Our little island is not only a fabulous place to grow up but also an ideal travel destination for a romantic weekend getaway, family vacation, or bachelorette party! Since I started this blog I’ve received
dozens hundreds of requests for travel tips, restaurant recs, and even a list of reliable babysitters, ha! While there are definitely plenty of amazing resources floating around the web, I thought I’d share my own list of local favorites. I’ve been fortunate enough to call this place home since June 18, 1994 so I’ll have you know – pairing down this list was no easy task. In fact, it’s taken me YEARS to get this content out of my draft folder and available to readers. So without further ado, here’s my list of reasons I love where I live and a ton of suggestions for your next visit. 😉
Twisted Sister – The sweetest Southern gift shop I ever did see. This is my go-to for gifts and cutesy accessories!
Lemon Grass – The cutest beachy/boho clothing boutique. Don’t skip this one!
8 Flags Antique Market – If you love antiques, you’ll love Amelia Island! We have quite a few amazing antique joints to meander but 8 flags is my favorite!
The Pearl – My source for all things Lilly Pulitzer!
Coming soon – Lord & Lady! The go-to for all things home and hospitality!
The Plantation Shop – You’ll find a fantastic selection of french antiques and charming home accessories.
Queen Bee – This charming clothing boutique can be found in Highlands NC, St. Simon’s GA, and now Amelia Island, FL! Love the new addition to the Omni’s Spa & Shops boardwalk. I wander over to this darling boutique way too often after work.
JJ. Cooper – Another new arrival and a great addition to the centre street shopping scene. A one-stop spot for the Southern gentleman. Love their selection of unique gifts and men’s apparel.
EAT + DRINK:
For a 13 by 4 mile island, you wouldn’t think we’d have a lot to offer in the food department but I think you’ll find the opposite to be true.
29 South – Farm to table goodness with a whole bunch of southern charm! Definitely a must when you’re visiting the island.
Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen – Definitely my favorite BBQ in town! Gilbert’s offers an amazing selection of classic southern cuisine and a cozy dining experience. If you’re a pimento cheese fan, you’re in for a treat!
The Picnic Basket – The perfect casual cafe in the heart of downtown. Love their selection of grab-and-go goodies (great for a family picnic or romantic date night!). Lunch, wine, cheese, and… FRESH JUICE. So glad to have a fresh juice joint nearby!
Cafe Karibo & Karibrew – Shrimp & Grits. Outdoor dining. Crab dip. Definitely worth stopping in!
The Patio Place – Our go-to date night destination for a yummy cheese board, a glass of rosé (or an organic craft beer for the Mr.) and sweet crepes for dessert. The food is fab but it’s the ambience that keeps us coming back. Dining al fresco with live music (and if the weather permits, a fire!) is hard to beat.
The Salty Pelican – If you’re looking for a gorgeous view of the water, this is your place. This is also my favorite spot for raw oysters, in case you’re on the hunt!
Timoti’s Seafood Shack – The cutest fresh seafood shack in all the land. You’ll love their outdoor seating, delicious menu, and pirate ship playground for the kiddos. As seen in Coastal Living!!!!
Burlingame – I’ve only dined here once (it’s relatively new to the island) but I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. Casual fine dining with a fabulous menu. Definitely worth making a reservation!
Espana – If it’s tasty Spanish fare you desire, look no further. Comfy outdoor seating, a huge selection of tapas, and the best sangria in town (have the mix your red + white, it’s delish!) It’s numero uno on trip advisor for a reason!
Le Clos – My favorite restaurant in town. Upscale French inspired cuisine served up in a charming old house. You’ll feel right at home. It’s a gem! Totally recommend for a romantic date night.
T-Rays Burger Station -Located in an old gas Station at Beech and 8th, T-Rays is a local favorite for a number of reasons. I’ve been eating here forever and haven’t had a bad meal yet! Stop in and pull up a chair, you won’t be disappointed. A visit to Fernandina won’t be complete without a pit stop at T-Rays.
Bright Mornings – We adore stopping into Bright Mornings for breakfast on the weekends. Good food, great service, and a charming atmosphere. Sit outside and enjoy the sunshine!
WHAT TO DO:
In addition to strolling downtown, biking the island, and hitting up the beach… there’s plenty to do around town!
Fort Clinch – Camping, fishing, history, and trails. There’s a little something for everyone at Fort Clinch and I highly recommend you take advantage of all of it. If you drive through around sunset, you’re bound to catch a glimpse of the many deer who call the property home.
Amelia River Cruise – Probably my favorite island activity. We always have a great time on the river cruise with Pajama Dave. The adult twilight cruise is our go-to but the other tours are fun (a little more information-filled) too!
Farmer’s Market – Spend your Saturday morning perusing booths set up by local farmers, businesses and artisans. There’s a little something for everybody!
Kayak – If you’re a kayaker, we’ve got you covered. There are several kayak rental/guided tour businesses around the island ready to show you a good time! Pro-tip: many promote business on Groupon so be sure to check for a deal before you buy!
Horseback Riding – I’ve yet to be invited to ride horseback down the beach but I’ve heard so wonderful things. And it always looks like the riders are having the time of their lives. So if you’re in town and you do decide to partake in this fun-filled activity, be sure to send me an invite. K, thanks. 😉
Cumberland Island – One of the coolest places you’ll ever visit. Camp, boat over for the day, or stay at the charming Greyfield Inn, just make sure you take in this historic beauty while you’re in town! There’s really no place like it.
WHERE TO STAY: