18 Best Things to Do in Amelia Island, FL

Amelia Island, FL
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Presenting the very best of Florida's culture, Amelia Island is one of those places that you might miss out on your trip to the state.

Little do travelers know how incredibly beautiful the place happens to be.

Covered with the best beaches, pretty coastlines, and marshy lands, Amelia Island should be given a chance.

Go horseback riding on the beach during the sunset or enjoy the waters on a kayak—no matter what you do, you are bound to enjoy Amelia Island.

These are the best things to do in Amelia Island, Florida:

Explore Around Fernandina Beach

Fernandina Beach
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Start your trip by visiting Amelia Island's oldest community.

There are many communities here, but Fernandina Beach happens to be among the oldest, and you can see that by looking around.

It plays a huge role in the life of the Greater Jacksonville region.

If you've watched The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, it was filmed in the community of Fernandina Beach.

Nicknamed the "Isle of Eight Flags," the place is filled with history.

The coastline here is among the very best, and you can access some pristine beaches.

The Fort Clinch State Park is also located here.

Take a Walk in the Fernandina Beach Historic District

Victorian Architecture in Fernandina Beach Historic District
Sara Kendall / Shutterstock.com

The Fernandina Beach Historic District extends across almost 50 blocks.

It makes up a big part of Amelia Island and even has its name among the National Register of Historic Places.

The place is filled with history, and it's home to a lot of old buildings with huge historical significance.

In this district, you'll find the Amelia Island Museum of History, the old courthouse, and many restaurants and shops.

If you happen to be in town during May, do not miss out on the Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, which takes place here.

Go Kayaking in the Lovely Waters of Amelia Island

Kayaking in Amelia Island
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Amelia Island is blessed with some of the best waters in Florida.

It'd be a shame not to spend a day enjoying and exploring those waters.

There are a lot of water-related activities that can be pursued here—one of the most recommended is going kayaking.

There are a lot of bodies of water inside the island too, and those often get missed out on.

There is no way you should skip hidden gems like them.

So, you might come across many tour operators who execute these kayaking trips.

Book a trip to explore the inland waters, and have fun!

Visit the Amelia Island Museum of History

Amelia Island Museum of History
Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Amelia Island Museum of History works hard to tell stories about the island.

Located in the historic downtown of Fernandino Beach, the museum even has its name enlisted on the National Register of Historic Places.

Name sign of Amelia Island Museum of History
Judson McCranie, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Are you looking for a way to know about the cultural aspects of Amelia Island?

In the history museum, there are displays that beautifully portray all of the island's past activities.

The building used to be a Nassau County jailhouse.

Back exterior of Amelia Island Museum of History
Judson McCranie, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check Out Fort Clinch State Park

Fort Clinch State Park
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Fort Clinch State Park is one of the top attractions of Amelia Island.

It's located in Fernandina Beach Historic District.

Built on almost 1,000 acres of land, the park attracts a lot of tourists.

If you want to be alone with nature, this place will feel like paradise to you.

As it's located near the beach, you get a pretty view of the ocean.

Also, there are a lot of trails where you can hike.

If you are up for biking around, some paths stretch for six miles providing the best biking experience.

You can also experience some of the best wildlife around here.

Dolphin sightings are a must when you visit the park.

Enjoy the Amelia Island State Recreation Area

If you want to explore marshlands, forests, and a scenic coastline, head over to the Amelia Island State Recreation Area.

It's located in the Fernandino Beach area.

You'll get to see some of the best views of the Atlantic Ocean from here.

The coastline here is majestic, and the recreation area is an excellent place to catch the sunset.

The Talbot Island State Park is located near here.

Go on a Guided Tour to Know More About the Waters in the Region

There are a lot of waters to explore around the island.

Backwater Cat Adventure, a company providing fantastic island tours, is highly rated among both tourists and locals.

They lead several guided tours throughout Amelia Island's different inland bodies of water, allowing you to enjoy a first-class experience.

There are a lot of pretty marshlands that you might miss out on if you are on your own, but if you take a guided tour, there is no chance of that happening!

Try Horseback Riding on the Sandy Beach

Horseback Riding is one of the most fantastic things to do while on vacation in Amelia Island.

Want to experience how the sea breeze feels on your face while you are riding around the beach?

This is a rare experience that you absolutely need to treat yourself to.

The riding generally starts from the Peters Point Beachfront Park and goes along the pristine beaches.

Riding at sunset is especially glorious, so try to get a booking at that time.

Get Amazed by the Beautiful Bosque Bello Cemetery

Bosque Bello Cemetery
Bob Pool / Shutterstock.com

Did you know that Bosque Bello Cemetery goes by another name in Amelia Island?

It's nicknamed the "Beautiful Woods."

So, you can already imagine how gorgeous it is.

Did you know this cemetery is over 300 years old?

It was set up during the Spanish colonization in Amelia Island.

The graves also date back a couple of hundred of years.

Most of them are in ruins now, but the place is still beautiful.

Some of the graves belong to the soldiers that fought during the Spanish-American War.

You can even find some graves from the time of the Vietnam Wars.

Have a Fancy Dinner with Your Date at Salt

Are you here with your spouse?

Want to treat them to a fancy dinner here?

Salt, a restaurant favored by locals and tourists, is perfect for a romantic night out.

Did you know this is one of the AAA 5 diamond restaurants?

There are only three such restaurants in Florida.

The menu is flavorful and is something that will surely impress your date for the night.

Treat Yourself to Some Golf at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort

Enjoy a luxurious stay at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort.

Not only does it have some of the best golf courses in Florida, but it also has some of the most breathtaking views of the ocean.

Did you know you could even find coastal dunes and marshlands inside the hotel property?

It is vast and has some of the best relaxing spots for you to get in the vacation mood.

Play some golf here, and have the best vacation of your life in the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort.

Learn About the History at the Maritime Museum of Amelia

The entire region of Amelia Island is famous for its rich and vast maritime history, and Fernandino Beach plays a special role.

The island was once home to eight nations and has seen each rise and fall.

Over time, the island's maritime history also changed along with these nations.

Everything is portrayed beautifully through the various exhibits and displays.

You can even find some ancient weapons that were used back in the day.

Take a Break at American Beach

American Beach
Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

American Beach in Amelia Island is an important icon for many reasons.

One such reason is that it was founded by an African-American businessman.

Did you know he also happened to be the first man of African-American descent in Florida?

You might have heard of the name Abraham Lincoln Lewis.

He is known to the public for being the great man who founded the Afro-American Life Insurance Company.

American Beach was founded just for its employees, but later, it became something more important.

Experience the Smallest State Park

Built on a land of 0.8 acres, Fernandina Plaza Historic State Park is a topic of interest among tourists.

Most of them check this place out to take some pictures for their social media and let others know how tiny a state park can be.

This is one of the best picnic spots in the Fernandino Beach area.

Pack a picnic basket and enjoy it here.

The area is close to Old Town Fernandina, so you can take a walk after strolling around the park.

Get a Sense of Florida's Fascinating Shrimping History

Lying at the heart of downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida is the Shrimp Museum.

The Amelia Island Museum of History has been managing the Fernandina Beach Marine Welcome Center & Shrimping Museum since 2010.

The museum celebrates the distinction of being known as the birthplace of modern-day shrimping techniques and serves as a tribute to its contribution to the city.

In this museum, you can learn of the invention and evolution of modern shrimping as it has spread throughout Florida.

You can visit the Shrimp Museum free of charge and learn about the families who brought this industry to life and how their descendants keep the culture alive.

Visit Amelia Island Lighthouse

There aren't that many places in Florida that boast the same kind of unique history as the Amelia Island Lighthouse.

One of the state's oldest, the lantern was built in 1838 and still stands today,

This is a historical landmark and an exceptional architectural treasure for those who seek those things.

The Amelia Island Lighthouse has guided boats through the waters since it sent its beam into the sea for the first time.

At that time, Florida wasn't even a state yet!

As time passed and old sailing ships were traded in for new freighters and fishing boats, the beacon kept shining brightly down on Fernandina Harbor to guide seafarers.

Go on a Treasure Hunt at Island Treasures

Marrying the look of old Florida with a mix of antique finds, Island Treasures feels like a unique vacation every time you step through its doors.

If you like browsing the bookshelves for good reads, this charming little antique store will satisfy those needs with its exciting collection of interesting books.

If you are looking for something nautical to show off as a way to commemorate your trip to Amelia Island, you'll also find it at Island Treasures.

You can find an area dedicated to outdoor living and concrete products in the back of the store.

It looks small from the road, but don't be surprised by how lovely it is once you've stepped into this unique ultra-rustic shop with plenty of fresh air.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Enjoy the Pristine Coastline of Little Talbot Island State Park

Little Talbot Island State Park
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If you want to enjoy a less crowded place not known to many, head to Little Talbot Island State Park.

The coastline is among the prettiest ones in this area.

The area is underdeveloped when you compare it to the others, so you'll be able to get a lot of alone time here.

You can go surfing and fishing here, too.

Final Thoughts

Amelia Island is a vacationer's dream.

With its seemingly endless beaches, historic charm, and fun things to do outdoors (even during winter!), the island truly offers a vacation worth taking!

If you have yet to visit this place yourself, start planning your trip by referencing this list of things to do when in Amelia Island, Florida!