Amelia Island is a barrier island off the coast of NortheastFlorida. It includes beautiful beaches, native wildlife, and the city of Fernandina Beach. It is frequently considered one of the top island destinations in the United States.
Amelia Island is one of the most historic places in the state of Florida, having flown under eight flags. First settled by Timucuan Indians, it was "discovered" by Frenchman Jean Ribault in 1562. In 1565, Spanish forces drove out the French and took control of Northeast Florida, establishing a mission on the island and renaming it Isla de Santa Maria. In the early 18th century, the British named the island "Amelia Island", established a small settlement, and attempted to buy it, but the Spanish refused until the Treaty of Paris in 1763, when the Spanish traded Florida for control of Havana, Cuba. During the Revolutionary War, loyalists from South Carolina and Georgia fled to the island, and many used it as an embarkation point to return to England. The Second Treaty of Paris, in 1783, returned Florida to the Spanish. In 1811, the town of Fernandina was established, named for King Ferdinand of Spain.
In 1812, a group of Americans calling themselves the "Patriots of Amelia Island" attempted to seize control of Amelia Island. President Madison sent in troops, who raised the American flag at Fernandina, but fears of sparking a war with Spain led the president to withdraw the troops early the next year, returning the island to Spanish control. However, this was not the last insurgency on the island. In 1817, Gregor MacGregor led a small army in an attack on Fort San Carlos, the Spanish fort at Fernandina, and raised his own flag, the Green Cross of Florida. MacGregor hoped to conquer Florida, and his troops fought the Spanish in the Battle of Amelia Island. The Americans joined forces with a pirate, who claimed the island on behalf of the Republic of Mexico, before finally surrendering to the United States.
Amelia Island is sunny year-round, with summer highs topping 90º and winter temperatures rarely dipping below the freezing point. Fall (October and November) and spring (March and April) see mild temperatures, with highs in the upper 70s.
The island is only a 30-minute drive from Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) in nearby Jacksonville. There is also a small airport on the island, Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport, which serves only private jets.
Fernandina Harbor Marina offers a convenient home base for those who wish to travel to the island by boat. There is no publicly available boat service to the island; you must have your own private boat, or drive to the island.
Amelia Island can be accessed by two bridges, both of which are part of Florida A1A, a scenic drive that runs right along the ocean for nearly the entire Florida coast. The island is approximately 15 miles east of Interstate 95 Exit 373.
A1A is the island's main route; it starts out as South 8th Street on the northern half of the island, then makes a hard right in the heart of Fernandina Beach, becoming Atlantic Avenue. It makes another hard right at Fort Clinch State Park, then runs along the Atlantic Coast for the remainder of the island as South Fletcher Avenue and then the 1st Coast Highway.
Amelia Island Museum of History, 233 South Third Street, Fernandina Beach, ☎ 904-261-7378, . M-Sa. 10am-4pm Su. 1pm-4pm. This museum showcases Amelia Island's history, with temporary and permanent exhibits on such topics as the Timucuan Indians, the Spanish Missions, and the island's role in the Civil War. The museum also operates walking history tours around the island.Adult $7.00, student or military $4.00.
Amelia Community Theatre, 209 Cedar Street, Fernandina Beach, ☎ 904-261-6749, . Now in its 31st season, the Amelia Community Theatre is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organization that opens auditions to all members of the community. $20 adult, $10 student, $100 season pass.
Fernandina Little Theatre, 1014 Beech Street, Fernandina Beach, ☎ 904-277-2202, . Modeled on the "black box" theatre spaces of New York and Los Angeles, this non-profit community theatre has staged such diverse works as Shakespeare, comedies, musicals, and modern and classic drama. The theatre also hosts an art house movie theatre and occasional film festivals.
Barbara Jean's, 960030 Gateway Boulevard, ☎ 904-277-3700. Barbara Jean's features easy southern dining! You'll find terrific home-style cooking at modest prices, providing service that is prompt and courteous, and a friendly, casual atmosphere. The menu features veggies, home-style Southern entrees, a wide variety of seafood, homemade soups, sandwiches, and sweet desserts. Breakfast is served on weekends and holidays.
Bright Mornings, 105 South 3rd Street Fernandina Beach, ☎ 904-491-1771, . Open for breakfast and lunch daily with fresh, light and original menu items. Try Southern Comfort with cheese grits and poached eggs, or salads made fresh, or a Portobello mushroom burger. Features an outdoor courtyard beneath wisteria vines and comfortable indoor decor with paintings by local artists.
Cafe 4750, 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, ☎ 904-277-1100, . Experience the coastal charm and Southern hospitality of Café 4750. With the warmth and liveliness of an intimate seaside bistro, enjoy the picture postcard views of the Oceanside pool, rolling sand dunes and Atlantic Ocean. Reservations recommended.
Elizabeth Pointe, 98 South Fletcher Avenue (Corner of Fletcher and Atlantic, 1.5 miles from historic downtown), ☎ 904-277-4851, . 7 AM to 10 PM. Open to the public, come down for breakfast or lunch. Breakfast served Monday through Saturday from 7 to 10 AM, brunch on Sunday from 7 to 11 AM, and lunch from 11:30 AM to 10 PM. Breakfast is a hot buffet style and lunch encompasses soups, salads and sandwiches.
Gourmet Gourmet, 1408 Lewis Street Fernandina Beach, ☎ 904-261-8973, . An Amelia Island icon since 1999, serving brunch and lunch daily as well as an upscale dinner menu and extensive wine list. A gourmet epicurean shop for take out is also available. In the evenings Gourmet Gourmet transforms into fine dining. The outdoor patio is pet friendly.
Hoyt House, 804 Atlantic Avenue, ☎ 904-277-4300, . The Hoyt House Bed & Breakfast offers an English Tea Experience from 12:30pm to 3pm Wednesday through Sunday. Enjoy an amazing and authentic menu with scones and freshly made crumpets, jams & clotted cream along with a player piano completing the ambiance in this 105-year-old mansion. A variety of tea sandwiches, Salmon Mousse pinwheels, truffled mushroom in filo and fresh made fruit tartletss with lemon curd just to name a few, as well as a cheese and cracker tray with pate and tea sandwiches. Guests can select from a choice of eight loose teas from around the world served in their very own tea pot. Enjoy an authentic Bellini Cocktail, Bloody Mary, Mimosa or Classic Champagne & Strawberries before your tea and crumpets are served on a beautiful silver three tier tray.
Jack & Diane's, 708 Centre Street Fernandina Beach, ☎ 904-321-1444, . "A World of Taste all in One Place." "The Tastiest Spot on Centre." Come taste the homespun recipes that echo both tradition and adventure. This casual cafe nestled in a shotgun house circa 1862 offers a fun-loving, unique dining experience in what is now an artists sanctuary. Your senses will be filled with sights, sounds and tastes from the world over in this little island gem. The locals call it a "home for everyone". An extensive menu features a huge $5.00 tasting selection so you can explore all your cravings at once. It's the memories a happy life are made of. Simply the best, Gluten-free and Vegan specialties on the island.
Marché Burette - Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, 6800 First Coast Highway Fernandina Beach, ☎ 904-432-2212, . Step back in time at this deli/grocery/wine shop. From breakfast to lunch to a late afternoon snack, Marché Burette offers something for everyone. Dine inside or out on deli sandwiches, gourmet pizzas and sweet iced-tea. Follow it up with a scoop of homemade ice cream!
Parkway Grille, 1411 Gerbing Road, ☎ 904-277-6614. Fresh baked goods and a complete breakfast menu. Lunch offers deli sandwiches, burgers and homemade salads and soups.
T-Rays Burger Station, 202 South 8th Street Fernandina Beach, ☎ 904-261-6310. A local favorite for breakfast and lunch. Southern breakfast, delicious burgers, and daily specials. Located in a former gas station, T-Ray's was named one of USA Today's 51 Best Burger Joints in the US.
Arte Pizza, 109 North 3rd Street Fernandina Beach, ☎ 904-277-1515. Great Pizza made in a wood fire stove. Wonderful Italian specialties.
Barberitos, 1519 Sadler Road Fernandina Beach, ☎ 904-277-2505, . Serving made-to-order, quick serve, Southwestern-style food, Barberitos cannot be mistaken for fast food. In addition to serving only the best tasting burritos, it also offers delicious tacos, quesadillas, nachos and salads.
Cafe Karibo, 27 North 3rd Street, ☎ 904-277-5269, . Home of the Turkey Cuban and "World Famous" Veggie Burger. Cafe Karibo also features seasonal, homemade soups and the always popular Shrimp Salad on croissant, made with fresh local shrimp! Salads are an explosion of flavors using only the freshest ingredients. Desserts are worth the trip alone. Dine under the oaks on the beautiful patio or have a seat in the cafe with an eclectic palette of colors and furnishings. Experience one-of-a-kind dining in the private banquet hall, suitable for parties large and small.
Don Quixote's, 520 Centre Street Fernandina Beach, ☎ 904-432-7194, . Don Quixote's features an extensive menu of fresh seafood, tapas, and more. Located in the historic downtown district of Fernandina Beach, along Centre Street.
Green Turtle Tavern, 14 South 3rd Street, ☎ 904-321-2324, . A small bar with terrace just off Centre Street with a laid back crowd. Live music until 11pm some nights. Bar open until 1am approximately. Good selection of drafts beers.
Hoyt House Inn, 804 Atlantic Avenue, ☎ 800-432-2085 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A magnificently restored 1905 Queen Anne Historic Mansion with 10 luxurious rooms, heated pool and spa, near fine dining, the beaches, and everything historic. its quite comfortable, mate.
The Amelia Island Williams House, 103 S. 9th St. Amelia Island, FL (take the Amelis Island exit off I-95), ☎ (800) 414-9258, . checkin: 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.; checkout: 11 a.m.. The Williams House Bed & Breakfast is one of Amelia Island’s grandest historic homes. Romance, relaxation and history combine at this southern Victorian inn, a classic antebellum mansion built in 1856. The Inn is surrounded by fine dining, shopping and the historic district of Fernandina Beach which is bordered by the intercoastal waterway on the left and just steps away from the grand Atlantic Ocean on the right.$195-$275.
Amelia Hotel at the Beach, 1997 S. Fletcher Ave. (I-95 to exit 373. Go east about 12 miles then right on Sadler. Dead end at hotel on left.), ☎ 877-263-5428, . checkin: 4:00 PM; checkout: 11:00 AM. Amelia Hotel at the Beach is a locally owned and operated boutique-style hotel centrally located on beautiful Amelia Island, FL. Come experience a fantastic beach getaway in one of our newly renovated spacious guest rooms. We even offer some with balconies and ocean views. All of our guest room stays include free hot continental breakfast, free WiFi, free local phone calls and free parking. Hotel amenities include outdoor pool, beach access, interior corridors, fitness room, in-room microwave & mini-fridge, in-room coffee, and in-room hairdryer. Enjoy our area's true southern hospitality with a stay at Amelia Hotel at the Beach. Email us at email@example.com
Ameilia Island Ocean View Condo, . Great summer or winter rental; clean, convenient, and affordable. Second floor nicely furnished condo, with 2 bedrooms and 1 recently remodeled bath with walk in shower. The condo is located on S. Fletcher Ave across the street from the beautiful beach. Well-equipped kitchen, living room/dining room that is clean and comfortable. Condo is centrally located and is convenient to historic downtown Fernandina Beach, and other Island attractions. Shopping, dining, and outdoor activities nearby. Large furnished deck allows for outdoor dining. Outdoor shower available for after-beach clean up.80$/night.
Residence Inn Amelia Island Florida Hotel, 2301 Sadler Road (Fernandina Beach, Florida , 32034), ☎ 904-277-2440, . Residence Inn Amelia Island is a new Amelia Island hotel in Fernandina Beach, Florida with suite lodging located within walking distance to the beach and ocean front restaurants.
Elizabeth Pointe Lodge (firstname.lastname@example.org), 98 South Fletcher Dr. (Exit 373, Amelia Island), ☎ 1-800-772-3359, . checkin: 3:00 PM; checkout: 11:00 AM. At the Elizabeth Pointe Lodge, an Amelia Island resort and Amelia Island Boutique Hotel, you will experience a luxurious and relaxing beach vacation. Wide, comfortable porches surround the Main House and offer an ideal spot to curl up with a favorite book and enjoy the ocean views, the Florida sun. Experience a truly unique seaside retreat. Take time to enjoy complimentary all day coffee, lemonade and fresh baked cookies. From 5:50pm to 7:00pm complimentary wine and hot & cold hors d'oeuvres are served.
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