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Things to do in Amelia Island, a local’s guide

Sure, you’ve glanced at places like TripAdvisor, Google, Yelp, or others to get a sense of the best things to do on Amelia Island. Ready for a local’s point of view, specializing for people just like you coming here to relax and unwind?

Perfect!

Now, if you need some help with other ideas, our list of events and guide to local beaches are worth a read, too. And of course, if you need a place to say, it’s what we do.

Let’s dive into some things to do on the island. We’ve sorted this list by what kind of trip you’re on, but of course your preferences may vary 🙂

The solo getaway

Whether it’s a long-term stay or just a weekend retreat, you’re aiming to get to the island and enjoy some alone time in a different location.

We recommend:

  1. Enjoying every single beach: Amelia Island has 13 miles of gorgeous beaches, and each offers something a bit different … from the amount of shells you might find (or shark’s teeth) to how the wind cuts across
  2. Visit downtown: Fernandina Beach is the downtown area of the island, and besides having our home office there (come say hi!), you’ll find plenty of great local eats, shopping, a marina to watch boats coming and going, museums, and more. Festivals and parades also often take place in the downtown area. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon or a full day, depending on your shopping preferences.
  3. Fort Clinch State Park: Tons to do, tons to see, plenty of history to explore at your own pace, and well worth spending an afternoon to soak it all in.
  4. Kayaking and Paddleboarding: Egan’s Creek Greenway or Lofton Creek are just a couple of examples of the plentiful waterway options for you to spend a day exploring. And there’s many good companies to rent from that have been doing this for years – they’ll also be able to suggest the best routes based on your skill level, so tap into their knowledge and have a ton of fun discovering something new in the bountiful nature we have here!
  5. Golf: If it’s your thing, we have some great courses that are well-regarded and are favorites. You have top course designers such as Arnold Palmer (Golf Club at North Hampton), Tom Fazio (Amelia National Golf & Country Club), Pete Dye (Omni Amelia Island Oak Marsh), and Tom Jackson (The Amelia River Club) have made their mark here, making the island a fantastic golfing getaway … so if you’re escaping to the island to play a few rounds, you won’t have to travel far for a productive outing.

A couples retreat

Just the two of you? Romantic! Here’s a few items to look into around the Fernandina Beach area:

  • Horseback Riding: A different way to experience the beach, and one well worth it! How often do you usually get to have this much fun and still get in some beach time?!
  • Spa Day: A couples massage is always a delightfully-relaxing time, and there’s quite a few options across the island that are highly-rated and regarded. If you want specific suggestions near you, ask us once you book a place to stay and we’ll be happy to help 🙂
  • Sunset Cruises: There’s nothing quite like watching the sun go down and pain the sky beautiful oranges, pinks, and reds while sipping on a preferred beverage and feeling the ocean breeze through your hair. Definitely a time that will allow you both to unwind and smile – together!
  • Fine Dining: Our island offers a handful of excellent options! Explore options like Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro, Burlingame, and/or David’s for an upscale dinner that sets the mood.

A nice cocktail always adds to the evening for a couples retreat!

A group of friends / couples

Maybe it’s 4-6 people going in for some shared housing. We have you covered, Amelia Island has a ton of options:

  • Amelia Island Historic Tours: Take a guided tour and learn all about the island’s history, culture, and facts you otherwise wouldn’t! And with varied options from walking tours to trolley tours, there’s something that fits your entire group.
  • Tour Some Distilleries: If your group is into this sort of thing, local tastings and tours – or simply stopping by yourself – to places like the Marlin & Barrel Distillery or Amelia Island Distillers is time well worth it.
  • Beach Bonfire (if out of turtle season): Note you can’t do this from March 1st-October 31st due to turtle season. If you’re coming outside that date range, this can be a fun group option on days with less wind – you get to enjoy the warmth of the fire with the waves nearby! And of course, then you take the graham and but the chocolate on the graham. Then you take a mallow… (#IFKYK)
  • Bike Rentals: Rent bicycles for a group bike ride along the island’s many scenic paths and trails. Discover the natural beauty of the area.

The family vacation trip

(We’re kidding, of course, but we’ve all had those trips that left the parents feeling like they’re ready for a vacation from their vacation.) You’re coming to enjoy some family time at the beach and making new memories … and maybe get some extra shut-eye, if the kids allow it.

Here’s some suggestions:

  • Mini golf: A classic suggestion, but we do have three courses on the island that are well-rated and it’s always great for all ages and skill levels. If you want help narrowing it down, Heron’s Cove has some additional games (like table tennis) for more fun, while Island Falls has more twisty-turny holes and two challenge levels (but other options are great, too).
  • Amelia Island State Park: A great family outing, it has tons of space, plenty to do and areas to explore, and can be a great way to get out of the house without having to head to the beach. There are restrooms there, as well, so you can take your time and make the most of it.
  • Pirates Playground: If you have younger kids, this can be an excellent memory – it’s a huge playground with a ton of fun to be had. Digging in the sand, climbing on some obstacles they may not see at any other playground, pretend buildings to enable more make-believe
  • Fort Clinch State Park: Kids can enjoy exploring the historic fort, and the park also hosts ranger-led programs, including nature talks and wildlife demonstrations.

 

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