When It Comes to Northeast Florida Beaches, Here's Why Amelia Island is Your Best Bet

December 17, 2020
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As the southernmost island in the Sea Island chain, Amelia Island is a beach lover’s dream with 13 miles of sandy seashore wide open for running, walking, shell collecting, horseback riding or just plain relaxing. Visitors experience an unparalleled sense of calm as they stroll along the uncrowded shoreline. However, Amelia Island is much more than just a great beach. She’s one of the Top 10 Islands in the US, draped in as much southern charm as her mighty oaks are in Spanish moss. Here’s why Amelia Island needs to be on your bucket list of places to visit. 


Whether you're looking for an upscale escape to one of our south-end island resorts, a few days in a historic bed & breakfast inn, an extended stay on the beach in a vacation rental, or a cozy hotel/motel for your next family trip, Amelia Island offers a place for every stay, style and budget. The historic B&Bs of downtown Fernandina Beach beckon with packages specially crafted for laid-back travelers, while the popular hotel chains give a sense of familiarity. If renting a home for a week or long-term is more your style, we’ve got you covered with plenty of beach vacation rentals to choose from. 


When it comes to finding the best family beach vacations in Florida, let’s face it, your kids are the ones you want to impress. Amelia Island’s two south-end resorts offer activities for all ages, but when it comes to kids, these resorts really shine. Whether your little one is 6 months or 16 years, these resorts will keep them occupied and enthralled from sunup to sundown. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Ritz Kids program features supervised educational games and activities throughout the week for kids ages 5 - 12. If they would rather be independent, they can spend the day pool hopping from indoor to outdoor pools and visiting Our Space, a family-friendly game room. The Omni Amelia Island Resort gets back to nature with seven miles of scenic resort bike trails to ride on, and kids nature excursions with a staff naturalist. Challenge your family to a friendly game of putt-putt at Heron’s Cove Adventure Golf or attend award-winning Kids Camp Amelia where campers 4 – 10 will make crafts, memories and new friends. If that doesn’t get your kids excited, then mention to them that we’re an island founded by pirates and a princess. What kid doesn’t think that’s cool?

Lots To Do (or not)

Amelia Island is home to many activities that will delight the entire family. There's no end to the possibilities for making lifelong memories together, trip after trip. Whether you’re a novice or professional, the destination boasts ample opportunity to practice your swing and serve.  Enjoy over 99 holes of stunning, world-class golf, or the ultimate sporting experience with Cliff Drysdale Tennis at Omni Amelia Island Resort’s Racquet Park. Ready for a day on the water? Charter a boat for an afternoon of in-shore or off-shore fishing so you can have that “fish tale” to share after you leave. Or, explore the back waters and creeks surrounding Amelia Island by kayak or stand up paddleboard. For a unique view of the beach, saddle up for one of only a handful of beach horseback riding opportunities in the nation - one of our all-time favorite Amelia Island things to do. If chill time is more your thing - grab some sunscreen and a towel, and hit the beach for some much-needed vitamin Sea.

History Lessons

This tranquil barrier island is steeped in history, legends, and lore… after all, we were under the dominion of eight different flags! Step back in time to the year 1864 when you visit Fort Clinch State Park, and learn what life was like during the Civil War. Check out historic Old Town, the original location of the town of Fernandina and the last Spanish city platted in the Western Hemisphere in 1811. Take an Amelia Island history tour at one of four museums to delve deeper in area history and heritage or stop by Florida’s oldest lighthouse still beaming its light out to sea.       


Few places are better suited for romance than the warm, relaxing and loving atmosphere you'll find when you plan an Amelia Island beach wedding. With beautiful, serene settings, soft sea breezes and breathtaking scenery, you’ll be reminded of exactly what made you fall in love in the first place. The island’s charming historic downtown, professional wedding planners and variety of venues will put you at ease, while freeing you up to enjoy the slower pace of the island and your big day.

Beachy Meetings

Located just 30 minutes from the Jacksonville International Airport, Amelia Island is an ideal destination for corporate events and retreats. Amelia loves “meeting” people and we think your time spent outside playing should be just as important as your time spent in conferences and meetings. With an array of flexible meeting venues, diverse accommodations, recreation and world-class dining, we can show you how to make your next meeting a memorable success. 

Sand n' Surf

Can’t wait to dip your toes in the ocean? Amelia Island’s beaches are wide and accessible from many vantage points making them some of Northern Florida's best beaches. There are so many places to unfold your chair, get out your book, soak up some rays and enjoy one of the best relaxing vacations you've had in a while ... all with the sound of the surf just steps away. Whether north, south or central island, enjoy this flyover and a list of all the BEACH ACCESS POINTS to find your favorite spot of sand.


With our mild winter weather and unique habitat for observing flora and fauna, Amelia Island offers many ways to get into the wild. More than 300 species of birds pass through or breed on or around Amelia Island. It’s a birder's paradise! Grab your binoculars and set out to FORT CLINCH STATE PARK and/or EGAN’S CREEK GREENWAY to not only get a glimpse of the feathered friends we share the island with but also the lush trees they perch in that comprise the maritime forest canopy. A big part of what makes Amelia Island so beautiful – and what literally helps preserve it is the trees. Ancient live oaks have inspired artists, lovers and activists for centuries. Head out to AMELIA ISLAND STATE PARK where beautiful beaches, salt marshes, wildlife and coastal maritime forests provide visitors a glimpse of the Real Florida.

Diverse Dining for Foodies

Amelia Island has a gravitational pull for laid-back foodies. The flavors of Amelia Island are as diverse as the destination itself. Discover the top places for foodies to taste the full flavors of this barrier isle. Some rich in local products, others known for a creative twist on southern favorites as well as internationally-inspired fare. We've got your appetite covered from one end of the island to the other. 


Bring home more than just seashells when you visit Amelia Island. Whether it’s a piece of artisan jewelry or art, a cozy pair of PJ’s, a pirate-inspired toy, or an antique piece that completes your front porch, you can discover it in one of the many island shopping districts. 

Year-Round Events

There is always something to experience and celebrate on Amelia Island, from signature annual events like the Chamber Music Festival, Amelia Island Jazz Festival and Dickens on Centre holiday festival to the Shrimp Festival, Concours D’Elegance Car Show and Wild Amelia Nature Festival. In addition, there are music, theatre, literature and visual arts happenings throughout the year. Make your next trip unforgettable by visiting Amelia Island during one of these stellar events. Stay up-to-date by visting our calendar for all events. 

Come on down (or up) and let us show you why the term "southern hospitality" is more than just an expression on Amelia Island... it's a way of life.


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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.