A relaxing Florida luxury destination
Amelia Island, Florida, with a population of only about 11,800 people, and only accessible by bridge, holds a cherished, small-town feel. Its historic streets and homes are nestled between the live oaks and Atlantic dunes, where it seems time simply passed them by.
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The quiet and tranquility of Amelia Island make it an ideal location for romantic getaways, whether for a weekend or a week. And with carriage rides, homemade ice cream and confectionary shops, antiques and elegant island dining, it makes an idyllic place where couples can relax and share some time together.
Many people say time moves slower here and that the rest of the world stops at the island’s edges. Thirteen miles long and approximately four miles wide at its widest point, Amelia Island is home to festivals, tournaments, abundant and diverse wildlife and a rich and colorful history.
Every year, Amelia Island holds The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, one of the nation’s most unique vintage auto events, featuring more than 250 rare classics from seldom-seen private collections nationwide. It also features the premier Bausch & Lomb Championships, an elite women’s tennis tournament. Held here for almost 30 years, the Championships have featured such elite players such as Maria Sharapova, Nadia Petrova and Venus Williams. And we can’t forget to mention the Annual Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, which is held the first weekend in May of every year. Sample all the varieties of shrimp prepared at the many booths assembled along the water of downtown Fernandina Beach and enjoy the many arts and crafts that reflect the seafaring historic ambience of ages gone by.
The island’s wildlife is also another draw for people from around the country and the globe. With guided nature tours, hiking, bird watching and possible sightings of dolphins, sea turtles and wild horses, the state parks and nearby islands offer exceptional outdoor excursions. There is even the option to hunt for giant, prehistoric megalodon shark’s teeth, since the area has one of the highest concentrations anywhere.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Amelia Island boasts a stunning array of outdoor activities.
Amelia Island is also known as the “Isle of Eight Flags.” Since 1562, the flags of France, Spain, Great Britain, Spain (again), the Patriots of Amelia Island, the Green Cross of Florida, Mexico, the Confederate States of America and theUnited States have all flown over this lovely island. At Fort Clinch State Park, visitors can see a Civil War fort that overlooks Cumberland Sound. The fort features live reenactments, such as powder artillery demonstrations and marching drills, the first weekend of every month and holds occasional candlelight tours of the premises.
Downtown Fernandina Beach features 40 blocks of historic businesses and homes featuring antiques, home décor, clothing and jewelry, bookshops, restaurants, gift shops and various seaside items. And just north of this district lie some of Florida’s most elegant Victorian homes and gardens, which are key to the island’s time-capsule-like feel.
With its rich history, undeniable charm and breathtaking views, Amelia Island is like a storybook come to life.