration.
Amelia Island Restaurant Week
Amelia Island Restaurant Week usually occurs in mid to late January, and it is a week featuring Amelia Island’s most popular dining spots. Prix-fixe menus are offered at $12 for lunch and $21, $31, or $41 for dinner. Restaurant week for 2020 will be from January 17-26 2020, and you can find more information about the event at this website.
Dickens on Centre
Dickens on Centre is a huge festival in Historic Downtown Amelia Island during the Christmas season. This Victorian-inspired holiday event is free to the public and features Christmas themed entertainment, a visit from Saint Nick, vendors selling gifts, and much more. This event is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit! Dickens on Centre will take place on December 13-15, 2019.