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If you're lucky enough 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!
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, there are plenty 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!
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.
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 for two seatings (8:30 & 10:00), so get your reservations in at least 24 hours in advance. It’s worth it.
Head to Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach from 8am – 4pm and shop in your PJ’s at the annual Black Friday Pajama Party. There will be shopping, family-friendly activities, live music and lots of fun as many merchants will be offering special discounts and refreshments for shoppers. Wear your best, most festive or craziest pajamas and enter the pajama contest for a chance to win best individual, best group, most creative, and best pet pajamas. Who doesn’t want to stay in their pajamas all day? This is a seriously good time.
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. Call 904-557-5307 and book your trip today! Photo credit: Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
Marche Burette, 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.
Let’s officially get the Christmas season started at the historic downtown Christmas Tree Lighting held from 4pm – 6pm at the downtown docks! This annual event offers food and merchandise vendors plus live entertainment. Great fun for the whole family and a sure way to get everyone in the holiday spirit. The tree lighting countdown begins promptly at 6:00!
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 reads a holiday storybook. If this doesn’t have you dreaming of sugarplums, I don’t know what will!
If you’re looking for unique and handmade items for yourself or to give as gifts, head just over the bridge to Disco Witch Brewing (SR 200) from noon until 5pm as they host their first Holiday Market. Get your holiday shopping started and show some love to our local crafters and small business owners. Listen to holiday music, drink wine and beer and be jolly!
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 at 5pm for the launch of the Amelia Island Opera Concert Series showcasing a mix of opera, musical theatre, art song, chamber music, and more.
Arte Pizza, 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 leftover Thanksgiving foods and a place that your kids will love. End your meal with Zeppoles, delicious deep fried dough dusted in powdered sugar and topped with your choice of chocolate or raspberry sauce. They’re tasty! After dinner, walk next door for a game of miniature bowling 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 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.