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Amelia Island is truly a hidden gem that many tourists miss on their vacation to Florida. The smaller crowds mean that the beauty, history, and charm of this area are kept preserved. Visitors enjoy pristine beaches, plenty of outdoor adventures, and the lovely historic charm of downtown Fernandina Beach. Discover the island by renting a bike and exploring the miles of beautiful bike trails that cover the island. This short guide outlines our favorite 7 things to do in Amelia Island!
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The Egans Creek Greenway is a 5.6-mile loop trail that runs along the Egans Creek and through the 300 acres of protected land. The trail is a grass-covered path and it is suitable for walking or biking. The area is a natural habitat for wildlife such as alligators, deer, snakes, and birds. The Egans Creek Greenway is a designated stop on the Great Florida Birding Trail. You can spot bright pink roseate spoonbills, woodpeckers, red-winged blackbirds, hawks, and a wide variety of other birds.
The Amelia Island Lighthouse is the oldest preserved lighthouse in Florida. It was originally constructed in 1838 and expansions were made in 1881 and 1848. The lighthouse is a private residence today, but you can make reservations in advance and see the lighthouse on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 10:00 am. The Amelia Island Lighthouse is located along the northern end of Amelia Island at St. Mary’s Entrance.
The scenic waterways of Amelia Island and its tributaries are brimming with wildlife. On a tour, you might see dolphins, manatees, pelicans, alligators, turtles, blue heron, and a variety of coastal birds. A kayak eco-tour will bring you through the black water lined by cypress trees, sweetgum trees, pine trees, Spanish moss, arrowroot, wild azalea, and so much more. The waterway is protected from the direct coastal elements, so the waters are calm and ideal for all skill levels of paddlers. Experience the “real Florida” by going on a guided or self-guided tour with Amelia Island Adventures.
On the northernmost peninsula of Amelia Island is Fort Clinch State Park. This 1,400-acre park contains a military fortress from 1847, estuarine tidal marsh habitats, sand dunes, and maritime hammocks. Explore the remains of the former Civil War fort or enjoy a variety of recreational activities, such as fishing, hiking, biking, and wildlife watching.
Fernandina Beach stretches 13 miles along the Amelia Island coastline and has 40 public beach access points. No matter where you stay on Amelia Island, you will never be far from the beach. The pristine waters stay an average of 82°F all summer long. The beautiful shores are framed by giant sand dunes as high as 40 feet. Relax on the beach and enjoy the peacefulness of Fernandina Beach.
Beach-goers can have the pleasure of searching for shark teeth on the Amelia Island beach. Visitors have found teeth from great white, hammerhead, and bull sharks. Keep a look-out for teeth that have a set of stair-stepped cusps (instead of a long sharp tooth), as this is probably a tooth from the ancient cow shark! The best time to go is at low tide or just after a storm.
Fernandina Beach is the primary community on Amelia Island and it was officially established in 1811. This charming town has lovely Victorian architecture, quaint shops, and harbor views. It’s no wonder that the town was host to a number of important visitors such as Ulysses S. Grant, Henry Ford, the Rockefellers, and the Carnegies. Stroll along the brick streets of historic Fernandina Beach or take a tour of the town by hopping on the Amelia Island Trolley. Check out the Amelia Island Museum of History where you can get a mobile phone guided walking tour of the town’s historic sites. Finish the day with a drink at Florida’s longest-operating bar, the Palace Saloon.
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We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest.