Aaand we’re off to Amelia Island!
Relax. Walk the Beach. Hang at the Pool. Boutique Shop. Visit Fort Clinch State Park. Dine. Golf.
Amelia Island is a beautiful place to unwind and relax…eat…exercise…play some golf…do a little shopping. If this is what you desire for your vacation then it will be perfect for you. If you are looking for lots to do or an active vacation, I would suggest pairing this trip with a second location such as Savannah, Georgia, St. Augustine, or Jacksonville.
Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach are 35 miles northeast of Jacksonville…thus your best bet is to fly into Jacksonville International Airport (JAX).
Where to Stay
You all know I am a big fan of Ritz Carlton, so our choice was The Ritz Carlton Amelia Island. We loved this sprawling property with stunning coastal views and a fabulous walking beach. This property features an 18 hole championship golf course, four restaurants plus The Lobby Bar, tennis courts, fitness center, and a beautiful spa. All rooms have private balconies.
If you enjoy a larger resort with more activities then try The Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort.
Where to Dine
A Seat in The Kitchen at Salt: Expensive? Yes. Worth it? One hundred times yes! What an amazing four hours you will have should you choose to eat in The Kitchen. Upon arrival you will be introduced to everyone in the kitchen, the host, the waiters…everyone who has a hand in making your dining experience wonderful in the Restaurant Salt. After a quick tour of the kitchen and continuous encouragement to get up and participate, you will be seated in a beautiful room that has glass windows with a full view of the kitchen. During your time here you will have one on one time with THE CHEF, and all the other chefs. We were served 7 courses and had to finally say STOP (we were so full!). Everything was unique and delicious, and paired with divine wines. Just a few of our tastings included melon gazpacho topped with of all things—popcorn, Farm Foie Gras with a Cinnamon Waffle, Bison and Eggs served on a 250 Million Year Old Himalayan Salt Block, and Florida Snapper with Charred Octopus. Souffle for dessert! Did I mention they make their own salts and have so many flavors and varieties? Amazing experience and all I can say is just do it if you have the time!
BarZin: We had the best time having a glass of wine and starters on the patio. They also have indoor and garden seating. Cozy American bistro and wine bar!
We were only in Amelia two nights and dined at the above, but here are other restaurants recommended directly from The Ritz Carlton Amelia Island as of April 2017.
Bob’s Steak and Chop House: Texas chain located in the Omni.
Brett’s Waterway Café: Waterfront view with southern style cooking.
Burlingame: Dine in the Glass Room, Ethel’s Room, the back deck or the lively bar. In the historic district.
Others to check out include Ciao Authentic Italian Cuisine, Cucina South with brick oven pizza, 801 Kitchen and Bar, Verandah, Luca’s, 29 South, Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen, and La Mancha.
Where to Shop
Shopping is unique and quite fun in the downtown historic district of Amelia Island. Here are a few shops worthy of noting:
Pearl was my absolute favorite. The design of this store was drop dead gorgeous. Mother of Pearl flooring, pearl light fixtures, pearl trimmed hangers, and pearls on display everywhere make this really special. Great selection of Lilly Pulitzer and swimwear.
Debonair has a wonderful selection of handbags, jewelry and gifts. Names like Michael Kors, Brighton and Brahmin.
Pelandaba Lavender is a unique experience and the entire store and outside of the store smells like—you guessed it—lavender! You will find all kinds of fun little items in this store.
Also be sure to stop by Pajama Life, Wadsworths, Amelia’s Fine Jewelry, Bijoux Amelia Accessories, Go Fish, Harbor Wear, Pineapple Patch, Evelyne Talman, and Twisted Sisters.
If the downtown district isn’t enough shopping, drive on out to The Shops of Amelia Island Plantation at The Omni.
Must See Attractions
Fort Clinch State Park: One of the best preserved brick forts in the country, wander the grounds and restored buildings. You can hike afterwards if you wish. Admission is $6 per car to the park and $2 per person to the fort.
I hope you get to visit the tranquil and relaxing Amelia Island, soon or someday!