Usher In The Holiday Season On Amelia Island! Our Wynton Marsalis Concert Package Offers 10% Off - PLUS Discounted Tickets!

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In 2023, our team at Destination Amelia Vacation Rentals launched our inaugural Amelia Island Photo Contest in celebration of our amazing guests and the joyous experiences they were having while staying with us on Amelia Island. The contest invited our guests to share the beauty of their recent Amelia Island vacation through their best trip photos. After sorting through many excellent entries, our team is now thrilled to announce the winners!

1) Beach Scenes Category

The first photo contest category was Beach Scenes: snapshots of Amelia Island’s pristine beaches. We loved receiving entries showing guests swimming in the waves, searching for shark teeth and seashells, posing underneath cotton candy skies for family photos, and walking their dog at sunrise by the shore. Congratulations goes to Kimberly Fiscus as our Beach Scenes Category Winner with this photo of her family having fun on the beach in front of our 211 Oceans of Amelia condo! We loved the positive energy!

Amelia Island Family Beach Vacation

2) Landmarks Category

The second photo contest category was Landmarks and guests were welcome to send their photos of recognizable Amelia Island landmarks such as the lighthouse, state parks, historic homes, marinas or shopping villages. Congratulations to James Lynch for this submission of the majestic Landmark Oak tree within the Amelia Island Plantation! This was sentimental for many of our team who grew up having our own photos snapped at it’s base.

Amelia Island Plantation Vacation Rental

3) Enjoying A Destination Amelia Rental Category

The third photo contest category was entitled “Enjoying a Destination Amelia rental!” Our team loved the photos of guests lounging on their oceanfront balconies, drinking coffee from their patio facing the golf course and lake, and jumping into the complex pool. Our favorite was a unique image entered by Melissa Oliver, who submitted many wonderful photos of her family. This one of them walking back towards our 1362 Shipwatch Villa property at sunset last summer nicely captures that satisfied end-of-the-day feeling when returning from the beach!

Amelia Island Vacation Rental

All three of these category winners have received a $100 gift certificate good toward a stay anytime with Destination Amelia.

4) Grand Prize Winner!

Now we are thrilled to announce the Grand Prize Winner of our 2023 Amelia Island Photo Contest! So without further ado…. Anne Nelson wins with this marsh image! Our team loved how the wispy clouds reflect in the still waters so serenely as the sun sits on the horizon. Anne will now get to enjoy a 3-night vacation at one of our Destination Amelia vacation rentals for free! Major congratulations to Anne!

Destination Amelia Photo Contest Winner

Ready to make your own Amelia Island memories? Are you eager to sink your toes into the appalachian-quartz sand and stroll along 13 miles of pristine beaches? Book one of our Amelia Island vacation rentals now!

While the spring and summer months continue to be abuzz with families, couples, and businesspeople visiting, those who come to Amelia Island in the fall and winter know these seasons can be just as wonderful, if not actually better than their popular counterparts. 

We’ve looked at the main reasons to visit Amelia Island in the winter before and those reasons have not changed – fewer crowds, the temperate weather, many outdoor recreational options, and Amelia Island Restaurant Week every January. However, there are more reasons than you might first imagine as to why Amelia Island is a coveted location for those temporarily relocating to warmer weather during the cooler months. 

First, Amelia Island is unlike any other place in the United States and is rich in history and heritage. For full-on history buffs or those who just love a good backstory, come escape to the only place in the country that has had 8 flags fly over it. The island, which was named for a princess, was once where Native Americans lived, pirates plundered, gilded age millionaires frolicked and dwelled, and African-Americans came as a refuge from segregation. Where better to start than the Amelia Island Museum of History? It exhibits various stages of Amelia Island history in the old Nassau County Jail near historic downtown Fernandina Beach. The super affordable museum offers various tours around the island. Don’t miss Ron Miller’s Coast One Black Historical Tours, guiding you to historic sites like American Beach, Fernandina Beach, and Kingsley Plantation.

Second, some neat Amelia Island events happen during the cooler months, like the Amelia Chamber Music Festival and Amelia Island Book Festival that take place during the winter.

Foodies will want to save the dates for the Omni Amelia Island Resort’s annual Fish to Fork experience and the younger Amelia Island Cookout hosted by the Ritz-Carlton during the shoulder seasons. 

Third, these cooler fall and winter months are also the most fair choice for donning those long-sleeve, sun-shielding golf polos to hit the many prestigious golf courses on and near Amelia Island.

Amelia River is known for its incredibly smooth TifEagle greens, the Fernandina Beach Golf Club is known as one of the most popular municipal golf courses in the Southeast, and the Oak Marsh Golf Course is regarded most for its resort setting boasting tight fairways and small greens.

Fourth, the cooler weather and less-busy seasons also mean less competition for reserving tennis lessons, booking fishing charters with professional guides, or getting kayak rentals for a slow paddle through the marsh.

There are so many ways to have fun on Amelia Island waterways and no reservations are needed for these leisurely activities on Amelia Island

Fifth, Amelia Island is the ultimate home base for explorers looking to plan and enjoy frequent day trips! Just south of the Florida-Georgia border, Amelia Island has convenient access to the coastlines in both states and is only a short drive from central Florida spots like Ginnie Springs, Mount Dora and Micanopy. If traveling north into Georgia, you can be at the Golden Isles within about an hour. St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons Island, Sea Island and Jekyll Island are some of Georgia’s most beautiful vacation destinations and they are all a day trip from Amelia Island! The iconic city of Savannah is so close you could easily reach it before lunchtime. Want to head south? The First Coast’s many attractions await, including downtown Jacksonville, Marineland, and St. Augustine, which is probably the top day trip from Amelia Island because this historic town offers so much to do and see. Then there’s Cumberland Island, the beautiful, protected barrier island just north of Amelia Island. There are no mechanized vehicles allowed and nearly 10,000 acres of federally protected wilderness in the park, with great shelling, picturesque ruins, and wild horses.

Book a cooler-weather getaway with us today! Destination Amelia offers a variety of short-term vacation rentals on Amelia Island, perfect for a quick visit or even an extended stay. 

Whether you are celebrating your honeymoon or just looking to escape on a date night with your partner on Amelia Island, here are a few romantic things to do that will kindle the right sparks with your loved one! Get ready for a charming atmosphere, delicious meals, sunset walks, and a lot more!

Beach Walk Amelia Island

Classic Sunset Beach Walk:

If you are looking for a special, classic Sunset Beach Walk, you are in luck! Amelia Island offers beautiful and serene beaches, where you can spend time with your partner. Take a step back and enjoy the gorgeous sunset colors, peaceful atmosphere, and your loved one. (Extra tip: If you and your loved one are enjoying a full romantic getaway and not just a date night, don’t miss the opportunity to see the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean too! Sleeping in is nice, but watching a new day dawn together is an unforgettable experience with your toes in the sand!)

Amelia Island Downtown

Visit the Fernandina Beach Historic District:

Be sure to put the Fernandina Beach Historic District on your list when planning a date night. It has a wide variety of shops and restaurants, and it is a great place to spend an afternoon or even two. The sunset views from the marina are hard to beat. History buffs will enjoy strolling the side streets and finding all the historic markers that summarize the days long past. Art aficionados should plan to visit for the second Saturday of each month, when participating galleries host free art events and open houses during the Artrageous Artwalk. Then everyone can appreciate the district’s architectural gems. Did you know the National Register of Historic Places recognizes and protects 50 blocks and 400 structures in downtown Fernandina Beach? Clearly Amelia Island’s historic downtown has much to showcase for those who love to explore and experience new places! This is why Coastal Living‘s readers voted Fernandina Beach as the Best Historic Downtown and #4 Happiest Seaside Town. Perfect for a date night!

Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach

Book an Amelia Island Trolley Tour:

One fantastic way to see the historic district, learn some interesting facts about the island, and enjoy some leisurely time with your special loved one is to hop onboard with Anchor Trolley and Transport, formerly Amelia Island Trolleys. Their experienced driver will take passengers around the city, plus up to Olde Town and parts of Fernandina Beach’s north end. Book your trolley ride today! For those adventure seekers wanting a faster, more thrilling way to explore, Amelia Island Board Rentals offers electric skateboard tours on the seashore with guides, at American Beach, or around the historic district. Or couples can rent a 2-passenger, fully-electric FUV (fun utility vehicle) to go sightseeing through them. Check it out here!


Amelia Island Horseback Ride

Amelia Island Horseback Riding:

Horseback riding on the beach is a wonderful experience and very different from riding on a mountain trail. You will enjoy the sea breeze in your hair and dramatic views of the ocean from atop your steed. This is a truly unique opportunity through family-owned and operated Kelly Seahorse Ranch, who enjoys a long partnership with Amelia Island State Park. Learn more about this opportunity today! For those closer to the north end of Amelia Island, Amelia Island Horseback Riding also offers sunset rides from Peters Point Beachfront Park!

Amelia Island restaurants

Dinner Date on Amelia Island:

If sunset walks, trolley tours, and horseback riding are not your kind of romance, Amelia Island offers a dizzying range of fantastic restaurants, where you can take your date and enjoy an exquisite atmosphere and delicious food. For the really special occasions, Salt (one of the restaurants at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island) is one of only two AAA 5 diamond restaurants in the entire state of Florida — there are only 49 AAA 5 diamond restaurants in the entire U.S. for 2022!

If you love and crave fresh fish and shrimp, be sure to explore all the fantastic Amelia Island Seafood Restaurants during your visit! You will not only enjoy delicious meals, but also fun and relaxing atmospheres! Take a look at some of our recommendations below and get ready to Indulge Your Seafood Craving on Amelia Island!

Seafood Restaurant

On The Beach:

Sliders Seaside Grill

Enjoy this absolutely awesome, oceanfront tiki bar and restaurant. You will find a fantastic view, delicious food, and fun entertainment. Food Menu in the link.

The Sandbar & Kitchen

Don’t miss the Happy Hour seven days a week! Every day between 3 and 6 pm, The Sandbar & Kitchen offers great deals on wine, beer, and drinks! Check out the outstanding Food Menu!

Salt Life Food Shack

Welcome to Salt Life Food Shack (pictured above)! You will find a laidback atmosphere, delicious meals, passionate staff, and a lot more! Check out the Menu.

The Surf Restaurant & Bar

Absolutely tasty food combined with live entertainment and an enviable location right on the beach. Click for Menu information.


Amelia Island downtown

Fernandina Beach Historic District:

The Salty Pelican Bar & Grill

Think about a rich variety of delicious food combined with a top location in the Historic District and you got The Salty Pelican Bar & Grill! You will discover flavorful food and breathtaking sunsets! Menu in the link and picture of oysters below.

The Crab Trap

Get ready for this newly-renovated seafood mainstay, which serves peel-and-eat shellfish and fried fare. Come enjoy its bustling, wharf-like atmosphere and 1876 building. Check out this fantastic Menu!

Kitchen 251

Kitchen 251 specializes in down-home comfort food. You will not only enjoy delicious eats, but you will also have fantastic views of the marina while dining. Check out the Menu!

Timoti’s Seafood Shack

Experience Timoti’s Seafood Shack! You will find a combination of fresh, local seafood and a fun, casual atmosphere. Picture fish tacos, lobster rolls and other fin fare served on an outdoor patio with a kids play area. Be sure to check out the Menu!

Brett’s Waterway Cafe

Located right on the Fernandina Harbor and Marina on the Amelia River, this restaurant brings awesome vibes and fantastic eats. It’s one of the best places to watch the sunset!


Amelia Island Seafood Restaurant

Mid-or Off-Island:

Down Under Restaurant

You can’t go wrong with the Down Under Restaurant if you are looking for a fishing camp vibe. This relaxed option is tucked under the main bridge coming onto the island and serves customers on a dock with indoor-outdoor seating! Take a peek at the Menu.

Shucker’s Oyster Bar

Did you say fresh oysters? This upbeat eatery has with beautiful marshside views and is family friendly with a kids playground. The Menu is stacked!

Just because summer ends, doesn’t mean the fun needs to end too! As the season shifts to fall, several events start to fill the calendar on Amelia Island! Take a look at our island’s annual fall events below and get ready to FALL in Love with Amelia Island!

Concert Series Fernandina Beach Downtown

Sounds on Centre

Bring your friends and a lawn chair and get ready for an awesome outdoor experience. You will enjoy a free concert and a relaxing atmosphere in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach. This event takes place on the first Friday of the month beginning in April and continues through the fall (October is the last concert each year). Get ready for some classic rock, blues, and oldies!

Amelia Island Dance Festival

If you are visiting Amelia Island in the fall, be sure to check out the Amelia Island Dance Festival! This newish festival allows attendees to experience dance in a variety of venues and ways, with a group of recreational dancers and professional artists coming together to promote dance in the Amelia Island community.

Fish To Fork

If you’re embarking on an Amelia Island getaway in October, don’t miss out on the Annual Fish to Fork culinary event at the Omni Amelia Island Resort! You will enjoy a stunning atmosphere with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, dock-to-dish specialties, different chefs from around the country, and delicious meals! There will be a chef showdown on Saturday night with a live vote!

Schedule of Events

Island Hop Craft Beer Festival

Here’s your chance to celebrate all things beer all weekend long. Welcome to the Island Hop Craft Beer Festival on Amelia Island. Grab your family and friends and get ready for a fun and tasty weekend. You will come across live music, food trucks, family-friendly activities, and of course, delicious beer!

Amelia Island Jazz Festival

Get ready for cool sounds, a serene atmosphere, and awesome jazz! The Amelia Island Jazz Festival features top jazz musicians as well as up-and-coming young talent. Performances are often staged in several venues around Amelia Island, previously including Fernandina Beach Golf Club, The Sandbar & Kitchen, and Tortuga Jacks at Sliders Seaside Grill. The Amelia Island Jazz Festival funds a scholarship program for aspiring jazz musicians.

Northeast Florida Fair

The Northeast Florida Fair is the perfect event for both children and grownups. You will find thrill rides, great food from local vendors, a variety of sweet treats, live music, farm animals, and more just a 30-minute drive away in Callahan, FL.

Book your Fall gateway with us today and be sure to check our Fall recommendations! Destination Amelia offers a variety of vacation homes in the area, perfect for a short trip or even an extended stay. 

Looking for rainy day activities on Amelia Island? We’ve put together a list of our favorite top 4 rainy day activities on Amelia Island to help you make the most of spending time indoors. 

amelia island museum of history

Visit the Amelia Island Museum of History  

Amelia Island is home to numerous museums and historic sites where you can learn about the island’s history. One of our favorites is the Amelia Island Museum of History which showcases the region’s history. The museum places an emphasis on spoken history and also offers daily tours at the museum. 

The Amelia Island Museum makes for a great stop for an hour or two and you are sure to leave with a better understanding of the many major events that unfolded on the island over the past couple hundred years. As an added bonus, the museum building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009 and was used as the Nassau County jail starting in the 1930s.

  amelia island community theatre

Catch a Play at the Amelia Community Theatre 

When the forecast is looking rainy for the day, we highly recommend checking out the Amelia Community Theatre and enjoying one of their many performances. The theatre hosts six new plays every year and features different types of shows that cater to a variety of audiences including both families and adults.  

You can view a detailed listing of current productions and buy tickets on the Amelia Island Community Theatre website. The theatre is located in downtown Fernandina Beach within walking distance of many restaurants and bars. Make plans to stop by after the show!

amelia island spas

 Relax at the Spa 

One of the top vacation experiences is taking a day to slow down and relax at one of the many Amelia Island spas. Sometimes it can be hard to choose a spa day when the weather is pristine, but a rainy day is perfect to spend an extended amount of time letting yourself be pampered.  

Enjoy massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and more. There is a wide range of spas on the island, and we recommend reviewing our spa and wellness guide to find the perfect match for your visit. 

spend a rainy day on amelia island at your vacation rental

Spend a Day at Your Vacation Rental 

Sometimes one of the best things to do on vacation is to spend time with family friends at your Amelia Island vacation rental. Our spacious and luxurious accommodations are perfect for a low-key day indoors surrounded by your loved ones. Some of our favorite activities include board games, puzzles, and cooking a family meal in your kitchen.  

We offer a wide variety of vacation rentals on Amelia Island including oceanfront properties and pet friendly properties. 



Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Florida, Amelia Island is the perfect winter getaway. We have fewer crowds, warm temperatures, and ample opportunities to enjoy nature. While Amelia Island makes a great destination during any season, we’ve chosen three of the top reasons to book an Amelia Island vacation rental during the winter.


amelia island sunrise


1) Amelia Island Winter Weather

The number one reason many travelers choose to visit Florida during the winter is to get as far south as possible. During the search, they often overlook the northern part of the state which is less crowded than busy southern Florida destinations. On Amelia Island, this translates into a more peaceful and relaxing time of year. 


Our winter weather is mild with the coolest months of the year averaging lows in the mid-forties and highs in the sixties. This means you can enjoy the crisp night weather with a sweater, all while enjoying the warm, mild weather during the day. Spend more time outside this winter and enjoy some of our Island’s activities. We recommend birdwatching, biking, and strolling along our pristine and beautiful beaches.


amelia island birdwatching


2) Amelia Island Birdwatching

Often called a birder’s paradise, Amelia Island is well known for being one of the top birdwatching destinations in the southeast. Winter offers a special opportunity to see birds that are migrating south due to the colder temperatures. November through March is generally the best time to see the most birds. This includes those staying for the winter and others that are passing through during their migration.


Most of the island’s 470 species of birds can be seen year-round, but there are some that only visit seasonally. These include harder to spot species such as Cedar Waxwings and Snowy Owls. Two of the best places to spot birds are Ft. Clinch State Park on the north end of the island and Egans Creek Greenway that runs along the wooded and marshy center of the island.


amelia island restaurant week


3) Amelia Island Restaurant Week

There are many different winter events on Amelia Island throughout the holidays, however, the one you don’t want to miss is Restaurant Week! Held annually during the last week of January, Restaurant week is a 10-day culinary showcase. The island’s most popular dining hotspots are featured and each offers pre-fixed menus at set prices to match your budget. Participating restaurants will offer lunch for $12 and serve three tiers for dinner priced at $21, $31, and $41.


The 13th annual Amelia Island Restaurant Week will be held from January 22 through January 31, 2021. In addition to the variety of entrees and meals, there will also be various dining and cocktail activities including a kick-off dinner and a finale event. Find out more about the event and participating restaurants on the Amelia Island website.


Winter Vacation Rentals

Looking to escape the chill of cold weather and breathe some of the salty fresh air? Then our Amelia Island vacation rentals will make for the perfect winter getaway. We offer a wide variety of properties including oceanfront vacation rentals that offer a stunning view of the Atlantic. We look forward to welcoming you to our island and enjoying the fabulous winter weather!