Kids Love Amelia! Vacation Tips when Traveling with Toddlers

April 8, 2021
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Taking your family to a brand new destination can be a wonderful experience. When some of those family members are young children, it can be a wonderful experience with a little bit of anxiety and stress thrown in. Just packing for the trip is hard enough let alone the travel time. And, who are we kidding... a long day of travel can make anyone cranky! Here are helpful tips when traveling to Amelia Island with toddlers.

Accommodations with Kids in Mind

Amelia Island is dotted with an array of familiar chain and family-owned hotels and motels. For families traveling on a budget, these offer a great value without sacrificing service or amenities. The island also offers a collection of condominiums, villas, townhouses and other rentals creating that comfort of home that some families may want. Most all Amelia Island accommodations are kid friendly but here are a few honorable mentions: 
Just a mere 3 blocks from the ocean, The Residence Inn Amelia Island is easy walking distance from a day at the beach or a hike on Egan's Creek Greenway right next door. An array of toys and games in the lobby will keep young ones occupied if the weather happens to be lousy. Otherwise, soak up the sun in the hotel pool! For a beachfront retreat, try the Seaside Amelia Inn just steps from the sandy beaches and pool. Rent a bicycle and pedal to nearby Fort Clinch or play on the playground at Main Beach Park right next door. Get into the thick of things with a stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites Historic Harbor Front. This riverfront downtown hotel is within walking distance to restaurants, quaint shops, ice cream stores, the Museum of History, a fudge shop, and most importantly Villa Villekula toy store that offers unique toys for every age! For those planning a luxurious getaway, book a stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island or Omni Amelia Island Resort where kids are a priority. Both resorts overlook an expansive stretch of beach and offer award-winning kids programs, babysitting services, an array of pools to play in, naturalist-led nature programs and nearby shopping and dining. 

Attention Keepers

Amelia Island is fun for all generations. So much to do from relaxing and playing on beautiful beaches to exploring nature on foot or by bike. There is plenty to keep everyone occupied, but here are a few suggestions for those with little ones to entertain:
The #1 reason folks come here? You guessed it...the beach! With 13 miles of beautiful Atlantic seashore perfect for running, jumping waves and building sandcastles, it's easy to see why kids can't wait to get here. A family favorite area is Main Beach park with playgrounds, picnic areas, a skate park, putt putt and nearby restaurants. Don't want to lug all that baby equipment to the beach? Baby Quip has you covered with baby equipment to rent so mama's can relax. If you want to get in touch with the historic side of the island while getting rid of some pent up energy, look no further than Fort Clinch State Park. Here you and your children can climb and run around the grounds of the old Civil War fort while soldiers reenact what life was like during the year 1864. Everyone loves Fort Clinch. What is more fun than a family game of putt putt? Lucky for you, we have courses from one end of the island to the other. GREGOR MACGREGOR’S MINI LINKS & DRINKS combines a round of golf, a tasty drink and beautiful scenery right in the heart of historic downtown. Dine on corn dogs, popcorn, jumbo pretzels, and novelty ice cream treats. Also check out HERON’S COVE ADVENTURE GOLFISLAND FALLS MINI GOLF and PUTT-PUTT AMELIA ISLAND. Even the littlest pirates will love Pirate Playground. Built to be accessible for children of all ages and for those with special needs, the playground encourages imagination and exploration plus it lots of fun! Plenty to keep busy including swings, a push merry go round and a cool sand play area with running water! After the playground, hop on a trail to Egan's Creek Greenway and explore all that nature has to offer. Look for a variety of plants and wildlife. Benches and interpretive displays are located throughout the Greenway, and restrooms are available at the Nature Pavilion.

Family-Friendly Restaurants

Amelia Island is known for an eclectic and authentic mix of cuisine. Really - there are so many great restaurants to choose from. Whether it's fresh Florida seafood or dining with an International flavor, you won't go hungry while you're here. However, these eateries are ones that kids seem to love. Check them out:
Sliders Seaside Grill has a little bit of everything for everyone. It's smack on the ocean, so there's that. But, it also has an outdoor Tiki Bar for the adults and a playground for the kids. Kids love the chicken tenders or fried fish and mac & cheese while adults crave the fresh seafood, burgers, wraps and more. Timotis Seafood Shak is located in historic downtown and offers wild caught seafood prepared just about any way you want it. Favorites include the Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl and Fish Tacos. Kids love the Fried Shrimp Basket but mostly they love the pirate ship playground. After dinner, head over to Nana Teresa's Bake Shop for a piece of crumb cake, slice of homemade apple pie, mini cupcake, French macaroon or anything else they have because it's all good. Or, get a scoop of ice cream and a doughnut from Island Time Frozen Yogurt. Yum! If you happen to be on the south end of the island and you're craving pizza (who doesn't?), Natural Slice at Omni Amelia Island Resort is a winner for all. With a myriad of toppings to choose from, this surf-inspired pizza joint has the perfect pie for all your family members. After dinner, take a walk around the shops and find that perfect souvenir to take home with you. 

Parent's Night Out

If you and your significant other need a little bit of couple time away from the kiddos, we've got you covered. Date night can be something as easy as a walk on the beach, or something as romantic as an oceanside dinner for two. For a well-deserved night out, may we recommend:
Salt at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is an ocean front restaurant and winner of the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award, serving fresh fish, aged steaks and unique culinary creations. In historic downtown, David's is an upscale romantic treat for the tastebuds with stylish, contemporary decor and a focus on classic steaks & seafood. If your idea of a fabulous date night includes beer and pizza, check out First Love Brewing. Their craft beer selections include stouts, porters, ales and IPA's that pair nicely with their delicious artisan-style made-to-order pizzas. Of course you can't come to Amelia Island without visiting the oldest bar in Florida, The Palace Saloon. This historic pre-Prohibition bar with mosaic floors & painted murals offers live music, beer, cocktails, and the signature Pirates Punch. Go ahead and belly up to the bar with the ghost of Uncle Charlie that supposedly haunts the place. Other local downtown watering holes include The Decantery wine bar, The Mermaid Bar located in the old Florida House Inn, and the Green Turtle Tavern for live music on the outside deck. 

We want to make sure that you and your children enjoy every moment of your visit on Amelia Island and make memories to last a lifetime. Book your stay and come see us!

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Located just off the coast of northeast Florida, Amelia Island is easy to reach, but hard to forget. With 13 miles of beautiful beaches, abundant native wildlife, and pristine waters, this barrier island has long been a beloved destination for visitors and residents alike.