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Post Irma Cleanup and News on Amelia Island

Following Hurricane Irma, Amelia Island real estate, buildings and other structures remain standing strong, with damage being quite dramatically lower than what most believed. Local Amelia Island news sources have reported that life is back to normal by now for most, although the night that the hurricane hit was quite a long one for those who didn’t evacuate. The recovery and cleanup effort was vast and prompt following the hurricane, with the area already having experience with preparation and recovery following Hurricane Matthew last year.

Substantial winds reached Northern Florida

While Northern Florida and Amelia Island were dealing with Hurricane Irma, the southern part of the state was just starting to assess the damages. Substantial winds reached parts of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and North Florida, with gusts of up to 90 miles per hour.

As the hurricane moved north, power was knocked out for millions of households throughout Florida, and Amelia Island was no exception. Storm surge warnings were in effect for the entire region, and over 6 million people were ordered to evacuate, including Amelia Island residents.

fernandina beach amelia island

Amelia Island stood strong

Amelia Island withstood the force of the storm, which had weakened to Category 1 by the time it had reached the area. Peak wind guests were strong enough to knock down several trees throughout the island. Storm surge was significant enough to cause concerns about flooding and to advise residents to exercise caution near flood-prone areas.

The biggest nuisance was the extensive debris that blocked roads, however the community banded together for a rapid and efficient cleanup process. Fallen trees knocked out power to many of the island’s residents, but power was restored to most within a few days.

Outside of these few inconveniences, the total damage assessment for the island’s structures and real estate will likely turn out to be minimal once the full numbers come in.

The preparation for the storm and the response were more efficient and focused than ever, as Amelia Island has learned from the hurricanes of the past. Although many residents still believed Irma to be significantly worse than Matthew, the minimal structural damage allowed most services and schools to resume very quickly after the storm passed through.

Some cleanup has continued into October, but hotels and vacation rentals have been welcoming travelers from all over who are enjoying some of the best rates of the entire year.

Amelia Island offers some excellent deals at the moment

Although damage was quite minimal on Amelia Island, there remain a variety of excellent deals on Amelia Island vacation rentals as well as real estate. The area’s golf courses and other outdoor attractions have long been reopened for business, and the island continues to welcome visitors, travelers, and vacationers who are escaping the cooling weather in the rest of the country.

If you’re currently planning a visit to Amelia Island, or if you have any questions or concerns about how the hurricane has impacted the Amelia Island real estate market, talk to one of the experts at Fernandina Beach Realty now by calling (800) 741-4011.

3 Amazing Golf Courses near Fernandina Beach

Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island is one of the most relaxing and inviting spots in Florida for you to spend your valuable time unwinding. Whether you are traveling for business, recreation, or searching for Amelia Island real estate, playing golf is par for the course in this Northern Florida escape.

Fernandina Beach golf courses display a range of outstanding environments and landscapes, ideal for both novice and experienced golfers. You can always choose your desired course based on the scenery, number of holes per course, amenities, refreshments and restaurants and more.

Below is a list of 3 iconic and show-stopping Fernandina Beach golf courses you should explore while on a visit.

golf courses near fernandina beach

Amelia River Golf Club

Amelia River Golf Club is undeniably one of best-conditioned courses in Fernandina Beach. The course not only features incredibly smooth greens but also boasts delicately-manicured fairways. It gracefully sits between a forest of oaks, pines, sabal palms and wax myrtles, which provides a perfectly relaxing environment.

Designed by Tom Jackson, Amelia River Golf Club’s 72 par track plays to a length of 6,823 yards from the back tees. The course also features 18 holes of challenging golf that put the player’s ball control and accuracy to the test.

At the clubhouse and on the course, you can enjoy a number of facilities and resources including a driving range, pitching and chipping area, putting green and teaching from the course pro. Along with a full pro shop facility, Amelia River Golf Club also offers rental services for carts and clubs.

The Golf Club at Northampton

Designed by the legendary golfer, Arnold Palmer, the Golf Club at Northampton defines royalty when it comes to golfing. The course sits 15 minutes west of Amelia Island and features a relaxed setting with spectacular conditioning and graceful local wildlife.

This 18-hole championship course boasts a yardage of 7080 and a par 72 layout. The surrounding spring-fed lakes, the lush forest trees and the exquisite beauty provides a tranquil environment that can sweep all your worries and hassles away.

The Golf at North Hampton is open for corporate outings and all kinds of golf events. It features a clubhouse and banquet tent with a 120-guest capacity where local cuisines are served. The course also offers an amazing double-ended driving range as well as a practice facility.

With two practice putting greens, practice bunker and an experienced pro, players can perfect their swing and skills. There’s a fully stocked Pro shop on the golf course for the purchase of any equipment.

Oak Marsh Golf Course

Oak Marsh Golf Course is an 18-hole golf facility that sits at the heart of Omni Amelia Islands Plantation Resort in Amelia Island. This Pete Dye-designed course stretches 6,580 yards with a par 72 layout. Characterized by tight fairways and well cultured greens along winding marsh creeks, the environment here is extremely peaceful. The course is also set against a curtain of majestic oak trees, offering a breathtaking view.

The luxurious Amelia Island real estate surrounding these courses is a welcoming backdrop, and if you have any questions about properties on the island or purchasing or renting a home near these exquisite golf courses, be sure to call us at (800) 741-4011.

3 Unique Art Galleries on Amelia Island

Are you looking for an artistic, vibrant and scenic barrier island to spend your vacation at? If so, then Amelia Island would be a top choice.

From checking out the beaches, to participating in festivals, to an extensive range of art galleries in Fernandina Beach, there are lots of things to do and places to visit on the island. And those who are considering relocating will find a variety of extraordinary Amelia Island real estate options to consider.

Fernandina Beach art galleries

Amelia Island Art Galleries

Your visit will not be complete if you miss out on the art galleries in the island. Residents and travelers get artistic perks just by living in Fernandina Beach or anywhere else on the island, including be closely located to galleries, invitations to art shows, and other community-oriented art events.

Amelia San Jon Gallery

Both a studio for working artists and an art gallery for those who love to see different works of art, this is one special spot. You will find many works of art at the Amelia San Jon Gallery that feature nature or animals as the subject.

Visitors may even visit while the owner is actively painting, watching her bring her creative visions to life. The gallery also serves as a learning center for birds, alligators and sea turtles, so it’s a perfect place to visit with the family or with a group for an educational experience.

Blue Door Artists

This place is ideal for those who want to see artists at work in a contemporary art style. Most of the works featured in the gallery are combined art and crafts such as fashion accessories, jewelry, and home decor. You can also meet and mingle with artists and maybe learn a thing or two about artistic techniques.

This artist group is very welcoming and willing to chat about their work and the techniques applied towards each piece. The modern environment showcases other newer forms of art, such as photography and videography. The gallery has become one of the most talked about places in Amelia Island, acting as a lovely contrast to many of the more traditional galleries in Fernandina Beach.

Island Art Association

If you love philanthropy and art, then visiting the Island Art Association would be a rewarding experience. It is much more than just an art gallery; it acts as a non-profit organization established to help aspiring artists develop their skills and promote artworks made on the island.

The gallery currently displays the works of close to fifty artists at any given time. You can also attend a workshop or two at their Educational Center. Spending time here can, perhaps, make a better artist out of you.

Explore Amelia Island real estate afterward

After checking out these galleries, visitors can explore the local Amelia Island real estate to get a feel for the area and the vibrant local community. Along with breath-taking beaches and ocean scenery, you can enjoy a culture that energizes you.
Amelia Island homes for sale offer an entrance into a world of community art and social camaraderie. Learn more about homes for sale on the island by calling us today at (800) 741-4011.

Upcoming Fall Amelia Island Festivals and Community Events

Amelia Island has several upcoming events to choose from for those who happen to be visiting in the fall, with exciting family friendly options including jazz and film festivals, farmers markets, shows, concerts and more. Check out some of these fun filled options in Fernandina Beach during your next fall vacation:

The 3rd Annual Redfish Spot Tournament

The 3rd Annual Redfish Spot Tournament will be held on September 9th, 2017 where the angler who brings in a legal Redfish with the most spots wins. A captain’s meeting will be held on September 8th while anglers will start fishing on Saturday Sept. 9th. It will be held at the Amelia Island Marina at 251 Creekside Drive, Fernandina Beach, so don’t miss it if you happen to be in town.

Rendezvous Music Film Festival

The Rendezvous Music Film Festival will be held from September 21st to 23rd. This is the only music and film festival in all of Northern Florida and brings artists of all backgrounds together in a 3 day celebration on the beach, showing dozens of independent films, animations, music videos, short films, documentaries and more.

Films will be shown from 14 countries, and this year marks the 10th anniversary of this film festival, with a new focus on music this year. Enjoy workshops, a variety of guest speaking events, and evening parties, and grab your tickets now at: http://www.rendezvousfestival.org/

2017 Amelia Island Jazz Festival

The 2017 Amelia Island Jazz Festival will be held from October 8th to the 15th 2017, featuring several live music events during this week.

music during jazz week

The event kicks off with a Jazz in the Park free concert which will be held at the YMCA between 14th and Citrona in Fernandina Beach on October 8th, 2017 at 2-4 p.m. This concert will feature the University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble with food and drinks provided by Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen.

Following the kickoff event, there will be live jazz music events every single night from October 9th through the 15th. Events include wine tasting, Latin jazz concerts, swing nights, and festival culminates with a Dixie to Swing Jazz Brunch on the final day. You can get more specific information about the calendar and buy tickets ahead of time here: http://www.ameliaislandjazzfestival.com/

Other Fall events

Although these are some of biggest fall events on the island, you can find several others to suit your interest including a weekly Mixology Tour, a tour of the weekly farmers’ market and cooking classes, dramas performed by the Amelia Community Theatre, history pub crawls, and a variety of Halloween events.

fernandina beach halloween events

In October, the Amelia Island Museum of History will be hosting special ghost tours of the island as well as pub crawls. A variety of tours are always available at the Museum of History throughout the year, so you’ll be able to enjoy them no matter when you visit this fall.

Get more information on these upcoming events and plan your trip by visiting http://www.ameliaisland.com/calendar which is often updated with the latest events and information.

Real Estate Projections for 2017 in Fernandina Beach

The real estate market in Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island continues to be strong in 2017 for sellers, however, homes still remain attainable for buyers in several price ranges. The recent median price for homes in Fernandina Beach was $325,000 as reported by Trulia, with a $1,675 median rent per month.

Like any real estate market, Fernandina Beach sometimes fluctuates, but in recent months it has shown strong signs of growth and stability as the median home value is expected to continue to rise over the next year. Although homes can be priced higher on average than nearby Jacksonville, they often feature proximity to the beach, waterfront views, and access to the many attractions of the island.

An increase in median home price

Trulia reports a median sales price increase of 12% ($35,550) over the past year compared to the prior year (as of August 2017), a sign that demand is growing for homes in Fernandina Beach, while the average price per square foot also rose to $167 from $152.

fernandina beach realty
As median sales prices are expected to continue to rise due to healthy demand, it remains a good time to invest in a home in Fernandina Beach due to the stability of the market and a desirable location, for either a primary or secondary home.

A plentiful inventory

In spite of increasing prices and demand, inventory is relatively plentiful in Fernandina Beach, and homebuyers can find several suitable options in multiple price ranges. Condos start at around $175,000 with single family homes of 3 bedrooms or more being available at around $225,000, offering a viable entry point for many first time homebuyers.

These homes feature spacious floorplans and their average prices are quite comparable to several parts of nearby Jacksonville. However, Fernandina Beach homes have the unique benefits of living on an exclusive barrier island with beaches, nature parks, fishing, boating and other plentiful outdoor attractions and local community events nearby.

Continually ranked among the best places to live in Florida

Fernandina Beach remains off the beaten path compared to Jacksonville, offering exclusive access to nature and much more privacy. It continues to be a premier barrier island destination for people of all backgrounds including those who are permanently relocating, vacation homebuyers, and others. Fernandina Beach also is close enough to Jacksonville for daily commuters or for those who work in the city less often, as downtown is about a 45 minute drive away.

house in florida

Niche.com grades Fernandina Beach as an “A-“ with a variety of factors being taken into account including jobs, family life, public schools, crime, housing, outdoor activities and more. For those who are looking on settling down, in the area, the local educational institutions are excellent and highly ranked for the state of Florida, with several public and private options from kindergarten through 12th grade.

To learn more about the homes for sale in Fernandina Beach and the local real estate market whether you plan on buying or selling a home here in the near future, contact ERA Fernandina Beach Realty today by calling (800) 741-4011.

5 Places You Must See in Fernandina Beach

There are many things to do in Fernandina Beach and rarely ever enough time to do them, so we’ve sorted through the swarm to bring you five absolute must-sees. This is a great place to live or own a vacation home, so if you’re thinking of moving or have recently moved to Fernandina Beach you can use this list and go on a scavenger hunt to find these places with your family!

fernandina beach real estate

1) Amelia Island Lighthouse

Located on the island’s tallest bluff, Amelia Island Lighthouse is the oldest existing structure of its kind in Florida. As to be expected, this carefully preserved landmark is open to those interested in touring America’s maritime history. Secure your spot by either calling 904-310-3350 or paying a visit to the Atlantic Recreation Center on Atlantic Avenue.

It costs $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12 to enter. However, if you’re not too keen on spending time delving into this beacon of culture, the lighthouse is also a popular zone for photographers and sightseers to explore from the outside.

2) Pirate Playground

An ideal spot for a play date, Pirate Playground is a unique outdoor park offering a diverse range of musical, artistic, imaginative and historical stations for children to expand their learning.

Suited to all physical and mental abilities, this experiential, entry-free zone is a favored family space amongst locals. With benches, restrooms and picnic tables also dotted around the vicinity, parents can relax while children explore their potential.

3) Arte Pizza

Sample the taste of Italy at Arte Pizza. This Fernandina Beach local favorite restaurant boasts authentic Italian cuisine in a cosy, modern interior. What’s more, pets are more than welcome to join in the fun!

All pizzas are cooked on a traditional wood-fired stove, while a fruitful wine and beer selection makes it difficult to select an option. Arte Pizza is open for lunch and dinner throughout the week (except Tuesdays), and offers a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free options too.

4) Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop

Let your sweet tooth roam wild and indulge ferociously at Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop. Using only organic ingredients – such as fresh farm eggs, European butter and imported African and Belgian chocolate – Nana Teresa cooks up a storm from scratch.

Ponder over cupcakes, macaroons, cheesecakes, cookies and pies. Or even pop your order in for a five-tier custom-made cake. Gluten free options are also available, so make sure visit between 10am-8pm Monday – Thursdays, 9am-9pm on Friday & Saturday or 11am-5pm on Sundays to get a slice of the action.

5) Fort Clinch State Park

Outdoor-lovers should head to Fort Clinch State Park for an abundance of recreational activities and Fernandina Beach things to do suited to all the family. The park’s 3-mile shoreline is home to swimming, fishing, wildlife observation and shark-tooth hunting. The 6-mile multi-use path is a fantastic trail for hikers and cyclists to explore.

You can even take part in a guided nature walk if you’re hoping to slow the pace a little. Pop in for the day or plan an overnight excursion – the park’s 69 campsites and vast camping facilities make for an unrivalled overnight stop.

fernandina beach fort clinch

12 Places Locals Love to Eat

Locals always know what’s best when it comes to restaurants and dining. So, if you want to truly eat like a local in Fernandina Beach and indulge in some of the best dining opportunities that the area has to offer, be sure to stop at some of these 12 incredible Fernandina Beach restaurants which are authentic local favorites.

Each one of them offers their own unique cuisine, service, setting, décor, and remarkable menu items that are sure to please the more discerning of palates.

fernandina beach restaurants

Cafe Karibo

Location: 27 N 3rd St, Fernandina Beach, FL
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Café Karibo is a New American bistro conveniently located in downtown Fernandina Beach inside of a restored historic building on 3rd street. It offers a hip interior and comfortable outdoor garden patio seating. This is the place to try out a wide range of eclectic and interesting New American dishes including sandwiches, soups, appetizers, dinner entrees, brunch items and pub grub favorites. A few of the specialties include the Seared Blackened Ahi Tuna or the classic Shrimp & Grits, but you’re sure to find a menu item or two to please you and your group. An adjacent brewpub offers an extensive list of beers and wines.

T-Ray’s Burger Station

Location: 202 S 8th St, Fernandina Beach, FL
Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Don’t let the exterior fool you! T-Ray’s Burger Station sits in an old family owned Exxon service station which made a gradual transformation into a favorite local breakfast and burger eatery from 1972 until today. The restaurant is now known for offering some of the best comfort food and sandwiches that you’ll find on the island and remains a hidden gem that both locals and tourists adore. Stop by T-Ray’s to get a bit of local Fernandina Beach history, take some photos of the quirky décor, and enjoy a delicious stick-to-the-ribs American breakfast or lunch at a very reasonable price.

Green Turtle Tavern

Location: 14 S 3rd St., Fernandina Beach, FL
Hours: 3:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Happen to be out late in downtown Fernandina Beach and looking for an extra drink to keep your energy up? Check out the Green Turtle Tavern on 3rd street, a favorite local watering hole with frequent drink and food specials, a laid-back casual vibe, friendly service and live music. A unique treat that you’ll find here: handcrafted cocktails made with locally sourced fruit and ingredients from their very own garden! There’s a great selection of beers and bourbon as well, and you’ll always get great service here along with some very interesting décor.

Espana Restaurant

Location: 22 S 4th St, Fernandina Beach, FL
Hours: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Get a taste of Spain and Portugal at the Espana Restaurant, specializing in authentic cuisine from this region and open exclusively for dinner service. They creatively incorporate locally sourced seafood ingredients into delectable Spanish and Portuguese dishes. There’s plenty of seating available for your group or family in the scenic outdoor garden or inside, but most importantly the food is unique and delicious. Pick from a selection of authentic Spanish tapas, salads, meat and seafood entrees, and traditional paellas for one or two — a must-try if you haven’t had this popular Spanish dish before. No matter what you order here, you can trust that it will be made the right way.

29 South

Location: 29 S 3rd St, Fernandina Beach, FL
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

29 South is a modern bistro that takes its name from its location on 3rd street and features its own clever take on traditional Southern American dishes. With an emphasis on sustainably sourced ingredients and a casual setting, 29 South has become a favorite eatery among locals since its launch in 2006. This restaurant does its best to source literally everything they offer from local farmers, fishermen and even their own dedicated Chef’s Garden. Menu items range from Fried Green Tomatoes, to Lobster Corn Dogs, Shrimp n’ Grits, and Lobster Mac n’ Cheese – all made with the freshest ingredients. You’ll find your favorite Southern meal here as well as several unique specialty dishes that are sure to hit the spot.

Lulu’s At the Thompson House

Location: 11 S 7th St, Fernandina Beach, FL
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Lula’s at the Thompson House is situated in the center of Fernandina Beach’s arts and shopping district and was founded by self-taught chef Brian John Grimley who has a natural interest and love for Southern American and Cajun/Creole food. This family owned restaurant is where you’ll find several Southern comfort foods made with ingredients like Andouille sausage and locally sourced seafood, often with a spicy flavorful twist. This small cozy restaurant offers outdoor seating with a lovely garden and a wide selection of American menu items including sandwiches, appetizers, salads and brunch items. Favorites include the Shrimp n’ Grits, Shrimp or Oyster Po’ Boys, Cuban Sandwich and many other entrees. Don’t forget to order one of the delectable homemade desserts!

David’s Restaurant and Lounge

Location: 802 Ash St, Fernandina Beach, FL
Hours: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Stop by David’s Restaurant and Lounge when you want more of a contemporary upscale American dining experience with a focused selection of the finest seafood and steak entrees. Perfect for a celebration, anniversary or birthday, everything you order at David’s is sure to be cooked and plated to perfection. Choose from a concise and select menu, only offering the best local and imported ingredients such as King Crab, Chilean Sea Bass, Dover Sole, Clams, Crab, Shrimp, Escargot and more. Treat yourself to a night out here while visiting Amelia Island and enjoy the attentive service and excellent cuisine no matter what you’re craving.

Bright Mornings Bistro and Café

Location: 105 S 3rd St, Fernandina Beach, FL
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

When you’re craving a satisfying breakfast and a cozy comfortable family friendly setting, you’ll find it at Bright Mornings Bistro and Café. Select whatever you’re craving from an array of standard American breakfast favorites like egg entrees with potatoes, toast, grits, bacon, sausage and ham, breakfast sandwiches, a variety of pancakes, French toast, and brunch items. A small lunch menu is also available for a lunch service that starts at 11:00 a.m. and includes burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Enjoy reasonable prices on all the menu items here, great service, and a simple, well-done homemade meal to get you energized for the day.

Palace Saloon

Location: 117 Centre St, Fernandina Beach, FL
Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Another top nightlife destination for locals is the historic Palace Saloon, which stays open until the wee hours to satiate your thirst. It has quite an interesting story behind it as the oldest bar in Florida. The building was originally a haberdashery which was purchased by Louis G. Hirth in 1903 and converted into a saloon. The bar has been in continuous operation since then, even surviving the Prohibition Era. Today you’ll get to enjoy live music, an extensive drink menu with cocktails, craft beer, wine and liquor, and community events. Stop by for a drink and to converse with locals and travelers and learn a bit about the unique history of this very long running bar!

Moon River Pizza

Location: 925 S 14th St, Fernandina Beach, FL
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Moon River Pizza is a cash only pizzeria with a variety of thin crust pizzas, calzones, salads, draft beers and wines. They keep it simple here with a focus on offering some of the best pizza on the island made the traditional way: handmade with fresh ingredients and baked to perfection. Create your own pizza here or choose from a few specialty options like the Vegetarian, T-Rex (meat lover’s), Maui “WOW-ee” with ham and pineapple, among others. Locals often prefer Moon River Pizza for a late-night pie, and you can’t go wrong picking it as well, with the addicting thin crust that you’ll find here at a great price.

Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen

Location: 510 S 8th St, Fernandina Beach, FL
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Whenever you’re in the mood for some delicious and perfectly made barbecue, stop by Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen, launched by celebrity chef Kenny Gilbert and his wife Anna. The restaurant features a seasonal menu with a focus on locally sourced produce and a variety of rotating themes from around the world such as Latin American, Indian, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Italian and Asian, showcasing the founder’s diverse cuisine preferences and cooking ability. The mouthwatering menu includes choices like pulled pork, turkey drum sandwiches, Andouille sausage, beef brisket, lamb shank, fried green tomatoes, spare ribs, jerk chicken, and several other Southern favorites.

Doo Wop’s Best 50’s Diner

Location: 1120 S 14th St, Amelia Island, FL
Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Doo Wop’s Best 50’s Diner takes you back to the past with its traditional American diner menu and 50’s themed décor. The black and white checkerboard flooring, red chairs, and white tables will remind you of the era, along with the satisfying homemade food. Menu options include burgers, floats, milkshakes, hot dogs, fries, breakfast served all day, and a number of vegetarian items. Whether you stop in for breakfast or lunch, eating at Doo Wop’s Best 50’s Diner is a unique experience you won’t soon forget!

Fernandina Historic Places

There’s so much to experience in Fernandina Beach during your next trip to North Florida. Whether you’re entertaining kids on a family vacation or looking for a getaway with your better half, Fernandina Beach has plenty to keep you busy.

Fernandina Beach is the northernmost city on the Atlantic coast of Florida, located on Amelia Island. Amelia Island is a part of a chain of barrier islands called the Sea Islands that stretch from South Carolina to Florida, and the entire area is rich with history.

The flags of eight different nations have flown above Fernandina Beach throughout history – the only municipality in the United States that can make this claim. The different nations and groups that have fought for control the island throughout its history include – Spain, France, Great Britain, the Patriots of Amelia Island, Mexico, the Green Cross of Florida, the Confederate States of America and the United States of America.

Visit the Palace Saloon for some local history

Experience some of the local history of the island by visiting the Palace Saloon. The Palace is the oldest bar in Florida, and has been hydrating travelers since 1903. To sailors, it was known as the “shipcaptain’s bar.” They would grab a drink, pay their bill for the night and head back to the port. The locals paid for their bill at the end of every month.

The Palace Saloon endured the Prohibition Era by selling ice cream, 3 percent near-beer, cigars and Texaco gasoline. Nowadays, you can still get a number of signature and local drinks.

The Fernandina Beach Train Depot

After grabbing a drink and enjoying live music, you can walk across the street and check out the Fernandina Beach Train Depot.

The current building is the second train station to exist there; the first structure blew away in the Hurricane of 1898, the strongest hurricane on record to hit the island.

The current train depot now serves as a visitors’ center to welcome travelers to the island. While it’s small, its historical significance qualifies it to be included in the Historic American Buildings Survey.

historic centre street amelia island

Experience the attractions of Historic Centre Street

There’s a lot to do right on Centre Street in Fernandina Beach. If you need a pick-me-up after all your running around, stop by Amelia Island Coffee, Island Time Premium Frozen Yogurt or Fantastic Fudge. Here you can enjoy the Victorian-era charm, several restaurants and shops, live music on many days, and the Fernandina Harbor Marina.

Head just two and a half miles north to visit Old Town, a U.S. National Register of Historic Places site. The area was originally inhabited by humans 3,000 years ago, and has garnered attention from historians and archeologists over the last few decades.

It’s believed that some of Florida’s most colorful history occurred on the grounds there, including the Plaza San Carlos, a site where the former Spanish Fort San Carlos used to stand. It’s a bit tucked away from the higher-traffic Centre Street area

historic amelia island

Visit Fort Clinch

Just another half a mile north, at the most northern point of the island, is the one of Fernandina Beach’s most famous attractions: Fort Clinch. The fort was built in 1847 in a unique pentagon shape, with two casings of protective walls. It’s estimated that it required roughly five million bricks to build.

A trip here takes visitors back through history, as they watch historical reenactments of life during the Civil War. Guests explore the grounds, galleries and many rooms and learn what life was like for a Union soldier day to day.

Located in Fort Clinch State Park, this destination is a must for any day trip. In addition to the history lesson, visitors can go camping, fishing, canoeing, surfing – the list goes on and on. It’s a great place to explore the outdoors and offers a unique experience for everyone in your family.

Leave your car behind and hike on six-miles of trails. For only a $6 entry fee, there’s so much to do. The park is open every day from 8 a.m. to sunset, and is located at 2601 Atlantic Avenue, not far from Fernandina’s Main Beach.

Explore Victorian Era Homes

Beyond the museums, parks and beaches that are all worth exploring, visitors are also invited to step inside some of the old homes to enjoy the historic architecture of the island.

Walking through the island’s Golden Age homes will help you set your clock to local time and relax. A few great examples of Victorian-era architecture can be found at the 10-bedroom Amelia Island Hoyt House Inn and the Captain’s House (also known as the “Pippi Longstocking” House) in the downtown historic district.

If hopping around between all of these fun historic stops sound overzealous for your family vacation, don’t worry because Fernandina Beach is very accessible and walkable. Check some of them out during your next vacation and get a glimpse of this island’s colorful past!

Simmons Trail Project

For island visitors who aren’t regularly kept up to date with Amelia Island news, the Simmons Trail Project may have slipped under the radar. But plans for the construction of this significant multi-use trail have been in motion since 2016, with aims to complete it by 2018.

This is a trail that aims to add another valuable route to existing Amelia Island bike trails, but it’s also one that could very positively impact vehicular travel, residents and vacationers.

If you’re planning to vacation in Amelia Island in the near future, it’s worth checking out what’s in store to see how the Simmons Trail could be beneficial to you.

simmons trail amelia island biking

Below you can find some helpful info about the project, its local impact and tips for exploring it:

What is it?

The Amelia River to Sea Trail, otherwise known as the Simmons Trail, is a multi-purpose route connecting the east side of the island to west, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Inter-Coastal Waterway.

It will comprise of two separate trail sections; one part connecting Great River Park to Main Street, and the other part connecting Silver Lane at Simmons Road to the existing trail at Forbes Street.

At 2.1 miles long, the paved multi-use path will be up to 10ft wide. Many Amelia Island open house events have recently been held to encourage locals to review plans, ask questions and voice their own opinions, ensuring the whole community accepts and remains a part of the project. Construction of the route is planned to start in 2017, with the finished trail debuting in 2018.

How will the Simmons Trail be useful?

Its central location means the multi-purpose Simmons Trail will offer an effective link between the east and west points of the island. This is particularly beneficial for pedestrians and cyclists. By reducing the amount of vehicle travel and overall speed on the island, the safety of those on foot stands to increase.

It will also make it much easier to get from place to place, as the route will connect residential properties to an abundance of Amelia Island hotspots, popular retail sites and activities.

You’ll be footsteps away from local dining facilities, beautiful sandy Amelia Island beaches and many recreational services, such as the Ybor Alvarez Sports Complex and Crane Island entrance. Local commuters who don’t own automobiles can also reap the benefits, with safe lanes offering fantastic links to get from A to B.

Thinking of exploring the trail?

If you’re thinking of exploring the Simmons Trail, you only need to bring yourself, a sense of adventure and potentially a bike – if cycling is your thing. What’s more, there are many bike rental stores dotted around the island to save the hassle of bringing your own.

You’ll be fitted with true-to-size safety gear and first-rate equipment to ensure you have the most comfortable and enjoyable cycling experience possible.

If you prefer to explore by foot, that’s equally as accepted – if not slightly easier. You’re then free to roam the island’s opportunities and attractions without having to worry about extra gear.

Stay tuned to the latest Amelia Island news for more information about the Simmons Trail Project as it reaches its launch date!

Going Green in Fernandina Beach

Any local or city leader in Fernandina Beach will tell you that the community is truly committed to sustainability. Many recent programs and initiatives have focused on non-vehicular modes of transportation, conservation, energy efficiency and green construction with new Fernandina Beach real estate and commercial buildings.

The concern regarding sustainability is driven by an interest from local leaders in preserving depleted resources, protecting endangered or threatened native flora and fauna species, preserving clean water, and limiting climate change.

fernandina beach recycling

Sustainability efforts pushed by local leaders

The local Fernandina Beach government and multiple downtown Fernandina Beach businesses have made it a point to commit their current and future efforts to sustainability. This has included the implementation of city-wide recycling programs for paper, bottles, cans, newspaper, waste oil, batteries, cardboard, tires, and e-waste. The curbside recycling program was improved by the city to allow for more items to be recycled, as well as the launch of pilot programs for recycling incentives.

The “Sustainable Fernandina” initiative is also ongoing – this involves a group of employees from each city department who meet on a monthly basis to discuss sustainability for the city’s operations. An “Amelia River to Sea” bike trail has been proposed with massive interest from both locals and community leaders. This trail would provide an east to west non-vehicle route on the island connecting some of the most popular parks and community event areas together, reducing traffic and greenhouse emissions.

Multiple protected areas to preserve local wildlife

With a quick tour through the Fernandina Beach community and Amelia Island, you’ll run across many protected areas that strictly prohibit littering and residential or commercial development. An extensive public greenway system called Egan’s Creek Greenway sits on over 300 acres in Fernandina Beach and was first opened in 2000. Grass covered trails are available for biking and hiking, as well as a boardwalk and kiosks for wildlife viewing and education. In addition, there is the expansive Fort Clinch State Park, Amelia Island State Park and numerous other protected habitats.

Local businesses are committed to the effort

Local businesses are also committed to the green effort; at minimum they are more conscientious about recycling and minimizing their energy usage. One business that makes a serious effort is the Color It Green shop at 1008 Atlantic Avenue in downtown Fernandina Beach. This unique little store only sells recycled, repurposed or sustainable gifts, apparel, and products.

Many of their product manufacturers contribute a portion of their earnings to sustainability initiatives and green charities. Color it Green does this as well. You can purchase an intriguing range of high-quality gifts and souvenirs at the store – all guaranteed to be sustainable and made in the USA.

Green features with both new and historic real estate and buildings

Anyone looking to purchase Fernandina Beach real estate will find that many of the homes for sale in the community have been upgraded with newer energy efficient appliances, heating, cooling, and other upgrades in order to make the structure more efficient and lower emissions. Not only do these upgrades lower your utility bills, but these appliances typically last longer and operate with lower maintenance requirements than outdated and inefficient products.

What Is It Like Living at Fernandina Beach?

If you’re thinking about purchasing Fernandina Beach real estate on Amelia Island, you might be wondering what it’s actually like to live in the area. Fernandina Beach is a laid back and gorgeous historic island community that has been around in one form or another for hundreds of years. With great weather and plenty of outdoor attractions to keep you busy, word is getting out about Fernandina Beach realty. The charm and friendliness of the locals, family activities, and incredible native wildlife and scenery isn’t easily matched by other cities.

It’s a remarkable and unique community full of mystique and plenty of historic intrigue. The downtown area is loaded with historic sites that you could spend years learning about and exploring. Consider real estate in Fernandina Beach if you’re seeking an idyllic, vibrant, and attraction filled island community to raise a family or settle down in.

fernandina beach realty

Rated as a “Top 10 Best Little Beach Town”

Fernandina Beach has been rated by Coastal Living in the Top 10 in their “Best Little Beach Town” rankings for plenty of convincing reasons. Locals are friendly and welcoming to new guests; frequent community events invite travelers from all over the world and people from all ethnicities and backgrounds to unite and celebrate together. The downtown Fernandina Beach area acts as a sort of headquarters for events such as live music, farmers’ markets, historic tours, parades, races, sports competitions, charity events, and others.

Centuries ago, Fernandina Beach used to be a pirating and smuggling center but now it’s quite the opposite! Crime is low here – the community receives an “A-“ rating from AreaVibes which compares crime statistics to national and state averages.

The city also received an impressive 8/10 rating from GreatSchools.org – one of the top education rating systems, based on test results and other available data, with several schools having 7/10 or higher rankings.

Cost of living in Fernandina Beach

The cost of living in Fernandina Beach is considered to be higher than the national average. Housing in particular is one of the higher costs as rated by AreaVibes and other cost of living calculators; there is often a limited Fernandina Beach real estate inventory compared to demand.

However, the cost for most other necessities such as goods and services, groceries, and transportation are virtually equal with the rest of Florida. High housing costs also indicate that the Fernandina Beach real estate market is strong and thriving, and that an investment is safe due to the demand here.

Thinking of buying real estate in Fernandina Beach?

Fernandina Beach is an excellent community for families, golf and outdoor sport enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, couples looking to settle down, retirees and snowbirds. The locals here are committed to sustainability, hard work, simple hospitality and service with a smile.

As many locals will tell you, you really can’t go wrong with purchasing Fernandina Beach real estate, especially at a time when home values are starting to rise once again. As of May 2017, Zillow estimates that Fernandina Beach home values have increased an average of 7.0% within the past year and are expected to rise at least 3.2% within the next year.

To see what life is like really here, your best bet is to book a vacation rental for an extended time and immerse yourself in the local culture and events for a while. You may fall in love with the island as many others have and decide that it’s time to purchase one of the beautiful modern or historic Fernandina Beach real estate options that are currently available!

Biking Trails on Amelia Island

Any bicycling enthusiast can appreciate scenic island biking trails along the ocean that are challenging yet pleasant to ride along. You’ll find plenty of them on Amelia Island, one of the top cycling destinations in all of Florida. Many of the roads here are nice and wide and suitable for biking, with traffic often being limited on many days in the early morning. You can get some more helpful info about the top biking trails on Amelia Island below:

amelia island biking trails

The Amelia Island Trail

The Amelia Island Trail is currently the premier paved bike trail on the island, which starts at Peters Point Beachfront Park and ends at Amelia Island State Park. You certainly don’t have to start at Peters Point as you can bike along the many streets or beaches on the island to get there, but Peters Point does have free public parking if you plan on riding the trail to Amelia Island State Park and back.

The total one way distance is 5.7 miles, which means that riding it down to the park and back will offer both a pleasant and moderately challenging ride for most experienced cyclists. Much of the trail is located along scenic Highway A1A, so it is sure to be a relaxing and picturesque ride with trees and water views lining the route.

The Timucuan Trail

The Timucuan Trail is located right across the George Crady Bridge, which is safe for bicyclists and pedestrians to cross. Crossing the bridge will connect you from the Amelia Island Trail to the northern end of the Timucuan Trail. This beautiful paved trail is still in development, but it will take you through the majority of Big Talbot Island State Park which has plentiful areas for wildlife viewing, bird watching, camping and beach access.

Biking from the Amelia Island Trail down to the Timucuan Trail and back is ideal for any serious enthusiast with a total one way distance of a little over 10 miles. The total distance of the combined northern and southern Timucuan trail is currently about 6.4 miles. The northern trail is about 3 miles long, and it sits near much of scenic Highway A1A just like the Amelia Island Trail. Eventually the trail will be extended all the way to Amelia Island State Park on the northern end, and down to Kathryn Abbey Hannah Park on the southern end for a total distance of 18 paved miles.

Cyclists can easily park at Amelia Island State Park and choose to ride either north on the Amelia Island Trail or ride south across the George Crady Bridge to connect to the Timucuan Trail. Both the Amelia Island and Timucuan trails are part of a growing network of trails called the East Coast Greenway which stretch all the way from Maine to Florida!

The Proposed Amelia River to Sea Multi-Purpose Trail

The Amelia River to Sea trail also known as the “Simmons Road Trail” is a proposed trail with frequent community meetings and open houses to discuss the fundraising and design of the trail. This trail will be paved and 2.1 miles long. It will run east and west on Amelia Island from the Atlantic Ocean to the Intercostal Waterway.

Specifically, the trail will run from the intersection of S. Fletcher Avenue and Simmons Rd. to Bailey Rd. It will then extend south across the Amelia Island Parkway to the city baseball fields, and then connect to the Crane Island Trail and terminate at the Amelia River at an overlook.

The design of the trail is nearing completion and it will provide a very much needed east-west route for non-vehicular traffic and improve connectivity in the community.

Fort Clinch State Park Off-Road Trail

There also is a nice scenic 6-mile off-road mountain bike trail in Fort Clinch State Park which can also be used for hiking. It is located on the north end of the island.

The Top Bike Rental Shops on Amelia Island

You certainly won’t need to bring a bicycle with you when visiting Amelia Island, as there are several high-quality providers of Amelia Island bike rentals to get you equipped with the perfect bike and safety gear for the long distance paved trails or off-road mountain cycling.

Below are a few to contact to get rates ahead of time and prepare for your cycling trip on Amelia Island:

Beach Rentals and More
2021 S Fletcher Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL
(904) 310-6124

Bike Scoot or Yak Rentals
1678 S 8th St #6, Fernandina Beach, FL

SuperCorsa Cycles
4925 1st Coast Hwy, Fernandina Beach, FL
(904) 310-0003

Golf Club at North Hampton

The Golf Club at North Hampton is a premier destination for Amelia Island golfing with a challenging and scenic par 72, eighteen-hole course designed by the legend himself, Arnold Palmer. The course at the Golf Club at North Hampton is widely considered to be one of Palmer’s finest and among the best in the entire state of Florida.

Many Amelia Island real estate owners purchase memberships at this incredible course after golfing there just a few times, and it draws golf enthusiasts from all over the United States for several very good reasons.

north hampton golf club

Be sure to check out the Golf Club at North Hampton during your next visit

You will always find friendly, accommodating and courteous staff at the Golf Club at North Hampton who will ensure that you have a relaxing and enjoyable golfing experience and assist you with whatever you may need. The next time you visit Amelia Island, take the time to experience The Golf Club at North Hampton for yourself and see why it has become one of the highest rated golf courses in the state.

Excellent for golfers of all skill levels

The vast 7100-yard course provides plenty of challenges without being overwhelming. It plays at just over 7100 yards from the back tees, but there are three extra sets of tees to accommodate golfers of all skill levels. The course is always maintained in pristine condition with huge and fast undulating greens that demand top putting performance.

The local course pro offers customized lessons utilizing the latest in high tech golf training equipment for those who are looking to improve their game. Golfers can also find everything they need at the pro shop which is equipped with a Callaway fitting station and staffed by knowledgeable golf experts.

An amazing scenic and recently renovated course

The course underwent extensive renovations in 2012 and offers truly relaxing and incredible views of the water, rolling hills and wild grasses that are reminiscent of Scotland without the cold. With pleasant weather during most the year, you’ll almost always be able to enjoy a scenic golf outing if you live in the region or own Amelia Island real estate. You’ll also see some of the local animals which frequent the course including cranes, gators, eagles and other island bird species.

Facilities on par with the top courses in the world

Purchasing a membership at the Golf Club at North Hampton is a worthy investment, as you’ll get to enjoy the course at your pleasure along with full access to the excellent facilities that the club has to offer. The 5,000-square foot club house is a popular spot on Amelia Island to host corporate events, weddings, charity and golf events with the ability to accommodate up to 120 guests. The restaurant at the club is also known for its internationally inspired delicious cuisine. Those who are interested in a membership can choose from multiple flexible options depending on how often they plan on golfing.

Contact us for more questions

Feel free to call us at (800) 741-4011 for more information about some of the best Amelia Island real estate located near this world class golf course or if you have any questions at all about golfing on Amelia Island.

Amelia Island Beaches

If you’re planning a vacation to Amelia Island, you’ll be able to choose from several high quality public beaches with excellent facilities, nearby restaurants and concessions, and convenient locations near many of the island’s best vacation rentals. Get ready for great outdoor activities with the family, and relaxing days at the beach!

Find the Right Beach for Your Vacation

It’s a good idea to prepare for your next beach trip on Amelia Island to ensure a pleasant and fun experience, and here you’ll find some useful information about the top public beaches, their location, facilities, parking and other helpful details to help you prepare.

Amelia Island Beaches

Main Beach Park

Main Beach Park is located at 32 N Fletcher Ave., and it is Amelia Island’s most well-known beachfront park with its great facilities such as a full playground, restrooms, a boardwalk, a skate court, a grass field, sand volleyball courts, lifeguards and more. This area has more lifeguards than any other beach park during the Memorial Day through Labor Day season. Parking is limited so be sure to arrive early if you want a spot.

Seaside Park

Seaside Park is located at 2020 S Fletcher Ave. and offers a children’s playground, three pavilions, picnic tables, a nice wooden boardwalk, outdoor showers and restrooms. Parking is somewhat limited at this beach park. Although parking can be a hassle, travelers often walk to it from several nearby accommodations and restaurants. Lifeguards are on duty here during the standard season.

North Beach Park

This is a smaller and quieter beachfront park at 1230 North Fletcher Avenue offering a boardwalk, picnic tables, covered pavilions and parking. This is a great alternative to Main Beach Park if you find the parking lot full during the weekends, and a perfect beach to enjoy a family picnic without the crowd. Lifeguards are not on duty here.

Peters Point Beachfront Park

Peters Point Beachfront Park at 1974 S Fletcher Ave. is one of the best beaches on the island with its excellent facilities including heated showers, bathrooms, plenty of parking and life guards. The water is shallow near the shore, making it a good option for families with children. There is a dedicated picnic/grilling area at this park so that you can enjoy a pleasant beach lunch or dinner. Lifeguards are on duty after Memorial Day for 7 days a week up until the Labor Day holiday.

This beach offers excellent shelling as well, and if you’re lucky you might pick up a shark’s tooth or a fossil. You can also experience a horseback ride on the beach through local company Happy Trails Walking Horses. You’ll see some people camping here as camping is also allowed on the beach for a period of up to 24 hours, however you must keep the area clean.

Amelia Island Beaches

Burney Park at American Beach

Burney Park can be found at 95570 Burney Blvd in the American Beach community. It is one of the hidden gems on Amelia Island and well worth a visit when you want to enjoy a bit of history, some unique natural attractions, and a less crowded setting. Burney Park offers good facilities including indoor showers, restrooms, and picnic tables and plentiful parking. There is also one lifeguard stand at this park during the summer season. The area offers plenty of historic sites to visit and the tallest sand dune in the state of Florida nicknamed “Nana.”

American Beach was one of the first luxury beach vacation destinations for wealthy African Americans. During the Jim Crow area, segregation laws prevented African Americans from swimming at most beaches in the Jacksonville, Florida area. American Beach soon became the largest and most popular African American beach in the area and was founded by Florida’s first black millionaire, Abraham Lincoln Lewis.

Fort Clinch State Park

Fort Clinch State Park is a historic fort and nature preserve that covers over 1,400 acres on the north end of the island. There’s an entry fee for each vehicle that covers everyone in the vehicle, and here you’ll get to enjoy some exclusive privacy along with many open acres of pristine beachfront, sand dunes and maritime forests. The historic Fort Clinch can be toured for a small extra fee and it is certainly worth checking out with its intriguing history and use in the Civil War.

This area will not have lifeguards so be sure to swim with caution, especially for those who are not experienced. However, many Amelia Island locals and tourists alike will tell you that it’s one of the “must visit” attractions, and there’s plenty of exciting outdoor activities to enjoy here.

Amelia Island State Park

Expansive Amelia Island State Park at the southern tip of the island offers over 200 acres of maritime forest and beachfront to explore along with beach horseback riding and much more. However, keep in mind that there are no facilities or lifeguards on the beaches. There is a small admission fee per person.

Call Us Today for More Information on Amelia Island Beaches and Lodging

If you have any questions at all about the amazing beaches of Amelia Island or finding vacation rentals or other comfortable lodging near them, please call us today at (800)-741-4011.

Amelia Island History

Amelia Island is known as one of the top golfing, outdoor sport and beach destinations in the United States, but the island is steeped in an intriguing history, with 8 different flags having flown over it during the past several centuries. The Fernandina Beach community on Amelia Island is filled with historic sites that tell the tale of an island that was often fought over by multiple nations and groups at one time.

An Island with 8 Flags

Incredibly, Fernandina Beach has had the flags of these 8 distinct nations flown over the community since 1562: France, Spain, Britain, the Patriots of Amelia Island, the Green Cross of Florida, Mexico, the Confederate States of America, and the U.S. It is the only city America with this unique distinction.

Amelia Island History

First inhabited by the Timucua Indians

The area was first inhabited by the Timucua Native Americans who were known for their tall height, athletic build, and imposing appearance. Research suggests that this group lived in the region as far back as 2000 B.C.

The territory of the Timucua tribe at the time of first European contact included Amelia Island but also stretched across 19,200 square miles in Northern Florida and Southeast Georgia. The Timucua tribe consisted of multiple chiefdom’s with very little organization between each unit.

In 1513, the Spanish colonists led by Ponce de Leon first claimed the area now known as Florida for themselves, but hadn’t explored Amelia Island yet. The Timucua Native Americans numbered approximately 200,000 at this time. However, prior to this, the Native Americans in the region had already begun suffering from diseases imported by the natives of Cuba, as Cuba was already a Spanish colony.

The Spanish were interested in the Floridian natives as slaves, porters, and food suppliers. The explorers faced fierce resistant from the native tribes in Florida including both the Timucua and Calusa, however infectious diseases ravaged them. By 1595, the population of the Timucua tribe had been reduced to 50,000 after multiple battles with the Spanish and epidemics, and by 1700 the tribe numbered no more than 1,000.

The first recorded visitor to Amelia Island arrived in 1562

Jean Ribault was the first recorded visitor to Amelia Island who arrived in 1562 and he found the Timucua natives living there. The island hadn’t been claimed by the Spanish at this point, so Ribault claimed it for the French and named it “Isle de Mai” after the month of May, and the nation’s flag was the first to fly.

The Spanish came to the area soon afterward in 1565 led by Pedro Menendez de Aviles and claimed it for Spain after driving out the French and killing Ribault along with around 350 French colonists. Afterward, the Santa Maria mission was established.

The 1763 Treaty of Paris ceded Amelia Island to Great Britain

James Oglethorpe was colonial governor and founder of Georgia, and he first named the island “Amelia Island” after Princess Amelia of Great Britain. However, at the time he named it, the island was still owned by the Spanish. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 eventually ceded Florida and Amelia Island to Great Britain for Havana, representing the third nation’s flag to fly over the island.

The island was given back to the Spanish in 1783

Spain cooperated with the United States throughout the Revolutionary War, and under the 1783 Second Treaty of Paris, Great Britain ceded Florida and Amelia Island back to Spain. The British inhabitants of Amelia Island then had to swear allegiance to Spain or leave, and the Spanish flag flew once again over Amelia Island.

Fernandina Beach was platted in 1811

After the United States Congress passed the Embargo Act of 1807, the importing of slaves was prohibited. Around this time, Fernandina became a free port that shipped large quantities of Florida cotton and lumber.

Fernandina also became a headquarters for the contraband slave trade and smuggling into Georgia and other areas where slavery was still legal. The town had a rapid period of growth around this time with shacks springing up right next to more luxurious homes. Streets were primitive and vegetable gardens were recklessly planted around the town.

Governor Enrique White was disturbed by the chaotic structure of the town and ordered surveyor and George F. Clarke to plat Fernandina Beach in honor of King Ferdinand VII of Spain. The town was formally platted on May 10, 1811. The town’s streets were then aligned along with the lots into a more organized structure.

Patriots of Amelia Island

Insurgents who called themselves the “Patriots of Amelia Island” took over the island and harbor in 1812 with eight American gunboats with the approval of President James Madison and Georgia Governor George Matthews, and Clarke surrendered the island and the port to America. The Patriots of Amelia Island shut down the port to foreign vessels and thus put an end to the smuggling operation. They first raised a Patriots of Amelia Island flag and then replaced it with a United States flag.

Fort San Carlos established

Later in 1813, the Spanish forced the Americans to evacuate the island and they established Fort San Carlos in Fernandina in 1816. Gregor MacGregor and a group of 55 musketeers took over Fort San Carlos in 1817 and raised the Green Cross flag on the island. At this time the island was mainly inhabited by pirates, slaves and criminals.

The Spanish soon forced MacGregor to withdraw, but another force led by French pirate Louis Aury and Americans Jared Irwin and Ruggles Hubbard foiled the Spanish and temporarily took over the island to claim it for the Republic of Mexico.

Afterward, the Navy pushed Louis Aury and his forces out of the island. In 1847, after the end of the Second Seminole War, the United States constructed Fort Clinch as a part of its Third System of coastal defenses. The Fort featured a pentagonal shape with a brick construction.

Amelia Island and the Civil War

The Confederate army seized Fort Clinch in 1861 and it was used as a fort for blockade runners during the early Civil War. However, the development of the rifled cannon made the fort’s defenses obsolete and it was abandoned in 1862 by General Robert E. Lee.

Union forces took over the island on March 3, 1862 led by Samuel Dupont and flew the U.S. flag. The Emancipation Proclamation was read in Fernandina in January of 1863 by a group of former slaves in the military who had been recruited by the Union. The island and Fort Clinch were then used by the Union for the rest of the war, and the United States flag was the last and most recent flag to fly over the island, leading into its modern history.

Read More About The Historic Amelia Island Lighthouse
Read More About Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach

Amelia Island History

Golfing near Fernandina Beach

Northeast Florida has long been known for being one of the top golf destinations in the United States with its mild climate, beautiful ocean scenery, and world famous golf courses. Several of the region’s top courses happen to be located right on Amelia Island. The island is a golf enthusiast’s haven with multiple pro level courses scattered throughout and a few others located in the communities just west of it. Any of the courses can easily be reached from most of the real estate on the island, making golf one of the most common activities for both locals and travelers.

golfing near Fernandina Beach

Golf courses near Fernandina Beach

Golfing is one of the most popular things to do for Fernandina Beach residents because some of the best golf courses in Northeast Florida are in close proximity to the town, such as the Fernandina Beach Golf Club, Golf Club of Amelia Island, and Amelia River Golf Club. A few other options are a little further south but well worth the trip such as the Ocean Links, Oak Marsh and Long Point at Amelia Island Plantation. Some of the courses are public and others are private, with more information on each option below.

The Fernandina Beach Golf Club

The Fernandina Beach Golf Club located at 2800 Bell Melton Road is a top golf attraction on Amelia Island and it offers three well maintained and scenic 9-hole golf courses. These three courses are challenging for all skill levels and are open to the public. Here you’ll find helpful staff and reasonable prices for a fun round of golf, and you’ll feel confident no matter what your experience level is.

Each course measures over 3000 yards and the greens here are impeccable maintained throughout the year so that you can enjoy a round any day it isn’t raining. Be sure to stop at the Fernandina Beach Golf Clubhouse which was opened in 2000 and offers a relaxing lounge area, dining facilities as well as a fully stocked pro shop.

Amelia River Golf Club

Amelia River Golf Club located at 4477 Buccaneer Trail is a semi-private course that is known for well-maintained greens that are challenging for golfers of every experience level. This scenic par-72 course was designed by Tom Jackson and worth checking out if you’re looking for something to really challenge your golfing skills. This course is known for its smooth and large TifEagle greens and rolling fairways that are carved around a forest of pines, sabal palms, oaks and wax myrtles. At a total of 6,800 yards from the back tees, the fairways are open and wide, giving a feeling similar to traditional Scottish golf courses.

Golf Club of Amelia Island

The Golf Club of Amelia Island is located at 4700 Amelia Island Parkway and offers incredible scenery along the Atlantic shoreline with a variety of different membership options to choose from. The course was designed by PGA tour pros Gene Littler and Mark McCumber and offers a great challenge for skilled golfers along with forward tees for amateur golfers. The par-72 course is 6,692 yards from the back tees and offers large greens with wide fairways. The front nine is carved around lakes and oak trees with a challenging back nine surrounded by marshes that are designed to penalize poorly aimed shots.

Amelia Island Plantation Courses

The Amelia Island Plantation golf courses include the Ocean Links Course, Oak Marsh Course, and Long Point Course, all of which are located within a reasonable distance from Fernandina Beach toward the south end of the island. These courses are available to guests and members of the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort at 39 Beach Lagoon Road, and each of the 18-hole courses are quite extraordinary and make it well worth considering a membership.

The Ocean Links course features five oceanfront golf holes and picturesque scenery with a refreshing sea breeze to keep you cool. 10 of the holes offer challenging marshlands and lagoons, and the total yardage is 6,300 with narrow fairways and small greens that increase the challenge of the course.

The Oak Marsh course was created by Pete Dye and is known for its small greens and for having 14 holes with water hazards. There are also additional bunkers throughout the course that increase the challenge of this 6,500 yard course.

The Long Point course was completed in 1987 by Tom Fazio and features narrow fairways, plenty of natural hazards and sloping greens. It is 6,775 yards from the back tees and is considered to be one of the best golf courses in Florida with its difficult play and incredible scenic views of the Amelia River and salt marshes.

Considering relocating to Fernandina Beach?

Purchasing a primary or secondary home in Fernandina Beach is the perfect way to enjoy the incredible golf courses in the region to your heart’s desire. With plenty of other destinations, attractions and things to do in the area, you’re sure to always have fun filled weekends and evenings while living on this scenic barrier island. Give us a call today at (800)-741-4011 if you have any questions at all about golfing near Fernandina Beach or purchasing real estate there.

Explore Downtown Fernandina Beach

The historic downtown area of Fernandina beach is a major tourist attraction on Amelia Island and well worth a visit anytime you’re there. As one of the top things to do in Fernandina Beach, the historic downtown offers art galleries, an amazing array of restaurants, frequent community events and activities, a number of independent and interesting shops and stores, and hundreds of historic buildings to learn about and visit.

You can spend several days simply exploring the many destinations and attractions in downtown Fernandina Beach. Depending on the time of year that you visit, you will also find a wide range of different community events being held in the area such as farmer’s markets, area tours, cuisine events and more.

If you’re planning on making a move to Amelia Island, downtown Fernandina Beach is a top destination to consider for your next home with its frequent activities, friendly community, unique ocean scenery and plenty of things to do. Be sure to visit downtown Fernandina Beach at least once during your next trip to Amelia Island, and if you have any questions at all about activities, accommodations or purchasing real estate in the area, contact us today at (800)-741-4011.

downtown historic Fernandina beach

A brief history of Fernandina beach

Fernandina Beach has a long history that dates back hundreds of years with Native Americans having a presence in the area since at least 1000 A.D. Although the English, Spanish and French all had a presence on Amelia Island during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, the Spanish are the ones who established the Original Town of Fernandina in 1811. This area, also known as “Old Town”, is located directly north of the historic downtown and is notable for being the last Spanish city that was platted in the Western Hemisphere.

David Yulee was among the first U.S. Senators from Florida and established the first cross state railroad which ran from Fernandina Beach to Cedar Key and was opened in March of 1861. After the railroad was established, the town of Fernandina was moved to a new location along Centre Street, while the former area transitioned into more of a residential neighborhood. Currently, visitors can see several historic sites in the Old Town that are still marked such as the Plaza San Carlos, the former site of the Spanish Fort Carlos among others.

Restaurants and bars in downtown Fernandina Beach

With the increasingly large number of tourists and visitors to downtown Fernandina, many restaurants have been launched in recent years to appeal to their diverse food preferences. Downtown Fernandina Beach is currently home to a high concentration of some of the best restaurants on Amelia Island along with a number of bars and pubs that feature Victorian era architecture and unique menus. Visitors can choose from pub grub, American seafood, Italian, Cuban, French and Mexican food, bistros, sports bars, dessert shops and much more.

With a quick stroll along Centre Street you’ll run into dozens of restaurants and bars, with many more being located on the side streets and on Ash Street. You’ll find options that range from the most casual of eateries up to formal dining in pleasant settings with attentive service. With a quick online search you can pull up some of the highest rated restaurants in the area. You’ll find that it is easy to get around the downtown district once you’ve found parking to try out the different restaurants and bars.

Shops in downtown Fernandina Beach

The shops and stores in the historic downtown district of Fernandina Beach are just as varied and unique as the restaurant selection. In the Centre Street area you’ll be able to shop at many different boutiques and stores including clothing stores, jewelry makers, gift and souvenir shops, fitness equipment stores, and others. Just take a quick walk down the street and stop at any stores that appeal to you to pick up the perfect gift for a family member, friend or yourself.

Stop at the Amelia Island Museum of History

To get a more detailed overview of the history of the area while checking out some unique exhibits, be sure to visit the Amelia Island Museum of History which is located in the old Nassau County Jailhouse. The museum offers a number of different tours of the area that are designed for every age level. Several exhibits are available in the museum that showcase the island’s nearly 4000 year history, including a rendition of a typical Timucuan village, artifacts from the Spanish Mission period, Civil War exhibits, and many others.

Events and other things to do

Along with the many historic sites, buildings, restaurants, pubs, shops and museums, you’ll find frequent events occurring in downtown Fernandina Beach throughout the year. Amelia Island publishes a website with more information on upcoming events so that you can participate in any of them that appeal to you during your next trip. Options include holiday events and festivals, mixology tours, restaurant tours, weekly Farmers markets, art gallery tours, and more.

If you have any questions at all about destinations, attractions, upcoming events, or purchasing real estate in Fernandina Beach for a relocation or vacation home, please give us a call today at (800)-741-4011.

Fernandina Beach Weather

Fernandina Beach is a historic community located on the northern end of Amelia Island that offers plentiful tourist sites and outdoor activities for all interests. The weather on Fernandina Beach is quite pleasant and mild to warm throughout the year with its subtropical climate, which has helped to make it one of the most visited tourist destinations in Northeast Florida and the perfect area for outdoor recreation in every season.

If you enjoy golfing, biking, hiking, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing or boating, wildlife viewing and and more, you’ll find that the weather of Fernandina Beach is more than suitable for these activities throughout the entire year. The scenic and sprawling 1,400-acre Fort Clinch State Park located near Fernandina Beach is also a common location for many of these outdoor interests with its diverse geography, facilities, trails, and historic sites.

Summer on Amelia Island is pleasant and warm

As you might expect, the summer on Amelia Island and in Fernandina Beach is warm with abundant sunshine, making it one of the best and most popular seasons for tourists. The breezes from the ocean and frequent rainfall help to cool the hotter days, and the warm Atlantic waters are ideal for swimming. Some days can be quite humid and make exercising outdoors somewhat of a challenge, but as the sun sets it allows for a wider range of activities with the cooler temperatures.

Average midday high temperatures during the months of June, July and August are 90, 91, and 91 degrees Fahrenheit with average evening lows of 79, 79 and 80 respectively. Average surf temperatures are also 79, 79 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during these months, making the water very pleasant to swim in. Precipitation averages at around 5.2 to 5.8 inches per month during the summer, meaning that there are more than a few days with moderate to heavy rain.

Rainfall and temperatures dip down in the fall

Both water and air temperatures dip down in the fall but remain very pleasant, although September is quite warm and often has weather similar to the summer months along with similar rain levels. During the fall, most outdoor sports and activities remain very popular such as hiking, biking, wilderness viewing, fishing and boating. Many people go outdoors even more often during the fall due to the fact that the weather is less humid.

Nature hikes on Amelia Island are very nice during this time of the year and offer a great opportunity to view unique bird species in areas of the island like Egan’s Greenway and Fort Clinch State Park. Average midday temperatures in September hover around an average high of 87 degrees, with lows around 69 degrees Fahrenheit. Surf temperatures average around 77 degrees, which means that the water is still fairly warm and swimmable.

In October and November temperatures dip down to an average midday high of 83 and 74 degrees respectively, with surf temperatures dropping to an average of 74 and 72 degrees, which is still fairly warm and can be tolerated by most people. Precipitation also drops during the months of October and November down to an average of 4.6 and 2.1 inches, allowing for more activities like golfing and hiking.

Winters are also a great time to visit Amelia Island

Although the summers are certainly beautiful, there really isn’t a bad season to visit Amelia Island. During the winter temperatures are mild and much warmer than many other regions, allowing for a wide range of outdoor activities to continue on. Tourism levels drop down compared to the summer while many of the island’s best attractions remain much more accessible and open.

From the winter months of December through February, average midday highs hover around 66-68 degrees. Winter water temperatures do drop below what most people would find comfortable, at an average of around 59-60 degrees, although you may catch a few days with warmer water temps. However, most outdoor activities other than swimming can be enjoyed in the comfortable and mild winter weather. Rainfall stays at around 3 inches per month during the winter, which isn’t as high as the summer or fall.

Spring brings beautiful clear skies and warmer weather

Once the spring starts to arrive water temperatures start to creep back up to being comfortable for swimming and the weather gets warmer pretty quickly. Average midday highs are around 82-86 degrees during the months of April and May while March is closer to 73. Water temperatures start to become pleasant in the months of April and May at around 72-74 degrees. The frequency of hiking and biking throughout Amelia Island’s numerous trails starts to pick up during the spring, and tourists will also see more people swimming in the ocean.

When you live in Fernandina Beach, you can enjoy the beautiful yearlong weather of Amelia Island and just about every thrilling outdoor activity and water sport that you can imagine in a unique pristine setting. Give us a call at (800)-741-4011 if you have any questions at all about outdoor activities on Amelia Island, the weather on Fernandina Beach or purchasing or renting real estate in the area during any season.

Outdoor Activities Near Fernandina Beach

If you ask anyone to name some of the top things to do on Fernandina Beach, most people will mention going to the beautiful white sand beaches nearby. However, you’ll find plenty of other thrilling outdoor attractions and destinations in the area to visit, such as nearby Fort Clinch State Park, numerous hiking trails, fishing piers, scenic and exciting golf courses, and a whole lot more.

You’ll find just about every outdoor interest near Fernandina Beach such as hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding, stand up paddle boarding, surfing and golfing. After you’ve enjoyed the picturesque outdoors of Amelia Island all day, you can choose from a wide range of manmade attractions in the area such as craft distilleries, several lively bars and clubs, an impressive array of restaurants, unique art galleries, or even viewing some of the historic and unique architectural designs of the local real estate.

outdoor activities fernandina beach

Fort Clinch State Park is a must visit

If you’re a true outdoor enthusiast, you will definitely want to make the short trip to Fort Clinch State Park. This sprawling and beautiful park is located on the northern tip of Amelia Island, very close to Fernandina Beach, and it offers a huge plethora of activities to try out such as wildlife viewing, fishing, shell hunting, swimming, camping, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, birding, surfing, picnicking and more.

Fort Clinch State Park is very family friendly and some of the more popular things to do for families include shell and shark tooth hunting around St. Mary’s Inlet and the pier, hiking, swimming and bike riding. There is also a large group camping facility and 69 campsites located throughout the park for those with RVs. Historic Fort Clinch is also definitely a must see when you’re there, as the fort has an extensive history that dates back to 1736 and only costs a few dollars per person to see.

Try a fishing charter to get out on the open sea

Booking a fishing charter is one of the best ways to get a chance to catch some of the fish that populate the waters around Amelia Island and see the ocean and its wildlife up close. Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island are home to a number of fishing charter companies that offer you an excellent opportunity to get out on the open sea and fish with experts. You don’t need a fishing license to participate, and the prices are quite reasonable. It’s also a great way to learn more about the interesting ecology of the island, as most boat captains will provide you with plenty of interesting facts and information.

Horseback riding tours are exciting and memorable

Be sure to try horseback riding when you’re visiting Amelia Island! There are a few options available to you for this opportunity, one of them is Kelly Seahorse Ranch at Amelia Island State Park on the southern tip of the island, and the other is Happy Trails Walking Horses which is located at Peters Point Beachfront Park on the east side of the island. There’s nothing quite like riding a horse at sunset and watching the ocean waves slowly rolling in, and it’s a unique experience that you’re sure to remember for years to come.

Several options for wildlife viewing

Amelia Island is home to a diverse range of different species of barrier island flora and fauna, and because of this it is one of the best islands in Florida for wildlife viewing. You can book a number of different wildlife tours to explore Amelia Island on boat, kayak, canoe, jet ski, or by hiking. These tours will take you through some of the most scenic areas of the island where you’ll be able to catch glimpses of dolphins, sea turtles, deer, snakes and many different bird species.

Although you can catch many glimpses of bird species throughout the island, Amelia Island State Park on the southern tip of the island is one of the best places for birding. Here you might see piping plovers, black skimmers, pelicans, and sometimes even a bald eagle. Just be sure to obey the signs that protect nesting areas when you are there with your family. It’s well worth the trip from Fernandina Beach, and you’ll also get the chance to enjoy horseback riding and much more there.

Plenty more to do near Fernandina Beach

Of course, these are just a few of the most exciting things to do near Fernandina Beach; if you enjoy outdoor recreation you’ll have an almost endless number of activities, attractions and destinations to choose from. So, don’t just spend your days at the beach when there’s so much more to do! Give us a call today at (800)-741-4011 if you have any questions at all about outdoor fun on Amelia Island or anything related to real estate on the island.

Beach Parking on Amelia Island

There’s no doubt that relaxing at the beach is one of the top things to do on Amelia Island, but it helps to learn a little about the parking situation on the island so that you can avoid any unnecessary headaches before you head out.

Some of Amelia Island’s beaches can be crowded with challenging parking situations depending on the time of year that you visit. Below you can find some more information about the most popular beaches on the island and their available parking so that you can accurately plan for your next beach excursion.

Where to Park for a Day at the Beach

Main Beach Park

Main Beach Park on the east side of the island is one of the most popular beach access points with its great facilities. It offers a small parking lot that is close to the park itself that can quickly fill up during the busy seasons. If you plan on spending the day here, it is best to arrive as early as possible to secure a spot. Parking is free and open to the public.

Peters’ Point Park

Peter’s Point is a great alternative to Main Beach Park when it is packed, and it is located on the east side of the island off highway A1A at 1974 S. Fletcher (A1A). There is a larger parking area here and plenty of facilities including the Amelia Island Trail, lifeguards, restrooms, picnic tables and more.

Seaside Park

Off Highway A1A about halfway between Main Beach Park and Peter’s Point Park you can find Seaside Park, a smaller beach park with parking and a few amenities like picnic tables, restrooms and outdoor showers.

Burney Park

Burney Park is a historic beach park located in the American Beach section of Amelia Island with several amenities and plenty of parking. It is in close proximity to many of the vacation rentals and condo complexes on the south end of Amelia Island.

Parking at Several Beach Access Points

Out of over 40 beach access points on Amelia Island, there are several of them that have parking and ADA accessibility. The access points with parking lots include the following, listed from north to south on the island:

  • North Beach Park Access #12
  • Alabama Access #5
  • New York Access #6
  • Maryland Access #8
  • Jasmine Access #9
  • Askins Access #24
  • Mizell Access #25
  • Allen Access #27
  • North Casino Access #28
  • South Casino Access #29
  • Simmons Access #30
  • Hutchins Access #31
  • Mantanzas Access #34
  • Manatee Access #35
  • Suwanee Access #35S
  • Kissimmee Access #3
  • Alachua Access #37
  • Osceola Access #38
  • Ozello Access #39
  • Pasco Access #40

You can also access beaches from Fort Clinch State Park on the north end of the island or Amelia Island State Park on the south end, but there is a small entrance fee to these parks. They have plenty of parking but there are no lifeguards and limited facilities which may be located a far distance from the beach.

Amelia Island Lighthouse

You may not know that one of the most famous and oldest lighthouses in the United States is located on Amelia Island. Few structures in Florida have as much intriguing heritage as Amelia Island Lighthouse. Visiting the lighthouse is one of the most popular Amelia Island things to do as there are regular tours that provide visitors with an extensive history of the lighthouse as well as the opportunity to photograph it up close.

Amelia Island Lighthouse

Whether you’re planning a vacation to visit this unique landmark and others on Amelia Island, or are looking for homes for sale in the area, ERA Fernandina Beach Realty can answer your questions and help you with your goals.

Amelia Island Lighthouse is the Oldest Standing Lighthouse in Florida

Although St. Augustine is the oldest city in Florida, none of its original lighthouses are still standing, such as the first St. Augustine lighthouse, which ended up falling to the sea. Amelia Island Lighthouse has stood the test of time, partially due to its location further away from the ocean which protected it from the elements, along several renovations through the years and frequent maintenance.

Where is Amelia Island Lighthouse located?

Amelia Island Lighthouse is located on the northern end of the island and marks the entrance to St. Mary’s Entrance, which is the inlet leading to the St. Mary’s River. It sits on a high bluff to the west of Egans Creek, directly north of Atlantic Ave. It is easily accessible when you are in Fernandina Beach or anywhere near the north end of the island, and the best way to see it is during one of the monthly tours.

Booking a Tour of the Amelia Island Lighthouse

It is quite easy to book a tour of Amelia Island Lighthouse; tours are offered twice per month on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday. You can call (904)-310-3350 to book your tour or visit the Atlantic Recreation Center at 2500 Atlantic Avenue to register. The fees are just $5 per adult and $3 per child, and the tours are held throughout the year except on any Wednesdays that fall on a city holiday. The tour bus departs from the Atlantic Recreation Center at 10:00 A.M. with a requirement to be at the center at least 10 minutes ahead of time, and tickets should be purchased at least 24 hours in advance.

Enjoy downtown Fernandina beach nearby

You also have the benefit of being able to visit nearby downtown Fernandina Beach and its large historic district after your trip to Amelia Island Lighthouse. This historic district is one of the largest in the United States and includes several buildings, beautiful beaches, a vibrant arts community, frequent craft fairs and farmers’ markets, a wide range of small boutiques and shops, a lively music scene and many other attractions and events.

You’ll find just about every cuisine in this area along with welcoming and friendly locals who can guide you along your adventure, and it is another excellent opportunity to get acquainted with the local culture and history of Amelia Island.

Finding homes for sale in Fernandina Beach

Amelia Island Lighthouse is just one of the many incredible historic attractions that you will find in Fernandina Beach. While visiting Amelia Island, you may also want to consider browsing some of the homes for sale in the area for a vacation home or second home.

Amelia Island is a popular location for vacation homes because of its gorgeous scenery, relatively low home prices compared to many other popular tourist cities in Florida, and the large number of Amelia Island things to do including golfing, hiking, swimming, biking and other outdoor activities, boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing.

ERA Fernandina Beach Realty can help you find a choice of ideal homes for sale in Fernandina Beach close to all of the incredible attractions in the area including Amelia Island Lighthouse. For more information, call ERA Fernandina Beach today at (800) 741-4011.

Labor Day Weekend Events on Amelia Island

For those looking for more energetic events on the Fernandina Coast this upcoming Labor Day weekend, there are tons of activities awaiting you on Amelia Island. As Labor Day Approaches you’ll find plenty of activity options to ensure a healthy and fun holiday weekend for you and your family.

Enjoy Local Labor Day Events

Yoga and Pilates

There are plenty of exercise classes available for those of you who still want to get a workout in while you’re on vacation, or are simply in need of a relaxing hour to experience some Zen. Available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the sunrise yoga class is taught by a certified Health and Fitness Instructor to help you stretch and relax. These classes are available at different locations, like the Pod Yoga Studio and Go Yoga Amelia Island, and they vary in time depending on the location. You can contact the Pod Yoga Studio at (904)-548-3224 and Go Yoga Amelia Island at (904)-335-0539 for more information on class times.

Seabreeze Segway Tours

For those with experience with Segways, the Seabreeze Segway Tours are a great way for you to experience the island in a fresh, innovative way. In this specific tour, guests are invited to explore the seaside while gliding over sand dunes, and witnessing unique marine life. The tour is available on Labor Day, September 5th, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. It’s important to note that this activity is best suited for adults, as children under the age of 16 are not permitted.

Sounds on Centre

If you’re looking to dance, we’ve found your perfect activity! Sounds on Centre is a regular event that takes place on the first Friday of every month from April to October from 6 to 8 p.m. in Downtown Fernandina Beach at the intersection of Second Street and Centre Street. If you happen to be on Amelia Island on Friday September 2nd, you’ll be able to catch this fun event. Each month a new band is featured bringing a unique style and flare. This evening activity is perfect for the entire family to listen to some great music and enjoy the atmosphere. And to make it even better, the event is entirely free! The event also features fun raffle drawings to enter and see if you’re lucky enough to receive a prize, courtesy of some of the local businesses from the area.

Turtle Trot 5K and Kid’s 1-mile Fun Run

For those who are really interested in burning some energy on their Labor Day, the Amelia Island Runners Club hosts a Turtle Trot 5k and Kid’s Fun Run on September 5th, starting at 7:30 a.m. at Main Beach Park. This event is a great way to get some exercise, while also taking in the beautiful seaside scenery. The route takes place entirely on the shore, so participants have a chance to witness the sand dunes, and the turtle nests along the way. Runners and walkers alike are welcome and encouraged to participate. Guests must register for the event and are encouraged to arrive early as the race starts at 7:30 sharp. Parking is free at Main Beach Park.

So whether you’re extremely active, or just looking to get moving, try one of these great activities awaiting you on beautiful Amelia Island.

How to Increase the Value of a Coastal Home

If you own coastal Fernandina Beach real estate, you’ve probably wondered about the resale value of your home and property at some point and how to increase it. While there are some projects and renovations that certainly come to mind — such as a bathroom makeover with a view of the ocean or a kitchen remodel with a stunning wall of windows — small changes can also make a big difference. Whether you are updating, renovating, or investing there are many ways to add to your property in order to increase the value of a coastal home.

From big to small, here are a few home improvement tips that can increase your home’s value and preserve that coastal living feel of your house as well.

1. Landscaping

Looking for an improvement that offers lots of value for just a small investment? Think about changing the landscaping of your back and/or front yards, including adding new decks and porches, patios, updating or remodeling your pool area if you have one, adding a screened porch, or installing a functional open-air fireplace. You can also start small and opt for simple plant landscaping and bring in native plants, shrubs, and trees, or hire a professional landscaper and go for a whole yard makeover. Whatever you choose to do, it’s a great way to get your home ready to sell on the Fernandina Beach real estate market while adding a big visual investment to your home.

2. Interior Design

Another great way to improve your home’s value is to completely redo the décor of your house. Hiring an interior designer is one way to accomplish this, but you can also do it yourself with fresh paint, new furniture, coastal living décor like seashells or a boat motif throughout the house. Homes for sale on the coast can also benefit from kitchen and bathroom projects like new paint, installing new countertops and backsplashes, new hardware for cabinets, and even updating appliances like stoves, refrigerators, and dishwashers.

3. Central Air-Conditioning

Being able to let in those lovely ocean breezes to your home is great, but having a central air-conditioning system in your house is an excellent way to not only add value to your property but also keep up with the competition in your neighborhood. In very hot and humid climates, having central air-conditioning is almost a must, so if you don’t already have one in your home think about having one installed to edge out the other homes for sale in your area.

4. Exterior Face-lift

Giving the front of your home a fresh new look will add a lot of value in the long run. Whether you’re selling your home and wanting to put it on the market soon or simply looking to add value to your home, installing new weather-resistant siding can add a lot to the look of your house and property. Changing the look of your front porch is an added visual appeal for buyers, and can be as simple as adding new décor or more substantial like installing new steps and sidewalks or adding columns to your porch. These home improvement tips for the outside of your home can make a difference is selling your home and also increasing the value of your home.

Want more information about how to sell your home? We can help!

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What’s Happening on Amelia Island for the 4th of July?

4th of July on Amelia Island

July 4th Events in the Amelia Island Area

The Fourth of July weekend always offers Amelia Island residents and visitors plenty to experience. From jaw dropping fireworks displays to fireworks cruises, July 4th is a time of celebration for everyone in the area. Add warm weather, fun-filled parades, and grilled food, and you have the perfect recipe for a spectacular holiday celebration fit for all ages of people.

Here are just a few of the events you’ll get to choose from on the Fourth of July in and around Amelia Island:

  • The Adult Twilight “Fireworks “BYOB” Cruise

    Spend some alone time together as a couple or with adult members of your family on this two-hour cruise on the Cumberland Sound. Don’t forget your own cups, flatware, corkscrews, and alcohol because BYOB means Bring Your Own Bottle. Listen to Fernandina’s talented local musicians while waiting for the fireworks display to begin. It’s a great way to finish the evening with a bang.

  • Family Friendly “Fireworks 2 Hour” Sunset Cruise

    If you have children with you, enjoy a family-friendly atmosphere on the sunset cruise. It starts at 8:30 pm and gives everyone onboard an abbreviated history of the area. If you’re new in town or just visiting, this is a great way to get acquainted with Amelia Island and the surrounding area.

  • The Red White and Deep Blue Celebration

    Held at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island from 9:15 pm to 12:00 am, this annual celebration serves up delicious barbecue food, drinks, and plenty of entertainment. Enjoy games and live music while waiting for the fireworks show to begin. Get there early so you can get good seats for the nights festivities. This event is family-friendly.

  • Stars and Stripes Freedom Festival

    Hosted by the city of Fernandina Beach, this annual festival is free. It takes place from 10 am to 2 pm and offers live entertainment, food truck cuisine, arts and crafts, and unlimited waterslide rides for $10. Bring the family out to see the special service vehicle display.

  • Sounds on Centre Street

    Located in historic downtown Fernandina Beach, the two-hour celebration takes place from 6 pm to 8 pm on July 1st. The free concert on the 1st will be headlined by Flipturn, an indie rock/alternative band. Make sure to bring beach chairs because you don’t want to miss out on the festivities brought to you and your family.

If you haven’t yet marked your calendars for Amelia Island Fourth of July celebrations, you’ll want to. Missing out on so much excitement is unheard of. Take time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fireworks. You’re creating warm memories of the occasion the moment you step foot out the door to meet up with your family, friends, neighbors or co-workers.

Market Report for Amelia Island Real Estate

The recent real estate market report for Florida shows several interesting new trends. Among these are the increase in new listings, as well as the increase in the median price range for these listings. In April, there were fewer cash closed sales, as well as a tendency towards fewer days towards contract deals. From one year ago, in April 2015, the market had roughly the same number of closings on single-family homes, around 24k.

What are some of the trends reported most recently?

In April, the inventory for townhouse and condo properties was near a six months’ supply, while the number for single-family homes was only at a supply of 4.5 months. The median sales prices for these properties across the state of Florida rose year-over-year again. April marks the 53rd month in a row for this trend. While the median rises, this only indicates the midway point in terms of overall sales; there are properties that sell for much higher, as well as those that sell for much lower than the reported median price.

For March 2016, the national median sales price was around $224k for single-family homes, as reported to the National Association of Realtors. In the previous year, these properties had a median sales price of about 5.8% less than this. The national median is also affected by the region in which the reported numbers originate. California, for example, reported a median sales price of around $483k, while the state of New York reported that the median sales price for that area was only about $230k.

What does this mean for Amelia Island real estate?

An increase in new listings in the Florida market is a good sign, as there are several areas across the state that are in need of more available properties. There is quite the shortage of single-family homes in particular. From last year, the overall number of these specific available properties rose only 3.1%, as compared to approximately 3.7% from the previous year.

Why is it important to keep up with real estate news?

Staying current with the trends in today’s economy and in the real estate market is the best way for anyone to gauge the most opportune time for selling or purchasing an existing property. Maintaining connections with this field can offer an idea of how much inventory is available, as well as whether prices are expected to rise, fall, or remain stagnant. When it comes to financial decisions, the best possible thing to do is make sure to be as fully educated on the subject as possible before coming to a final conclusion.

The future of the market in the Amelia Island area and for Fernandina Beach real estate is still looking good, as mortgage interest rates are staying fairly low and the job outlook for the area remains strong. Keeping up with the market reports as they are published can help decision-making for buying and selling.

How to Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend on Amelia Island

Memorial DayWith the holiday weekend and specially-planned, local Memorial Day events quickly approaching, it is time to prepare for the local tourist population to rise on Amelia Island. But just because there are so many newcomers headed to the area, that doesn’t mean the locals can’t have fun, too! Here are a few ways to enjoy your own Amelia Island Memorial Day:

  • Friday, May 27th at 10:30am: The 12th Annual St. Michael Academy Golf Classic – For those of you who are passionate about the game and would like to spend the start of your Memorial Day events spending time at the Long Point Golf Club, there is a $175 registration fee and a requirement for dressing appropriately to the event. This year’s theme for the Golf Classic is “A Celebration of the Life of Trinity Hoblit.”
  • Friday, Saturday & Sunday, May 27th, 28th, and 29th: Buggies on the Beach – The second annual VW Buggies on the Beach Memorial Day event will be held throughout the weekend and will feature a pre-party at Townies Pizza at 4pm on Friday, a Poker Run/Beach Rally on Saturday at Main Beach Park, and a Car Show and swap meet on Sunday from 9am to 4pm with food trucks, a DJ, 50/50 raffle, kid zone, awards and more!
  • Friday, 6pm-midnight: Ghost Tours – Even if you’ve lived in the area for a long time or own Fernandina beach real estate, there’s a good chance you haven’t heard all the ghost stories about Amelia Island! Join us in the cemetery behind St. Peter’s Episcopal Church for a walking tour of dark streets and even darker tales. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.
  • Friday & Saturday, May 27th & 28th at 5:30pm: Mixology Tours – Learn about the history of four local watering holes and the art and craft of mixed drinks while you sample a few specially prepared cocktails. Tickets are $45 for adults 21+, and registration is closed two hours prior to the start of each tour.
  • Saturday, May 28th at 8am: Amelia Island Walk – Have you had a good chance to really walk through the beautiful settings of the Amelia Island area yet? If not, come along for either 5, 10, or 15 miles of an early morning walk that starts at the Fernandina Harbor Marina and takes you through the historic village, the beach, and more before ending at Amelia Island State Park. Every mile has a moment to stop and appreciate the natural beauty of the area, and proceeds from the $25 registration fee go to the Amelia Tree Conservancy. Registration closes Saturday, May 14th at 11pm for this Amelia Island Memorial Day event.
  • Saturday, 10:30am: Farmer’s Market and Cooking Class – Treat yourself to a cooking class! Join Chef Bill from the Amelia Island Culinary Academy as he takes you through the Fernandina Farmer’s Market, and shows you how to look for locally grown, fresh produce. Back at the academy, Chef Bill will teach you how to prepare delicious dishes with those same local ingredients. Registration for this event is $40 per person.

With these many great Memorial Day events, many of which are located right next to most of the Fernandina Beach real estate and other lodging on the island, along with other local favorites like the beach or Segway tours, local residents and tourists alike can enjoy an amazing Amelia Island Memorial Day!

Yulee Real Estate Near Amelia Island

If you’re looking for the perfect second home or rental property in a scenic beach location, it’s well worth your time to browse the available Amelia Island or Fernandina Beach real estate for sale. The Amelia Island area offers a unique investment opportunity in one of the most beautiful regions of the United States, right off the coast of northeast Florida.

Amelia Island real estate is located in one most popular vacation destinations in Florida. It is known for its upscale resorts, championship golf courses, highly rated restaurants, and plentiful outdoor activities. There’s no better to place to see exotic wildlife, relax on secluded beaches, or enjoy a multitude of fishing, boating and hiking opportunities. Outdoor recreation is the primary draw of Amelia Island, and it’s the perfect vacation destination for lovers of nature, beachgoers, and outdoor sports enthusiasts.

Historic Fernandina is the birthplace of the American shrimping industry and located on the north of Amelia Island. It offers lovely Victorian era architecture and a rich downtown 50-block historic district. When you buy Fernandina Beach real estate you’ll own a share of the rich history that this unique and charming Victorian seaport has to offer, and of course you’ll get to enjoy the many golfing, boating, hiking, fishing, and other outdoor recreational opportunities on Amelia Island.

The Yulee area is just west of Amelia Island and also offers several premier real estate opportunities with exclusive private family oriented neighborhoods. Purchasing Yulee or Amelia Island real estate also offers you the ability to live just 20 minutes from Jacksonville International Airport and 30-40 minutes from Jacksonville anytime you want to venture out.

No matter where you live in the Yulee or Amelia Island area, you’ll find that it’s a perfect combination of secluded beach town life and proximity to city life. You’ll always be close enough to Jacksonville to enjoy its many shopping, art, theatre, nightlife opportunities, while also being able to step outside your home and breath in the fresh, crisp ocean air.

Multiple homes available that offer incredible value.
When browsing the available Amelia Island or Fernandina Beach real estate for sale you’ll find several opportunities to purchase homes in prime locations near the beach or directly on it at excellent prices. The Amelia Island and Yulee area remains a bit of a hidden gem which has helped home prices stay within a reasonable range compared to many of the other beach cities in Florida.

It happens to be an excellent time to purchase property in Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island or Yulee. Whether you’re looking to invest in a rental property or purchase the perfect vacation home, there are dozens of great choices available both on the island and in Yulee. You’ll also be impressed with the square footage and amenities that you’ll get no matter what price range you’re looking at.

Several property types available to suit your preferences.
When searching for your next vacation home or rental property among the available Fernandina Beach, Yulee or Amelia Island real estate you’ll find virtually every option imaginable. You get to choose from incredible beachfront condos, large luxury homes, historic Victorian homes, and homes in comfortable suburban neighborhoods. If you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, you can also consider purchasing a beachfront or riverfront lot in Yulee or on Amelia Island and custom building your home exactly the way that you want it.

So if we’ve piqued your interest about Amelia Island and Yulee, be sure to check out some of the amazing vacation real estate for sale in the area today. Also, feel free to contact us to ask any questions that you may have about this scenic and exclusive region!

50th Annual Shrimp Festival

It’s just around the corner….

Please join us to commemorate “The Year of the Golden Shrimp” as the 50th Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is celebrated on May 3, 4, & 5, 2013. ERA Fernandina Beach Realty is currently offering discounts for last minute reservations for vacation homes and condominiums on Amelia Island. Call 800-741-4011 or see a list of what is available by clicking here.

Held in the heart of historic downtown Fernandina Beach on beautiful Amelia Island, Florida since 1964, the family friendly, free admission Shrimp Festival offers delicious shrimp prepared every way imaginable by 25 food booths all staffed and run exclusively by local Nassau County non-profit groups as fund-raisers. Wear your walking shoes to visit over 300 Fine Artisan & Crafters, 50 Antique Dealers, 25 Kid Fun Zone activities, Live Music on 2 Stages, and lots of Pirates.

Fernandina Beach is the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry in the United States. The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival was first held in 1963 to celebrate the traditional blessing of the shrimp fleet.

Here are some of the Highlights:

A “Miss Shrimp Festival” is crowned each year and the contestants ride in a boat along the parade route, waving to the crowds. The Shrimp Festival Parade kicks off the annual event (usually held the Thursday evening preceding the first weekend of May, but not this year). UPDATE: The 2013 SHRIMP FESTIVAL PARADE will not be Thursday, but Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 11 am, a week before the Shrimp Festival, along the usual parade route of historic Centre Street.

Friday evening during the festival weekend, the riverfront food vendors and Kids’ Fun Zone open at 6 pm, followed by the opening ceremony of the Shrimp Festival at 6:30 pm and the Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant at 7 pm. The grand finale of the festival’s opening night is the “Pirate Invasion” by ship at the riverfront at 9:30 pm, followed by a wonderful fireworks display at 9:45 pm. (The food courts are open Friday evening, along with the KIDS FUN ZONE until around 10:30 pm.)

Folks are attracted to Fernandina’s Shrimp Festival for various reasons. Known as one of the top fine art shows in the southeast, artists and art lovers come to browse the works. Realize this is a great art festival featuring over 300 juried artists and craftsmen. According to the Island Art Association, the Shrimp Festival’s fully juried arts and crafts exhibit “has been consistently recognized as one of the best art events in North America by Sunshine Artist Magazine.”

Others come for the food – naturally shrimp cooked a variety of ways and other festival favorites. The Kid’s Fun Zone is also a magnet for families, along with the festival ambiance of roaming pirates and other child-oriented activities. Plus, there’s the free live music concerts at the riverfront stage. This year’s headliner band is Pablo Cruise, playing Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm on the river, concert is free. Here is the 2013 Shrimp Festival’s stage entertainment schedule.

Here’s how seasoned Shrimp Fest celebrants (many of the Fernandina folk) approach this fun, festive weekend on Amelia Island:

There are three phases of visiting the Shrimp Festival each year to experience everything. Phase one — the Shrimp Festival Parade; phase two — the Friday night fireworks; phase three – the weekend festivities (browsing the wonderful art booths, the Kids zone, enjoying the live entertainment at the riverfront stage, and getting a bite to eat).

The main festival hours are: Friday 6 pm to 10:30 pm — food, riverfront activities, Kid’s Fun Zone, and fireworks. Saturday 9 am to 7 pm — art, crafts, antiques show and everything else (with food booths staying open until 8 pm), and on Sunday 10 am until 5 pm (everything).

Click here to see complete schedule of events

Three Great Things to do in Fernandina Beach, Come Rain or Shine

One of the things that make Fernandina Beach such an outstanding place to live is the year-round sunshine and mild weather. But, even in paradise, it still rains on occasion. The good news is that the many fun and fascinating things to enjoy in this area don’t go away when there are clouds in the sky. Here’s a look at just a few of the activities that residents can enjoy, no matter what the weather is like.

1. Club 14 Fitness offers cutting-edge exercise equipment and classes taught by highly-trained, enthusiastic instructors. Features include state-of-the-art strength training machines, a fully-equipped free weights room, a spacious group fitness facility, and two cardio studios. Services also include child care, a juice bar, a sauna room, and tanning beds. At Club 14 you can get the body you’ve always wanted, while having the time of your life.

2. What would a great place to call home be without plenty of shopping venues? That’s exactly what you’ll find at the Shops of Amelia Island Plantation. Whether you’re in search of apparel, home furnishings, footwear, sports equipment, or specialty items, you’ll have your pick of thousands of products from major manufacturers, as well as one-of-a-kind items found nowhere else on earth.

3. After all that exercising and working out, what could be better than enjoying some world-class pampering? The Spa at Ritz-Carlton can lavish you with wraps, massages, manicures, pedicures, facials, and romantic encounters ideal for couples. You’ll also find a number of other top-quality spas and beauty-related products and services in and around Fernandina Beach.

Of course, the greatest luxury of all is a well-built home that keeps you and your family in comfort and safety every day of the year. That’s why we invite you to browse our extensive selection of choice properties for sale. We look forward to welcoming you as our friends and neighbors here in this beautiful part of the Sunshine State.

Fernandina Beach Has So Much To Offer

Fernandina Beach is a spectacular island getaway on the Atlantic Ocean. Being in the heart of the Low Country provides an abundance of outdoor recreation that can only be found in the Southeast.  You and your family can experience numerous new and exciting activities from kayaking through serene marshes and wetlands, to exploring the local history and quaint downtown, or just strolling on the white sandy beaches.

Fort Clinch State Park is a beautiful place to take the family that has history, activity and great scenery all rolled into one.  Take a tour of the amazing historic civil war fort and then hop on your bike and take a ride on some of the extensive trails throughout the park.  Spend a night at one of the many well maintained camping areas located in the park and wake up in the morning to a beautiful stroll on the beach. Petrified sharks teeth have been known to be in abundance along these lengthy shorelines.

The Amelia Island State Park is also a great option for some pristine natural scenery, relaxation and tranquility.

After the park take a trip down to the Amelia Island Museum of History to find an abundance of information about the area and local artifacts.

If your family prefers equestrian activities then contact the Kelly Seahorse Ranch and take a dream ride down the beach on one of their exquisite horses.

Finish the fun filled day off with a nice stroll in the Amelia Island Historic District which is full of neat, locally owned, boutique shops and restaurants.  This is a beautiful little town that boasts over 400 historic homes, churches and commercial buildings. Fernandina Beach is the home of Florida’s oldest surviving lighthouse, drinking establishment, and hotel.  End the day with a delightful horse drawn carriage ride around the historic district viewing its well preserved Victorian-era architecture.

Fernandina Beach is an exquisite place to visit.  With so much to do and so many sites to see, one vacation to the island is surely not enough.  Please feel free to browse our extensive listing of properties and let us know if any of them interest you as your next home, vacation getaway, or retirement dream.

Breathtaking Scenery Rich in History

Amelia Island consists of 13 miles of sparkling white quartz sand, with hundreds of acres of forest and marshes in between.  Residents have been especially diligent in their efforts to preserve the natural character of the island, saving it from the over-developed look that has spoiled many other parts of the Sunshine State.  For these reasons and more, it has been named one of America’s top 10 islands for the last four years in a row by readers of Conde Nast Traveler, one of the world’s foremost travel and adventure magazines.

A Long, Rich History to Explore and Appreciate

Amelia Island was the home of Native Americans for over 1,000 years before being colonized by the Spanish in the 1600s.  At various points in its history it has also been under French, British, and American jurisdictions.  Its diverse history is reflected in the architecture seen in the downtown area of Fernandina Beach, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.  Take a stroll around town and you’ll see magnificent examples of Victorian and Queen Anne homes, surrounded by ancient moss-draped oak trees.  Visit the Palace Saloon, the oldest continuously operating drinking spot in Florida.  Take a tour of the Amelia Island Lighthouse, remarkably well-preserved despite being built in 1839.  These are just a few examples of the historic and cultural treasures waiting for you in Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island.

The Right Accommodations Make All the Difference

Fernandina Beach is an exquisite place to relax, have fun and explore.  With so much to do and so many sites to see, one vacation to the island is surely not enough.  Please feel free to browse our extensive listing of properties for sale and let us know if any of them interest you as your next home, vacation getaway, or retirement dream.

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