Sunday, February 26, 2017

Visiting Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island in Florida

View of the boats from Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island in Florida
Fernandina Beach (Harbor View)
Last summer while Nadia was off visiting her Dad; my sister and I decided to go to Fernandina Beach.  Even though I wished Nadia had come with us, I am beginning to realize it is ok for me to have some "me time" too.  Nadia is at the "dreaded" teen years now and does not want to hang with Mom so much like we used too.  I find that I have been grieving those younger years, but I also  understand that this is part of the growing process.   Plus, let's admit it, we can use the break right??  Some days I do fantasize about boarding a train and just riding across the USA to and back alone with a good book.  Yes, I did say I would come back 😇 Any who, that is the joys of parenting and I would not trade it for the world.

Amelia Island historic homes nice

So, let's get started about our visit to Amelia Island.  We stayed at the Hampton Inn Amelia Island Historic Harbor Front; which was located in Fernandina Beach near Jacksonville, Florida.  I am a big Pirate Buff and a Black Sails Fan and I kind of had to laugh to myself as I was looking at the address, because it is located in Nassau County.  (We did stop off at Big Talbot Island on the way home, because I had read that Blackbeard was rumored to have landed on those shores, but more on that later)

Staying on Amelia Island Fernandina beach
Hampton Inn Amelia Island Historic Harbor Front
The Hampton Inn was in a GREAT location.  Very easy walking distance to all the shops, restaurants, museum and riverboat cruise.

walking and shopping on Amelia Island

sightseeing on Amelia Island

walking and sightseeing on amelia Island florida

The view outside our window was actually of a factory, but I thought it kind of looked neat off in the distance, but we also had a view of the Harbor, which is the first picture in this post at the top.

View of the Factory from the Hampton Inn Historic harbor on Amelia Island
The Factory View
Now, also keep in mind that there are train tracks that run along side the Hotel; and yes a train does come by and sound its horn; and yes, it does come by at night as well; but I did not mind it.  It was part of the charm of an old historic Island.

view of train from hotel window at Amelia Island

We stayed in Amelia Island for two nights.  So for the first day, we arrived around 12 p.m. and went straight to Fort Clinch State Park which you can read about here.  We ate our lunch that I had packed at the park and then viewed the fort.  We then drove to our hotel and checked in.  Once we were all settled, my sister and I hit the town on foot.

Harbor during the day at Amelia Island
We first checked out where to catch the Riverboat Cruise.  I had made reservations for us before we arrived and the cruise was for the next morning.  I will write about the Riverboat cruise in an upcoming post too.

We then went shopping.  This was how I was able to bribe my sister to come on this trip with me.  First of all it was the middle of summer (extremely hot, it was 99 degrees when we visited and she hates the heat) and she is not an outdoor lover.  Getting her to the Fort and then getting her to hike a trail with me at Big Talbot needed a clever sales tactic.  So I bribed her with a "historic harbor and shopping district".  She was a good sport and enjoyed shelling and looking for shark teeth at Fort Clinch and I did have fun window shopping and eating at the restaurants.

sightseeing on foot through Amelia Island

The shops were very touristy and quite expensive, but fun to browse around.  That first night we ate at the Salty Pelican.  My sister actually wanted to eat outside!  We had a view of the water and they had fans blowing to try to help with the heat.  The food was pretty good.

My sister got Fried Shrimp and French Fries.

eating fried Shrimp at the Salty Pelican in Amelia Island
Fried Shrimp and Fries
I opted for a Buffalo Chicken Salad.

Eating a Buffalo Chicken Salad at the Salty Pelican on Amelia Island
Buffalo Chicken Salad
After we were done eating we headed back over to our hotel and called it a day.

Amelia Island pirate statue

The next day we ate breakfast at our hotel and then took the Riverboat Tour in the morning.  When we  were done, we walked over to the little museum of history, which is actually located in the Old Nassau County Jail!  The staff was very nice and friendly and offer a walking tour.  I would have liked to have taken that, but my sister did not want to.  This is a fun museum for kids too.  I was just a little disappointed in that I was hoping for more Pirate History, but the museum was still quite interesting.

After we were done, we walked back to the hotel and made sandwiches.  We then got in the car and drove back over to Fort Clinch to look for shark teeth on the beach.

That night we walked over to the Marina Seafood Restaurant and ate.  It is the oldest restaurant on Amelia Island.  They do not have Frozen Drinks, but they do have beer.  I had asked for a Corona and they said they were out, then a few minutes later I saw them bring out some to another table.  That is ok, I did not need to have a beer and service was a little slow, it seemed like maybe they were a bit short staffed, but still friendly and the food tasted pretty good.

The island is pretty small and there is another side that we did not get to visit.  Like Amelia Island State Park.  This is where you would be able to ride the horses along the beach.  My friends, John and Cretia, were able to do this when they visited and they had a lot of fun.  They also have some nice beaches to swim at that we did not go to.

As far as history goes, I think there is more to do in St. Augustine, but I am glad that we did get to check out Amelia Island.

Don't forget to check back for my upcoming posts of Fort Clinch State Park and the Riverboat Tour.  These are must dos when visiting!

Thanks for reading and enjoy your day!