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Amelia Island Vacations image

32 miles north east of Jacksonville, 192 miles north east of Orlando

Amelia Island holds a unique place in U.S. history, being the only land area to have been under the control of eight different nations.

The island is just 18 miles long by 3 miles wide, and at the southern end, exclusive real estate developments have appeared among the moss-laden oaks. Two of Florida's most luxurious resorts are located there.

The central part of the island is a traditional beach community with an accommodation mix of inns, hotels, resorts, bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals.

Fernandina Beach is a small historic town at the north end of the island. Center Street runs through the historic district, a 50-square-block area that contains magnificent Victorian, Queen Anne, and Italian styled residences. Many of the buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Center Street is lined with antique shops, boutique shopping, fine restaurants, historic homes and late Victorian Inns. Florida's oldest tavern, The Palace Saloon, is a Center Street favorite. In its heyday it hosted some of America's most influential families.

The Florida House Inn is the oldest continuously operating hotel in the state and has the illustrious signature of President Ulysses E Grant on its guest list. Amelia Island's most famous historic site is Fort Clinch where construction began in 1847 and continued until the start of the Civil War in 1861. Confederate forces first occupied the fort, but it fell to Union troops a year later.

During the Spanish-American War, U.S. forces made use of its location for a few months. Fort Clinch State Park is now a scenic and educational reserve, providing an entertaining insight in the history of the island. 

imageGetting There & Getting Around

The island is served by Jacksonville International Airport, 43 miles from the island. The 45 minute drive from downtown Jacksonville is via Florida A1A and the St. Johns River Ferry.

A vehicle rental (usually from Jacksonville) is required for getting around as there is no public transportation on the island.  A relaxed and informative tour of the historic district is the 30-minute ride with the Old Towne Carriage Company in horse-drawn carriages. 

imageAmelia Island Vacation Highlights

The historic district covers over 50 blocks and presents a marvelous collection of residences and buildings that chronicle the history and fortunes of the island since its earliest days. Center Street is lined with several impressive buildings that now function as antique shops and restaurants, with several historic homes and late Victorian Inns still in existence. Amelia Island Museum of History is housed in the former Nassau County Jail.

Guides undertake tours of the museum and the historic district providing insights and anecdotes about the rich history of the island and its people. The museum has recently had a major renovation. Fort Clinch State Park covers approximately 1,100 acres of large oaks and a Civil War-era fort, a long fishing pier, miles of beaches, and numerous campsites.

There are 7 miles (11 km) of hiking and biking trails, a nature walk trail, beach access, fishing and swimming in lakes and rivers. A relaxed and informative tour of the island's historic district is the 30-minute ride with the Old Towne Carriage Company in horse-drawn carriages.

Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the Amelia Island golf courses which incorporate the island's natural attractions into the course layouts.  Being a beachfront town, Amelia Island has plenty of aquatic activities such as deep-sea fishing charters, party-boat excursions, dolphin spotting, sightseeing cruises and kayaking. If getting out on the water is your preferred way to spend a great vacation, then Amelia Island is the place to be.

Amelia Island is also a gateway to Cumberland Island, a designated National Seashore and thus protected from further development. Visitor numbers are limited to ensure a preserved environment for the island's wild horses, bobcat, deer, armadillos, wild boars and birdlife.

imageOther Regional Vacation Centers

Jacksonville vacations ::  St Augustine vacations  ::  Daytona Beach vacations

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