My travel came to a screeching halt with the pandemic in 2019. By December, lack of travel was taking a toll on my mental health and it was time for vitamin sea. Discovering Amelia Island, a small coastal island in Florida only thirty minutes drive from Jacksonville was exactly what I needed. It was time for Amelia Island sunrises, sunsets and the sea.
I wanted to be away from the tourist track but have enough amenities that provided activities when I wanted them. As a result. Amelia Island and the town of Fernandina Beach provided seaside views and a charming town with friendly locals. Check out some of the sites recommend below if discovering Amelia Island is next on your list!
Where to Stay
Choosing where to stay took some research. I decided on the Oceanside resort, the Omni Amelia Island. All rooms offer Ocean views overlooking the pool area with a patio. The rooms were a nice size and it was under $300 a night. The view that was the best I’ve seen from a hotel! The resort offers restaurants and free beach chairs, along with a nature center and bike rentals. The property has plenty to explore. Check out the sunken forest, which is a boardwalk through the trees that offers an ocean view look out.
Although I had plans for sleeping in, early morning light woke me up daily. I found myself admiring the sun peeping up above the ocean. The oranges and blues of the early morning provided hope for each new day. A lovely lesson after the lockdowns and hibernations of most of 2020.
In town, you’ll find smaller inns and bed and breakfast along with some chain hotels. Being near town offers some perks as you’ll find several shops and restaurants within walking distance. This trip, my goal was to be near the ocean and I couldn’t have been happier with my choice. If you need help choosing where to stay, I recommend the Omni. However there are some locally owned inns in Fernandina Beach.
Historical Fort Clinch
From hisotry to ocean views, historical Fort Clinch State Park has a lot to offer! A $6 dollar entry fee applies for each vehicle that enters the park. There is extra admission fee for the museum and the fort.
The museum contains artifacts about the historical fort. Back outside, there’s a path to take you to the entrance of the Fort Clinch. The rooms inside the fort were staged as they were during the civil war. Dishes in the kitchens and barracks complete with beds. Stairways lead to the top of the Fort and the view was of the State Park and the Ocean. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky the day I was there and there were several visitors.
The drive out of the park was enchanting as the Moss covered oak trees provided an archway over the roads. For beautiful natural landscapes and some history, Fort Clinch was a highlight to my Amelia Island visit.
Wandering Centre Street
Save some time on your trip for wandering Centre Street. Centre Street in downtown Fernandina Beach is the main street of the town. It is and full of shops and restaurants lining both sides. From boutiques to bookstores, you’ll find something of interest. One of my favorite stops was the book loft. A book store offering fiction and non fiction along with some local authors and books about Amelia Island. I picked up one of my favorite Jane Austen novels as a beach read for my time on the sand. I enjoyed the book store and trying to decide on my next read while wandering Centre street!
If you are feeling a bit peckish after browsing through all the shops, you will be spoiled for choice. From burgers to seafood or Italian, there’s plenty of eateries to fill you up.
My favorite stop was Timotis Seafood Shak which sits just a couple blocks off of Centre. The seafood shak has a walk up order window and community outdoor sitting. There is a playground for kids to play while they wait for their food. It was nice to see so many families enjoying the town and time together. As far as food options go, I went for the fish and chips served with house made hush puppies. The batter on the fish was just right and not greasy. The hushpuppies are the best I’ve ever had, full of flavor! From poke bowls to crab cakes, the food is fresh and the menu is varied.
Discovering Amelia Island Again…
I still talk about my time discovering Amelia Island and how the sunsets were the best I have seen. Next time, I plan to discover new shops on Centre street. Also, I will soak up every sunset and sunrise I can! Have you been to Amelia Island? I hope this post inspires you too. Please drop a comment if you have any questions. I hope you find yourself Discovering Amelia Island soon!! If you would like to discover other destinations, check out the adventures of Erin home page.