Our beautiful island paradise comes alive during the summer months, jam-packed with activities and entertainment. With 13-miles of beautiful beaches, abundant native wildlife, and pristine waters, this barrier island has long been a beloved destination for visitors and residents alike. In addition, the City of Fernandina Beach is a treasure trove of heritage and history. So, whether your summer fun is a round of golf or a stroll through Fernandina’s lovely tree-lined streets, there is always something to see and do, and activities for the whole family to enjoy!
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, 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.
Kayak Amelia (904-251-0016) wants you to get outdoors this summer! They are the official concessionaire 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 rated #1 on TripAdvisor for 8 consecutive years offering a variety of adventures like exploring the rivers and marshes around Amelia Island, Cumberland Island, Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge, and the Suwannee River. They offer guided kayak tours or rentals, Hobie Mirage® Kayaks, SUPs, private motorboat tours, and kids/teen camps. Visit them at www.ameliaislandkayak.com and join them for a fun and informative experience!
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 wildlife and sea life. You get to drive your very own Go-Cat boat, which is very safe and easy to operate.
Have you considered trying your hand at sailing? Whether you want to learn how to sail or just enjoy some relaxing
time on the water with family and friends, Windward Sailing (904-327-3265) makes it fun and easy with sailing excursions and sailing lessons.
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! For more information, visit www.ameliaoffshore.com.
Driftwood Surf Shop (904-321-2188) is a local, family-owned shop that has been serving the Fernandina Beach community since 1979. A surfer-owned store, Driftwood understands the needs of surfers, from beginners to experts, carrying all the latest products from the most reputable brands in the surf industry, along with lessons for all ages and abilities.
Fishing the Waters
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, nearshore, offshore, and bluewater fishing. They also carry clothing, hats, and gifts for your favorite fisherperson!
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.
If you’re looking for a great adventure on the water, call Captain Jeff Crumpton from Amelia Island Charter Fishing (904-753-6379) to book your next fishing trip. From sight fishing redfish on the flood tides to catching sharks, tarpon, and other native fish, as well as fly fishing and light tackle, Capt. Jeff, an Orvis Endorsed guide, provides a fun, safe, and exciting fishing adventure. Visit www.redfishameliaisland.com for more information.
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.
White Oak Conservation (904-225-3396) offers “Safari from the Saddle” horseback rides with experienced guides through manicured trails, while passing by a number of endangered and threatened species. Rides include lunch and a highlight animal tour to see some of the species you missed on the horse ride.
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.
Only a short day trip from Amelia Island, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is one of the world’s most unspoiled and fascinating black water wilderness swamp in North America. Okefenokee Adventures (866-843-7926) will help you explore this wilderness area with boat tours, naturalist walks, fishing opportunities, and even overnight camping trips.
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. Therapeutic yoga is offered in addition to regular classes, including healing knee, back and neck/shoulder series. They also offer Tai Chi and Qigong. Get well, find community, and be inspired! www.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. 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. 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.
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort Golf (904-277-5907) provides the golfer with breathtaking views and intriguing play, with three championship courses including Oak Marsh and Long Point. The Amelia River Golf Club (904-491-8500), known for its smooth Tif-Eagle greens, manicured fairways, and challenging pin positions, is one of the most interesting courses in North Florida.
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 for Putt-Putt Main Beach. Continuing the 60+ 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.
Take to the Town
Les DeMerle, world renowned drummer and artistic director of the Amelia Island Jazz Festival in conjunction with Arts Alive Nassau, presents a Drums are Fun Summer Camp (904-310-9243) designed to enhance rhythm skills in drummers, percussionists, and students of all instruments for ages, 9 and up. Classes are held Monday through Wednesday, July 12, 13, and 14 from 10 a.m. to noon each day, at Arts Alive Nassau, 9602 Chester Road in Yulee. To register, email [email protected].
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.
Take a break from the beach and visit Story & Song Bookstore Bistro (904-601-2118) for a myriad of summer events and activities, including “New Neighbor Night” on July 21 and an opera recital on August 28. For a full schedule of events, visit www.storyandsongbookstore.com.
The Amelia Island Museum of History (904-261-7278) is recently renovated with all new exhibits where you can learn about pirates, bawdy women, and rich history presented by its interesting docents and exhibits. On the Discovery Ship, “Margery,” children will learn about knot tying and be able to pilot their own ship, among other interactive activities. Check their website for hours and current activities at www.ameliamuseum.org.
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. For more information and to check out their rooms and special events, visit www.ameliaislandescaperooms.com.
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 www.ameliacommunitytheatre.org.
If you’re traveling with a baby this summer, you can rent clean and safe baby gear essentials from BabyQuip and have them delivered to your door. Choose from cribs, car seats, strollers, toys, plus beach gear and yard games! This is a great service for grandparents who are hosting little ones this summer. To learn more, call Crystal at (904) 624-1620 or visit www.babyquip.com.
L. Moore Aesthetics (904-222-6053) has all your sun-protection needs, offering a variety of SPF for all skin types, including their bestselling A More Beautiful You Mineral Tint SPF 40 and new Puttisu Safe Baby Mild Sun Cushion SPF 50 for your littles. Magna’s – A Full Body Salon in downtown Fernandina features Aveda products and has a full array of lotions and treatments to beautify your skin and protect it from the sun.
And there are plenty of places to shop around the island! Be sure to check out the myriad of specialty items in Fernandina Beach’s many eclectic downtown shops. Other places to shop include Palmetto Walk Shopping Village, The Shops at the Omni Resort, the Harris Teeter Shopping Plaza, and Sadler Road businesses.
If you’re lucky enough to be staying at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation 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 Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee 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.