The sun crests over the horizon and shines the day’s first light onto the Atlantic Ocean. The glittering effect awakens the soul and beckons you to discover what this barrier island has to offer for the day. Over a scrumptious breakfast, the early bird shares the photos of the morning’s spectacular sunrise with the island’s other type of visitor, the one more apt to catch the sunset than the sunrise, the night owl. While the night owl appreciates the beauty of an ocean sunrise, they are more interested in what happens after dusk. So from stunning sunsets and tasty libations to live entertainment, here’s a roundup some of Amelia Island's nightlife for those night owls who are looking for things to do after the sun goes down over Amelia Island.
Amelia Island caters to both early birds and night owls, offering both sunrises and sunsets over the water. While the sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean on Amelia Island, it sets over the Intracoastal Waterway, creating stunning and photo-worthy sunsets, and downtown Fernandina Beach is the perfect location to catch one. Watch the sunset over the Fernandina Harbor at the foot of Centre Street, but for an especially special show head to the second floor of the Salty Pelican
where you can also enjoy a tasty cocktail or regionally brewed beer. If you’re looking for a sunset-view dinner, try Brett’s Waterway Café
at the marina or family-friendly Cantina Louie
, centrally located on the island. For guests of the Omni Amelia Island Plantation
, Walker’s Landing or Drummond Point provide an idyllic setting to watch the sunset over the marsh. And on the north end of the island, visitors can take in a spectacular sundown over the Amelia River from Fort Clinch
or the plaza of Old Town.
Tasty Libations & Tours
She may be a small destination, but Amelia Island still offers a large variety of settings for a tasty libation. From beachfront bars like The Sandbar & Kitchen
or Sliders Seaside Grill
to the upscale Lounge at David’s Restaurant
, you’ll find a great mix of options for an evening cocktail. Head to The Lobby Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
which offers gorgeous ocean views and a curated menu of small-batch spirits and custom infusions, including the bar’s signature Smoked Old Fashioned. On Saturday evenings at The Ritz, mixologists teach guests how to create unique craft cocktails with specialty liquors and infusions. The island’s most notable drink is the Pirate’s Punch at The Palace Saloon
, Florida’s oldest bar (fair warning, this sweet concoction is true to its namesake and packs a punch). One of the island’s most popular bars is the laid-back Green Turtle Tavern
, where you’ll find a mix of locals and visitors enjoying a cold beer or a refreshing cocktail on the porch or patio. For a hidden gem with a beer menu as eclectic as the owner’s pajamas, check out PJD’s Beer and Wine Garden
. The newest member of the Amelia Island nightlife scene is The Decantery
, offering a unique wine selection including wine dispensing machines. Centrally located, Locals’ Cocktail Lounge is a casual neighborhood bar and if you’re looking for more of local’s secret "dive bar” experience, check out Hammerhead’s Beach Bar
From local bars to local drinks, you can’t miss Amelia’s own distillery and brewery. Marlin & Barrel
encourages visitors to “discover your spirit” with tastings of their locally distilled liquors including vodkas, rums, cellos (the Blossom Orangecello makes a wonderful twist to mimosas), gin and whiskey. If you’re more inclined for a cold beer, head over to the Amelia Tavern
where you’ll find in-house brews including their home-crafted IPA, amber, blonde, wheat and Mexican lager. If you’re having trouble deciding where to go, sing up with a Mixology Tour
with Amelia Island Tasting Tours for a guided mobile cocktail party visiting four stops in downtown Fernandina Beach. The Amelia Island Museum of History also offers a Pub Tour
with one ticket, four drinks, and a wealth of historical information about downtown Fernandina!
If you’re looking for something beyond breathtaking sunsets and delicious libations the island boasts a variety of live entertainment to keep you amused. You can find live music throughout the week at many restaurants and bars in downtown Fernandina, but the Green Turtle Tavern
is known for kicking it up on the weekends with local and regional bands performing on the porch. The Palace Saloon
is also a great spot for life music and dancing at Uncle Charlies. While the Salty Pelican
is a known for their great seafood, bar fare and is a beloved spot for catching a sports game, they also host live music indoors and upstairs on the Pelican Perch. The tiki bar at Slider’s
serves up ocean views and complimenting beach music. Discover the island’s own piano-man, John Springer, and other local musicians playing at The 801 Kitchen & Bar
, where the music matches the soulful and southern-inspired menu. On the weekends, The Ritz-Carlton entertains guests with live music and DJs spinning hits and classics, perfect for those looking to dance. They also host romantic beach bonfires for two and specialty astronomer's tours of the night sky! Also on the south end of the island at the Omni, Falcon's Nest
hosts trivia every Wednesday with live music on Fridays, while Bob's Steak & Chop House
brings piano night on Friday and Saturday evenings. If you're looking to enjoy live music outside, catch some tunes on the patio of Marche Burette
on the weekends (don't miss the Friday Shrimp Boil and Sunday night Steak Out Dinners).
For guests interested in live theatre, the island showcases outstanding resident talent on stage in musical productions, plays, concerts and more at the Amelia Musical Playhouse
or the Amelia Community Theatre
. Throughout the year there’s also performances from world-renowned talent during the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival
, the Amelia Island Jazz Festival
, and the Rendezvous Film Festival
Nighttime fun on Amelia isn't just for the adults! From beach bonfires to dive-in movies, both The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and the Omni Amelia Island Plantation
resorts host a plethora of family-friendly activities for their guests to enjoy after the sun sets. At The Ritz, kids can have a Pirate Tuck-in complete with milk and cookies and a bedtime story read by a real Pirate and Princess (and don't miss the Santa Tuck-ins during the holiday season). On Friday and Saturday evenings, the Omni entertains their younger guests during Camp Amelia @ Night where campers can test their creativity with crafts and games.
From sunrise to sunset and beyond, Amelia Island’s varied activities, bars and restaurants offer something for everyone!