10 Olympic Sports To Play on Amelia

February 7, 2018
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While enjoying the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in chilly Pyeongchang  we can't help but look outside to the beach and think about the world-class sporting fun to be had here on Amelia Island, a decorated champion in her own right.  Get active and enjoy these Olympic sports on Amelia Island (then visit one of our local watering holes to enjoy watching the Winter Games.

Golf. This new Olympic sport is enthusiastically practiced every day on Amelia Island, where 117 holes (seven set on the Atlantic) beckon golfers of all abilities.  LINKS Magazine dubbed Amelia one of the Top 25 Golf Islands in the World, find out where you can start having a gold-medal worthy round here. 

Tennis.  Olympians have played the iconic live oak-shaded courts at the Omni Amelia Island Resort (Agassi, Navratilova, Sharapova, and the Williams sisters are among them.) Their tennis program, operated by Cliff Drysdale Tennis, has been recognized as one of the finest in the world, named the “No. 2 Tennis Resort on Florida’s East Coast” and a “Top 50 Tennis Resorts in the U.S.” by Tennis magazine. The four clay courts of T
he Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island use state-of-the-art Hydro-cool technology and the resort offers daily drill clinics and personal instruction from skilled pros.  

Table tennis. The unofficial epicenter of this increasingly popular pastime is the Green Turtle Tavern, with colorfully decorated outdoor tables that draw crowds and are often accompanied by the sounds of live music played on the porch.

Beach Volleyball. You'll find two sand volleyball courts at the popular Main Beach Park, along with a playground, picnic shelters,outdoor showers, a skate park, and a new Mobi-Mat that makes the beach more easily accessible.

Swimming. No shortage of swimming opportunities on this barrier island.  Over 25 Amelia Island accomodations have pools (take a look here, select 'pool' from list of amenities.)  The Atlantic Ocean stands at the ready with 13 miles of easily accessible beaches. A short walk from the beach and from Fort Clinch State Park,  the Atlantic Recreation Center also offers day passes to its pool.

Did you know that Amelia Island is considered one of Florida's best places to bike? The island provides a number of options from rugged trails winding past century-old, moss-laden live oaks and natural waterways to smooth scenic coastal paths. The Amelia Island Trail extends over six miles from Peter’s Point Beachfront Park to the south end of the George Crady fishing bridge (and it's set for expansion over the next year.)  If mountain biking is more your speed, head to Fort Clinch State Park totry out the six-mile off-road multi-use trail that is located adjacent to the park drive. It's an adventurous ride through the maritime forest as dune elevation changes provide rolling hills and turns.  Why not get a group together and start training for one of the fun annual races that are perfect reasons for a getaway:  the Katie Ride and the Endless Summer Watermelon Ride?  

Track and Field. With flat terrain, open spans of beach, and shaded pathways, there are an infinite number of great running routes . Races from fun runs to triathalons are a regular occurence on this fitness-loving island, the friendly Amelia Island Runners Club provides information on the latest events as well as weekly group runs that are open to the public.

Equestrian. There are few more beautiful backdrops to a ride than the beaches of Amelia Island, especially at sunrise and sunset.  Gold rings are regularly awarded when couples tie the knot after arriving at their beach ceremony on horseback (and it's popular for proposals too.)  Get ready to get in the saddle here
Weightlifting:  To tone up while on Amelia, both resorts as well as several hotels and vacation rentals offer fitness centers (you can search here and select 'fitness center' as an amenity.)  The City of Fernandina Beach has two fitness center weight rooms that are open to the public with the purchase of a day pass.  

Beach Volleyball. You'll find two sand volleyball courts at the popular Main Beach Park, along with a playground, picnic shelters,outdoor showers, a skate park, and a new Mobi-Mat that makes the beach more easily accessible.

Sailing:  Award-winning Windward Sailing takes to the water all year long, offering lessons and charters.  Captain Tony provides expert advice and a practiced eye for spotting wildlife. 

And perhaps someday...Pétanque is played all around Amelia Island, home of the biggest Pétanque tournament in the Americas, and it's a contender for inclusion in the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games. 

Ready to go for the gold?

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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.