Amelia Island & Fernandina Beach
Enjoy an Island escape just a short drive from Downtown Jacksonville.
Only a 45-minute drive north from Downtown Jacksonville, this tiny barrier Island is relaxation central -- a golf and spa haven for leisure and business travelers! The Island’s only city, Fernandina Beach, is a charming historic town known for its artwork, antiques, boutiques, and the world famous Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival every spring. Some must see attractions on Amelia Island are Fort Clinch State Park, which served as a military post during the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War II. Tour the Amelia Island Lighthouse, which began operating in 1839 and still operates today and visit American Beach, which was founded in 1935 by A.L. Lewis, Florida's first African-American millionaire. It served as the only beach opened to African-Americans until the late 1960s.
Getting Here from Downtown: Take I-95 north to A1A and follow the signs to Amelia Island.
4 Not-To-Be Missed Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach Attractions
1. Horseback Riding on the Beach
Located at Amelia Island State Park, Kelly Seahorse Ranch offers guided horseback tours on the beautiful white, sandy beaches of southern Amelia Island -- one of the few places in Florida where horseback riding on the beach is allowed.
2. Fort Clinch State Park
A military post during the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and World War II, is one of the most-well preserved 19th century forts in the nation. Daily tours are offered. There are camping facilities as well as a 6-mile hike and bike trail.
3. Amelia River Cruises & Charters
This guided boat tour offers visitors views of Fernandina’s historic waterfront, a close look at wild horses on Cumberland Island and the history of Amelia Island. It is a unique coastal experience with several tours offered, including an eco-tour, sunset tour and a history/nature tour. Dolphins, manatees, wild horses and local birds can be seen during the tours.
4. American Beach
Established in 1935, this historic beach town was Florida’s first vacation haven for African-American visitors before desegregation. The weekend getaway and resort community is now on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Blogs by Captain Dave Sipler
August 05, 2014 1:58 pm EDT
July was, and August will be too..... Teeth Month, aboard Capt Dave's Jettywolf. From Barracuda's to Sharks, it's all about "Sport Fishing" for the BIG ONES!
July 10, 2014 3:31 pm EDT
Hello Anglers! Summer has been here for quit a while in N.E. Florida. Most of you don't really care what month the calendar says. As a fisherman, I call it summer when the Spanish Mackerel show up at the inlet. And that happened back in May!
May 29, 2014 5:01 pm EDT
Hello Folks, Captain Dave Sipler here.....I'm going to tell you all about Jacksonville's fishing opportunities every month for the next six months.
Blogs by Jacksonville Moms Blog
February 19, 2015 9:24 am EST
Trains to Ride, See, and Explore, Choo Chooo… Jacksonville trains are coming through!
February 03, 2015 9:25 am EST
Since Valentines day is just around the corner, I thought I would touch on some of the best date night restaurants Jacksonville has to offer.
January 15, 2015 11:58 am EST
Are you looking for places you can take your kids that you don’t need to constantly say “no, no…don’t do that, don’t climb on that, don’t go over there, don’t touch that… don’t, don’t, don’t…”? Would you rather say… “What’s under there? Can you you climb this? What does that feel like? Can you guess what that does?”
November 18, 2014 8:55 am EST
Have I mentioned that I love the fall? Yes, I think I have! Besides all the fun activities like visiting pumpkin patches and enjoying great family traditions, the beautiful weather in the fall makes it the perfect time of year to enjoy many outdoor activities that can be limited by the heat and humidity of our Florida summers.
November 15, 2014 10:33 am EST
There is always something exciting to see and do in Jacksonville and the holidays are no exception!
Blogs by First Coast Magazine
March 16, 2015 3:00 pm EDT
While growing up in Chicago, Chef DeJuan Roy knew what he wanted to do with his life. He spent his teens working in the kitchens of various restaurants, and joined the Army as a cook.
March 12, 2015 2:22 pm EDT
Local speakeasy features old-school spirits and sounds.
January 22, 2015 10:05 am EST
Scott Meyer operates the nation’s smallest rice farm. It’s the only one in Jacksonville. And he’s fairly certain it’s the only one in Florida.
July 21, 2014 9:32 pm EDT
Almost 100 years ago in a community rich with potato farming tradition, but light on technology, Danny Johns’ great-grandfather pioneered the first horseless farm in Hastings.
July 21, 2014 9:30 pm EDT
Summer is a season for light eating. Dining out, it can be a challenge to find dishes that are both refreshing and satisfying.
Blogs by Patty
March 27, 2015 1:22 pm EDT
Whether you’re looking for a family friendly spring-break destination, or the ideal spot for a quick fun getaway, Jacksonville has the perfect mix of Florida Flair, Southern Hospitality, and exciting festivals to put a spring in your step this new season!
March 10, 2015 1:22 pm EDT
Running. You either love it or you hate it, but sometimes you hate a little less and get the inspiration you need from a city and its running paths.
February 06, 2015 7:01 pm EST
Every day can be Valentine's Day, create your perfect romantic getaway to Jacksonville, the “River City by the Sea.” Whether you’re looking for romantic strolls on the beach, candlelit dinners, or an eco-adventure for two, couples can craft a picture-perfect time together in Jax!
October 20, 2014 10:17 am EDT
Unless you’re an expert on our fine city (and who knows? You might be, it is pretty awesome here) here are some things you probably didn’t know about Jacksonville, Florida.
August 08, 2014 1:10 pm EDT
Planning a getaway with your fam? Be sure you are prepared prior to departure!
Blogs by Kacie Couch
July 30, 2014 5:02 pm EDT
When you think of a pink bird, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? For most people, it would be a flamingo. The flamingo is a very beautiful (and very pink) bird, but it is not a local species to say the least. Lucky for us, we have our own species of pink bird wading in our North Florida waters!
May 29, 2014 4:56 pm EDT
“What a strange looking bird!” exclaimed the bearded man as we looked up at the helicopter flying overhead. It was a beautiful day in July and we were standing outside. I was wearing a sundress that came down to my knees and he was decked out in a woolen long-sleeved uniform. In JULY… In Florida. This was right after he called me a “jezebel,” no less.