10 Must Do's For A First-Timer

June 7, 2023
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Coming to Amelia Island certainly means ample beach time but there are other notable things our island is known for besides just lowering your blood pressure in a chair by the sea (although we highly recommend that). If this your first time visiting our beautiful island (and even if it's not), take a look at these 10 "first-timer" ideas and get out there and experience one or all of them. You'll be a professional "Islander" in no time! 

Fort Clinch State Park

Step back in time to Civil War era FORT CLINCH STATE PARK providing daily fort tours, trails for biking and hiking, beachcombing, sunbathing, swimming, and surf fishing. Adults and kids alike will love walking around the fort as soldiers reenact what life was like back in 1864. If you happen to be around on the first weekend of the month, you’ll witness a soldier garrison firing cannons and demonstrating other battlefield skills. 

Amelia River Cruises

Touring the scenic waterways surrounding Amelia Island is a must do and Amelia River Cruises & Charters offers a variety of cruising options during the morning, afternoon or sunset. With narrated, historic and wildlife sightseeing tours, cruisers can expect to see dolphins, manatee, sea otters, alligators, and the wild horses of Cumberland Island National Seashore. In the summer, take a shrimping eco-tour led by a naturalist for educational fun!

Shark Tooth Hunting

The hunt for the elusive shark tooth on the shores of Amelia Island is a year-round beach activity that's fun for the whole family. You can either go it alone or let the fine folks at AMELIA ISLAND SHARK TOOTH ADVENTURES guide you. You may find the tooth of a Great White, Hammerhead, Tiger (shark), or other species. Search along the high- or low-tide line for the best luck!

Pirates Punch 

The island’s most notable drink is the Pirate’s Punch which can be found at THE PALACE SALOON, the oldest bar in the state of Florida since 1903. This gorgeous bar still houses the original woodwork, tin ceilings, vintage murals and mosaic floors from days gone by and still gathers friends together to swap stories. Warning: This signature rum-infused "punch" is true to its namesake and will have you singing along with the ghost of Uncle Charlie that supposedly haunts the place!


Since we're the "Birthplace of the Modern Shrimping Industry", it's safe to say that Amelia Island knows how to catch, cook and serve shrimp. If you're looking for some really good seafood (namely shrimp), you've come to the right place with many of our local restaurants serving up this amazing crustacean. As a matter of fact, we challenge you to discover all the tasty shrimp dishes we have to offer by participating in our Shrimp Challenge where you can not only dine on delicious shrimp but you can win great prizes as well!

Horseback Ride on the Beach

There aren’t many places in the country where you can go horseback riding on the beach. Saddle up for a tour of the Amelia Island shoreline like you've only dreamed about and let the professional guides (and well-trained horses) of AMELIA ISLAND HORSEBACK RIDING and/or HAPPY TRAILS WALKING HORSES take you on an unforgettable ride along the beautiful Atlantic coast. Giddy up!

Private Charters

Time out on the water is always time well spent and we have many ways to get you out there. Whether it's wetting a line in the inland waterways surrounding Amelia Island or going out for a day in the gulf stream, Charter FISHING is a year-round activity for everyone from the novice to the hard-core angler. If fishing isn't your thing, take a private charter boat ride from Amelia Adventures for an experience on the water that's a little off the beaten path. Or, take a relaxing sunset sail with Windward Sailing. Lots to see and do on the water.


Besides having some of the best beaches in Florida, Amelia Island also boasts some the best golf courses in the state with 99 challenging yet picturesque golf holes. If golf is your game, you'll have several courses to choose from - all known for their "breathtaking scenery, expert designs woven through natural landscapes, and world-class golf for every skill level" - Florida's First Coast of Golf. Learn more about all of them here. Pictured above: Oak Marsh at Omni Amelia Island Resort

​Egans Creek Greenway

 consists of more than 300 acres of protected, sensitive lands between Atlantic Avenue and Sadler Road, near the center of the island. Enjoy birdwatching, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, and more along two trails within the Greenway. Don’t forget your camera, and, if you’re traveling with younger explorers, don’t miss the Pirate Playground at the entrance off Atlantic Avenue near the Atlantic Rec Center.

Museum Tour

Amelia Island has plenty of stories to tell. Take a break from outdoor fun and take in these unique island museums that featuring everything from an African-American environmentalist to plundering pirates! The AMELIA ISLAND MUSEUM OF HISTORY, housed in an old jail, offers tours of Amelia Island's thousands of years of history including a trip back to the Gilded Age and an interactive children's exhibit. The A. L. Lewis Museum focuses on what life was like at Florida's historic African-American beach 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. 

What are you waiting for? Book your stay on Amelia Island and start experiencing everything there is to do on this magical island.

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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.