DowntownRestaurants & BarsShopping
Sure, Amelia Island is known for her beautiful beaches, sunsets, and nature, but did you also know that our eclectic retail therapy has brought many an ardent shopper to our island? For the ultimate shopping escape, grab your besties and come to a place where you can stroll the local Farmers Market for fresh produce and crafts or live in the lap of retail luxury at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Do it all in this shoppers paradise by the sea.
Check into THE HAMPTON INN & SUITES HARBOR FRONT, your home away from home for the next three days and located smack in the middle of the historic downtown shopping district. Enjoy daily complimentary breakfast and breath-taking views of the Fernandina Harbor from the comfort of your room or from the poolside deck. Looking for a beachfront retreat? Try the SEASIDE AMELIA INN. Or for those planning a luxurious getaway, book a stay at THE RITZ-CARLTON, AMELIA ISLAND or OMNI AMELIA ISLAND RESORT.
First things first. Let’s eat. GARDEN STREET BISTRO is just around the corner from the Hampton Inn and this adorable little bistro has everything you need to get fueled up for an afternoon of shopping. Not only do they serve breakfast all day every day but they also have awesome burgers and specialize in original menu items like Crab & Grits, The Brisket Melt and the Hawiian Shrimp Wrap. Did I mention they also make their own incredible freshly baked bread daily? Sit inside or outside in the courtyard beneath wisteria vines – which makes it an easy walk right next door to Slightly Off Centre, a gallery full of fine and folk art, paintings, photography, pottery and more!
INSIDER TIP: Try their homemade Bread Pudding with pecan swirl, blueberries and whipped cream. You’ll love it!
Historic downtown Fernandina Beach is a shoppers dream with eclectic and independent shops that stretch from the harbor-front, up and around Centre Street. Treat yourself at Lindy’s, a boutique jewelry store focusing on original designs and expert personal service. Pick up an an array of infused and fused olive oils from all over the world at Olive Amelia where they have that perfect gift for the cook in your life. Pop into AMELIA LINEN & WOOD for one-of-a-kind shabby chic furniture, collectibles, and home décor. For the latest in ladies’ fashion, stop in at LORI + LULU or PEARL BOUTIQUE. Or, hit up one of several antique shops for some Amelia memorabilia. The afternoon will be spent exploring all there is to see in downtown Fernandina Beach. Stop in PELINDABA LAVENDAR and indulge your senses with all things lavender. Or, venture into JJ Cooper to shop for the men in your life! If you’re ready to sit a spell, FANTASTIC FUDGE, ISLAND TIME FROZEN YOGURT, or NANA TERESA’S BAKE SHOP are ready to take care of that sweet tooth. So much to take in downtown!
A afternoon of shopping deserves a delicious meal. The AMELIA TAVERN is known for their house-brewed beers on tap but their menu choices rival their beer choices with a delicious variety of options. Trying to decide what to have for dinner? How about the Fried Shrimp Platter featuring fresh, local shrimp and house made Asian Slaw? Or, you can never go wrong with the A.T. Burger topped with lettuce, tomato, muenster cheese, caramelized onion and special tavern sauce.
INSIDER TIP: Order a side of Truffle Fries and an A.T. Pretzel served with beer cheese dip and Bavarian mustard.
After dinner, mosey down to PJD’s Beer and Wine Garden where you can enjoy a pint or glass of wine with your friends. Nightly entertaiment and an all-around awesome place to hang out with some of the coolest people on the island! It’s also right across the street from the Hampton Inn & Suites.
It’s day two and day two is all about the south end of the island. Your first stop is Bantam & Biddy for a delicious way to begin the day. Bantam & Biddy serves breakfast all day so there’s no rush – but get there early any way, the Fried Chicken and Cheddar Waffle is waiting for you. Add the homemade bourbon-pecan syrup to it. Trust me. The Banana Bread Waffle, baked with pecans and a ripe banana is crazy good but if you don’t feel like something sweet, get the Southern Breakfast featuring eggs, grits, bacon, fried okra, and jalapeno cornbread!
The SHOPS AT OMNI AMELIA ISLAND RESORT are set in an old-Florida style shopping village with a mix of local boutiques, familiar designers, gourmet food, art galleries, and more! Pick up a souvenir item from Amelia’s Treasures offering logo’d clothing and gifts along with men’s, ladies’, and children’s apparel. Or, head over to Salty Threads for men’s and women’s fashions featuring Peter Millar, Tommy Bahama, Vineyard Vines, Southern Tide and Tribal. The Spa Boutique is all about relaxation. Take time out of your day to get pampered or if you don’t have time for pampering, then at least pick something up to rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit with the finest spa products.
Hungry yet? MARCHÉ BURETTE is the French-style market and deli of your dreams and the perfect place to take a shopping break. This adorable restaurant/shop located in the Shops at Omni Amelia Island not only features a delicious breakfast and lunch menu but offers a wide selection of groceries, one-of-a-kind gifts, and craft beers and wines. Sit on their oversized waterfront deck and soak it all in with a Ham & Gruyere Melt or a yummy Beet Salad! Have your heart set on pizza? No problem. Natural Slice can take care of that hankering with a myriad of fresh ingredients on hand-tossed dough. After lunch, pick up some gnarly surf apparel to take home.
The south end of the island never disappoints as far as retail therapy is concerned. PALMETTO WALK SHOPPING VILLAGE is one of those spots with unique shops set in a series of charming buildings with inviting front porches where folks can sit a spell in between shopping. Palmetto Walk offers everything from English and French antiques at the Plantation Shop (pictured above) to a boutique guitar shop. Looking for gorgeous home décor? Don’t miss CAPE HOUSE in the Shops at Amelia Market just up the road. Their home and hospitality boutique empowers you to create inspiring experiences in your own home! Think upcoming holidays.
Channel your inner Creole at dinner tonight. LAGNIAPPE, translating to “a little something extra”, combines the traditions of the French Creole with unique twists on Southern culinary staples using only the freshest local ingredients. Should you wish to elevate your experience by imbibing on one of the many cocktails on the menu, you’ll choose from a range of both classic and new wave cocktails inspired by the eclectic spirit of the South. Whew. It’s been a great day.
INSIDER TIP: The Blue Corn Crusted Catfish served with hoppin’ john, crawfish étouffée, and pickled collards is out of this world!
Day three takes you to the central part of the island and begins with a trip to Ms. Carolyn’s. Described as an “unassuming strip-mall eatery featuring down-home American breakfast platters & lunch items”, I’d say that was fairly accurate. But, it just doesn’t sum up what Ms. Carolyn’s brings to the table. Get ready to enjoy the freshness and taste of good ol home cooking with old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes dripping in sweet syrupy goodness along with French toast, quiche, crab benedict and eggs Florentine. Are you full yet? Lets go shopping!
SIDE NOTE: If you’re trying to be good, the seasonal fruit bowl or oatmeal may be just the ticket.
Sadler Road runs right through the center of Amelia Island and offers up quite a few specialty stores. Island Walk Shopping Center is home to Peterbrook Chocolatier for amazingly life changing chocolatey treats as well as Bealls Department store and Coastal Cottage of Amelia (pictured above) providing a wide range of quality furniture, whimsical home decor, custom framing, unique gifts, and local art. Further east on Sadler Road is Sadler Square Shopping Center where an eclectic vendor market with a vintage vibe is located. Island Vintage Market has been described as “A wonderful and quirky shop to spend time looking to find the just right gift for someone special or even yourself!” Sounds like my kinda store.
For a delicious lunch, head to Story & Song Bookstore Bistro located within the quaint Amelia Park district. Story & Song is an indie bookstore that not only serves up soups, salads, sandwiches, lattes, and cookies but also has a highly curated collection of books. With two levels, an open-air courtyard, and a lively event calendar replete with visiting authors, there’s always something happening at this neighborhood bookstore.
Located just off Sadler Road on First Ave is Amelia Surf Company where you can get all the latest and best beach apparel, surf and skate gear. There’s something for all ages here and appropriate for your time spent on Amelia Island. If you have kids at home, they would appreciate something from this store. Just sayin.
All good things must come to an end and what better place to end your trip than dinner at the Down Under restaurant, a local favorite since the early 1980’s. The Down Under is an iconic southern seafood restaurant with a personality all it’s own. Part quirky fish camp. Part old Florida charm. All delicious. End your day of shopping with an ice cold beer or cocktail outside on the oversized deck and watch for dolphin, sea turtles, manatee and the sunset. The ambiance is a good as the food, which never disappoints.
INSIDER TIP: Try their traditional Oysters Rockefeller followed by Crab Cakes, Spicy Fried Shrimp, Honey Glazed Salmon or their signaure Grouper Monterey.
These suggestions are just a sneak peek of all Amelia Island has to offer as you plan your Shopping 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 friends here for years to come.