Amelia Island is a 13 mile long beautiful barrier island off the coast of Florida. There are two separate cities here, Fernandina Beach and Amelia City. Fernandina has the oldest lighthouse, oldest hotel, and oldest continuously operating saloon throughout the entire state of Florida. With all these wonderful tourist attractions in Amelia Island, Florida, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
10. Main Beach Park
This is a favorite beach park for visitors. It has so much to offer! It has a playground for kids and sand volleyball courts for the older crowd. The park has covered picnic tables for the whole family to escape from the sun during lunch. There are clean well maintained public restrooms and changing rooms available. Lifeguards are stationed down the shoreline from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A Putt-Putt course is wonderful fun for people of all ages. Tall palm trees dot the green grasses around the picnic tables and surround the skate park.
9. Bosque Bello Cemetery
Bosque Bello is Spanish for beautiful woods, and when you arrive you will quickly see why it was named this. The large live oaks covered with moss provide shade while you walk through the historical tombstones. A majority of the tombstones date back to the 1800’s; with the first known date being 1813. Some of the older tombstones are very unique and interesting to look at. Most notable is a group of nuns that tended to the sick during a yellow fever outbreak. This cemetery is a peaceful and thought provoking place to take an afternoon stroll.
8. Island Art Association
The Island Art Association is an art gallery that displays the work of local artists. The art ranges from oil art work to ceramics and everything in between. This gallery is definitely worth an hour or two to wander through and view all the beautiful work. When you arrive at the gallery the person working the front desk will actually be one of the artists with work on display. The gallery is currently located in a restaurant that the artists renovated themselves. There is also an outdoor gallery that visitors can wander through.
7. Peters Point Beachfront Park
This is one of the great places to visit in Amelia Island, Florida. The convenience and ease of use can sometimes make this a crowded destination during summer weekends. If you have a four wheel drive vehicle you can drive onto the beach and leave your car there during your stay. This makes it much easier to unload lounge chairs and coolers. If you do not have a four wheel drive vehicle do not worry, there is still plenty of parking close by. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer, and the public restrooms are well maintained.
6. Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum is a fun and informational place to visit for kids and adults. This is a great indoor idea to escape a little bad weather. Spanish ships crossed the Atlantic Ocean bringing jewels and gold coins to the settlements here. Many of them sunk just offshore, and today you can discover that sunken treasure at the Maritime Museum. The items showcased here have all been found on sunken ships in the area. A local salvage team finds the treasure that keeps the museum well stocked. Tours are free. The in depth tour is led by a treasure hunter and is an entertaining way to learn the story behind the sunken treasure. They are closed on Sundays and Mondays. Admission and parking is free.
5. Pirate Playground
After five years of planning and fundraising, this park finally opened in 2014. This playground is a spectacular spot to take the younger kids for a couple of hours. The playground is fully handicap accessible, and the features are set up so they can be used by all. There is a sand and water play area with digging tools provided. They also have a music section for kids to compose their own Mozart masterpiece. A swing set is fun for everyone. Restrooms are located nearby. The park is surrounded by shade and picnic areas, so pack a lunch and enjoy this kid friendly park.
4. Amelia Island Museum of History
This museum covers the extensive history from the area. With eight different flags having flown over the island a rich history has formed. This place does an exceptional job laying out the history. The first people to live in the area were Native Americans and they settled here almost four thousand years ago. Learn about the Spanish settler’s impact, and the role the city played in the Civil War. It is housed in the old jail house. The museum offers two tours every day that are free with admission. They begin at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. every day.
3. Amelia Island Historic District
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places this is one of the best areas to visit while here. There are over 400 historic buildings in this 50 block stretch. The buildings and homes have a Victorian era design. The area is fun to walk around, or you can take a tour on a trolley. Another option is a romantic horse drawn carriage. The Palace Saloon is a wonderful place for adults to grab a drink from the oldest continuously operating bar in Florida. This historical district is a beautiful area to get some shopping done, or discover your new favorite restaurant.
2. Fernandina Beach
This charming beach is a beautiful spot to spend a weekend. The smooth white sand and clear blue water has been attracting visitors for years. The wide beach is a great gathering place for friends and family to enjoy the sand and surf. Set up an umbrella or canopy for everyone to gather under. Kids love to build sand castles, watch the surfers, and collect sea shells. After spending the day on the beach head into the city of Fernandina Beach for a fresh caught fish dinner. There is a ton to explore within this old historical town.
1. Fort Clinch State Park
There are many family friendly things to do at the Fort Clinch State Park. The pier is a great place for fishing, and the kids love to hunt for sea shells and shark teeth along the shoreline. Visitors can also go swimming. Camp sites are available if you wish to stay the night surrounded by Florida’s natural beauty and wildlife. A daily entrance fee is charged for each vehicle, and an additional fee for access to the fort. During the first weekend of every month the fort will host reenactments to highlight the lives of soldiers during the 1800’s. Demonstrations include masonry, blacksmithing, cannon firing, carpentry, and more.
This seaside town is a wonderful place to get away with the family. Visitors can splash in the cool blue water, play on the sand, or explore the town. There are many entertaining things to do in Amelia Island, Florida. You can spend a day golfing with beautiful seashore views, or take a guided horseback ride along the beach; whatever you decide this lovely destination is waiting for you.