5 Quirky Amelia Island Museums

June 12, 2018
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The only place in America that has belonged to eight different flags, Amelia Island has plenty of stories to tell.  Take a break from outdoor fun and take in these unique museums, featuring everything from pinball to pirates.

Maritime Museum of Amelia Island (pictured above)
The newest museum on the block takes you into the world of sunken treasure. Learn about the Spanish galleons that disappeared below the waves centuries ago and the search for gold, and check out the collection of memorabilia from the US Navy, an artifact from the Titanic,  and even a KGB diving suit.  Your guides may be actual treasure hunters with plenty of tales to tell.
115 South 2nd Street Suite B, Fernandina Beach, (904) 432 7086
Insider Tip: The museum is located in in the same building as Marlin and Barrel distillery, which offers tours and tastings. 

Amelia Island Museum of History
Housed in the forner Nassau County jail (you can still check out one of the cells) in the heart of Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach, the state's first spoken history museum is an excellent place to get your introduction to the wild and wonderful history of the island.  There's a "Discovery Ship" area for children to explore life as a pirate, a choice of docent or self-guided tours, and exhibits featuring treasures from Amelia Island's last 4000 years. 
233 South 3rd St., Fernandina Beach, (904) 261 7378
Insider Tip: Check out the ghost tours offered at 6pm every Friday. Meet your guide in the cemetary behind St. Peters' church at 801 Atlantic Ave.
Marine Welcome Center and Shrimping Museum (part of the Amelia Island Museum of History) 
A tiny gem on the harborfront, this free museum presents the story of shrimping in Amelia Island, the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry.  Pairs well with a lunch or dinner featuring the island's favorite catch.  
234 South Front St,. Fernandina Beach
Insider Tip:  The porch of the museum is an excellent place to watch the sun set over the harbor. 

Fernandina Beach Pinball Museum 
Just a short walk from the beach, this museum is a rainy-day favorite for all ages.  There are over 20 machines ready to play, all lovingly restored by the owner.  Some are vintage, some are new, all are available for fun.
2106 Sadler Road, Fernandina Beach, (904) 835 8424
Insider Tip: You can do a "try them" special for one hour for $10, however, most who try have so much fun they end up getting the unlimited daily admission for $14.

A.L. Lewis Museum
Discover the unique story of Florida's historic African-American beach.  American Beach was founded in 1935 by Afro American Insurance Company President A..L Lewis as a place for "relaxation and recreation without intimidation and humiliation" during the Jim Crow era. In its' heyday in the 1940s and 50s, luminaries of Black America came to American Beach to perform in and enjoy the legendary Rendezvous club.  Lewis' great-granddaughter, MaVynee Oshun Betsch was an influential preservationist and environmentalist whose legacy is celebrated witha  special exhibit.  
1600 Julia St., Amelia Island (904) 510 7036
Insider Tip:  The museum is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  Watch the video of The Beach Lady talking about NaNa, the dune that is the tallest in the state of Florida and a cornerstone of her fight to preserve American Beach.  


Bonus Stop:  the Amelia Island Welcome Center is located in a historic  train depot at the foot of Centre Street across the tracks from the harbor.  Ambassadors are on hand to help you make the most of your visit, and the building itself has become a tourist attraction.  
102 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach, (904) 277-0717

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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.