Amelia Island offers a myriad of things to do, places to see & dining options. Below are some of our personal favorites...
AMELIA ISLAND DINING
“More than 90 distinctive restaurants featuring fresh local seafood and produce, authentic international specialties, bistros, fine dining to casual outdoor spots are waiting for you” from the Amelia Island website. Visit them online for a great look at the Amelia Island dining scene: ameliaisland.com/dining
But, if you want our take, here are a few of our favorites (in no particular order):
DOWNTOWN - The historic district about 10 minutes from the condo - A "must see"
Espana We love the tapas here especially all of the shrimp ones and the paella... delicious! But, everything is great and the atmosphere is charming. Ask to sit in the garden room or outside if the weather is nice! 904-261-7700, 22 S. 4th St.
Brett’s Waterway Café On the waterfront downtown with a great view and good food, 904-261-2660, 1 S. Front St.
Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro Executive Chef Ricky and his wife Mari continue to strive to create an atmosphere that Frommers described as "eating at the home of a fine Chef". We love this restaurant, especially during nice weather when you can sit in the courtyard. It can get loud in the dining room, but the food is awesome! 14 S. 2nd St., 904-321-2558
Le Clos Located in Fernandina's Historic District since 1996, Le Clos serves delicious Provençal dishes by candlelight in a charming, intimate 1906 cottage. The food is absolutely wonderful, but it can get noisy... try it on a quiet week night or ask to sit outside on nice evenings! 904-261-8100 20 South 2nd Street
Burlingame A beautiful restaurant in an old house that has been converted. Only open for dinner, it has a very small and pricey menu, but everything is good. Great for a special occasion! 904-432-7671 20 S. 5th Street
David's is a premier and authentic Steak House & Seafood Restaurant that has been proudly serving Amelia Island area and beyond since 2012. 802 Ash Street 904-310-6049
Salty Pelican A fun, casual restaurant overlooking the downtown marina where you can enjoy the beautiful views and sunsets and their great bar food! Sit on the upstairs deck if you can! 12 North Front Street 904 277-3811
Arte Pizza Great pizza on the island in a cool old building offering beers and a very generous pour of their house wines! 109 North 3rd, 904-277-1515,
Happy Tomato Café Although the name doesn't sound like it, it's great BBQ and sandwiches in a lovely outdoor courtyard with lots of charm. Wonderful chicken and tuna salad, too! Open for lunch only...one of our favorites! 7 S 3rd St. 904-321-0707
Beach Street Grill Located in a very cool home built in 1889 loaded with history and charm... The food is great, too as is the service.
801 Beech Street (904) 432-8836.
Wicked Bao "The Place for tasty Asian Street Food in Fernandina Beach". Fun spot a little off the beaten path with small plates of delicious fare! Order at the counter and they bring food to your table. It's awesome! (904) 775-5577 N 2nd St,
Peppers A family owned local business serving only the finest quality of Mexican food made fresh every day with an extensive Tequila collection, and full bar. Fun outdoor seating overlooking the action on Center Street! 530 Centre St (904) 277-2011
Timoti’s Fry Shack Serving fish tacos, fried shrimp and other fin fare, simple shack with an outdoor patio and communal picnic tables... very popular. 21 North 3rd, 904-310-6550
Café Karibo Nice outdoor courtyard (indoor seating available as well) and lots of healthy food options. 904-277-5269, 27 N 3rd St
Tasty’s Burgers & Fries One of two fabulous burger joints located on the island in old gas stations. We have never tried the other one, T-Ray's because after going to Tasty's we never want to go anywhere else when we are craving a burger and awesome fries! But lots of folks swear by T-Ray's too! Probably can't go wrong with either 904-321-0409, 710 Center Street
Amelia Tavern American fusion, home brews available with a large center bar to sit at, Phone# 904-310-6088, 318 Centre St
Akari Sushi is known for its modern interpretation of classic dishes and its insistence on only using high quality fresh ingredients. In an old house with indoor and outdoor seating and takeout. Very Good! Phone# (904) 844-2496, 29 S. 3rd St
The Marina Restaurant Down home, very casual meat and 3 vegetables & other Southern staples served amid nautical decor in a cool circa-1880s brick building. Phone# (904) 261-5310, 101 Centre St
The Boat House New and fun. Their fried chicken sandwich is awesome! Lots of outdoor seating and live music some nights...
30 S. 2nd St. (904) 321-1234
SOUTH END - Where the condo is located in the resort area
The Ritz Carlton Amelia Island is conveniently located 2 doors down from us, it features 5 restaurants from a more relaxed pub setting to fine dining at Salt . You could enjoy a walk on the beach or along the paved trail towards a dining experience to remember or just a drink in their lobby bar! We love their brunch at Coast. Sit outside if you can!
Bob's Steak and Chop House -Texas-born local chain serving big slabs of beef, seafood & a large wine list in a woodsy ambiance. Very nice for a special occasion! 80 Amelia Village Cir, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 904.432.2201
Lagniappe is a great new restaurant very close to the condo. "Cooking up a little something extra" is their motto and they deliver! We love their fried chicken! 4810 First Coast Highway (904) 844-2634
Cucina South, Awesome place with a great atmosphere with wonderful Italian food and wood fired pizzas. 904) 432-7920, 4828 First Coast Highway Suite 1
Veranda - Enjoy house made pasta and seafood with a coastal Mediterranean influence along with an extensive yet approachable wine list in a relaxing setting. In the Omni Plantation 142 Racquet Park Drive (904) 277-5958
Marche Burrette Hearty breakfasts and a wonderful lunch spot in addition to homemade ice creams and a deli, Weekend dinners are really awesome... see their website for details! 85 Amelia Village Circle, 904-491-4834
Falcon's Nest Fun, relaxed sports bar with trivia contests some evenings close to the condo in the Omni Plantation 36 Amelia Village Circle 904-277-5166
Baxters A local mainstay that has been around forever and claims to have the "Best steak in town". They do actually have great steak and awesome fried shrimp as well! It's in need of a little face lift, but has good food! 4919 1st Coast Hwy. (904) 277-4503
KP's Restaurant Diner food in a no frills setting... about a mile from the condo, so walking there is possible...
5472 First Coast Highway (904) 432-8394
Bantam and Biddy Breakfast lunch and dinner, but particularly good for breakfast/brunch! In the Harris Teeter shopping center 4802 First Coast Highway (904) 844-2953
Kitchen 251 Specializing in down-home comfort food in an open-air atmosphere - Kitchen 251 offers delicious eats and one of a kind views. Blackboard specials and weekly happy hour. Located in the Amelia Island Marina at the bottom of the bridge. We love it here!
251 Creekside Dr. 904-261-7447
Down Under Restaurant Under the bridge to the island with a cool waterfront view & great food! One of our favorites!
904-310-6211, ICW A1A
Cantina Louie Cool marsh front Tex-Mex local chain with good food and a nice vibe! 904-310-9675, 960062 Gateway Blvd
Beach Diner Old fashioned diner with huge menu and everything you can imagine! 904-310-3750, 2006 S 8th St
Thai Spice Cafe New Thai place that just opened and is already very popular! We are Thai food fanatics and have tried many,, many thai restuarants across the country and this one holds it's own! And, they do take out as well 904-432-7748. 1460 Sadler Road
Salt Life Wildly popular new restaurant on the north end at Main Beach. Great food and a fun atmosphere. Sit on the upper level deck for a fantastic ocean view! 17 N Fletcher Ave 904 432-7385
The Sandbar Located directly on the beach with oceanfront dining where you can put your toes in the sand if you sit outside. The food is great, especially their unique and wonderful pizza and ambiance is beach casual... lots of TV's around so probably good for watching a game. 2910 Atlantic Ave. 904-310-3648
Sliders Seaside Grill This place is totally fine with standard bar fare and sometimes entertainment on their outdoor stage, Fernandina’s only oceanfront tiki bar, 904-277-6652, 1998 S. Fletcher Ave.
Oceanside Bar and Grill Oceanside is located within the gates of the Omni Amelia Island Plantation right on the ocean by the hotel pool. The only way to gain access into the Plantation is to make a reservation on Open Table where you will be able to get a gate pass. A simply stunning view in a resort setting... We definitely enjoy it on occasion! Located at the Omni (904) 261-6161
Cocina Just like Oceanside at the Omni, this oceanfront restaurant at the Ritz is casual with a simply stunning view in a gorgeous resort setting, and you can walk there from the condo!. Located at the Ritz 904.277.1100
Amelia Island To-Go Amelia’s first food delivery service of it's kind. They deliver Take-Out from most restaurants on Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach to any location on Amelia Island including the Surf and Racquet Club 904-557-3783
Door Dash is now on Amelia… Similar to Amelia To Go, they will pick up food at a number of local restaurants and bring it to you and they do come to the Surf and Racquet Club. visit their website to order.
Harris Teeter Grocery Stock up on snacks and food for meals at home in the condo at Harris Teeter which has just expanded and is a great grocery store! Plus, they have very popular daily lunch and dinner buffet bars, including an asian specialty bar. It’s less than a mile from the condo at 4800 First Coast Hwy. 904-491-1213
Amelia Island Booze and Bites Tour – Owned and operated by locals... a great way to sample the bars and restaurants our Island has to offer. On this 2.5 hour tour, you’ll stroll beautiful downtown Fernandina Beach while sampling wonderful food prepared by our local chefs and tasty cocktails by our talented bartenders! We have done this tour several times and it's a lot of fun and a great way to start an island dining/bar experience! They do a bar tour as well (see below) 904-330-5746
Congaree and Penn - About 45 minutes west of Amelia,, a bit off the beaten path but worth it... We love it here! Outstanding food, breathtaking scenery, the feeling of being in Napa! Couple a trip here with a visit to Jacksonville Zoo or Kingsley Plantation which are both on the way. Reservations are a MUST! See more info at Excursions
AMELIA ISLAND BARS
Read the Blog Post about bars and breweries
Amelia Island Downtown Cocktail Tour is owned and operated by locals and is a great way to sample the bars and restaurants our Island has to offer. Think of this tour as a mobile cocktail party in beautiful downtown Amelia Island! On this 2 hour tour, you will enjoy the unique character of our local bars. 904-330-5746.
The Decantery, located in historic downtown Fernandina Beach is the island's premier wine, craft beer and cocktail lounge. A very cool place... get a wine tasting "card" and self serve as many wines as you like! They have a full bar as well... Try the Strawberry Fields martini... Unique and fun! 117 Center St.
The Principal's Office - Being sent to the Principal's office has never been so much fun! Located in the lobby of the historic Amelia Schoolhouse Inn, The Principal's Office Bar is open to the public and combines premium cocktails and wine with a historical flair in giving our patrons a unique experience. A very cute place with great drinks!
Palace Saloon Historic pre-Prohibition bar with mosaic floors & painted murals offering cocktails with live music, known as the oldest bar in Florida, 844-441-2444, 117 Centre St
Mocama Beer Company Absolutely gorgeous taproom and fantastic beer and wine! If you like the craft brewery scene don't miss this! 629 S. 8th Street (706) 202-2077
Green Turtle Tavern, Cocktails & light fare made to order, served in a laid-back spot with live bands, porch seats & a beach house vibe, 904-321-2324, 14 S. 3rd
PJD’s Beer and Wine Garden Owned by Pajama Dave, a local legend, Fun spot! Nightly entertainment with an extensive beer and wine selection 904-310-9314 12 S. 2nd St.
Amelia Tavern, Watch your beer brewing while you enjoy it, delicious twists on classic cocktails such as the Manhattan and Old Fashioned and wines on tap; in a modern setting 904-310-6088, 318 Centre St
The Alley Located next to the Amelia Tavern it's affiliated with it.. An open air space with live music some nights... very cool!!
316 Centre Street 904.310.6088
First Love Brewing is a small brewery that also has fantastic pizza! (904) 310-9721 22 S. 8th St. Suite 5
Salty Pelican Bar and Grill, Open eatery with harbor views offering seafood & American bar food with a Bloody Mary bar & live music, Sit on the upper deck and watch sunsets over the waterfront! 904-277-3811, 12 N Front St
The Mermaid Bar at the Florida House, offers classic prohibition cocktails and original cocktails such as the Mermaid Slap. Outdoor patio with a fountain, Happy Hour 5-7pm, 800-258-3301, 22 S. 3rd
Locals Bar and Lounge, great outdoor seating with gas fireplaces, craft cocktails, pool tables and live music, happy hour Mon-Fri 5-7pm buy one get one on everything, 904-775-5943, 869 Sadler Rd.
Baxter’s Bar and Grille, Almost within walking distance of the resort, Locally known as a hot spot for the older generation! 904-277-4503, 4919 1st Coast Highway
The Ritz-Carlton is right up the street where you can enjoy great cocktails in a fabulous setting at the Lobby Bar, The Pub or sit outside on the terrace and they will serve you there
The Sandbar Located directly on the beach with oceanfront dining where you can put your toes in the sand if you sit outside. Large bars both inside and out with lots of TV's around so probably good for watching a game. 2910 Atlantic Ave. 904-310-3648
Falcon's Nest Fun, relaxed sports bar with trivia contests some evenings close to the condo in the Omni Plantation 36 Amelia Village Circle 904-277-5166
After an evening out, use uber to get home (yes, we have it here on the island although it’s a bit limited) or call:
Affordable Transportation 904-556-2872
Cruzin Cab 904-310-9187
Amelia Transportation Group 904-838-9686
Play tennis on one of our four Har-Tru courts. Court time is complimentary to our guests, and you can fine-tune your game with instruction from our resident pro.
If you would like to play, just sign up for a time on the sign-up sheet located at the pro shop in front of the tennis courts.
Game Matching Services
Call or sign in at Pro Shop, and we’ll help you find a game.
Racquet Stringing Services
Professionally strung – next day delivery
Inquire at Pro Shop for details
Charles B. Talbert
U.S. Pro Tennis Association – PRO 1 Rating
Amelia Island’s Best Tennis Pro
WILSON, NIKE & PRINCE Contract Professional
Pro Shop 904.705.8136
Amelia Island invites you to indulge in golfing over 100 holes of championship-caliber golf. Including an Arnold Palmer designed course and a PGA tournament course, each Amelia Island golf course offers something for all levels of golfers.
Amelia River Golf Club (904) 491-8500 – Opened in 2000, this 18-hole course is renowned as one of the best conditioned courses in the area.
Fernandina Beach Golf Club (904) 277-7370 – One of the most popular municipal golf courses in the Southeast.
Golf Club at North Hampton (904) 548-0000 – Arnold Palmer course carved from one of North Florida’s most dramatic natural landscapes.
Anne Cain Golf Academy (904) 277-8015 – Golf instruction by renowned LPGA instructor Anne Cain who was recently selected as one of GOLF MAGAZINE’s Top 100 Teachers in America!
Fort Clinch State Park – At over 1,400 acres, Fort Clinch is situated on Florida’s northernmost barrier island-Amelia Island. Miles of biking and walking trails, water front camping, museum, a fort, tours and more! 904-277-7274
Main Beach Park – Amelia Island's most well-known beachfront park offers visitors two sand volleyball courts, a playground, several picnic shelters, restroom facilities, outdoor showers, beach accesses, a multipurpose court, a skate park and a large grassy area perfect for a game of catch or when you need a little break from the sand.
Egans Creek Greenway - A protected area of over 300 acres that runs north to south along Egans Creek in the center of the island, the Greenway was opened for public use in the summer of 2000 as an undeveloped park for passive recreational use. Great trails for hiking!
Big Talbot and Little Talbot Islands – Just south of Amelia, these islands are 2 of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands in Florida. Boneyard Beach at Big Talbot is famous for the salt-washed skeletons of live oak and cedar trees that once grew near the shore. Little Talbot offers more than five miles of beautiful, white sandy beaches with only nature surrounding it... We love the beach here which offers a secret sand dollar hunting ground… ask us and we might tell! 904-251-2320
Amelia Island Horseback Riding – Private personal horseback riding like you always imagined... Amelia Island Horseback Riding will fulfill your dream of riding wonderful horses on one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida! We cater to children from 6 years old to 96 years old (Highest ranked Horseback company on TripAdvisor) 904-753-1701
Happy Trails Walking Horses – Ride miles of beautiful sun soaked white sandy beaches of historic Amelia Island on the Original Plantation Horse – the Tennessee Walking Horse 904-557-3126
Kelly Seahorse Ranch – Premier beach horseback riding outfit for Amelia Island and greater Jacksonville, and because of the uniqueness of our services, has become a destination attraction across the globe. 904-491-5166
Florida Adventure Sports– Our powered hang gliding lessons will leave you speechless and yet talking about your experience for years to come. 904-430-3800
Skydive Amelia Island – Have you ever wanted to Skydive at the beach? What if we told you that at Skydive Amelia Island, we can make those dreams come true? Jump at the only coastal skydive center in north Florida. 904.718.4648
Amelia River Cruises – A visit to Amelia Island is incomplete without a tour of our scenic waterways. Amelia River Cruises & Charters provides narrated, historic and wildlife sightseeing tours with views of d dolphins, manatees, sea otters, alligators, and views of the wild horses of Cumberland Island National Seashore. 904-261-9972
Amelia Island Historic Tours - Ride into the past and learn the stories of Amelia Island and the eight flags that have flown over its historically rich land. We take you on a journey from the time the Timucua Indians inhabited this area into to the modern day shrimping industry. 904-899-2429
Amelia Island Museum of History – They offer several different tours including a walking history tour, ghost tour and pub crawl (904) 261 - 7378
Amelia Island Guides Association – Guides offer inshore fishing, offshore fishing, sightseeing tours, kayak and back country adventures. 904-430-6013 or 904-557-1027
Amelia Island Tasting Tours – Fun and informative walking tours that showcase the wonderful bars and restaurants of historic downtown – introducing you to the best the chefs and mixologists have to offer. 904-330-5746
Amelia Island Board Rentals – Take a tour with a local guide on an electric skateboard!. 904-335-8248
Rip Tide Beach Services – Riptide Beach Services offers rentals to help make your beach vacation a memorable experience. – Chairs, umbrellas, kayaks, boards and more! They also offer guided watersport and bike tours (904)-891-5687
Bike-Scoot-Yak Rentals – bicycles, scooters, kayaks, beach equipment, and beach wheelchairs, they will also deliver them to where you are staying or playing 904-404-8654
Beach Rentals and More – Beach chairs, umbrellas, shelters, body boards, kayaks, surf boards, and stand up paddle boards (904)-310-6124
Amelia Island Adventure Rentals – Enjoy the beauty and serenity of Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island the fun and eco-friendly way – on an electric scooter! Delivery or Pick up (904) 672-5512
ON THE WATER
Amelia Island Boat Club & Rentals – “We provide the boats, you provide the fun!” is their motto… We are members of this club and highly recommend if you want to rent a boat for a day or afternoon! They have a variety of boats, gear and accessories to choose from and offer a captain if you don’t want to drive the boat yourself. 904.277.4615
Kayak Amelia – Take a guided kayaking tour and experience Amelia Island’s natural side. Come face to face with heron, egrets and many other species. (904) 251-0016
Back Water Cat Adventure Amelia – The most unique boat tours you will ever go on. The boats are called “Craigcats” and are very safe and easy to drive... We love! (904) 753-7631
Windward Sailing – Charters, lessons, rentals – Windward Sailing offers sailing for the non-sailor, as well as teaching those who would like to learn or improve their skills. Want to enjoy a day on the water without the noise of an engine? Sailing takes you away! (904) 327-3265
Amelia Island Kayak Excursions – A family owned/operated business offering guided kayak tours through local inland waters, the St. Mary's River, the Okefenokee Swamp, and the Suwannee River (904) 557-5307
Surf Asylum – Offers private surf lessons, group surf lessons, summer camps and more – From beginner to advanced (904) 583-4230
Scuba Station – Scuba Classes, Equipment Repairs and Rentals and Dive Club (904) 321-1770
Up The Creek Xpeditions – The views are magnificent and the access to otherwise unreachable environments and habitats lets you get up close and personal with nature in ways you never imagined. – Guided tours and lessons (904) 999-4919
On The Water Adventures – Private guided nature tours through the creeks and rivers of Amelia and Cumberland Island 904-206-1762
Pipe Dream Charters – Charter fishing with Pipe Dream Charters out of Fernandina Beach, Florida, offers the very best fishing for all north Florida Atlantic species (904) 430-6013
Even Better Charter Fishing – Our fishing charters feature, world class service and come with our No Fish, No Pay Guarantee. Captain Dave was highly recommended by one of our guests!! 904-624-3661
Angler’s Mark – Come experience the peaceful backcountry waters of Amelia Island with Captain Lawrence Piper as your fishing guide on the Anglers Mark, a comfortable bay boat that has plenty of room and is safe for all ages (904) 557-1027
Amelia Island Charters – Come enjoy all the charter fishing that Amelia Island, Florida and the surrounding waters have to offer with Capt. Scott. (904) 335-1162
Amelia Angler Outfitters – Whether you are looking for a day of deep sea fishing, backwater fishing or sailing, Amelia Angler Outfitters can provide your family or group a day of fun. (904) 261-2870
AC Charters INC. – Quit wishing, let’s go fishing! is the motto at AC Charters (904) 261-9481
Ye Ole Pirate Fishing Charters – Whether you’re looking for a relaxing family adventure or a rod bending, reel screaming, adrenaline pumping, good time, you’ll find it on board ‘Ye Ole Pirate’ Fishing Charters on Amelia Island, Florida 904-277-2086
OFF ISLAND EXCURSIONS
Cumberland Island National Seashore Where Nature and History Meet
St Marys is the gateway to Cumberland Island, Georgia's largest and southernmost barrier island. Here pristine maritime forests, undeveloped beaches and wide marshes whisper the stories of both man and nature. Natives, missionaries, enslaved African Americans and Wealthy Industrialists all walked here. The Dungeness Ruins are the remains of a mansion built by Thomas Carnegie, brother and partner of steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie. Georgian Revival–style Plum Orchard is another Carnegie estate. The simple, 1-room First African Baptist Church lies north. Cumberland Island is also home to over 9,800 acres of Congressionally designated Wilderness. Horses which roam freely on Cumberland are feral and are one of the most sought-after sights by visitors coming to Cumberland.
Getting to and from the Island:
The only way to get to the island is by passenger ferry (not a car ferry) or private boat. For information about making a reservation with the National Park Service official concessionaire operated ferry visit Cumberland Island Ferry website. The National Park Service operates its ferry service from St. Mary’s, GA, stopping at both the Dungeness dock and the Sea Camp Dock but may not do both. Contact the Park service for information. Cumberland can also be accessed through Fernandina Beach, FL, via the vessel operated by The Greyfield Inn. and they sometimes offer a Day Trip Package... call them at 904-261-6408 for details.
There are two ways to stay on the island: at Greyfield Inn or at one of the National Park Service campsites. Most visitors to Cumberland Island gain their access through the National Park Service. They camp at one of the various sites on the island. The delightful Greyfield Inn is a more expensive way to stay on the Island. Greyfield is a converted Carnegie mansion still owned and managed by members of the Carnegie family. For more information, visit the Greyfield Inn website here. We treated ourselves to a 2 night stay at the Greyfield and it was simply wonderful!
The National Park Service provides highly recommended, ranger-guided tours of the Island. Details and schedule can be found HERE. There are also many outdoor activities including
White Oak Conservancy – We LOVE this magical, little known place about a half hour from Amelia. There really aren’t words to accurately describe it. Not only are the animals spectacular, but the history of the place, from world leaders to Baryshnikov, is just fascinating. Tours are small, limited and by reservation only... a once in a lifetime experience. If you are visiting Amelia for more than a couple of days, book a tour. 904-225-3200 www.whiteoakwildlife.org
From their Website:
“Save endangered wildlife & habitats through sustainable conservation breeding, education & responsible land stewardship.”
Sitting on over 16,000 acres of serene southern forest, with ten miles of St. Mary's riverfront, and over 100 structures, White Oak is truly a unique property. A former rice and tree plantation, White Oak is now one of the world’s premiere wildlife breeding, education, and training facilities. The natural surroundings and elegant buildings house antiques and artwork from around the world and provide an inspirational and relaxing atmosphere for guests.
The conservation center houses 32 imperiled species as part of our conservation breeding programs with the goal of saving some of the world’s most iconic species from extinction. Rhinoceros, okapi, and cheetah form the core of our flagship species approach to conservation- both here in Florida and across the globe.
We offer public tours and events that take you behind the scenes of a working conservation center and give you a chance to meet some of our animal residents and their expert caretakers."
Fort George Island and Mayport - About 20 minutes south of Amelia, are several places worth a visit...
Kingsley Plantation – Visit the grounds and buildings of a sea island plantation, just 20 minutes south of Amelia Island in northeast Florida. According to the National Park Service, the Kingsley Plantation house, constructed in 1798, “is the oldest planter’s residence still standing in Florida.”
Located riverfront, Kingsley Plantation on Fort George Island is worth a visit any day of the year (and admission is always free). It’s a scenic route from Amelia Island along Heckscher Drive through Big and Little Talbot Islands then onto Fort George Island. Once making the turn off Heckscher, the unpaved road leading into the plantation cuts through 2 miles of thick, native maritime forest.
The Ribault Club– Also on Fort George Island and established in 1928 as a playground for the affluent, much like the "millionaire's club" on neighboring Jekyll Island, the club has been the site of many memorable parties and events over the years, hosting foreign dignitaries, captains of industry and society mavens. It’s worth checking out while visiting Fort George Island
St. John’s River Ferry and Mayport– Also known as the Mayport Ferry, it’s about 20 minutes south of Amelia on Ft. George Island across from the entrance to Kingsley Plantation and the Ribault Club. An automobile ferry that crosses over the St. John’s river to Mayport, it’s a short, fun trip! Mayport has 2 restaurants on the riverfront, Singletons and Safe Harbor offering seafood, specifically shrimp, where you can sit outside overlooking the shrimp boats and commercial boating traffic along the St. Johns River. Safe Harbor also has a seafood market and the restaurant is wildly popular, so plan accordingly!
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens – A truly wonderful zoo and botanical garden combined! We are members here because it’s so beautiful, it’s nice to just be able to visit often! From their website:
More than 2,000 animals and 1,000 plants occupy more than 115 acres at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, where you’ll find wildlife from every corner of the globe and a variety of family-friendly activities, educational resources, and attractions. Just a few of the animal exhibits you’ll find at the Jacksonville Zoo include the African Forest, River Valley Aviary, Giraffe Overlook, and Land of the Tiger.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has given Jacksonville and Northeast Florida residents a place to love animals for decades. Now we also offer our community a public place to love plants, while setting a new standard for zoos in the process. These Garden Exhibits make up a first-of-its-kind botanical garden inside our Zoo that, unlike other zoos, is integrated among the animal exhibits.
Congaree and Penn - About 45 minutes west of Amelia,... We love it here! Outstanding food, breathtaking scenery, the feeling of being in Napa! Couple a trip here with a visit to Jacksonville Zoo or Kingsley Plantation which are both on the way. Reservations are a MUST... Reserve one of their fire tables if you can! From their website:
We’re a Florida farm and restaurant dedicated to agriculture & culinary endeavors, and gathering the community to enjoy both.
Born in 2014, Congaree and Penn began as a tiny rice farm.
Since then, we've grown from four acres of rice paddies into a thriving farm of orchards, you pick vines and fields, and home to fancy chickens, ducks, guinea fowl, goats, horses, and thousands of honeybees. Congaree and Penn boasts the largest (and youngest) Mayhaw orchard in the world, after planting over 5,000 trees throughout the past few years. Native to the South, this fruit bearing tree has inspired us to seek out and plant other native and hearty Southern species.
In 2016, Congaree and Penn began juicing seasonal fruit from local farms to produce shrubs, our nod to a Colonial era pastime. As we expand our orchard and pressing and milling operations, Congaree and Penn continues to innovate and introduce new produce and products.
We also fancy the farm as a stunning destination for weddings, farm dinners, tours and workshops.