AMELIA ISLAND, FL
PLAY AT THE BEACH!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT
Just 30 minutes from Jacksonville, this barrier island’s Atlantic beaches beckon families for walking, fishing, swimming, Boogieboarding, and beachcombing for shells and sharks’ teeth. Head to Amelia Island Museum of History to hear tales of the island’s turbulent past (invaded and traded repeatedly over 300 years, it earned the nickname “Island of Eight Flags”). Blocks from the beach, wander the Fernandina Beach Historic District to find handmade fudge and the Villa Villekula Neighborhood Toy Store (named for the 1988 Pippi Longstocking movie set there).
On the first Saturday of the month, Fort Clinch State Park hosts the “First Weekend Union Garrison,” when this Civil War–era fort is peopled by costumed interpreters playing music, woodworking, blacksmithing, guarding jail cells, and occasionally firing cannons.
EAT & SLEEP
Find a picnic table at Timoti’s Seafood Shak, where kids can play pirate on a wooden ship while parents dig into a basket of local wild-caught shrimp. For a true escape, try the fullservice Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort; rooms start at $269 a night.
GET MORE INFO
There are 13 miles of beaches to explore here.