Amelia Island Florida
Sunrise over the beach at Amelia Island State Park
Driving along canopy roads lined with live oak trees
The family-friendly, moss-laden trails of Drummond Point Park
Kayaking through inland creeks alongside salt marshes
A shrimp boat passing Fort Clinch State Park
The Amelia Island Lighthouse along Egans Creek
Enjoying some family time on the beach at Seaside Park
Independent shops and restaurants in downtown Fernandina Beach
Historic interpreters at Fort Clinch State Park
The Amelia Island Welcome Center, housed in a historic train depot
- Major Airports:
- Jacksonville (JAX)
Historic charm and unspoiled beaches
Beaches for Families, History and Nature
The island’s quartz-sand beaches are picture-perfect; meticulously enforced regulations keep them that way. Families tend to congregate at Main Beach, which also offers handicap access and beach wheelchairs; or Fernandina Beach, just steps away from the historic district. Peter’s Point is popular with cyclists looking to access the 10-kilometer Amelia Island Trail. Collect shark’s teeth and shells at Fort Clinch or see the protected dunes on historic American Beach. At the southern end of the island, you can go horseback riding on the beach at Amelia Island State Park. Looking to escape from it all? Try Little Talbot Island State Park. It remains blissfully undeveloped and teems with wildlife and undisturbed natural habitats.
Amelia Island is one of the state’s most historic locations, claiming many of Florida’s “oldest”: oldest bar, oldest inn, oldest lighthouse and oldest newspaper. The cultural influences of the eight different flags that have flown here since 1562 have seeped into every brick and grain of sand. The Amelia Island Museum of History, housed in the old county jail, offers a comprehensive historical overview, from Timucuan Native Americans to pirates, European settlers, Civil War soldiers and the Victorian elites. From here, take a horse-drawn carriage or walking tour of Fernandina Beach’s 50-block historic district. Watch a living-history demonstration and explore barracks at Fort Clinch State Park. American Beach is the first stop on the Florida Black Heritage Trail; visit the American Beach Museum to learn about this seaside haven for African Americans during the Jim Crow era.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
With more than 90 independent restaurants, Amelia Island has your appetite covered. Notable favorites include Southern comfort food at Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen, wild-caught seafood at Timoti’s, Spanish and Portuguese specialties at España Restaurant and ultra-high-end dining at Salt, winner of the AAA Five-Diamond Award. You can sample these and many others at discounted rates during Restaurant Week in January. No trip to Amelia Island would be complete without a drink at Palace Saloon, the oldest bar in Florida. Afterward, browse the historic streets lined with antique shops, boutiques, galleries and pubs.
Amelia Island is the only place in the USA that has been under the rule of eight different flags: French, Spanish, British, Patriots, Green Cross, Mexican Revolutionary, Confederacy and USA.
Photo: Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
Fort Clinch State Park served as a base for both Confederate and Union soldiers during the U.S. Civil War.
Amelia Island is the birthplace of the USA’s modern shrimping industry, which is celebrated each May during the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival.