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Family Destination: Amelia Island, Florida

How could an Island known as a haven for Pirates and their buried treasure not be an ideal destination for a family vacation?

The up-to-no-good buccaneers are long gone, but the colorful history of this Island in Florida – that has flown under eight flags – remains.  There are 13 miles of pristine beach with all the usual fun activities plus one that’s a rarity; horseback riding (cue romantic music).  The inland marshes and creeks are a treasure trove of egrets, White Ibis, and nesting osprey.   Amelia Island reminded me of vacations past when families slowed down and relaxed together.  When a color tv was the new hot amenity and a “tween lounge” was simply the local Dairy bar.
Be sure to visit Fort Clinch dating back before the civil war. Tell your kids to bring their plastic sabers and storm the battlements! This sprawling 1100-acre 19th-century fort will wear your kids out by 7 pm so you can have that nice glass of wine together.  Or, with a babysitter in place, you can hit the Palace Saloon, the oldest bar in Florida.

Sam’s Tips:

  • The Shell Hunter tour-Family Kayak is a wonderful cell phone, video game-free way to spend the day. It’s an easy paddle to sand bars searching for shark teeth and shells.
  • Florida has the 3rd largest number of different species of birds in the US and Amelia Island is considered the east gateway Florida’s great birding trail.  Birding trail maps can be picked up at Fort Clinch state park.
  • Here are a couple of great websites that show what’s going on and what to do on Amelia Island  and
Have you traveled to Amelia Island?  Share your favorite things to do and places to eat in the comments…

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. You should have taken the walking ghost tour at night. It is age approximate for all ages. Learn the history of this quite Victorian seaport with homes built in the 1800s and hear about the family’s that built the beautiful homes.

  2. Fort Clinch is a favorite of my husband, family and friends. Between the fort-and it’s many events, the fishing, beaches, trails for biking, and hiking. In town there are plenty of thrift , antiques, and plain boutiques to pick from. Plenty of good, inexpensive places to eat like Denucci’s ice cream. Ice cream and other frozen treats- some sugar or dairy free, T-Rays burgers, and the wonderful food and service at OPS pizza kitchen and cafe, or the home cooking and wonderful views at Barbara Jeans. Always enjoyable visiting in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island.

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