Southern Roadtrip: Amelia Island

Welcome to Amelia Island (Fernandina Beach, FL), also known as the Isle of 8 Flags (more on that in a minute). If you’ve come here from Dixie Delights, I’m glad to have you here!  Don’t let the Florida address fool you.  Amelia Island is only 15 miles from the Georgia border.  We think of it as the South.

ameliamap

Let’s pretend we are old friends and you have come to Amelia Island for a visit.  I would love for you to stay with me at home, but this is the smallest home I’ve owned and there just isn’t much room (if you read my blog already you know what I mean).

Such is island life for the commoner.  Instead, I would put you up at my friend Julie’s bed and breakfast.  Who could pass up a stay in a bed and breakfast?  Julie’s such a sweetheart.  You can read all about how she is living the dream of owning her own bed and breakfast.

Blue Heron Inn on Amelia Island

I’d come over and have coffee and breakfast with you and Julie and I would give you the run down on the history of Amelia Island.  There have been eight flags that have flown over Amelia Island in it’s history.  The first to settle on Amelia were the Timucuan Native Americans around 1000 A.D. and they stayed until the 1700’s.  They never flew a flag though.

eight-flags-logo

The first flag to fly over Amelia was French when Jean Ribault landed here in 1562.  The French flag flew until 1565 when the Spanish drove out the French and later established a mission on the island in 1573 flying the Spanish flag.

In 1702 the British invaded Fernandina (the Spanish named it in 1685) and destroyed the town.  It was during this time the island was named Amelia Island after Princess Amelia, daughter of King George II.  The island sat largely empty until James Oglethorpe scouted it out in 1763 and the British flag was flown (this is flag 3 in case you are counting).

Then in 1783 the Spanish again controlled the island but there was now resistance.  The patriots of Amelia Island attacked and raised the Patriot Flag of the Republic of Florida (flag 4).  That lasted only one day.

The Spanish kept control of Amelia Island until 1817 flying their flag again.  A Scotsman Sir Greg MacGregor gained control of Amelia Island from the Spanish and raised a Green Cross of Florida flag over the island (flag 5).  Not long after, Pirate Luis Aury sailed in with three ships and took over the island flying the Republic of Mexico flag (flag 6).

In 1821 the United States took over Amelia Island and raised the U.S. flag (flag 7).  In 1861, because of the Civil War, the Confederate flag was flown over Amelia Island (flag 8).  Whew!

After the big history lesson…we would totally have to do some shopping therapy.

Ready?  Put your cute and comfy island resort wear on and let’s do some serious shopping!

Southern Roadtrip of Amelia Island

Amelia is filled with antique and vintage shops.  There are three big ones lining the streets of downtown and we would have to take our time looking through all the fantastic finds.

Southern Road Trip Shopping Amelia Island

Don’t worry, the Blue Heron Inn is only one block off of Centre Street (main street of Amelia Island) so we can always run your treasures back to your room.

Southern Road Trip Shopping Amelia Island

We would keep walking downtown and wave to the trolley as it passed by.  Maybe we would even take a historical trolley ride just to rest our feet a bit.

Amelia Island Trolley

We would stop to look at all the pretty architecture and find shady spots to stop along the way and people watch.  It’s okay,  you can be a total tourist and take some pictures.

Amelia Island Courthouse

Southern Road Trip Shopping Amelia Island

When we passed by the Book Loft I would tell you that we have a famous author who lives on our little island, John Grisham.  I would tell you I’ll totally drive you past his gorgeous house later on.

Southern Road Trip Shopping Amelia Island

Southern Road Trip Shopping Amelia Island

There are a lot of cute little shops carrying fun resort wear and all things from Trina Turk, Lilly Pulitzer, and other fun designers.  We would have to try on some fun clothes.

Southern Road Trip Shopping Amelia Island

Tasty's Of Amelia Island

Shopping is exhausting.  We would have to pop into a local favorite, Tasty’s, for a burger and fries.  The line is usually out the door at lunch time.

Southern Road Trip Shopping Amelia Island

Yes, it’s a converted gas station.  We have a few awesome restaurants that used to be gas stations.  I’m starting to think they make the cutest restaurants.

Tasty's Of Amelia Island

We would skip the dessert and head on down the street to Fernandina’s Fantastic Fudge for some ice cream or some fudge.  It’s vacation…calories don’t really count on vacation.  Everyone knows that.

Shopping Amelia Island

Tasty's Of Amelia Island

After all this shopping and eating we would have to go do what most people come to Amelia Island to do…hit the beach.
Tasty's Of Amelia Island

Don’t worry if it looks cloudy.  It’s Florida.  One minute it is cloudy and then the sun comes out again.  We would watch the surf and then walk the beach looking for shark’s teeth.  Amelia Island beaches are known for black shark’s teeth.  Yes, real shark’s teeth.  They look like this.

 Amelia Island

Photo Courtesy of Amelia Island Living

We would swim out in the surf because it’s just so hot this time of year.  You would nervously ask me why this beach is so well known for shark’s teeth.  I would tell you shark lose their teeth a lot like humans lose their eyelashes.  They grow new ones and lose their old ones.  I would tell you...don’t worry, the sharks swim way, way, way out there (and I would point at the vast Atlantic and wink).

We’d go back to the Blue Heron Inn for Julie’s lovely happy hour… she makes the best Hors d’oeuvres.  We’d talk about where to eat dinner and I would tell you we have about a 98% of eating at a great restaurant downtown.  They are all really so good.  After dinner we would do a little walking tour of some of the lovely homes found downtown.  Amelia Island has a downtown filled with Victorian’s and lovely cottages.

Historic Homes of Amelia Island

Historic Homes of Amelia Island

Historic Homes of Amelia Island

Historic Homes of Amelia Island

Historic Homes of Amelia Island

We would decide to head down to Brett’s (a local restaurant) and sit on their patio to watch the sunset.  I’d tell you since Amelia Island is an island you get the pleasure of watching the sun rise in the morning over the Atlantic and setting over the estuary on the west side of the island in the evening.  We would marvel at the incredible sailboat that was just docked in the marina.  I would tell you that walking the marina dock is a favorite of even locals because you never know what boats will have docked.

Historic Amelia Island

Historic Amelia Island

Historic Amelia Island

Historic Amelia Island

Beautiful right?  Yep.  I think so too.  We’d walk back to the Bed and Breakfast and  you would tell me that it seems like I love where I live.  I would tell you I have found my forever home.  I will always have a home on this island. My children are so happy here and we have found a small town we love that just happens to have a quaint downtown, stunning beaches, and the nicest people.  I hope you had a nice visit to Amelia Island.  Come back again anytime!

I know, for sure, this is where God has planted my little family and we just have to grow where we are planted.  Someday, I’ll tell you the whole story about how we came to live on Amelia Island.  It was a total God-thing.

It’s time for you to hit the road again!  Now you are headed down to Ron’s abode in Louisiana.  Let’s see what Ron from Uptown Acorn has in store for your trip.

great southern road trip graphic

THE GREAT SOUTHERN ROAD TRIP ITINERARY

Monday Graphic- FINAL

Southern State of Mind {Atlanta, GA} | Restless Arrow {Belton, SC}

Southern Hospitality {Marietta, GA} | Our Southern Home {Caswell Beach, NC}

TUESDAY ROUTE:

Tuesday Graphic- FINAL

Unskinny Boppy {Birmingham, AL} | Maison de Pax {Austin, TX}

Atta Girl Says {Greensboro, NC} | 3 Little Greenwoods {Aiken, SC}

WEDNESDAY ROUTE:

Wednesday Graphic- FINAL

Dixie Delights {Savannah, GA} | Slightly Coastal {Fernandina Beach, FL}

Uptown Acorn {Grand Isle, LA} | The House of Wood {Nashville, TN}

35 Comments

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  2. Ann in Atlanta

    June 22, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Just a quick note for any folks worried about sharks…the black teeth are fossils from sharks who lived in the waters that covered Florida millions of years ago and NOT from sharks living in the Atlantic today!!

    1. Nancy

      June 22, 2016 at 8:52 am

      Thanks so much Ann! That is good info to pass along. I’ve never really worried about sharks in the water and I am woefully inept at finding shark’s teeth. Everyone in my family is super good at spotting them except for me. Thanks for sharing!

      Nancy

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  4. Ron Carrier

    June 22, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I love this area. J & I love to visit Amelia Island. We stay at The Plantation (Omni) and love shopping at The Plantation Shop as well as the antiques in Fernandina Beach. Thanks for the road trip to one of my fave locales. I am a new follower. xo

    1. Nancy

      June 22, 2016 at 10:59 am

      Thanks Ron! I love the Plantation too…alas there is so much on this island it was hard to cover it all. I did a post on shopping at the Plantation Shop a while back. I love going there for inspiration.

      Nancy

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  6. laura janning

    June 22, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    i have never been to Amelia island but it sure does look so quaint and beautiful. we are headed down there in july ) palm coas, fl) and perhaps I will have to make a pit stop. hope you and your family are enjoying the summer!

    1. Nancy

      June 22, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      It is worth an afternoon stop in at the very least…especially if you are going right by. I didn’t even get to the fact that you can still ride horses on the beach here and drive a 4 wheel drive on the beach. Have a great vaca in Palm Coast…that’s lovely too.

      Nancy

  7. Robyn

    June 22, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    I have never been to Amelia Island, but I am totally in love with the idea of a visit in the near future! Pictures are enticing and you make it sound so welcoming and homey. Thanks for the tour!

    1. Nancy

      June 22, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      Your welcome Robyn. I love this little island. I hope you can put it on your bucket list of places to visit.

      Nancy

  8. mindy mchugh

    June 22, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Hi Nancy! My family has been visiting Amelia Island for the past 25 years. We always visit during the week of July 4th so we will be there soon! My 2 boys grew up on these beaches so we have special memories and ties to the island! It is like our home away from home! Thanks for sharing many of our favorite places! I am a new follower and love reading all of your posts!
    Mindy from Madison, GA

    1. Nancy

      June 22, 2016 at 5:38 pm

      Oh how fun! I’m happy to report the beaches are in perfect shape and awaiting your arrival! Thanks for subscribing!

      Nancy

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  10. Christy @ 11 Magnolia Lane

    June 23, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Oh, my–what a privilege to live in such a beautiful place! Thanks so much for sharing it with us, and I loved the history lesson at the beginning, too!

    1. Nancy

      June 23, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Thanks so much Christy! I loved your tour too! What a great place to have dinner and a drink.

      Nancy

  11. Lori Dorrington

    June 23, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I’d love to visit your island in the near future, it’s been on the bucket list for many years. Just haven’t had the time until now to make the trip. I just retired and plan on working on ticking off some of the destinations on the bucket list. Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers!
    Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

    1. Nancy

      June 23, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      We’d love to have you visit. This is the height of visitors on the island. Plan a trip soon and when you do…drop me an e-mail.

      Thanks for visiting!

      Nancy

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  14. Kelly Flanagan

    June 23, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I have been visiting my in laws on Amelia Island for years. We love it! We just bought the house my in laws used to live in and are in the process of updating it. We can’t wait to become full time residents after our youngest daughter finishes high school. You did a wonderful job describing the history and capturing the downtown area. Your pictures were great.

    1. Nancy

      June 23, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Yay! Welcome Kelly! Next time you are in town shoot me an e-mail. If you need any help on your project, I offer design services in the local area. Look forward to seeing you around the island.

      Nancy

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  16. Lexi

    June 23, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Hi Nancy, great post! We live in Jacksonville & visit Fernandina/Amelia often as it offers our favorite beaches. I loved all your pictures from the great shops, I was hoping that you would name a new treasure that I didn’t know about, DARN! I really enjoy your blog and love seeing how real folks live on the island , I can really see living there once our kids go off to college.

    1. Nancy

      June 23, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      I’m so glad you are able to come here often! Honestly, there are so many great places, it’s hard to pick out a few to focus on. My favorite “go-to” casual family friendly spot is Timoti’s (which you have probably visited). A new favorite is the brand new Amelia Tavern (I think it has only been open 4-6 weeks now) and we love Pies (which is just the symbol) as the somewhat new pizza place, although it could never really really replace Moon River Pizza.

      Nancy

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