Outdoor markets, warmly lit downtowns, cozy restaurants, cheerful locals... there is something special about American…
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.
- 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. www.kayakamelia.com
- 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 ameliaislandliving.com and http://www.ameliaisland.com/