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.
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!
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!)
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!
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 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!
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!
On The Beach:
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.
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!
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.
Absolutely tasty food combined with live entertainment and an enviable location right on the beach. Click for Menu information.
Fernandina Beach Historic District:
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.
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 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!
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!
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!
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.
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!