From A - Z: 26 Things to See & Do in Historic Downtown

November 9, 2022
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From boutique shops and eclectic dining to museum tours and spa services, take a look at all downtown Fernandina Beach has to offer and then visit the DOWNTOWN TRAVEL GUIDE to plan your day out. Sightseeing downtown is as easy as ABC...

A- Antiquing 

If you love everything old and vintage, downtown Fernandina Beach is home to several antique stores where treasure hunting is a real thing. Visit Trailer Park Collectibles and Eight Flags Antique Market (both on Centre Street), as well as Island Treasures and Antiques & More Treasures (both on 8th Street). You’ll find everything from record albumns and used books to clothing, jewelry, and furniture! Photo Credit: Trailer Park Colletibles 

B- Burlingame

 is one of those restaurants that stays etched in your mind long after you leave. Literally everything here is good. For a memorable meal in a warm and elegant setting, come see why Burlingame is the restaurant to visit in the Fernandina Beach historic district. Need a menu recommendation? Try the Lamb Bolognese with house made tagliatelle pasta. You won't be sorry.

C- Cafe Karibo

Grab a bite to eat at CAFÉ KARIBO, home of the Turkey Cuban and "Famous" Veggie Burger. Also featured are their seasonal, homemade soups and the always popular Shrimp Salad on croissant, made with fresh local shrimp! Dine on the patio under the oaks or have a seat in the cafe with an eclectic palette of colors and furnishings while sipping on a local, speciality, or craft beverage from the bar.

D- Dickens on Centre

For one magical weekend each December, historic downtown Fernandina Beach is transformed into Victorian England by way of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The Dickens on Centre annual festival brings out the kid in everyone with food/arts/crafts vendors, festive entertainment, roving Victorian characters, life-sized snow globes, kids zone, adult-only Dickens After Dark, and of course visits with St. Nick himself! 

E- Espana

Specializing in traditional flavors from Spain and Portugal, Espana features just-caught local seafood, an array of hot and cold tapas and their traditional paella, which is to die for. Dine inside in the cozy main dining room or outside on the enclosed patio overlooking the garden.

F- Farmers Market

Every Saturday, a local farmers market and arts market takes place on south 7th street. The FERNANDINA BEACH MARKET PLACE is pet-friendly and features live music, spirited promotions, fresh local fruits & veggies, and some of the most delicious treats to be had on Amelia Island.  It has been proven nearly impossible to walk the market without smiling at least once. 

G- Gregor MacGregor Mini Links & Drinks

 combines some of Florida’s favorite pastimes: a round of golf, a tasty drink and beautiful scenery right in the heart of historic downtown. Bring out a little family competition on this lush garden putt-putt course where you can dine on corn dogs, hot dogs, popcorn, jumbo pretzels, and novelty ice cream treats. The winner gets braggin’ rights for the rest of the trip!

H- Happy Tomato

Dreaming of some really delicious barbeque? If so, THE HAPPY TOMATO is happy to oblige. They feature mouthwatering pulled pork, smoked turkey, fresh salads, and deli sandwiches all in a relaxed outdoor atmosphere. Chef/Owner, Richard Bolton, offers creative menu items developed from many years cooking at top resorts and restaurants.

I- Island Time Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt

Island Time FroYo offers everything to make a guest feel happy. It's hard to have a bad day when there's ice cream, homemade doughnuts, cookies and freshly baked bread involved. Get them to go or take a load off and hang out on their back patio with a refreshing beer. Yep, they have that, too.

J- JJ Cooper

Don't ever let it be said that shopping is just a woman's pasttime. For the latest in mens fashions, JJ COOPER has the latest trends and wardrobe staples that every man wants. "The image of the store and the clothing has a refined relaxed resort feel in an Americana setting filled with beautiful natural elements of reclaimed wood, copper, and retro lighting." Pop in to shop and catch the latest score of the game all at the same time!

K- Kitchen Spices & Gifts

 has more than 60 loose leaf teas and more than 85 custom spice blends made in house daily. Whether you're a novice or an old pro in the kitchen, do yourself a favor and check this store out. In addition to spices, teas, sugars and salts, they also carry home and kitchen accessories that are as beautiful as they are functional. Make sure you take a hot or iced tea to go!

L- Lesesne House

The Lesesne House (pronouced Le Sane) was built in 1860 and was once home to Dr. John Lesesne, who treated injured soldiers during the Civil War. The Lesesne House is the oldest remaining post-and-beam home on Amelia Island and remains the crown jewel of Centre Street. This beautiful old home is available for private events and weddings through the Saltmarsh Hospitality Group.

M- Magna's

Dedicated to enhancing and inspiring the natural beauty found in everyone, Magna's offers haircuts and color, nail services, facials, massage, and body treatments. They have been serving this community for over 20 years in the same spot on Centre Street and have been making the world (or at least the island) beautiful one person at a time. 

N- Nana Teresa's Bake Shop

Nana Teresa's Bake Shop specializes in made-from-scratch cupcakes, cookies, pastries, pies, wedding cakes, milk shakes, macaroons, and so much more! Pop in during a day of shoppng, to sit a spell and take care of your "sweet tooth". Get an assorted 12-pack of mini cupcakes to go!

O- Olive Amelia

OLIVE AMELIA offers ultra-premium extra virgin olive oils, from mild to robust, and an array of infused and fused olive oils, in addition to fine balsamic vinegars aged using the Solera System for up to 18 years in chestnut, oak, mulberry and ash barrels. Perfect for your own top chef!

P- Pirates Punch

Visit the PALACE SALOON, Florida’s oldest bar, for the island’s most notable drink, Pirate’s Punch. Fair warning, this sweet concoction is true to its namesake and packs a punch! Don’t be surprised if the ghost of Uncle Charlie decides to join you at the bar. He’s been known to make an appearance. 

Q- Quit Wishin' Let's Go Fishing!

Quit wishing, let's go fishing! is the motto at AC Charters. Capt. Allen has been fishing for over 38 years from the downtown docks of Fernandina Beach to Mexico and the Bahamas. For the last 30 years he has been guiding right here at home from Backcountry to Blue Water. If you're ready to hit the open seas for a day of fishing, give Capt. Allen a call or check out all the charter boat companies on Amelia Island. Photo credit: AC Charters

R- Robison Jewelers

 is a downtown Fernandina Beach staple and has been serving the community for over 70 years. With a fabulous collection of classic to contemporary jewelry designs, The Whitaker family has owned and operated this iconic jewelry store on Centre Street since 1952! Stop in and pick up an Amelia Island keepsake. 

S- Shrimp Festival

It's no secret that we love shrimp here. In fact, we love them so much that we take an entire weekend in May to honor them. The annual Shrimp Festival celebrates our favorite crustacean with a parade, pirate invasion, blessing of the fleet, arts/crafts/food vendors, and live music at the foot of Centre Street. We take shrimping to a whole new level. Make plans to be here the first weekend in May!

T- Theatre

Amelia Island is home to downtown's AMELIA COMMUNITY THEATRE. Founded in 1981, Amelia Community Theatre provides six productions each season on its main stage, plus other shows and events on their studio stage. ACT’s goal is to provide their audiences and volunteers an artistic and emotional experience they won’t forget.

U- Unbelievable Sunsets

The sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean and sets over the Intracoastal Waterway creating stunning and photo-worthy sunsets, and downtown Fernandina Beach is the perfect location to catch one. Pull up a rocking chair and order a glass of wine on the deck of Brett's Waterway Cafe. And wait. Watch the sun set over the Fernandina Harbor and take that memory home with you. 

V- Villa Villekulla

Who knows fun better than the pigtailed adventuress Pippi Longstocking? Inspired by the beloved children's story, Theresa Duncan opened VILLA VILLEKULLA TOYS, a neighborhood toy store on S 2nd Street that features "room to play and an array of "hand-picked quality fun, educational, open-minded, outdoor, and eco-friendly toys." 

W- Wicked Bao

For wicked good Asian street food, head over to WICKED BAO. Located downtown but just slightly off the beaten path, Wicked Bao offers small plates, noodle bowls, rice bowls and their signature Baos - steamed bun filled with choices of fried shrimp, adobo pulled pork, braised pork belly, buttermilk fried chicken, crispy tofu, and Bugogi beef. Get a glass of homemade Saki. You will leave here so happy.

X- X Marks the Spot

You can't come to an island in Florida and not wonder about pirate hidden treasure, right? Local legend has it that somewhere in historic downtown Fernandina Beach, there is unclaimed buried treasure marked by a chain hanging from a big oak tree (the "money tree"). The only problem is the tree and the chain vanish before folks can begin digging! Take that info and run (or dig) with it. 

Y- Yoga

Try a yoga class at CENTRED ON YOGA. Ashtanga, Gentle Flow (non-heated) classes, Restorative Candlelight, Prenatal Yoga, and Yoga Nidra are just a few of the classes offered. Or, find flexibility, long held poses, and mindful breath in candlelight yin yoga held at Community Yoga + Wellness. Ohhhm. Photo credit: Centred on Yoga

Z- Zesty Bloody Mary's

Bloody Mary. A delicious cocktail containing vodka, tomato juice, and other spices and zingy, zesty flavorings. Many of the downtown bars and restaurants serve this famous drink and some could literally be a meal. The pictured bloody mary comes from the Palace Saloon but other tomatoey concoctions can be found at Leddy's Porch/Mermaid Bar, The Salty Pelican, Brett's Waterway Cafe, The Boat House and the Amelia Tavern. Makes you thirsty, doesn't it? Photo credit: The Palace Saloon

And there you have it. The A, B, C's of downtown Fernandina Beach! Book your stay with us soon.

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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.