Your local realtor’s guide to Amelia Island
Whether you’re visiting for the weekend or thinking of moving to the area, Amelia Island has plenty to offer. It’s 13 miles long, four miles wide, and full of rest, relaxation, and fun for everyone…
… and we’ll help you make the most if it with this local guide!
Wondering where Amelia Island’s located?
It’s on the Atlantic coast just south of the Georgia/Florida border, roughly 20 minutes from the center of Yulee. It’s 45 minutes north of Jacksonville and south of nearby islands such as Cumberland, Jekyll, and St. Simons.
So without further ado, here’s our guide to Amelia Island – click to jump to a section:
Downtown Amelia Island
Towards the north end of the island, you’ll find a bustling downtown scene that often features an event on the weekend. This is the Fernandina Beach area and includes downtown and some of the beachfront available for public use.
Local (food) favorites
The variety of food here is amazing … you can’t go wrong eating anywhere. Whenever we have time to grab lunch downtown, we love stopping at Cafe Karibu or Happy Tomato. The Salty Pelican has some of the best fried seafood in town, and we can’t get enough of their shrimp tacos! If we need a good sandwich, we like going to 4th Street Deli.
And if burgers are more your style, you can’t go wrong with Tasty’s – they’re just plain delicious!
Typically held towards the end of May, countless local vendors sell all kinds of shrimp dishes, from classic shrimp cocktails to more innovative creations. You’ll find everything from shrimp tacos to shrimp and grits, all made with fresh, local seafood. (Be sure to save room for dessert, too – there are plenty of sweet treats to sample.)
In addition to the food, there’s plenty of entertainment to enjoy at the Shrimp Fest. There are several stages throughout the festival grounds, each featuring live music from local and national acts. You’ll also find arts and crafts vendors, a firework show, and even a pirate parade!
One of the best things about the Shrimp Fest is the atmosphere. The festival takes place in our charming town of Fernandina Beach, which has plenty of historic charm and Southern hospitality. You’ll find friendly locals, colorful storefronts, and plenty of opportunities to explore the area. Plus, the festival itself is held right on the waterfront, which makes for a picturesque setting.
More information at shrimpfestival.com.
Multiple marinas can be found on the island, but the Fernandina Harbor Marina is easily found from anywhere downtown. Take a stroll near the water, watch the boats coming and going, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a dolphin!
It’s also an excellent, convenient location if you’re boating to stop downtown for the day and then head out.
Visit us 🙂
We’re downtown on Ash Street and would love for you to stop by! Our office doubles as an event rental space as well if you need a modern gathering spot.
And of course, if you want help buying or selling a home, we can certainly help with that, too.
For those with younger ones, you’ll want to look into some of these family fun options.
Challenge your loved one in a game of putt-putt. Putt-Putt Fun Center, Gregor MacGregor’s Mini Links & Drinks, and Island Falls Adventure Golf are all excellent options to crown a family champion, each with varying degrees of difficulty.
Head to Duck Pinz on a Friday night for a round of bowling, and delicious drinks. They have a fantastic arcade area as well, where you can challenge your friends with your favorite games.
You’ll have to listen closely, but there’s live music at many of our favorite spots. From The Green Turtle Tavern to The Palace Saloon and PJ D’s – they’re all great places to get your groove on.
Enjoy the water
Finding your favorite beach spot is crucial to making the most of your trip! There’s over 40 public access spots, many near rentals.
“Well, obviously” we hear you thinking. And of course, this is a main highlight for most 🙂
Here’s how to make the most of it:
Sunscreen: This is a must-have item for any beach trip. The sun’s rays can be harsh, and it’s important to protect your skin from UV damage. Look for broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and don’t forget to reapply every two hours.
Some sunscreens don’t hold up as well as others, so look into a buying guide for ones that have passed tests and provide the protection they promise.
Sunglasses: Not only do sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun’s glare, but they also add a stylish touch to your beach look. Look for a pair that provides both UVA and UVB protection.
Hat: A wide-brimmed hat is a great way to shield your face and scalp from the sun’s rays. It also adds a fashionable touch to your beach ensemble.
Towel: You’ll need a towel to dry off after a dip in the ocean or a swim in the pool. Look for one that’s absorbent and quick-drying, so you don’t have to lug around a heavy, damp towel all day.
Water: Staying hydrated is essential when you’re spending time in the sun. Be sure to bring plenty of water and possibly similar drinks (such as coconut water or something with electrolytes) to ensure you’re good to go at all times.
Snacks: Pack some healthy snacks, like fruit or nuts, to keep you fueled throughout the day. Avoid bringing anything that can melt, like chocolate, as it can get messy in the heat.
Beach read: A good book is a perfect companion for a day at the beach. Whether you’re into thrillers, romance, or non-fiction, choose a book that you can lose yourself in.
A smaller board: A boogie board or bodyboard can be fun for catching some smaller waves – kids love this and at the right time of day, you may have some wonderful waves close to the shore.
Beach bag: Finally, you’ll need a bag to carry all of your beach essentials. Look for one that’s roomy enough to hold everything you need, but not so big that it’s cumbersome to carry. A tote bag with a zippered top is a good choice, as it will keep your belongings secure and sand-free.
In addition to these essentials, consider bringing a camera to capture all of the beautiful sights and memories of your Amelia Island springtime adventure. With the right beach bag contents, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy all that Amelia Island has to offer!
More options, from kayaking to deep sea fishing
Kayaking allows you to explore some of our island’s most beautiful wildlife and nature, and a popular route is from the North End over to Cumberland Island.
Deep sea fishing with one of our awesome local charter captains is a day you’ll never forget. Or if you like something a little faster, check out a Jet Ski tour.
And for an amazing way to cap off your day, try a sunset cruise. You’ll get breathtaking views, peace and quiet on the water, and that island breeze in your hair the entire time.
Island life + wonderful weather = picnic time! Here’s a few of our favorite spots:
Much care has been taken by Amelia Island citizens to preserve the area and maintain the natural, untouched charm that draws so many visitors each year. From beautiful beaches to marsh view parks you will be sure to find an ideal spot in these Amelia Island picnic areas.
While there is no shortage of serene locations to provide a perfect picnic spot on Amelia Island, only certain beaches have pavilions for picnicking.
Seaside Park. Located right in the center of all the action. Ocean views, shaded pavilion, boardwalk to the beach, picnic tables, and you may even be able to hear the live music from Sliders Seaside Grill right next door.
Main Beach Park. On the north end of the island complete with a playground and even a putt-putt course. This park provides picnic tables, shaded pavilions, a green space for pets, ocean views, and bathrooms.
Peters Point. Found traveling towards the south end of the island. Peters Point is a great spot for a quick picnic spot and then drive on to the beach. One of few beach accesses that allow vehicles to drive on.
While we have public beach accesses that line our island, those named above are our favorites for shade and tables. You can always bring a blanket and lay right down in the sand and enjoy it that way!
Picnickers are encouraged to take advantage of the area’s city and state parks. We have a few favorites. Always be mindful of wildlife in our area 🙂
Fort Clinch State Park. History meets nature at Fort Clinch State Park. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover or a bit of both, enjoy exploring the unique natural and historic resources of this pristine park. Get a deeper dive into visiting later in this article.
Amelia Island State Park For the more adventurer type – The beautiful shores of this state park provides a perfect picnic area or use the picnic table located by the restrooms. Entry is $2
Egans Creek Park. One of our faves! This park is perfect for kids and adults, including a workout area with outdoor gym equipment, a walking trail, and climbing/playground equipment for the kids. Y’know, in case you feel like working off that lunch 😉 It even has a dock and kayak launch!
Tip: this park provides some of the most STUNNING sunrise views on the island.
Pirates Park . This one goes out to the kids! It’s a local favorite around here for being the top playground for everyone.
Set in a breezy, shaded area amongst the trees, The community-accessible playground mixes exercise, art, nature, music, imagination, and local history for all children. Parents can relax on benches or at nearby picnic tables, and there are restrooms close by. Perfect for birthday parties!
Fort Clinch State Park
Worth an afternoon (or more) all on its own!
Herschel E. Shepard, Jr. was the Jacksonville architect who started the fort process. Did you know the Florida Park Service had to dig it out from under the sand to restore it to its present condition?
The fort has two distinct types of bricks – when you first approach the fort you will see them. The lower bricks were made locally before the civil war. The bricks above the rifle ports were imported from up north and installed 1862-1867, and the drawbridge was built in the 1950s by the national park service.
The first week of every month volunteers join park rangers in re-enacting life in 1864 during the federal occupation.
Admission to the museum is free with the park entry fee. All visitors are encouraged to tour the museum before entering Fort Clinch. A $2.50 per person fee is charged.
1,086 acres to explore
The fort is just one of the exciting features of Fort Clinch. The rest of the areas gives locals and well as visitors the opportunity to camp, fish from the 1500 ft. fishing pier – where speckled trout, striped bass, redfish, drum, sheepshead, flounder and whiting are always a good catch!
You’ll also find plenty of walking trails and picnic areas – just be aware of the wildlife, occasional encounters can occur.
If you decide to camp, you have your choice between the beach side or the river side.
So there you have it, a local’s guide to Amelia Island with a few tips you won’t find anywhere else.
We hope you’ve found it valuable, and hope your time on the island is wonderful. We hope to see you soon!