It's easy to dig deep into Amelia Island's past thanks to a treasure trove of history, heritage, and attractions. With 400+ years of recorded history under eight flags, this island is especially historical place that, "The French visited, the Spanish developed, the English named, and the Americans tamed." And did we mention pirates?
Records show that Frenchman Jean Ribault visited in 1562, but that Timucuan Indians were already living on the island. Many more people, and flags, would follow.
The eight flags flown over the island included those from: France; Spain (many periods); England; the Patriots of Amelia Island; the Green Cross (raised by a self-proclaimed ruler); Mexico (the Mexican Rebel flag); the Confederate States of America, and the United States (from 1821 to present, with the exception of about a year during the Civil War when the Confederate flag flew over the island).
To learn more, the Amelia Island Museum of History is a great place to start any exploration of the island's intriguing history. It's situated in the heart of town in Nassau County's historic jail, showcasing more than 4,000 years of natural and human history with historic artifacts plus an array of displays and photography that highlight the area's history.
Walking in and around historic Fernandina Beach is perhaps one of the best ways to explore the island's history. Many of the buildings are on the National Register (as is the entire 50-block Historic District) and several historic homes now operate as bed and breakfast inns.
Use our vacation planner for great ideas on how to experience Amelia’s history firsthand.