December 23, 2022
If a trip to the beach is on your bucket list for the new year, we hope that you’ll choose Amelia Island to get that much-needed “fix”. We have so much to see and do — with lots of sand to sink your toes in. Here are 10 reasons to visit Amelia Island in 2023!
Can’t wait to take a dip in the ocean? Amelia Island has thirteen miles of pristine, uncrowded beaches that are wide and accessible from many vantage points. There are so many places to unfold your chair, get a book out and soak up some much-needed vitamin D… all with the sound of the surf just steps away. Whether north, south, or central island, enjoy this flyover and find your favorite spot of sand. Ahhh.
It’s no secret that our beautiful little speck of paradise was once a haven for some historical miscreants. Pirates, bootleggers, prostitutes and more roamed our island wreaking havoc over land and sea. Buried treasure, hidden rooms, and ghosts are just a few stories you’ll hear on one of the many historic island tours and in one of three museums. Of course we also had some very upstanding folks that made our island home, they’re just not quite as colorful. But, you’ll learn about them too!
Every town has a specialty foodie shop that locals and visitors flock to. Amelia Island has many. A few standouts: Watanut makes delicious gourmet nut mixes and shortbread cookies by hand, from scratch, every. single. day. So delicious and, well, nutty. The Spice & Tea Exchange of Fernandina Beach offers a great selection of spices, teas, salts and sugars all with recipes to boot, while Fernandina’s Fantastic Fudge has been serving up delicious homemade fudge and other homemade goodies since 1988!
The weather on Amelia Island is pretty awesome all year-round making it especially great for al fresco dining. And, lucky for you there is no shortage of outstanding eateries with al fresco dining. But, what about epic dining views? Great views will take the food, beverage, company and experience up a notch or two. From a AAA, 5 Diamond ocean front dinner at Salt restaurant to casual rooftop oysters on the half shell at Salt Life Food Shack, the choice and the view is yours.
For such a small island, the arts & culture scene here is bursting with creativity. Take selfies next to the butterfly wall at the Visitor’s Center, create your own wall-worthy masterpiece at Paisley Grace Makery or check out several studios on the monthly Artrageous Artwalk where participating island art galleries host monthly art events. Guests can peruse photography, pottery, copper, metal, stained glass, watercolors, and more. Become your own candle maker at Perfect Wick. So much to do. So little time.
If you’re always full speed ahead, slow it down and enjoy all the beauty and serenity Amelia Island has to offer from the deck of a paddleboard, kayak, canoe or surf board. Water Sports on Amelia Island are available all year round, but in the winter months when things move just a little bit slower, you can really experience all the beauty around you.
Amelia Island is loaded (no pun intended) with eclectic places to partake in adult beverages. Everything from craft breweries and taverns to a distillery and a funky beer & wine garden named after a guy that wears pajamas all day. Nope, I’m not making that up. Pub crawling on Amelia Island has never been more fun or more entertaining. Learn more about our bars and breweries here.
There’s something about biking under a tree-lined canopy that brings out the kid in everyone. Check into Fort Clinch where cyclists can enjoy a six-mile trail through the park. These nature trails not only allow you to pedal through civil war history but also observe native plants and wildlife. Pedal through Egan’s Creek Greenway to see nature up close and personal or jump on the Amelia Island Trails that run from Peters Point Beachfront Park to Amelia Island State Park or the newest Amelia River to Sea Trail that runs from Crane Island to the beach.
Amelia Island is a true golfer’s paradise for players of every skill level so gather your friends together and “fore”get about going anywhere else. With 99 challenging yet picturesque golf holes, the Choice Of Course is yours. Some of the world’s best golf architects – Dye, Fazio, Palmer, and Weed – have partnered with Mother Nature herself, creating some of the region’s best golf out of the island’s beautiful natural landscape. From undulating greens, marsh front holes and oak-lined fairways, the links of Amelia Island offer irresistible play and incredible views.
There’s always something to celebrate on Amelia Island from signature annual events to music, theatre, literature and visual arts. Whether it’s the arrival of the northern right whale, a weekend of all things shrimp, craft beer festivals and a dance festival, or the world-class Concours D’Elegance car show, Amelia Island continues to showcase her talents and what a magical place she is to visit any time of the year. For all the latest offerings, visit our full events calendar, pick your magic, and then come see us!
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