If you're lucky enought to be celebrating Thanksgiving on Amelia Island, then consider yourself blessed indeed. Our little island paradise is the perfect place to break bread with those you love and begin the holiday season. Take a look at this weekend itinerary so you don't miss a thing.
It's always a good idea to take a brisk walk or in this case, trot, before you stuff yourself silly with turkey. The annual 5K Turkey Trot
held each Thanksgiving morning at Omni Amelia Island Resort, is a tradition for runners and walkers alike and helps keep those calories at a minimum on this day of delicious gluttony. Don your best poultry outfit and Get ready. Get set. TROT! Photo credit: Omni Amelia Island Resort
WE GATHER TOGETHER
Happy Thanksgiving! It's time to celebrate that beloved holiday where we share a delicious meal with family and friends and give thanks for ALL of our blessings. For some, preparing a full Thanksgiving meal is stressful and for some, it's traditional and fun. If you would rather sit back and let someone else do the cooking, here is a list
of Amelia Island restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving Day to serve you. Whether you dine in or out, we hope this day is joyous. Bon Appetit!
RIDIN' THE BEACH OR THE TRAILS
Whether you’re an avid road (or off road) cyclist or someone who prefers a leisurely paced bike ride amongst the moss-laden live oaks or the shell covered beaches, Amelia Island is home to miles of bike lanes, trails
, paths and beach to work off all that pie you ate. Bike Amelia
will deliver high quality beach cruisers right to your home, condo, villa or hotel so all you have to do is hop on and go. Whichever path you choose, just know that a unique view of Amelia Island awaits.
BREAKFAST AT THE WILLIAMS HOUSE
Start your day with a step back in time and a delicious homemade breakfast at the Amelia Island Williams House
, bed & breakfast Inn. Built in 1856, the Williams House is not only steeped in local history, but it also serves a breakfast that includes two courses as well as juice, locally roasted coffee and a selection of organic hot teas. Seating capacity is limited, so get your reservations in at least 24 hours in advance. It's worth it.
SHOP IN YOUR PAJAMAS
Head to Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach and shop in your PJ's at the annual Black Friday Pajama Party
. Beginning at 8AM, merchants will be offering special discounts and refreshments for shoppers and there will be a block party on 2nd Street all day with family-friendly activities and live music! Wear your best, most festive or craziest pajamas and enter the pajama contest for a chance to win best individual, best group and most creative pajamas. Who doesn't want to stay in their pajamas all day? This is a seriously good time.
LUNCH ON THE LANAI
If you're all "turkeyed" out, maybe some seafood is in order. Serving up fresh seafood baskets in a casual setting, TIMOTI’S SEAFOOD SHAK
is a hit with families, featuring a large pirate ship playground and outdoor picnic table seating. This is your chance to dine on locally caught shrimp fixed a myriad of ways. If you're looking for something on the lighter side, try a Poke bowl or the Chopped Salad Box made with fresh greens, beets, carrots, cukes, tomatoes, toasted pecans, feta, figs and fig vinaigrette.
Experience “old Florida” on a 2-hour guided kayak tour through the black waters of Lofton Creek. Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
, a family-owned, award-winning touring company, is offering a Day After Thanksgiving Kayak Tour
where guests can paddle and float through this wooded environment and see the best nature has to offer. Birds, wildlife, and flora & fauna are abundant. Receive a complimentary photo memory of your day on the water. Photo credit: Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
, located at Omni Amelia Island Resort, is the market and deli of your dreams. Not only can you shop for unique gifts, wine and groceries but you can also enjoy their popular Steak Out
on Friday and Saturday nights. Whether you crave a New York strip or want to try their famous 36-ounce bone-in ribeye, they've got the perfect steak for you! Kids can choose from grilled cheese, pb&j, or a grilled 4oz beef tenderloin. Live music and libations add to the fun.
BREAKFAST WITH THE BIG GUY!
Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is the place to be on Saturday morning (8:30-10:30) for Breakfast with Santa
. Children can share all their holiday wishes with the big guy himself while the whole family enjoys an extravagant breakfast buffet decorated in magical gingerbread and holiday creations. If you can't make breakfast, never fear! Santa's Storybook Tea
happens shortly after (12pm-1:30pm). Dress up in your finery and dine on finger sandwiches, pastries, cakes and candy all while Santa and Mrs. Claus read a fireside holiday storybook. If this doesn't have you dreaming of sugarplums, I don't know what will!
SHADY LADIES HOLIDAY MARKET
If you're looking for unique and handmade items for yourself or to give as gifts, head over to Shady Ladies Annual Holiday Market
for the perfect Amelia Island treasure. You can find just the right arts & crafts item all with a beachy or holiday motif. Heck, they'll even wrap them for shipping if you want. Open from 10am-4pm. Photo credit: Shady Ladies Art Studio
LUNCH AT THE BOOKSTORE
Where can you shop for books and gifts and enjoy a delicious lunch, too? Story & Song Bookstore Bistro
that's where. This Indie bookstore centrally located in the Amelia Park district of the island is as unique as the butterfly wings that adorn the wall of the secret garden courtyard. After all the heavy foods of this holiday, dine instead on one of their salads made from hydroponic greens or a bagel sandwich made with authentic New York bagels from the Bronx. If you can't get enough of this charming bookstore, come back later in the afternoon (5pm-7pm) and head upstairs for a concert from award-winning singer/songwriter Rupert Wates as he performs an eclectic mix of songs, stories, and exceptional guitar work. Click here
LIGHT UP DOWNTOWN!
Are you ready to officially kick off the holidays? So are we and it all starts with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
in downtown Fernandina Beach. Holiday merriment begins at noon where folks can enjoy food & merchandise vendors, holiday crafts for kids, face painting, live entertainment, and photos with Santa! Stick around because the lights turn on at 6pm and believe me when I tell you... it's gorgeous. A jolly good time for all on the downtown waterfront!
PIZZA IS WHAT'S FOR DINNER
, A local favorite just off Centre Street, makes delicious wood-fired pizzas the authentic Neapolitan way with a crispy crust, tasty sauce, and large chopped tomatoes. They also have great sandwiches and salads. It's a nice step away from the traditional Thanksgiving foods and a place that your kids will love. End your meal with Cinnamon Knots served with icing dipping sauce. They're tasty! After dinner, take in a miniature bowling game at Duck Pinz
to round out your memorable holiday on Amelia Island.
These suggestions are just a sneak peek of all Amelia Island has to offer during your Thanksgiving Weekend 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 and your family here for years to come.