is one of the only examples of a plantation system in Florida today, where visitors can explore the slave quarters, kitchen house and interpretive gardens. The plantation was built in 1798 and named for early owner Zephaniah Kingsley, who lived there with his family until 1837. But the Kingsley story doesn’t end there. Kingsley’s wife, Anna Madgigine Jai, was a slave purchased from Senegal, West Africa. Zephaniah and Anna would become the grandparents of A.L. Lewis who would later purchase and develop American Beach!
offers fresh, authentic Italian-style cuisine featuring pasta, pizza, seafood, and an extensive beer and wine list. “Years of experience culminated with a passion for food, wine and love for people!” Literally everything here is good but try the Osso Buco for a mouth full of happiness. Located in Palmetto Walk Shopping Plaza on the south end of Amelia Island.
Coasting Through History Heading North
ALOHA BAGEL & DELI
The bagels at ALOHA BAGEL & DELI
are so good if you close your eyes you’ll think you’re at your favorite NYC deli. Committed to serving only the freshest most delicious bagels, Aloha Bagel & Deli claims to be the “best little bagel shop on Amelia Island” and I’m pretty sure they are. Try the Nova Bagel, toasted with plain cream cheese, NOVA salmon, tomatoes, capers, and onions. You won’t be disappointed.
OLD TOWN & THE MIDDLE PASSAGE
As a port city, Amelia Island’s history is full of stories of conquerors, pirates, merchants, and travelers. And, unfortunately, some of those stories include the dark history of human trade routes. The Middle Passage
was a stage in the route slave ships took from Africa to America, forcibly transporting millions of Africans to the New World. In Old Town Fernandina
, where the original town of Fernandina is located, a Middle Passage port marker now stands commemorating those who died in the crossing and the legacy of those who survived, along with their descendants. The Gullah Geechee people, descendants of Africans brought in through the Middle Passage, recognize Fernandina Beach as the southernmost island in the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage corridor.
SUGAR & SPICE AND EVERYTHING NICE
Make your way back downtown for a delightful lunch at STEPHANIE'S SUGAR & SPICE CAFE
. It's a charming little cafe located right on Centre Street serving breakfast, lunch, fresh baked goods and so much more. Order a chicken wrap, slice of delicious lemon raspberry cheesecake and grab a seat outside in the shade. Good food and great people watching!
Dedicated to the art of storytelling, the Amelia Island Museum of History
is the first spoken history museum in Florida. The museum focuses on local Nassau County history and the evolution of tourism, industry, and the African-American life and influence here. Each year a group of local high school students make an exhibit at the museum and this year’s student exhibit features the history of local African-American schools in Nassau County - one of which is Peck High School. Learn about William H. Peck (of whom the school was named), a Howard University graduate who served as principal from 1888 until 1931 and made a huge difference in our community. Also located a short walk from the Museum of History is the Shrimping Museum
. Known as the “birthplace of the modern shrimping industry in America,” discover Fernandina's shrimping heritage and watch the clip below on one of our local shrimping heros, Raymond Wilson.
On this your last night on Amelia Island, make reservations to dine at Espana
. With flavors that hail from Spain and Portugal, Espana never disappoints. Enjoy each other's company (also the paella and sangria) in the cozy main dining room, on the enclosed patio or in the lush outdoor garden. Either way, Chef Roberto will make sure you leave with a full stomach and a happy heart.
These suggestions are just a sneak peek of all Amelia Island has to offer as you plan your Historic Getaway. Discover more and plan your perfect trip on www.AmeliaIsland.com
for a complete list of places to stay, eat and play. We’re looking forward to seeing you back here for years to come.