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Amelia Island Day Trips

Explore Coastal Florida and the Golden Isles' Rich History and Legendary Southern Hospitality.

There are many places of interest within a short drive from Amelia Island, offering a variety of fun activities and things to see for a quick getaway or a little Exploring. Located on the northern coast of Florida, Amelia Island is just a short drive from Georgia's Golden Isles, a chain of barrier islands that includes St. Simons Island and neighboring Jekyll Island. Other places to visit include Georgia's Tybee Island and historic Savannah, or keep on driving and you'll make your way to South Carolina's well-preserved Hilton Head Island. More local places of interest include Cumberland Island, Jacksonville, Big and Little Talbot Islands, and Kingsley Plantation.
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Amelia Island Day Trips

Cumberland Island, Georgia

6 miles of pristine National Seashore, featuring 1800's Plum Orchard Plantation, The Dungeness Ruins, wild horses, desolate beaches, a real escape! Only 30 minutes to ferry from St. Marys, GA or special arrangements can be made via the Greyfield Inn. Launch from Fernandina Harbour, includes lunch, bicycle rentals, tour of the Greyfield and beach equipment

St. Simons Island, Georgia

St. Simons Island, GA is home to fabulous beaches, golfing, charter fishing, spas and salons, and a variety of restaurants, fun events and entertainment for everyone. The unspoiled beauty of St. Simons and its distinctively charming beach lifestyle that is unhurried and under-developed are what make it so special. Full of history and Southern charm, St. Simons Island boasts beautiful live Southern Oaks draped with Spanish moss that give the island a unique sense of time and place, unlike any other. It's no wonder St. Simons Island was recently voted among the most romantic destinations in the U.S., and one visit is all you'll need to fall in love with Georgia's Golden Isles. Visit for more information.

Little Talbot Islands State Park, Florida

12157 Heckscher Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32226

Over 4,000 acres, primitive wetlands, forest and beaches. "Little" has a 4 mile hiking trail through the forest, dune and tidal creek area. Located 25 minutes south on A1A.

With more than five miles of beautiful, white sandy beaches, Little Talbot Island is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands in Northeast Florida. Maritime forests, desert-like dunes, and undisturbed salt marshes on the western side of the island allow for hours of nature study and relaxation. The diverse habitats in the park host a wealth of wildlife for viewing including river otters, marsh rabbits, bobcats, and a variety of native and migratory birds.

Little Talbot Island State Park is the main park in a cluster of four state parks near Jacksonville. The campground serves as the camping facility for visitors to Amelia Island, Big Talbot Island, and Fort George Island State Parks as well as Little Talbot Island. It has a full complement of recreational activities and facilities, but the other parks each provide unique features that can provide days of additional recreation for visitors.

Nearly 200 species of birds visit the park every year and, during the summer, sea turtles crawl out of the ocean to lay their eggs along the beach.

For more information, visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection web site. The park is located just south of Amelia Island.

Big Talbot Island State Park, Florida

State Road A1A North
Downtown, FL 32226

One of only a few undeveloped sea islands left along the Atlantic coast, this park offers a unique view into Florida's pre-European past. Walk down any of Big Talbot's nature trails and you may catch a glimpse of some Northeast Florida wildlife in its undisturbed habitat. The dynamic shoreline offers a stunning seascape vista of the Atlantic Ocean and Nassau Sound. The park offers recreational areas for picnicing, boating, or hiking. Migrating birds along with birds of prey like the Red Shoulder Hawk, Great Horned Owl, and an occasional Bald Eagle frequent the island. On Big Talbot Island one can always find a premier spot to enjoy nature study, bird watching, or photography.

Great egrets, snowy egrets, great blue herons, and green herons can be found at Spoonbill pond on the north end of Big Talbot. During various times of the year shorebirds and passerines, such as the colorful painted bunting, visit the island and delight birdwatchers. Bobcats, raccoons, river otters, a few alligators, and other reptiles also make Big Talbot Island their home. The park is located just south of Amelia Island.

Jacksonville, Florida

There are many places to visit and explore in Jacksonville. Here are a few of the more "Cultural" spots:

Zoological Park: 904.757.4463
Museum of Science and History: 904.396.7062
Tree Hill Nature Center: 904.724.4646
Alexander Brest Planetarium: 904.396.7062
Cummer Art Gallery: 904.356.6857
Jacksonville Art Museum: 904.398.8336

Kennedy Space Center

Walking and bus tour, great IMAX movie of the Space Shuttle! Distance: three hours south on I-95. Call 407.452.2121.

Jekyll Island, Georgia

One hour drive to Jekyll Island. Jekyll Island boasts over eight miles of white sandy beaches and an amazing degree of privacy and protected natural habitat. Jekyll Island is a Georgia State Park, and maintains a strict conservation clause which limits future development to preserve wildlife and protect the scenic beauty that is home to a variety of animal species and magnificent Southern Oak trees with Spanish moss draping from their branches. Sixty five percent of Jekyll Island will always remain natural and wild, ensuring that this unique getaway will continue for generations to come. Jekyll Island is renowned for its landmark Historic District, termed the "Millionaire's Village" long ago, with its 240-acre site containing 33 historic structures, including the Jekyll Island Club Hotel and surrounding cottages that were once home to some of America's most wealthy and prominent citizens, including the Crane family, the Pulitzers, Morgans, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and Goodyear clan to name but a few. These privileged few used Jekyll Island as a hunting and golf retreat, spending lazy summers here and building these historic homes that have been lovingly restored to their former glory. Jekyll Island has been a part of many historic moments, including the first meeting of the Federal Reserve, and the first transcontinental telephone call. Visit for more information.

Kingsley Plantation

The Kingsley Plantation, administered by the National Park Service, is located on Fort George Island and includes the plantation house, a kitchen house, a barn, and the ruins of 25 of the original slave cabins. The history of the island spans more than 1000 years beginning with the Timucuan Indians and is the oldest standing seacoast plantation in Florida with educational exhibits and tours in this 1792 plantation home.

The structures at the site, however, date to the plantation era of the island. The Kingsley Plantation was named for one of several plantation owners, Zephaniah Kingsley, who operated the property from 1813-1839. Kingsley operated under a "task" system, which allowed slaves to work at a craft or tend their own gardens once the specified task for the day was completed. Proceeds from the sale of produce or craft items were usually kept by the slaves. Purchased as a slave, Kingsley's wife, Anna Madgigine Jai, was freed in 1811. She was active in plantation management and became a successful business woman owning her own property. As an American territory, Florida passed laws that discriminated against free blacks and placed harsh restrictions on African slaves. This prompted Kingsley to move his family, impacted by these laws, to Haiti, now the Dominican Republic, where descendants of Anna and Zephaniah live today.

Okefenokee Swamp Park

1/2 million acres of jungle, island, forest, swamps and alligators! Boat tours available, observation towers and museums. Waycross, GA is the best point of entry. One and a half hours to Waycross, GA. Call 912.283.0583.

St Augustine, Florida

Nation's oldest city, featuring the famous Bridge of Lions, Flagler College, historic homes, a colonial re-enactment of an 18th century village, and even the Fountain of Youth (so they say!). Tours and carriage rides available. One and a half hours south on A1A or I-95.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island in South Carolina's Lowcountry is home to some of the world's premier golf courses, marinas, tennis courts and bicycling trails. Hilton Head is a barrier island with a moderate climate and an average year-round temperature of 66° F, making it ideal for visitors and locals who enjoy its natural beauty throughout the year. World-class accommodations, restaurants, shopping, outlet stores, boutiques and malls, beaches and outdoor activities from fishing, watersports to horseback riding, Hilton Head Island offers a wide range of activities for families, corporations and groups alike. Up to 12 miles long and nearly 4 miles wide, Hilton Head encompasses 42 square miles. Visit for more information.

Savannah, Georgia

The South's most famous old city, featuring an expansive historic district, beautiful inns, a waterfront district complete with shops, restaurants and cobblestone streets! Home of the book "Midnight in the Garden of Evil." Two hours north on I-95.

Fort George Island Cultural State Park

12157 Heckscher Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32226

Fort George Island Cultural State Park lies approximately 16 miles east of downtown Jacksonville on S.R. A1A, or three miles south of Little Talbot Island State Park.

Silver Springs, Florida

Glass bottom boats, jeep rides, beautiful clear spring-fed lakes. Adjacent to the park is a water park with water slides and fountains for the kids! 100 miles south on A1A to Rt. 301, in the Ocala area

Tybee Island, Georgia

Tybee Island, Georgia, is a barrier island on the Georgia coast, 20 minutes east of Savannah and about an hour's drive from Amelia Island. Offering a laid back lifestyle within an unspoiled habitat, Tybee has miles of beaches, salt marshes, and other natural resources and wildlife to explore, including sea turtles, endangered birds, and nature trails for hiking. Visit for more information.

Brewery Tours - Anheuser Busch

I-95 south to Busch Drive. Call 904.751.8117.

Dog Tracks

Three locations in Jacksonville. Call 904.646.0001.

Alhambra Dinner Theatre, Jacksonville, FL

Professional, nightly performances. Call 904.641.1212.

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