Amelia Island is one of the greater Jacksonville area's most beautiful barrier islands, located within the Sea Islands barrier chain, which stretches upward to the state's border with South Carolina. Visitors can explore state park military sites on the "Isle of Eight Flags," nicknamed for its eight ruling countries since the 16th century, or stroll through historic shops, restaurants, and art galleries in Fernandina Beach's lovely Old Town downtown district. Family-friendly beachfront access is offered at Main Beach Park, while area landmarks and natural wonders can be explored via a variety of kayak, charter boat, or airboat tours.
1.Marlin and Barrel Distillery
© Marlin and Barrel Distillery
Marlin and Barrel Distillery is Fernandina Beach's signature craft distillery, opened to the public in 2015 by Wyatt Griesmer. The high-quality microdistillery is known for its small-batch liquors crafted with regionally-produced citrus fruits, including variants emphasizing orange and grapefruit flavors. Signature vodkas in the company's Venture Vodka line include a craft variant prepared with Florida-produced molasses and a smoked pepper variants crafted with B&D Sauce Co. peppers. Rums produced as part of the company's Bearing Rum line include pineapple and vanilla bean espresso variants and Bearing 153, the highest-proof barrel-aged liquor produced in the state of Florida. Guests can tour the company's production facility and sample or purchase liquors at its public taproom, which also sells a wide variety of Marlin and Barrel branded merchandise.
115 S 2nd St a, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-556-3837
2.Fort Clinch State Park
Fort Clinch State Park is anchored around the 19th-century Amelia Island fortress of the same name, which was originally constructed as a seaside fortification in 1847 and named after famed Seminole War general Duncan Lamont Clinch. The Fernandina Beach park, which was originally established in 1938 and sits adjacent to the Cumberland Sound, strives to protect the region's sensitive estuarine tidal marsh, maritime hammock, and sand dune ecosystems. Park visitors can enjoy a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, including opportunities for ocean fishing on the park's half-mile pier. A six-mile hiking trail is also offered, along with ample opportunities for cycling, marine wildlife watching, birding, surfcasting, and shelling. Guests can camp overnight at the nearby Amelia River Campground or attend monthly military reenactments honoring the park's fort history.
2601 Atlantic Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-277-7274
3.Main Beach Park
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Main Beach Park is the premiere beachfront park and beach access area in Fernandina Beach, located along North Fletcher Avenue and offering waterfront access to the city's beautiful ocean shoreline. The park is known as the city's most family-friendly beach spot, offering a children's playground with safe play opportunities for kids of all ages and a large grassy lawn for families to enjoy picnics and pick-up sports games. Lifeguards are staffed on duty at the park between Memorial Day and Labor Day to ensure swimming safety. Two sand volleyball courts and a multipurpose sporting court are also offered, along with outdoor showers, picnic shelters, and a full skate park facility. Guests can explore the beach's marine welcome center for regional ecosystem and activity information or stroll along the waterfront on the park's beautiful wooden boardwalk. Ample public parking is available, with overflow beachfront facilities offered nearby at Peter's Point Park.
32 N Fletcher Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-310-3350
4.The Amelia Island Museum of History
© The Amelia Island Museum of History
The Amelia Island Museum of History is the premiere cultural and historical museum of Amelia Island, housed within the city's historic Nassau County Jail building, constructed in 1878 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum, which is located within Fernandina Beach's core downtown district, showcases a variety of museum exhibits detailing the human history of the "Isle of Eight Flags" from indigenous times through the modern day. Visitors can peruse exhibits such as a recreated Timucuan indigenous village from the pre-Columbian era, which is showcased alongside displays about the region's Spanish Mission and railroading periods. A recreated jail cell exhibit is also presented, along with the interactive children's ship The Margery, which offers maritime skill play experiences for young visitors.
233 S 3rd St, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-261-7378
5.The Fernandina Beach Pinball Museum
© The Fernandina Beach Pinball Museum
The Fernandina Beach Pinball Museum showcases the history and technology of the arcade game industry from the creation of the first pinball machines in the 1930s through inventive 21st-century games. The museum showcases more than two dozen preserved pinball games dating back to the 1950s, which are available for ticketed game play by visitors of all ages during the evenings Wednesdays through Saturdays. Guests can play individual games for coin-operated game prices or purchase the museum's full daily admission passes, allowing unlimited play throughout operating hours. Try-it passes are also offered, giving visitors unlimited play time for an hour for a reduced rates. Special ticket rates are offered for young players under the age of 12, making the museum a perfect stop for family fun.
2106 Sadler Rd, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-435-8424
6.The Maritime Museum of Amelia Island
© The Maritime Museum of Amelia Island
The Maritime Museum of Amelia Island is Fernandina Beach's premiere maritime history museum, showcasing the rich historic maritime culture and industries of the Amelia Island region. The museum, which is housed within a converted ice house building in the city's downtown district, offers a variety of exhibits on the region's maritime culture underneath each of its eight national flags dating back to the 16th century. Visitors can view artifacts on display from the region's Spanish, Soviet, and United States rule eras, including Navy uniforms, Cold War diving suits, and buried pirate treasure. A substantial collection of maritime weaponry is also showcased, along with recovered shipwreck artifacts found within the region's surrounding waters. Guided tours are available for visitors of all ages, recounting tales of the region's maritime workers throughout the years in conjunction with exhibit information.
115 S 2nd St, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-548-7504
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7.Blue Door Artists
© Blue Door Artists
Blue Door Artists showcases eight art studios used by Fernandina Beach area artists, which are open to the public for observation Mondays through Saturdays during the morning and afternoon hours. The collaboration-focused studios showcase the work of artists working in a wide variety of media, including watercolor and oil painting, sculpture, jewelry, photography, and mixed media artists. Visitors can meet and greet with the studio's artists as they work on current projects and hear stories about the inspiration behind pieces' creation. Fine contemporary art and crafts are available for purchase at the studio's store, including handcrafted home items and artisan pieces. Gallery visitors of all ages and ability levels can also participate in artist-run workshops or attend Second Saturday events, which showcase works by featured artists as part of public receptions.
205 Centre St, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-491-7733
8.Egan's Creek Park
Egan's Creek Park protects 300 acres of lovely natural terrain in Fernandina Beach along Amelia Island's Egan's Creek, which were originally developed as a greenway and passive recreation site in 2000. The labyrinth-like park and trail system are open to island walkers, joggers, and cyclists throughout daylight hours, offering chances to observe a plethora of regional wildlife, including snakes, bobcats, alligators and a variety of native bird species. Interpretive displays along the park's trail system showcase information on the region's wildlife and ecosystems, with benches offered along the way for visitor relaxation. Young visitors can play at the children's Explorer's Dome playground, while water sports enthusiasts can make use of the park's kayak launch. Other amenities offered include a day-use picnic pavilion area and a quarter-mile fitness trail with outdoor fitness stations.
2201 Atlantic Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-310-3363
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9.Fernandina Beach Marketplace
© Brian Yarvin/stock.adobe.com
Fernandina Beach Marketplace is Fernandina Beach's premiere weekly farmer's market, open to the public each Saturday morning year-round in all weather conditions. The market, which is hosted within the city's downtown district on North 7th Street, showcases booths from area farmers, producers, and bakers, selling a wide variety of seasonal food items and pantry goods to community customers. Regional food trucks and carts are also showcased, along with live music performances and appearances by area celebrities and media personalities. Visitors can bring well-behaved pets to the market or talk to representatives from the Nassau Humane Society about humane pet adoption. Every other Saturday, the Fernandina Beach Arts Market is held in conjunction with the event, showcasing the works of splendid area artists and crafters.
N 7th St, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
10.George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park
George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park is named in honor of Florida State Representative George Crady, known as a major advocate for the state's park system throughout his political career. The lovely park, which is accessible from Fernandina Beach via State Route A1A at the border of Duval and Nassau Counties, is open to the public daily between dawn and dusk, offering a mile-long pedestrian fishing bridge accessible to visitors of all mobility levels. Visitors can stretch out and observe the beautiful Nassau Sound landscape, enjoying some of the state's best fishing conditions for catching whiting, jack, drum, and tarpon. The pier is best known as the site of the world record for flounder catches, set in 1983 and measuring over 20 pounds in weight. Bicycle rentals are offered nearby at Kelly Seahorse Ranch, offering opportunities for beautiful waterfront cycling along the pier and surrounding areas.
9000 Heckscher Dr, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-251-2323
11.Fernandina Plaza Historic State Park
Fernandina Plaza Historic State Park is the smallest state park in Florida, stretching for 0.8 acres along Amelia Island's northern end atop a bluff offering panoramic views of the Amelia River. The park is located on the plaza grounds of the former Fort San Carlos, constructed in 1816 and mostly preserved today within nearby Fort Clinch State Park. Visitors can learn about the development and history of the plaza through interpretive panels on the park's grounds, which explore the plaza's cultural use over the years. Unparalleled views of nearby Old Town Fernandina are offered from the park's grassy lawn area, which makes a great spot for picnics and recreation. Private special events can be held at the park with permits, including community gatherings, weddings, and business and school events.
715 San Fernando St, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
12.Amelia Island Lighthouse
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Amelia Island Lighthouse is the oldest preserved lighthouse in the state of Florida, located at the St. Mary's Entrance of Amelia Island along the beautiful Cumberland Sound and St. Mary's River waterfronts. The historic lighthouse was originally constructed in 1838 from recovered remains of the nearby Little Cumberland Island Light, which had been constructed nearly two decades earlier on Cumberland Island. Throughout its operational history, the lighthouse was expanded to its current size of 64 feet. Today, it is overseen by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, operating an automated third-order Barbier Bernard Fresnel lens and 15-inch reflector light. Lighthouse visitors can tour the historic facility each first and third Wednesday morning of the month with advance reservations.
215 O, Hagan Ln, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
13.Amelia Island Kayak Excursions
© Mat Hayward/stock.adobe.com
Amelia Island Kayak Excursions is one of Fernandina Beach's top-rated kayaking rental and tour companies, striving to offer family-friendly and memorable kayaking experiences for tour participants of all ages and ability levels. The company specializes in two, three, and five-hour guided tours of the waters surrounding Amelia Island, as well as combination kayaking trips and overnight excursions to nearby mainland and island tourist destinations. All tour participants can rest assured that the company's kayaks and paddles are maintained to the highest quality possible safety standards. Class III personal flotation devices are available for all kayakers. Partial-day, full-day, and multi-day kayak rentals are also offered, along with a variety of private group boating experiences traveling to nearby sights such as St. Mary's, Fort Jekyll and George Islands, and the Cumberland Island National Seashore.
14.Fish Amelia Island
Fish Amelia Island offers high-quality chartered fishing tour experiences aboard the 22-foot Fin Finder center console boat, owned and operated by Jacksonville native Danny Flynn, best known as the 2010 Pro Redfish Tour winner. The company offers year-round fishing trips for anglers of all ages and ability levels, ranging from family excursions to professional competitors. Charter guests can enjoy opportunities to catch summer fish species such as coba, tarpon, bull redfish, and trout, along with autumn and winter species such as jacks, mangrove snappers, and sharks. Marine life watching opportunities are also offered aboard excursions, including chances to spot and photograph area populations of dolphins and shorebirds.
2103 Egret Ln, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-583-3131
15.Amelia River Cruises and Charters
© Amelia River Cruises and Charters
Amelia River Cruises and Charters has been operated out of Fernandina Beach since 2000 by married duo Kevin and Cecilia McCarthy, offering a plethora of boating tours and excursions along the gorgeous waterways surrounding Cumberland and Amelia Islands. Tours explore regional landmarks by water, including beautiful Fort Clinch State Park, the historic Old Town district of Fernandina Beach, and the famed wild horses of Cumberland Island. Participants can explore the salt marsh habitats of Cumberland Island as part of afternoon-long Beach Creek Tours, which also showcase the remains of the historic Dungeness Mansion. Other tour options include an Adult Twilight BYOB cruise, a Shrimping Eco Tour, and family-friendly Sunset Tours. Up to 80 passengers can come aboard ADA-accessible private boating charters, which offer food and beverages aboard all trips.
1 N Front St Suite #3, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-261-9972
16.Amelia Island Downtown Tasting Tours
© Amelia Island Downtown Tasting Tours
Amelia Island Downtown Tasting Tours are the best way to explore the culinary scene of downtown Fernandina Beach and the greater Amelia Island district, featuring meet-and-greet chef experiences, food and beverage tasting opportunities, and walking tours past the island's historic landmarks. Each tour experience shakes up locations and tasting offerings to ensure a brand-new experience for repeat tour guests and a complete overview of the region's culinary offerings. Tour packages include two-hour downtown cocktail tours, which sample the island's best spirits and cocktails, or Booze and Bites Tours which offer meet-and-greets with top area chefs and mixologists. Wedding and birthday party groups can book private tour options, with add-on packages to make special days even more memorable.
17.Florida Adventure Sports
Florida Adventure Sports is one of Amelia Island's best ways to explore Amelia Island by air, offering 20-, 40-, and 60-minute excursions for tour participants of all ages led by licensed pilots. All excursions take place aboard the company's Airborne XT-912 aircraft line, which are noted for their high safety standards and smooth flights. More than 5,000 flight hours have been logged since the company's founding, traveling over top attractions within the Nassau Sound and Jacksonville regions. Tour participants receive a bird's-eye view of the region's gorgeous natural scenery, including its preserved salt marsh and coastal maritime ecosystems. Guests can choose from morning or twilight flight options, which are offered alongside motorized hang-gliding expeditions and lessons.
3990 Centurion Way #5202, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-430-3800
18.Espana Restaurant and Tapas
© Espana Restaurant and Tapas
Espana Restaurant and Tapas is a charming Spanish and Portuguese-style restaurant in Fernandina Beach's historic downtown district, offering indoor and outdoor seating in intimate dining room and outdoor garden seating spaces. The restaurant showcases the traditional flavors of the Iberian peninsula, including high-quality paellas prepared with authentic recipes and imported ingredients. A full menu of Spanish-style tapas is served up throughout the day, including picadinho pork tenderloin, patatas bravas, chorizo encebollado, and drunken clams tossed in white wine sauce. Land and sea entrees range from Alentejo-style pork and clams and pollo con limon y ajo to Lisbon-style grouper, scallops with salsa verde, and Spanish-style shellfish casserole. Homemade Iberian-style desserts are complemented by a full menu of fine wines and house-prepared sangrias.
22 S. 4th Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-261-7700
19.T-Rays Burger Station
© T-Rays Burger Station
T-Rays Burger Station has been named as one of USA Today's 50 Best Burger Joints in America, originally opened in 1988 within an Exxon gas station in Fernandina Beach's downtown district. The restaurant retains its historic character today, with no formal outdoor sign or advertising beyond word-of-mouth reputation. Excellent diner-style fare is served up at breakfast and lunch daily, including mouthwatering omelettes, homestyle biscuits and gravy, and full breakfast platters with eggs, sausage, pancakes, or hashbrowns. At lunch, diners can enjoy the restaurant's signature Little T and Big T burgers or choose from a selection of classic American sandwich favorites, ranging from Cajun fish sandwiches and traditional BLTs to vegetarian options like grilled portobello mushroom sandwiches. Crab cake dinners are also served up, along with fresh-caught fried shrimp and fish platters.
202 S 8th St, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-261-6310
20.Four Seasons Bistro
© Four Seasons Bistro
Four Seasons Bistro was originally opened in 2012 by married duo Stephanie Christopher and Michael Walden, serving up hearty, casual Americana and Mediterranean-style entrees in a laid-back dining environment. The restaurant is themed to reflect the seasonal bounty of the Florida region, offering quarterly-rotating menus and seasonal ambiance. Diners can enjoy hearty pastas and land and sea entrees at dinner seven nights a week, including options such as shrimp and grits, gyro platters, Italian-style fettuccine alfredo, and the restaurant's signature meat lasagna. At brunch, seafood frittatas and bistro French toast platters take center stage, along with cauliflower or pita crust pizzas and health-conscious wrap sandwiches.
474305 E State Road 200, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-310-6821
21.Bosque Bello Cemetery
© Lucian Milasan/stock.adobe.com
Bosque Bello Cemetery, commonly referred to as Beautiful Woods, is Fernandina Beach's oldest historic cemetery, believed to have been originally established by the island's Spanish colonizers in the late 18th century. The cemetery, which is located within the city's Old Town district, has lost most of its earliest gravestones to erosion and theft over the years, but preserves historic gravestones dating back as far as 1813. Notable area citizens buried at the cemetery include Alice Youngblood, Dr. Elisha Graham Johnson, Nathaniel Borden, Salvatore Versaggi, and Mike Salvador. Several sections also inter regional soldiers who fought in the Vietnam and Spanish-American Wars and area convent members from the Sisters of St. Joseph. Guided tours of the cemetery are offered each Saturday morning between October and May with advance reservations.
1320 N 14th St, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, Phone: 904-310-3356
21 Best Things to Do in Fernandina Beach, Florida
- Marlin and Barrel Distillery, Photo: Marlin and Barrel Distillery
- Fort Clinch State Park, Photo: steveottie/stock.adobe.com
- Main Beach Park, Photo: Sved Oliver/stock.adobe.com
- The Amelia Island Museum of History, Photo: The Amelia Island Museum of History
- The Fernandina Beach Pinball Museum, Photo: The Fernandina Beach Pinball Museum
- The Maritime Museum of Amelia Island, Photo: The Maritime Museum of Amelia Island
- Blue Door Artists, Photo: Blue Door Artists
- Egan's Creek Park, Photo: Pamela/stock.adobe.com
- Fernandina Beach Marketplace, Photo: Brian Yarvin/stock.adobe.com
- George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Photo: gadzius/stock.adobe.com
- Fernandina Plaza Historic State Park, Photo: danflcreativo/stock.adobe.com
- Amelia Island Lighthouse, Photo: Christopher Boswell/stock.adobe.com
- Amelia Island Kayak Excursions, Photo: Mat Hayward/stock.adobe.com
- Fish Amelia Island, Photo: John/stock.adobe.com
- Amelia River Cruises and Charters, Photo: Amelia River Cruises and Charters
- Amelia Island Downtown Tasting Tours, Photo: Amelia Island Downtown Tasting Tours
- Florida Adventure Sports, Photo: smuki/stock.adobe.com
- Espana Restaurant and Tapas, Photo: Espana Restaurant and Tapas
- T-Rays Burger Station, Photo: T-Rays Burger Station
- Four Seasons Bistro, Photo: Four Seasons Bistro
- Bosque Bello Cemetery, Photo: Lucian Milasan/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: jovannig/stock.adobe.com