Have you heard about the Secret Season? The beauty of Amelia Island in October and November is well-known to those in the know: warm days, low humidity, temperate ocean, slower pace, nights just cool enough for a light jacket. Our previous post mentioning this phenomenon was so popular, we've gone around the island and collected an array of deals as well as a special selection of insider secrets you won't want to miss.
Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island : Amelia Island Breakaway which includes a $100 daily resort credit for your stay during the month of October - just right for that 'just because' occasion. (The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is one of the few properties to have a Five Diamond Restaurant located in a Five Diamond Hotel.) Book by calling 800-241-3333 or visit ritzcarlton.com/ameliaisland. Secrets:
- Dine with the Chefs at Salt. Take a seat at a special table in the kitchen and watch the chefs create their masterpieces. If interested, you may join the line and learn tricks and techniques guaranteed to impress at your next dinner party.
- Experience the tranquility of zero gravity when you try the signature Heaven in a Hammock at the Spa.
- Visit The Salt Shop for salts and sugars infused with a variety of flavors. Don’t forget to get some of the house-made salted caramels (but we can't guarantee they will last long enough to bring home once you start unwrapping them.)
- See the two gardens right on the property: the herb garden near Café 4750, where you can find mint, basil and more, plus larger Eco Garden is located a few steps away from the hotel, home to a vegetable garden, and beehives where they harvest honey for use in the kitchens, spa and boutique.
Omni Amelia Island Plantation: Natural Escapes packages feature luxurious accommodations and a range of unique experiences. Enjoy a Plantation Blossom Ritual massage, take a Moonlight Kayak tour for two around the Intracoastal Waterway, and relax on the beach with a private beach bonfire under the stars. Dine alfresco with a private chef lead dinner for two at The Sprouting Project, the chef’s greenhouse and garden. Afterwards, enjoy an exclusive honey tasting experience poolside featuring specialty cocktails and small bites infused with honey from the apiary. To book, call 1-888-261-6161 or visit omniameliaisland.com. (Package includes private dinner, honey tasting, Plantation Blossom Ritual Massage, Moonlight Kayak Tour, and Beach Bonfire. Rates start at $629 per night.) Secrets:
- Tanner the Turtle has a dance party every day at 2pm on the pool deck, followed by a complimentary frosty treat.
- Walker’s Landing makes for the perfect sunset view photo op.
- Taste specialty blended tequila at the Rum and Tequila Experience.
- Tour The Sprouting Project, our chef’s greenhouse, garden and bee apiary. (And sample the local honey with breakfast in Sunrise Café.)
Elizabeth Pointe Lodge: Cruise Through Amelia with a one-of-a-kind package highlighting the beauty and charm of Historic Fernandina Beach. The package features a 1) Beach Creek Cruise Tour with Amelia Island River Cruises ( Two tickets; 1.5 hour tour departs daily at 2:30pm,) 2) Access for two to Historic Fort Clinch (open from 8AM to sunset, 365 days a year,) 3) Lunch in a box: a made-to-order lunch for two prepared by our chefs and placed in a carrying box for you to take along or dine in our beachfront restaurant,) and 4) Two Amelia Island/Elizabeth Pointe Lodge Short Sleeve T-Shirts as a keepsake of your visit. $149.99 plus taxes added to cost of stay with rates starting at $245 plus taxes per night. Package can be added to any three or more night stay only, substituting not permitted. Reserve by contacting Elizabeth Pointe Lodge at 904-277-4851 or on www.elizabethpointelodge.com.
Kayak Amelia's Log Cabin Getaway: The nature-loving adventurers of Kayak Amelia have set up a special week of kayaking, hiking and seaway tours, with a log cabin on the beach as your home base, from Oct 11-17. Spots are $1100-1300 per person based on double occupancy. Lodging, meals and tours are included in the price. More info and booking on the website. Don't miss the chance to experience the beautiful sights that many visitors miss!
Residence Inn by Marriott Amelia Island: 15% off between September 1st and November 15th, plus 2 free bike rentals and an insider’s list of Things To Do, Island-Style. Be adventurous and join the locals for some of Amelia Island's best activities and events. Book here and use Online Booking Code: FLP or call 904.277.2440, ext. 0.
Amelia Rental and Management Services: Fall Special from mid-September to early November: 10% off rental rates. (Excluding holidays and special events) Secret: Impress everyone by naming the eight different flags that have flown over Amelia Island: French, Spanish, British, Patriots, Green Cross of Florida, Mexican, Confederacy, United States.
Addison on Amelia: Extra Day when you stay Four Nights. Enjoy the fall weather for four nights at the Addison between October 1st and October 27th and one of your nights is free. Stay that extra day and take that tour you missed on your last visit, try out another of the Historic District's great restaurants or just stroll the beaches one more time. Can't stay for four nights? The Addison is offering a 15% room rate discount on a two-night minimum visit. Visit www.AddisonOnAmelia.com for details.
Blue Heron Inn: Birthday bonuses. It's no secret! The Blue Heron Inn is turning four. In honor of our birthday, all guests who book a minimum two-night stay between September 11, 2015 and November 15, 2015 will receive any one of the following complimentary gifts: a bottle of champagne, a dozen chocolate-covered strawberries, a seasonal flower arrangement, or two passes to the Amelia Island Museum of History. This offer is available only by phone, 904.445.9034.
Amelia Hampton Inn at the Beach - History on Amelia Island Package $199.00 plus tax includes one night hotel, dinner at the Beech Street Grill ($60.00 gift certificate,) a carriage ride in the historic district, and entrance for two to the Amelia Island Museum of History. Secret: an additional night can be added for $109.00 plus tax.
Days Inn & Suites Amelia Island: Stay two nights, get a third night free when you arrive Sunday—Thursday at the totally renovated Days Inn & Suites Amelia Island, one block from the beach. Featuring the largest hotel pool on the island, and complimentary continental breakfast. Make sure to swing by the newly renovated on–site sports bar, Seabreeze Lounge. Secret Offer: when you arrive from mid September – early November you’ll receive a special Fall treat in your room - apple cider accompanied by a basket of apples. Visit our website to book, or call (904) 277- 2300 and use the code "Fall Fun." Secret: Our lowest rates are available when you arrive Sunday-Thursday.
SEE AND DO
Amelia Island Transportation & Trolleys In the fall, the popular historic Trolley tour is now Monday thru Saturday at 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 4:30pm. Children under 5 are free. During the end of November and December we offer a light tour, where you can seee the great Christmas Lights in several Fernandina Beach neighborhoods, stop at the Ritz Carlton to see the huge gingerbread ship. All for just $19 per person Thursday-Sunday 7:30pm Secret: check out some of the stores downtown and find $1 off coupons for the historic trolley tour.
Anglers Mark Fall months are a great time for fly fishers to target “tailing Redfish” up in the flooded marsh grasses of Amelia Island. The tides have to be just right but when they are it’s an exciting sight to see a big Redfish up in the grass, nose down, with its tinted blue tail waving above the water line. ("Put a fly in front of him, and boom! Fish on!") Secret: Captain Lawrence Piper was born and raised here and can also be a great source of restaurant tips (some will cook your catch.)
Amelia River Cruises Kids cruise free in November. The fall sunsets are spectacular and the best place to take a photo is on the Family Friendly Sunset Cruise. Cruises depart 7 days per week during November: 10:30am Cumberland Island Tour, 2:30pm Beach Creek Tour. 4:30pm Family Friendly Sunset Cruise. Secrets: If you've forgotten to bring drinks, ask for a bottle of water on board: $1 suggested donation. You can also cruise for free on your birthday, if that happens to be in the fall (ID required.)
Amelia Boat Club and Rentals On Amelia Island, it’s boating season year-round. So for the best boat rental discounts, visit Amelia Boat Club’s website at www.AmeliaBoatClub.com/Specials. Military always receive a 15% discount. If you aren't comfortable operating a boat, they can provide a driver. And, if you want to fish, they can also provide the gear. Secrets: The best way to get close and personal with the many dolphin that frequent our waters is to rent a waverunner. When you rent two boats on the same day, you can get a 10% discount (this is just boats – does not apply to waverunners.)
Amelia Island Adventure Rentals make exploring Amelia easy and fun. Fall is the perfect time to ride a scooter, as it isn't so hot, but yet still warm enough to enjoy a scenic ride. Reservations 24 hours or more in advance are strongly suggested to ensure availability of a scooter. Our secret: Reserving 48 hours or more in advance will get you a discount.
Amelia Island Museum of History Home of many fascinating secrets from the rich history of Amelia Island through the centuries, the Museum is open free of charge every Friday evening from 4pm-6pm. Secret: Ghost tours begin at 6 PM every Friday and last approximately one hour.
Amelia Island Kayak Excursions Experience Amelia Island’s Secret Season Hobie Style, with the “Hooked on Hobie” tours. Summer is fading, but the fun continues. Explore Amelia Island’s scenic waterways with an Amelia Island Kayak Excursions guided kayak tour, pedaling a Hobie Mirage®. Call 904.557.5307 for information and reservations.
Fernandina Beach Market Place The place to shop for seasonal produce is the Fernandina Beach Market Place on North Seventh Street. Farmers bring their freshest harvest to the market each Saturday from 9:00 to 1:00 pm. The secret? Come early for the best selections because our vendors will sell out of butterhead lettuce, radish, berries, wild caught shrimp, spicy pimento cheese spread, sour dough bread, and a variety of cheeses will also sell out early. Another secret? Bring a blanket to spread on the lawn and enjoy your selections while listening to live musical entertainment. (Your well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome to join you at the Market Place.)
Amelia Community Theatre Enjoy live theatre during your time on Amelia Island with productions including the thriller "Wait Until Dark" on the Main Stage and "Mark Twain Remembers" and "Freud's Last Session" in the Studio 209 theatre. See ameliacommunitytheatre.com for details and tickets. Secrets: There is extra leg room on the back row (Row J) in our main stage theatre. And, if you're planning dinner and a show, arrive early and get a great parking spot in the ACT parking lot, and then walk to your favorite downtown restaurant. Then you won’t be looking for parking at curtain time!
Amelia Musical Playhouse It's become an Amelia Island tradition: with the arrival of Halloween week comes the live musical version of "The Rocky Horror Show." If you want to do the Time Warp, see ameliamusicalplayhouse.com for showtimes and tickets. Our Secrets: The islands newest theatre, AMP serves complimentary refreshments and is the area's only octagonal performance space.
EcoMotion Tours Follow Amelia’s beautiful coastal route and explore the country’s oldest plantation from Spanish Colonial times. Embark on a special exploration of this National Park site with EcoMotion Tours. Or, take a fall ride to Kingsley Plantation to photograph one of the last unspoiled wetlands along the Atlantic coast. Nature guides from EcoMotion Tours will be sure you enjoy the native plants, birds, and wildlife of this National Park.
Coastal Engagements Fall weather is the perfect time for a beach wedding because of the cooler temperatures. Coastal Engagements provides a range of services to make your event easy to plan and enjoyable to experience, take a look at their newly updated elopement packages.
EAT AND DRINK
Alley Cat The only venue on the island that features both a Blues Night and a Jazz Night once a month, the Alley Cat also hosts Movie Days where we screen films on a wide screen and bring in a popcorn machine. We'll be showing some Halloween movies during the fall. Enjoy live music 6 nights a week. Secret: The hidden garden seating out back covered in jasmine and firefly lights.
Beech Street Bar & Grill is located in a beautifully renovated house built in 1889 by Captain William Bell. Bell was a pioneer in the Fernandina Beach shipping industry and during the offseason built several iconic homes on the island. This building is recognized in the National Register of Historic Places. Has a full bar with both happy hour and late night food and drink specials. (It's one of the few places on the island where you can get great food after 10:00 pm.) Secret: it is said that Beech Street Bar & Grill is haunted with 2 playful spirits. Tim, the owner, has several fun stories about his experiences with them.
Jack & Diane’s set at the top of Centre Street in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach, the fall favorites are the specialty soups, Vegan Brunswick Stew or Roasted Red Pepper. Secret: Tell 'em "Chill Will" sent you.
Sliders Seaside Grill and the Ocean Club: Sliders is an oceanside restaurant featuring New American cuisine, a Tiki Bar and a playground, and the Ocean Club of Amelia is available to rent for weddings and other events. This fall, Sliders will introduce a new new Football Faves Mini Menu being offered Saturday and Sunday and game times on Monday and Thursday. On October 31, Sliders hosts the "second biggest cocktail party" outside of EverBank Stadium, where the legendary Florida-Georgia game is played. Secret: The winter comfort food lunch buffet is coming back as of the first of November.