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.