Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Fernandina Beach, FL

  • Published 2022/11/28

If you’re looking for a laid-back kind of vacation, then head out for a getaway at Fernandina Beach.

Start your day with the vibrant sunrise with the breathtaking view of the Atlantic, and end your day marveling at the golden skies as the sunsets.

The city of Fernandina Beach combines the luster of history and paradise that captivates every tourist’s heart.

It boasts miles of sandy beaches that are perfect for walking or sunbathing and gorgeous historic buildings and homes that many tourists love to tour.

Is your next adventure going to be in Florida?

Then you should check out these 15 best things to do in Fernandina Beach, Florida!

Shop and Dine at the Historic Downtown of Fernandina Beach

People walking along Downtown of Fernandina Beach

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A trip to Fernandina Beach won’t be complete without strolling through the historic downtown.

This strip of history and bustling commercial hotspot is an abode for shoppers.

Downtown Fernandina Beach has a stretch of eclectic shops that offers a range of times like souvenirs, unique art pieces, apparel, accessories, antiques, and more!

Sidewalk of downtown of Fernandina Beach

JohnHancockPhoto /

Aside from the array of shopping opportunities, you’ll also find restaurants offering a variety of specialties to fit your palate.

Whether you want to indulge in fresh seafood dishes or delight your taste buds in fine steaks, there are plenty to choose from for every craving!

The historic downtown is also the spot where you can join local festivities showcasing the vibrant culture of this coastal city in Florida.

A saloon along the downtown of Fernandina Beach

Dietmar Rauscher /

Tee Off at Fernandina Beach Golf Club

Hit the links and have a memorable golfing experience on your trip to Fernandina Beach!

Located along Bill Menton Road is a sprawling 27-hole golf course offering a challenge for golfers of all skill levels.

The lush golf course is always in pristine condition, set in a scenic location perfect if you want to enjoy your game and appreciate great views.

Fernandina Beach Golf Club is a great location for a beginner or a seasoned golfer to tee off and enjoy.

Make sure to book your tee time, and don’t forget to stop by their restaurant to get your fill!

Get Lost in Nature at Fort Clinch State Park

A flag at Fort Clinch State Park

Thomas Barrat /

Are you a fan of exploring the beauty of nature and discovering fascinating history?

If so, you should take a trip to Fort Clinch State Park, where nature meets history.

This expansive, beachfront park spans 1,400 acres of natural beauty and historic structures.

Cannons displayed at Fort Clinch State Park

WorldTraveler_1 /

The Fort Clinch State Park served as a military post in three U.S. engagements, and it remains a historical symbol of the veterans’ bravery.

Explore the historic fort that features many rooms, galleries showcasing the fort’s history, and expansive grounds.

Aside from the historic structures, you’ll also enjoy hiking through the trails that lead to scenic woodlands and freshwater ponds, where you can encounter plenty of wildlife like alligators, deer, bird species, and more.

Trees framing a trail at Fort Clinch State Park

William Silver /

This expansive state park also has beach access to enjoy the pristine Atlantic shoreline while picnicking with the family.

If you can’t fit the number of activities you can do at Fort Clinch State Park, you can pitch your tent and stay the night under the starry skies.

Located along Atlantic Avenue, this state park is absolutely the place to go in Fernandina Beach!

Far view of Fort Clinch State Park

Linda Harms /

Learn about Maritime History at the Maritime Museum of Amelia Island

Listen and be fascinated by stories that abound from the seas when you visit the Maritime Museum of Amelia Island.

You can find this hidden gem in South Second Street of Fernandina Beach.

The museum houses a collection of recovered ocean treasures, ship exhibits, photographs, and more.

You can take a guided tour of the museum where you can hear interesting stories from an actual diver and treasure salvers who explored the Florida seas.

The Maritime Museum of Amelia Island is absolutely a gem in the city, so swing by!

Support Local Artists at Amelia Community Theatre

Watch fantastic live performances at Amelia Community Theatre to support the talented artists and dedicated volunteers to bring world-class performances to the community of Fernandina Beach.

This quaint community theater is located in Cedar Beach that housed more than 40 years of artistic performances in the city.

The Amelia Community Center has been an abode for local talents and art enthusiasts alike—it boasts a range of performances from musicals, classics, comedies, dramas, and more!

You’ll surely enjoy the emotional and artistic experience of watching the artists’ performances that offer quality entertainment to locals and visitors alike.

Make sure to check out what show is up every season and get your ticket to support their cause to empower the artistic endeavors of the locals.

Discover the Wonders of Local History at Amelia Island Museum of History

Exterior of Amelia Island Museum of History

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the area’s history, stop by Amelia Island Museum of History.

This quaint museum is located at South Third Street, where you can find exhibits showcasing the history of Nassau Country.

Name sign of Amelia Island Museum of History

Judson McCranie, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The museum is housed inside the old Nassau County jail registered in the National Register of Historic Places.

Step back in time and learn about the lives of early settlers in Nassau County up to its progress in modern times.

The museum also offers special events to engage locals and visitors alike to unpack the wonders of bygone eras.

One of the windows of Amelia Island Museum of History

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pitch Your Tent at Amelia River Campground

If you love looking up the starry skies while enjoying the sounds of nature, then you should spend the night at Amelia River Campground!

This riverside campground on Atlantic Avenue offers a relaxing experience away from the bustling city.

The campsite is tucked beneath the canopies of old oak trees where you can enjoy a night under the stars and close to nature.

Amelia River Campground is a clean, secluded area with all the amenities to keep your camping trip comfortable.

Make sure to pack your outdoor essentials, don’t miss out on a night surrounded by the peaceful atmosphere of nature, and wake up to explore Fort Clinch State Park.

Test Your Skills at Amelia Island Escape Rooms

If you enjoy the rush of excitement while uncovering mysteries, then visit Amelia Island Escape Rooms!

This escape room center in Fernandina Beach is located along South 14th Street.

Immerse in interesting stories that showcase the history of Amelia Island while solving puzzles with your friends and families.

They offer many themed rooms that you can choose from, featuring different stories and different mysteries that you can solve.

Amelia Island Escape Rooms offers quality entertainment that’ll surely delight the young and the young at heart!

See the Historic Amelia Island Lighthouse

Night view of Amelia Island Lighthouse

Henryk Sadura /

Visit the oldest lighthouse in the state, built during the 1830s, located along Hagan Lane.

The Amelia Island Lighthouse has stood the test of time, and it remains standing proud in Fernandina Beach.

Top half of Amelia Island Lighthouse

Bob Pool /

This charming structure served as a beacon to guide seafarers channeling towards the harbor since the 1830s up to this date.

You can take a guided tour and see the interiors of the lighthouse, where you can learn more about the heritage of this historic structure.

Make sure to check out the beauty of this lighthouse and register for a tour to learn about maritime history in Fernandina Beach.

The top part of Amelia Island Lighthouse

Judson McCranie, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Marvel at the Beauty of Historic Homes at Fernandina Plaza Historic State Park

The Fernandina Plaza Historic State Park is the smallest state park in Florida that spans about 0.8 acres.

The plaza’s history dates back from 2,000 years which served as a Native American campsite and a military post of Spanish Florida.

This grassy park offers stunning views of the glistening river and historical exhibits that showcase the area’s heritage.

You can find the park in the oldest neighborhood in Fernandina Beach, where you can marvel at colorful historic homes.

If you enjoy taking a casual stroll while learning about history, you’ll surely appreciate your time at Fernandina Plaza Historic State Park along San Fernando Street.

Hike the Trails of Egan’s Creek Greenway

If you’re looking for a place to escape the bustling city life and get lost in nature, you should take a hike at Egan’s Creek Greenway!

This scenic greenway expands to over 300 acres of a protected area, which serves as a home to various wildlife species.

There’s a series of trails that you can take that’ll lead you through scenic woodlands and marshes.

You’ll get to see the rich flora and fauna of the region while taking a breather from your daily cares.

Egan’s Creek Greenway is a must-visit if you enjoy exploring scenic natural areas, but make sure to wear your proper hiking outfit and be cautious of the local wildlife thriving in the area.

Go Cruising with Amelia River Cruises

Explore the waters of Amelia Island on a memorable cruise with the Amelia River Cruises.

Whether you want to see historic islands, see majestic wildlife, watch the sunset while sailing, or simply enjoy the cool breeze, they have you covered!

Cruising is a must-try if you want to amp up your adventures and embark on historical explorations.

Amelia River Cruises offers a range of tours that are perfect for couples and families.

Find this sightseeing tour agency at North Front Street in Fernandina Beach to plan your trip!

Bask under the Sun at Peters Point Beachfront Park

Boardwalk of Peters Point Beachfront Park

Jillian Cain Photography /

A trip to Fernandina Beach won’t be complete without spending a day under the sun while listening to the waves crashing to the shore.

So make sure to pack your sun protection and head out for a vibrant day at Peters Point Beachfront Park.

This stretch of pristine white sand beach is the best place to spend the day swimming, baking under the sun, playing in the sun, and so much more!

You can try exciting water activities, go horseback riding by the beach, get a glimpse of dolphins and sea turtles, and simply have fun under the sun.

Head out on a drive to Peters Point Road for a fun beach day that the whole family will enjoy!

Pedal Your Ways in the Waters at Amelia River Cycle

Are you looking for a fun way to explore the waters?

If so, you should rent a hydro bike from Amelia River Cycle!

Hydro biking is the ultimate water exploration experience on a real biking trip but in calm the waters of Amelia River.

They offer single-rider and double-rider hydro bikes.

You can also enjoy listening to your favorite tunes on the hydro bike Bluetooth speaker while traversing the waters.

Amelia River Cycle is located by the river in South Front Street—make sure to try this unique cycling experience on your trip to Fernandina Beach!

Book Your Stay at the Historic Amelia Schoolhouse Inn

If you’re looking for a place to rest your weary feet after your travels, you should book your stay at Amelia Schoolhouse Inn.

This boutique hotel was the first school on the island back in the 1880s designed by the architect Robert Sands.

It’s a historic landmark in the island known as the “Schoolhouse No. 1,” it’s now listed in the register of historic places for its significance.

The school closed during the 20th century, but it served many purposes through the years until it was converted to the Amelia Schoolhouse Inn.

A stay in this charming boutique is an experience like no other—you’ll get to enjoy the modern comforts with the luster of history.

Don’t forget to book your stay in this quaint, historic inn located near the bustling downtown along Atlantic Avenue.

Browse Local Arts at the Art Association Island

Get to see beautiful local artworks at the Art Association Island on North 2nd Street.

This art organization was established in 1972 and aims to promote and support Nassau County’s artisans.

Observe and appreciate the works of 50 local artists in various media featured at the Art Gallery.

You can also purchase art pieces in case you find something you like to add to your collections.

Art displays are rearranged continuously so visitors have something new to view every time; you can also catch themed exhibits and art shows here.

Whether you love art as a hobby or you’re an aspiring artist, you can sign up for the Art Association Islands’ programs and classes offered by the Art Education Center.

Enjoy Food and Entertainment at the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

If there’s one thing you’ll surely enjoy at Amelia Island, it’s the abundant catch of fresh shrimp.

No wonder The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival has been a much-awaited local event over the years.

This annual festival was first held in 1964 to celebrate the once-thriving industry of the shrimp fleet.

You can join over 100,00 guests on the last weekend of April for fun attractions, special activities, good food, fine art, and great entertainment.

Enjoy an array of seafood culinary delights at the food festival, dance to tunes with live music performances, take a peek at the arts and crafts show, and find rare objects at the vintage and antique show.

Watch all the fun happen at the Topsy Smith Memorial Beard Contest, Pirates in Train Contest, Adult, Junior, and Little Pirates Contest, and Ice Cream Eating Contest.

You can also catch events like the Festival Parade and Festival Pageant, and visit the Decorated Shrimp Boats lining the shores; little tots will also have loads of fun at the Kids Fun Zone.

Enjoy the family events and attractions at the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival.

Taste a Variety of Spirits at Marlin & Barrel Distillery

Marlin & Barrel Distillery is more than your usual booze store.

Located at South 8th Street, this craft distillery offers locally made high-quality spirits.

Check out their signature Bourbon, Vodka, Rum, Gin, and Cellos to boost your cocktails.

Try their Shoreline Bourbon, and Venture brands like Blueberry-Lemon Vodka, Tangerine Cello, Venture Smoked Pepper Vodka, and their Bearing Bottle In Bond Rum.

Drop by the store on Shop Local Saturday and enjoy a variety of local food items, crafts items, and other local brews you can try.

Taste Captain Jack’s BBQ or Enzo’s Empanadillas, get local products by Access 30, Mouthy Mermaid, and Fire Oaks, or have a sample of B&D Sauce Co.’s Smoked Pepper Vodka and brews from Aardwolf Brewing Company.

Visit Marlin & Barrel Distillery!

Bring the Family to Main Beach Park

If you’re looking for a place to relax with the family, Main Beach Park is one of the public beachfront parks you can find on Amelia Island.

This popular park is on North Fletcher Avenue and offers a host of amenities you can use.

Play beach volleyball at the courts, spend time playing with little ones at the playground, or have a fun picnic at the shelters.

You can also use the skate park and multipurpose court or just enjoy a game of catch in the large grassy areas.

Relax and wade your feet on the beach waters and smell the seaside air; likewise, get immersed in the wonderful ocean view.

Other amenities at Main Beach Park include restroom facilities and outdoor showers.

Savor Mouthwatering Seafood at Salty Pelican Bar & Grill

Sumptuous seafood meals are the best in Fernandina Beach and Salty Pelican Bar & Grill offers nothing less than the freshest plates of seafood.

The open-air restaurant is located on North Front Street overlooking the harbor, so you also have a great view while you enjoy eating.

Al Waldis and T.J. Pelletier are the brains behind this bar and grill business which opened in 2012.

The restaurant also features a fun atmosphere, friendly service, and a wide selection of craft beers.

Sports fans will also enjoy major sporting events carried by the Salty Pelican like NFL Sunday, Basketball, Baseball, Hockey, and more.

Try their signature starters like Crab Dip and Seared Tuna Nachos and their bestselling Shrimp and Corn Chowder.

Munch on flavorful tacos like Beef Tenderloin, plant-based Impossible Burger, and Shrimp.

Order mouthwatering Broiled Oysters and Shrimp servings and add some entrees, sandwiches, sides, and desserts.

Salty Pelican Bar & Grill also offers Sunday Brunch with your choice of bottomless Mimosa or Bloody Mary, and lines of specialty margaritas, handcrafted cocktails, and wine selections.

Final Thoughts

Fernandina Beach combines the charms of history and paradise that capture the hearts of locals and visitors alike.

This coastal city feels like a slice of paradise on earth where you can bask under the sun, listen to the waves, take a trip back in time, immerse in nature, and experience a lot more!

If you’re planning a trip to this charming coastal city soon, make sure to bookmark this list so you won’t miss out on a memorable adventure!

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