Few beach towns can offer the variety of amenities that Fernandina Beach, FL can: a downtown filled with historic homes and business district; local and state parks that serve as nature preserves as well as natural wonderlands for beach lovers and outdoorsy types; sporting opportunities that range from fishing to river and sea kayaking to hiking through dense seaside landscapes.
Downtown Fernandina Beach as seen from the Intracoastal Waterway — Photo courtesy of Amelia Oceanfront Bed & Breakfast
Situated on Amelia Island between the the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, downtown Fernandina Beach has retained its small town charm, despite being called 'Florida's Favorite Beach Town' in statewide polls, which would normally mean a death knell of traffic and people.
The allure is simple - massive moss-draped oaks; walkable downtown filled with locally-owned stores and restaurants; a laid-back lifestyle; and an emphasis on preserving the natural beauty and small town character that is Fernandina Beach. There's also a small airport, a world-class golf course, an award-winning Ritz-Carlton resort, and an abundance of welcoming accommodations.
The harbor marina welcomes sport fishing boats and pleasure craft, and also offers boat tours of nearby Cumberland Island. This amazing island - a hideaway of the rich and famous - is where John F. Kennedy, Jr. married his wife Caroline. It's also home to many wild horses, which are easily visible from the boat tour.
Slightly out of the main business district, an abundance of parks - as well as the beach - are easy to get to and are only rarely crowded. Kayak the Intracoastal, sun on the wide expanse of near-perfect beach at Fort Clinch State Park, or explore the park's military history. Nature lovers, families, and history buffs will find plenty to do both in town and just outside.