Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island
Explore the Vibrant Historic District, Pristine Beaches and Local Restaurants, Shops, Hotels and Attractions of Fernandina Beach, Florida.
This well-preserved city at the northern end of Amelia Island, Florida's northern-most barrier island, marks the beginning of Florida's "First Coast." Ferdnandina Beach is actually a city in Nassau County on Amelia Island. It is the northernmost city on Florida's Atlantic coast, and is one of the principal municipalities comprising Greater Jacksonville.
It's storied past is an intact portion of the quickly vanishing "Old Florida," with a 50-square-block area into an ongoing restoration. The section is a designated historic district in the National Register of Historic Places. Walking around historic Fernandina Beach is a must-do for visitors. Many of the village's buildings are on the National Register, which encompasses a 50-block Historic District, and several Victorian-era historic homes now operate as bed and breakfasts. An evening stroll down Centre Street, the epicenter of the village where many restaurants and shops are located, will sweep you away to a different century.
View map of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island »
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island
Located off Highway A1A (Fletcher Avenue)
Main Beach and Peter's Point offers free parking lots. South Fernandina Beach access has limited free street parking.
The once-vibrant, Victorian seaport village is now postcard perfect with rows of shops that house a treasure trove of antiques and collectibles, as well as an eclectic assortment of boutique shopping and restaurants.
Its Victorian homes and cottages are a throwback to Amelia's Golden Era. Adornments that make these 19th Century homes into masterpieces include opulent turrets, gables and gingerbread rick-rack trim. Some of these homes serve as bed and breakfast inns and some are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but what all seem to have in common is an interesting background. These storied streets can be experienced through self-guided tours or those offered by the Amelia Island History Museum. Horse-drawn carriage tours are also available.
Sightseeing river cruises are another way to learn more about the area history. In the early 20th Century, Amelia Island became the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry. Today, nearly 80 percent of Florida's intake of sweet Atlantic white shrimp is harvested in Amelia's waters and its downtown docks — Fernandina Harbor Marina — is still home to the shrimp fleet.
While the oldest structure on the island is the Amelia Island Lighthouse, other places of intrigue include the Palace Saloon, the oldest bar in the state of Florida; and, the Florida House Inn, Florida's oldest surviving tourist hotel.
The pristine beaches of Fernandina are located a mile from the center of town. Over four miles of beach with more than 20 public access points lie between the northern-most Main Beach south. Main Beach, with its plentiful parking and facilities, grassy playground and lifeguard stands is especially popular with families that have children in tow.
If the Main Beach crowds crowd you out, Peter's Point should be your second choice. It also offers decent facilities.
The City of Fernandina Beach has tennis courts which are open to public use. Call the Recreation Department at 905.277.7350 for information, or pick up the keys for the tennis courts at the Atlantic Avenue Community Center. The public tennis courts are located on Atlantic Avenue at 13th Street. Various condos
and beach rental homes
on Amelia Island have private courts available also. The Bausch & Lomb Tennis Tournament is played at Amelia Island Plantation every year in April.
2601 Atlantic Avenue
Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
At over 1,400 acres, Fort Clinch State Park is situated on Florida's northernmost barrier island, Amelia Island. The park provides exceptional recreational activities immersed among beautiful natural communities, as well as wildlife viewing, historic attractions and unparalleled living history interpretive programs.
The park's three-mile shoreline offers a wide variety of family-friendly recreational activities including swimming, fishing, sunbathing and wildlife viewing. Shelling and shark-tooth hunting are popular activities near the jetty and along the St. Mary's Inlet. We have 69 campsites and a large group camping facility that offers a unique overnight experience in the Real Florida! Enjoy miles of bicycling on the historic oak-canopy drive, or for the more adventurous, hiking and biking the six-mile off-road multi-use trail. The Park offers a guided nature walk at the Willow Pond Nature Trail every Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
Visit historic Fort Clinch and step back to the year 1864, as soldiers reenact life during the Civil War. Explore the many rooms, galleries and grounds of the fort as you learn how the soldiers worked and lived each day. Today, park staff provide living history interpretations of the life of a Union soldier, a 1st New York Volunteer Engineer, who garrisoned the fort during the Civil War. The Fort is open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. An additional $2.50 per person Fort Entry Fee is required. On the first weekend of every month, the Park holds a garrison of many soldiers who demonstrate skills such as carpentry, masonry, cooking, blacksmithing, small arms demonstrations and cannon firing as well as interpreting the use of many of the buildings such as the quartermaster, infirmary and jailhouse. For a complete listing of scheduled fort events, please visit our park events page.
Maritime hammocks, with large Spanish moss-draped live oaks, are prevalent throughout the park and provide a beautiful backdrop while exploring the park. Coastal grasslands meet these hammocks and stretch along the shore behind dunes on the Atlantic Ocean and Cumberland Sound. These unique communities provide refuge to a wide variety of wildlife including gopher tortoises, deer, raccoons, bobcats and numerous species of birds and reptiles including American alligator and painted buntings which are frequently seen at the park.
Willow Pond Trail winds around a series of freshwater ponds that offer prime habitat for alligators and turtles. Egan's Creek Marsh borders the west boundary of the park, providing a saltwater estuary for an abundance of marine life. The salt marsh offers scenic vistas and views of many species of wading birds while the beaches provide a critical foraging and nesting habitat for colonial shorebirds and sea turtles. Please respect posted areas and share the shore with our wildlife!