Amelia Island comes alive during the summer months, jam-packed with activities and entertainment for the whole family! While much of the South suffers with sweltering temperatures, Amelia Island’s cool ocean breezes bring people from all over the world to bask in its natural beauty and seek respite from the heat. No matter what your interests, you will always find something new and different to occupy your lazy days of summer on Amelia Island, from boating, fishing, surfing, and shelling to hiking, biking, yoga, and golf.
Take to the Water
Amelia Island is home to a number of marinas, including the Harbor Marina in downtown Fernandina Beach, Tiger Point Marina in Old Town, and the Amelia Island Marina, just off A1A. They are all great places to rent a boat, book a cruise, or find a fishing charter. Amelia River Cruises (904-261-9972) offers narrated historic sightseeing boat tours 7 days per week from Fernandina Beach to Cumberland Island National Seashore. Breathtaking views of wildlife and fascinating stories will enrich your coastal experience with intrigue and wonder, a fun and memorable experience for all ages.
Come experience sailing on beautiful Cumberland Sound and the Atlantic Ocean with Windward Sailing (904-327-3265)! Private sailing charters include 2-, 3-, and 4-day sails, Eco Tours, and Sunset Charters. Sailboats accommodate 1 to 6 passengers; Catamarans 1 to 10 passengers. Glide though quiet waters with an opportunity to see dolphins, stingrays, sea turtles, and wild horses. Book today at windwardsailing.com.
Amelia Offshore (904-556-7380) offers unique, custom-curated, private sailing charters aboard their luxury sailboat, in addition to water taxi services, nature photography tours, and sunset cruises. Make special memories this summer! Visit www.ameliaoffshore.com.
Backwater Cat Adventure Amelia Island (904-753-7631) offers one of the most unique boat tours you will ever experience! It’s one of the best ways to explore Amelia and Cumberland Island’s history, wildlife, and sea life. Their guides are well-trained and know the waters like the back of their hand, and you get to drive your very own Go-Cat boat, which is very safe and easy to operate! Book at backwatercatadventure.com.
Kayak Amelia (904-251-0016) wants you to get outdoors this summer! They are the official outfitter for Talbot Islands State Parks, offering guided kayak, stand up paddleboard guided ecotours, as well as kayak and bike rentals, SUP instruction, SUP yoga, and a summer kids camp. Visit their website for more information at www.kayakamelia.com.
Amelia Island Kayak Excursions (904-557-5307) is an award-winning business including USA Today’s 10 Best Kayaking Tours, and rated #1 on TripAdvisor for over 9 years. They offer a variety of adventures exploring creeks, rivers, and marshes in and around Amelia Island, Cumberland Island, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, and the Suwannee River. Explore with guided kayak tours or rentals, Hobie Mirage® Kayaks, SUPs, private motorboat tours, and annual kids/teen camps too! Join the Bullington family for an authentic, fun, and informative experience! Visit ameliaislandkayak.com for more information.
Or if angling is your passion, join Captain Terry Lacoss at Amelia Angler Outfitters (904-261-2870) for the best in sport fishing, boating, sailing, and sightseeing opportunities for groups, families, and even hardcore “big game” anglers. Stop by the store for a full line of outdoor wear and fishing gear before your trip on the water!
To get everything you need for a successful day of fishing, visit locally owned and operated RennWorks Outdoors (904-310-6794) for a full line of fishing gear, tackle, bait, lures, hand-tied flies, reels, and more. RennWorks will give you the best advice on freshwater, backwater, and blue water fishing. They also carry clothing, hats, and gifts for your favorite fisherperson!
Driftwood Surf Shop (904-321-2188) is a family-owned shop that has been serving the Fernandina Beach community since 1979. Offering only the best apparel, swimwear, and footwear for the entire family, sunglasses, and beach accessories, they have what you need to get you set up in the water, on the beach, and out on the town. Driftwood also provides a full range of surfboards, bodyboards, skim boards, and skate equipment, including board rentals and surf lessons for all ages and abilities.
Take to the Trail
Here in Northeast Florida, our favorite paths are paved with sand, and our local beach parks provide people of all ages access to a spectacular shoreline and the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. But there are lots of other paths you can take throughout the island, too. Egans Creek Greenway, with its grass-covered paths, serve as a network of trails that are suitable for walking and bicycling, its environment exhibiting a variety of natural wildlife and vegetation.
Friends of the Amelia Island Trail have completed a bike path between Peters Point County Park to the south end of the George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, where it connects to Big Talbot Island. A map of the trail can be found at www.ameliaislandtrail.org. In addition, the Amelia River-to-Sea Trail has been completed along Simmons Road from South Fletcher Avenue westward to the city ball fields off Bailey Road and then onward to Crane Island.
Active outdoor adventure-seekers will want to check out the local maritime forests, state parks, and green spaces located in and around Amelia Island. Fort Clinch State Park, Pumpkin Creek Preserve State Park, Little and Big Talbot Island State Parks, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park, and George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park all provide remarkable wilderness experiences that include hiking, biking, fishing, camping, picnicking, bird watching, and beachcombing for the whole family.
Nature lovers will want to visit Amelia Island Nature Center (904-321-5082) and join one of their naturalists on a hike, bike, Segway, or kayak tour, discovering birds, plants, and wildlife. Stop by the fully stocked retail shop complete with top-of-the-line binoculars and field guides to fulfill all your exploring needs.
Take to the Gym
Summer is a great time to get into shape, and what better way to beat the heat and stay fit than a yoga or exercise class at one of Amelia Island’s fitness studios or gyms. Community Yoga + Wellness (904-613-6345) offers all the essential ingredients for an intelligent and safe yoga class, offering over 25 classes per week online and in-studio. New to yoga? They have a dedicated beginner course. Experienced Yogi? Join their Level 2 or 2/3 class which are meant to inspire your practice and give you the information to move along! Need yoga with support? They have a chair yoga class. Therapeutic yoga is offered in addition to regular classes, including the Healing Knee Class, Healing Low Back Class and Healing Neck and Shoulder Class series which are designed to help students find relief from pain and stiffness. Get well, find community, and be inspired! cyoga-amelia.com.
The City of Fernandina Beach operates two recreation centers – Atlantic Recreation Center (904-310-3350) and Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center (904-310-3358) – offering aquatics, fitness, and other family activities. Be sure to stop by Central Park on Atlantic Avenue to check out their tennis, pickleball, and petanque courts for players of all ages and The Peck Center (904-310-3353) has an indoor gym and a fitness room, as well.
And for your four-legged friends, consider a trip to Nassau Humane Society Dog Park (904-491-1511) or Hot Paws (904-277-3075) for canine socializing, doggie day care, and a cool down at their bathing stations.
Take to the Sky
Are you ready to feel the excitement of skydiving at 120 miles per hour? Skydive Amelia Island (904-718-4648) can provide you with a tandem skydiving experience of a lifetime. During your skydive, you will see miles of beach views, along with the splendor of North Florida, and your instructor will even provide you with a video of your jump!
Take to the Greens
Golf is one of Florida’s favorite pastimes and Amelia Island’s fairways and greens are close to the beach, meandering through unique coastal maritime hammocks. The Golf Club of North Hampton (904-548-0000) is carved into the natural surroundings and framed by spring-fed lakes, capturing the feel of a Scottish links-style course.
The Amelia River Golf Club (904-491-8500), known for its smooth TifEagle greens, manicured fairways, and challenging pin positions, is one of the most interesting courses in North Florida. Fernandina Beach Golf Club (904-310-3175) is conveniently located, featuring 27 holes, a full-service restaurant, clubhouse, and is one of the most popular municipal golf courses in Florida. And the Omni Amelia Island Resort (904-277-5907) provides the golfer with breathtaking views and intriguing play, with three championship courses including Oak Marsh and Long Point.
For the young and the young at heart, Island Falls Adventure Golf (904-261-7881) is Amelia Island’s best miniature golf course with 18 (and a half) inventive and beautiful holes, surrounded by waterfalls, bridges and tunnels, with music throughout the course from their outdoor sound system. And for more mini golf fun, bring the whole family out to Putt-Putt Main Beach. Continuing the 60-plus year tradition of providing a family-friendly fun place to visit, Putt-Putt of Amelia Island (904-261-4443) is a competition-style 36-hole course just steps from the Atlantic Ocean.
Take to the Town
After a day at the beach or a round of golf, treat yourself to Amelia Island’s vast array of art, music, theatre, and dining experiences. Be sure to check out what’s playing at Amelia Community Theatre by visiting their website at ameliacommunitytheatre.org.
Join Anchor Trolley and Transport (904-753-4486) for a Historic Trolley Tour or reserve your own private transportation. They currently offer our tour of historic Fernandina Beach, Old Town Fernandina, and other amazing spots along the way! Visit their website for more information at anchortrolleys.com.
Located throughout the island you’ll find many beautiful galleries and antique shops. Check out the Amelia Islander Magazine’s Galleries & Antiques page for a list of the area’s finest local paintings, sculpture, jewelry, textile designs, plus antiques, collectibles, and furniture. The Island Art Association (904-261-7020) and the Plantation Artists Guild & Gallery (904-432-1750) offer classes and gallery receptions. And each second Saturday of the month, enjoy a special Artrageous Artwalk from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., taking visitors to many galleries in the downtown area.
Beat the summer heat with a fun immersive experience at Amelia Island Escape Rooms! (904-775-5083.) Get the whole family together for puzzling and escaping. Check out their rooms and special events at ameliaislandescaperooms.com.
Take a break from the beach and visit Story and Song Bookstore Bistro (904-601-2118) for a myriad of summer events and activities like learning about the “librarian spy” on July 26 with author Madeline Martin, a music recital by “Sonofarious” on August 6, and “Cinema, Chow & Conversation” on August 17. For a full schedule of events visit storyandsongbookstore.com/events.
Need a lift on or off the island? Mike’s Shuttle Service (904-753-1560) will get you safely to your destination, whether it be dinner on the town, a trip to the airport, and beyond. An Amelia Island resident for 30 years, Mike Hargrove will take you anywhere you want to go!
Step back in time at the Amelia Island Museum of History (904-261-7278) and discover 4000 years of life on the water’s edge here on Amelia Island. From the Timucua Native American tribe to Spanish and French explorers, there’s something for everyone at the Museum. Check out their website for current activities and hours at ameliamuseum.org.
And there are plenty of places to shop around the island, including the myriad of specialty items at Fernandina Beach’s downtown shops. Other places to shop include Palmetto Walk Shopping Village, The Shops at the Omni Resort, and Sadler Road businesses. Be sure to experience Amelia Island’s restaurant scene, too, featuring some of the best food of the South!
If you’re lucky enough to be staying at the Omni Amelia Island Resort or The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, both resorts offer plenty of amenities and fine concierge services. At The Ritz-Carlton’s Florida Spa Resort (904-277-1087) let cares and distractions melt away as you relax under the therapeutic benefits of zero gravity with a Heaven in a Hammock massage. The Spa at the Omni Resort (877-843-7722) will help you unwind after a long day of summer activities with rejuvenating spa treatments that include couple massages, facials, steam showers, and much more.
For more information on Amelia Island summer activities, visit www.ameliaisland.com or call the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center at (904) 261-3248. And be sure to check out Amelia Islander Magazine’s blog that features updated weekly activities and more summer fun at www.ameliaislander.com.