Getting Active & Outdoors
• History buffs will enjoy walking around the Fernandina Beach historic district. This well-preserved Victorian seaport village was once a stomping ground for pirates, Gilded Age millionaires, bootleggers, shrimpers and other colorful characters. The Amelia Island Museum of History runs several tours, including along Centre Street, the district's main shopping thoroughfare, or the riveting Murder, Mystery & Mayhem Tour.
• For those interested in maritime and military history, pirates and Spanish treasure fleets, a visit to the Maritime Museum is a must. View artifacts rich in local maritime history, as well as U.S. Navy memorabilia, weapons from multiple time periods, a Soviet era KGB diving suit, an artifact from an expedition to the Titanic and of course, Spanish treasure.
• Amelia Island Trails can recommend places to rent bikes and obtain trail maps that delineate leisure and advanced routes through the island's state parks, marshes, maritime forests and beaches. Most outfits offer GPS-guided tours that lead groups along paved as well as beach paths, with choices of where to stop, explore and eat along the way. Attendees also can enjoy nature on the back of a Segway on the trails via Amelia's Wheels at the Omni Amelia Island Resort.
• Visitors can paddle their way around the island with one of the local kayaking and stand-up paddleboard companies, such as Amelia Island Paddle Surf Co. Expert tour guides will help navigate the waters while sharing the history of the island as your group heads inland to the salty marsh of Talbot Island State Park, Timucan Preserve or Egan's Creek. For those who prefer a little more wind in their hair, Riptide Watersports has two-seat catamarans that let riders take the helm on a river run of the backwaters and marshlands of the area.
• Explore the scenic creeks and rivers of Amelia via On the Water Adventures or Amelia Adventures. Experience wild horses grazing on marsh grasses, and closely observe dolphins, alligators, egrets, herons and other local fauna in their natural element.
• Deep-sea anglers or first-time dock visitors can cast their reels in Amelia's waters and lure in a multitude of fish from trout to flounder. FishingBooker.com can hook you up with everything from shore fishing to a private charter, party-boat or kayak fishing adventure.
No visit to Amelia Island is complete without a horseback ride on the beach. Your attendees have several options:
• Located on a 200-acre preserve where you can observe dolphins, shorebirds and other wildlife, Kelly Seahorse Ranch is one of only a handful of beach horseback riding opportunities in the nation. The gentle, well-trained horses and professional guides give visitors a fun and novel way to enjoy Amelia's white-sand beaches and the beauty of the ocean.
• Happy Trails Walking Horses and Amelia Island Horseback Riding offer private horseback riding along the beach from Peter's Point Park, located just north of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.
Amelia Island truly is a golfer's paradise.
• Named a "Silver Medal Golf Resort" by Golf magazine, the Omni Amelia Island Resort has 36 championship holes, each course recognized as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. The property's Oak Marsh, designed by Pete Dye, offers 14 holes that meander along serpentine salt-marsh creeks and through the moss-draped heritage oaks for which the island is famous. Long Point, home of the Omni Amelia Island Resort Golf Academy, incorporates primal marshlands and the towering sand dunes of the Atlantic.
• The Golf Club of Amelia Island features an 18-hole championship course located next to Ocean Place. Designed by Mark McCumber and Gene Littler, the course takes full advantage of the natural terrain, offering spectacular views.
• The 27-hole Fernandina Beach Golf Club is considered one of the finest public courses in the Southeast.
• Amelia River is an 18-hole, 6,823-yard Tom Jackson design, where ball control and accuracy are key to a great round.
• If true thrills are what some attendees crave, Skydive Amelia Island affords a view from 10,000 feet in the air during a one-hour tandem skydive experience. The outfit uses only highly experienced United States Parachute Association-qualified instructors with thousands of tandem jumps between the team.
Attendees could spend hours exploring the colorful shops and galleries of Fernandina Beach's quaint Centre Street and bustling Sadler Road, while The Shops at Omni Amelia Island Resort offer trendy boutiques, home décor and more, along with dining at Marché Burette, a gourmet food market and deli.
• The Amelia Island Culinary Academy in downtown Fernandina Beach offers workshops on gluten-free cooking, Tuscan cuisine, French Provencal and more, conducted by former Ritz-Carlton chef Bill Thompson.
• Resort chefs at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Salt Cooking School lead participants through classes such as Norwegian cooking, street foods of. Southeast Asia and traditions of Indian cuisine.
• At the Omni Amelia Island Resort, attendees can tour the Sprouting Project, a unique on-site take on sustainability that includes an aquaponics greenhouse, an organic garden, and apiary and a barrel room.
• For more information on activities and attractions, please visit ameliaisland.com.
Top Restaurants on Amelia Island
- Salt - American
- Boat House - Seafood
- Burlingame Restaurant - American
- Salt Life Food Shack - Eclectic
- Pogo's Kitchen - Southern
- España Restaurant & Tapas - Portuguese/Spanish