Visitors who return year after year – and the lucky people who live here – know that Northeast Florida's idyllic Amelia Island is a unique and very special place. And that holds true for the holidays as well, when festive events abound and there's a magic in the air that fills your heart with the many joys of the season.
We look forward to celebrating traditions such as the annual Black Friday Pajama Party in downtown Fernandina Beach, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation's Holiday Light Celebration, and the unveiling of the world's largest gingerbread pirate ship at the Ritz-Carlton.
Local decorators and florists go all out to prepare historic downtown houses for your visit during December's “Holiday Tour of Homes”. And Fernandina Beach merchants compete with one another each year to dress their Centre Street windows in the finest holiday tradition.
The middle of December brings our much-anticipated, Victorian-themed “Dickens on Centre” - evoking images of the Old England we know so well from “A Christmas Carol”. You can enjoy costumed characters, themed entertainment and performances, visits from Saint Nick, and a variety of vendors selling seasonal gifts and wares. It's free to the public.
And what would an Amelia Island New Year's Eve be without the Shrimp Drop on the downtown waterfront?
Of course, in a place where no adventure is more than 15 minutes away from the next, any visit has to include the island's “must-see” attractions. Our beautiful beaches, small-town charm and unforgettable experiences are a welcome escape from the ordinary and are easy on the budget, too.
At Fort Clinch State Park, you can walk, hike or bike the Willow Pond Nature Trail, or even scavenge for shark teeth. Daily tours with period reenactors depicting garrison life bring the fort to life for visitors. Popular activities at the park's beach include sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing.
The Amelia Island Lighthouse Tour is a great way to learn the storied history and intriguing facts about one of the island’s most timeless structures.
Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach has 50 blocks of eclectic shops and excellent eating establishments you can explore, with a wealth of seaport charm awaiting your discovery. Join the Booze and Bites Tour or mingle with bartenders on the Mixology Tour.
From seaside resorts to charming downtown B&Bs, you can find special lodging offers for your stay during the holidays.
Hoyt House has discounted rates for a two-night stay during “Dickens on Centre” weekend. You'll also get a box of their homemade goodies to take home, along with a Hoyt House keepsake Christmas ornament. Visit hoythouse.com for details.
At Omni Amelia Island Plantation, Florida and Georgia residents can save 30 per cent on the best available rate. Use the promo code “Resident” at their web site.
Stay three or more nights at Ocean Coast Hotel at the Beach and get a 20 per cent discount on their best available rate, applied at checkout.
And the Ritz Carlton offers a holiday package that includes a coastal view room facing the Christmas Tree, breakfast for two and complimentary valet parking - valid November 27 - December 31, 2019, and based on availability.
So much to see and do! And our mild winter weather is perfect for making the most of your holidays on the island. No matter when you visit, there are great memories to be created. But whatever your age, this is somehow an even more wondrous time. You can't help getting caught up in the festive spirit that fills every nook and cranny of this remarkable place.
Come and see what so many have found – a bit of paradise, a wealth of history, a beauty that touches the soul and rejuvenates the spirit.
We invite you to visit our home for the holidays – our Amelia Island.