Though just about 35 miles (an hour’s drive) away from downtown Jacksonville, Amelia Island is a world apart from that city’s beige sprawl. Typically identified as a secluded vacation spot for the rich and richer, it’s important to remember that Amelia Island is an entire island.
Though the rarefied environs around the Amelia Island Plantation and the Ritz-Carlton aren’t meant for everyone, the rest of the island—namely the town of Fernandina Beach—is possessed of a down-home classiness that truly sets it apart.
Whether driving under the tree-lined canopy of the Amelia Island Parkway, taking in the sights in historic downtown Fernandina Beach, gawking at the unusual mishmash of architectural styles along the beachside Fletcher Avenue, or simply whiling away a week or a month beside the ocean, visitors to Amelia Island don’t have to be wealthy to feel rich.
Getting to Amelia Island
Head north from Jacksonville on I-95 and take the State Road 200 exit east, which leads directly to downtown Fernandina Beach. It is 35 miles to Fernandina Beach from Jacksonville, which takes just under an hour; from St. Augustine, it’s approximately 75 miles (90 minutes). There is no public transportation on Amelia Island.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition