Are you looking for a FitFabDelish getaway? Whether you are in Florida, a road trip away, or a flight away Amelia Island is a great place to visit. A quaint downtown filled with shops, restaurants, and bars will keep you busy and enjoying life whether you go it alone, with your significant other, or your family. Below you’ll find some of my favorite spots to stay, play, shop and eat! Don’t forget to get your feet sandy and check out the beautiful beach too!
S T A Y
The Florida House Inn is located right in the center of all of the Fernandina Fun! It is in the historic district among all of the restaurants and shops. The building was originally built as a boarding house but used for Union soldiers during the Civil War. There is so much history within the walls – hardships and celebrations. The guest rooms are beautiful and each one is unique. I just had close friends get married in the courtyard and it was the perfect summer wedding. If you don’t plan on staying here, stop in for a cocktail or bite to eat!
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island offers a resort style retreat. As far as luxury hotels go, Ritz-Carlton’s are my favorite…not that I can afford them, but I used to work at one of the other resort properties and it truthfully still feels like a home away from home. The hospitality and “mystique” are something that everyone should experience at some point. This property has it all. The scenery is beautiful, but the ambiance that is created in every guest room and other public and private spaces will bring your beautiful moments alive. This is a great place for the family because there are activities for everyone. The guest relations team will plan your stay from your arrival to your departure. If your more of a “fly by the seat of your pants” type of guy or gal, then you can do that too!
The Omni Plantation
Although I’m a Ritz sort of girl, the Omni Plantation is another resort that I would be more than happy to stay at. I have to list it as one of my fabulous choices, because it is! They rennovated a couple of years ago and the property is gorgeous!!! Lounging at the pool with your besties and enjoying a tropical drink (whether you have alcohol in it or not) has never felt so good. There is always something for everyone and companies love to have their conferences here too. This resort also features The Shops of Amelia Island Plantation. Here you can wine, dine, shop, and enjoy the fabulous spa. The spa is definitely an oasis where they use the best products and feature a meditation garden. This could make for a great couples retreat or girls getaway!
P L A Y
Dogstar Tavern is a great place
to go if you’re looking for a cold
beverage, live music, friendly faces,
and good conversation.
There are 16 rotating taps to serve you a great craft beer selection. Tune in and dance to live music 5 nights a week from various genre’s. Plus there’s a back patio to chill on with your friends and the new ones you make. The name says it all – your furry friends are welcome too!
Amelia River Cruises & Charters is another great way to enjoy Island life! Get to know Captain Kevin and enjoy his narration of the history and nature of the island and it’s surroundings. There are several tours to choose from, but Cumberland Island is the most popular and a great one to start off with. You’ll get to see some great wildlife along the way too! Cumberland Island is known for its wild horses! Reservations are recommended.
E V E N T S
Amelia Island is known for some of its annual events. My two faves are below!
The Shrimp Festival is a historic event and festival that makes for a great Island visit. You can feel the camaraderie of Island inhabitants as they close down the streets and offer food, music, crafts, and fun!
The Concours D’Elegance is an automotive charity event held annually in mid March at the Ritz-Carlton. The name in French means “a competition of elegance,” which you’ll find to be exact when roaming the grounds full of rare and beautiful automobiles. I compare it to a dog show or a beauty pageant!
Click below for details!
S H O P
There are plenty of great places to shop around at on the Island. These are just a few of my favorites. Otherwise, you can find great knick-knacks, antiques, art, and other items very close by! Hold on tight to your purse because you’ll find several things to fill up your shopping bag.
Laid Back. Luxury. Lifestyle.
The tag line says it all! This is a chic boutique full of women’s style. This is a great place to shop for something that is going to make you feel great. Alice & Trixie, Johnny Was, and Calypso are just a few of their fabulous brands. They also carry Aquiesse travel tins and 11oz tins which are the best candles EVER! The last time I was visiting a customer found a chic white dress for her beach wedding the next day! Make sure to stop by and find a gift for yourself or for your favorite gal!
Not only is this a great place to get surf gear, apparel, and accessories. They also have rad camps, SUP tours, lessons, rentals and anything else you’d expect from pro’s like these. They have all of the brands you know, plus smiles when you walk in the door. The staff is super knowledgeable and passionate about this unique lifestyle. Definitely stop by on your Island trip to get the real experience.
Who doesn’t need a good book for the beach? Well, maybe if you visited Pipeline, you’re more about the waves then relaxing in the Vitamin D. Books plus is a great shop that carries gifts as well as reads from local authors and national best sellers. They also have a huge display of cards for the birthday, anniversary, or friendship you’re celebrating during your visit. For some reason wherever I go on vacation, I find myself at a local bookstore and they always delight.
E A T
Below are only a few of my favorite options for dine in deliciousness. There are plenty of other places to grab a quick bite, fancy meal, or satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s hard to find anything but a great atmosphere wherever you stop on the Island, so let’s have your taste buds do the talking and pick one of these joints out.
29 South – The description as a chic, neighborhood bistro doesn’t give this place justice. This has been my favorite restaurant on the island since trying it out a couple of years ago. Chef Scott Schwartz uses a farm to table approach and brings you creative and inspiring dining delights. He lights up your plate and your palette with beauty and intrigue. The restaurant is a house that was built in the 1920’s and it feels as though you are truly their guest. Reservations are recommended!
Cafe Karibo – Whether you are dining indoors, at the bar, or on the patio you’ll love the look and feel of this place..especially if you order their yummy Sangria! There is also a private banquet hall if you have a large party and want some privacy. This is one of those places where there is something for everyone.Perfect for date night, girls night out, or an afternoon lunch these familiar yet gourmet dishes will put a smile on your face.
Chances are if you’re on a get away to Amelia, you don’t live too close to the beach, so you’ll want to spend most of your waking minutes near one on vacation. Sliders is a great way to feel the sand beneath your toes and feel the ocean breeze all while enjoying a good meal and good music. There is a tiki bar for you grownups and a playground to keep the kids active and happy. This is a great place to relax and unwind and remember that it’s 5 o’ clock somewhere.
Looking for a great breakfast to get your day started after all that Fernandina fun? THIS is it. Just pretend mom’s behind the counter serving it up just the way you like it! Whether you had too much fun the night before or not, this breakfast will cure any headache you might have woken up with. One thing to remember that might be a little upsetting…they aren’t open on Sunday. However, If you’re looking for a clue that this is a good place to stop, check out all of the motorcycles in the parking lot. I’ve heard the burgers are some of the best too, so my next experience will be a well served lunch!