10 Things I Love About Fernandina Beach FL | Amelia Island Photographer
10 Things I Love About Fernandina Beach - Amelia Island, FLCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography
I have lived near Fernandina Beach, FL for almost 15 years now and it's one of my favorite cities. The beauty of Amelia Island and the wonderful community are top notch. There are fabulous beaches, history, nature, and so much more. There are so many things I love about Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach. Here's a list of my top 10.
1) The Beach!
Ok, so this could probably be 1-10 because I LOVE the beach, but I also really love the beaches of Amelia Island. We typically go to the north end of the island or the south end of the island. In the summer, evenings are my favorite time to go to the beach. It's a little less hot and a little less crowded. We will often pack a picnic dinner or maybe grab a bite to eat on the island. I still love going in the evenings the rest of the year and catching the beautiful sunsets, but we'll go during the day too if it fits our schedule better. My son will swim/play in the water pretty much all year round. It's also the best place around to fly a kite!
I already mentioned sunsets in #1, and I've always been a sucker for a beautiful sunset. It's one of the things that has had me carrying a camera around with me pretty much at all times since high school. The sunsets on Amelia Island are fantastic when you can catch them. You don't even have to be at the beach for them to take your breath away. This sunset photo was actually taken with my iPhone (because the best camera is the one that's with you!) on the north end of the island near downtown. I was on the island for a meeting and grabbed my camera before leaving in case I wanted to grab a photo or two and I ended up forgetting to make sure there was a memory card in it, oops! Luckily I never have this problem at a session because I have plenty of extras in my bag, I just didn't bring my bag with me this day. I was definitely kicking myself for that one!
Amelia Island Sunset with Sailboat | Fernandina Beach FLCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography
3) Downtown Fernandina Beach
I love to just walk around the historic downtown of Fernandina. There's such an array of shops and restaurants to peruse and it has such a lovely feel to it. Some of my favorite shops include: Color It Green, Villa Villekulla Neighborhood Toy Store, Pelindaba Lavender, Twisted Sisters, and The Book Loft. There are so many great restaurants that it's hard to pick a favorite, but 29 South and Amelia Tavern top my list.
4) Fort Clinch State Park
We love to get outside and explore and we all love history too. Historic sites are great places to step back into the past while also getting outside. Fort Clinch State Park isn't just a fort though. There are trails you can hike or bike, camping grounds, a great shaded playground for the kids, and the beach where you'll have a good chance of finding a shark tooth and lots of shells. If you're a nature enthusiast, they have guided nature walks at the Willow Pond on Saturday mornings. If you really get into the history, go to one of the re-enactments on the first weekend of the month and see how they bring history to life.
Amelia Island has some really great parks for the kiddos. My son's favorite is Egan's Creek Park where there's a giant dome of climbing ropes. There's also great bird watching or fishing along the creek there too and a big field to play in. We also enjoy Pirate Playground behind the rec center. This park has something for a wide range of ages, from sand and water play, outdoor musical play, swings, climbing ropes, and more. And the best part is that it's fenced in so you don't have to worry about your littlest ones running off too far. They're been doing some updates to the other parks as well that are really great.
6) Nature Spots
I mention already but we are big nature lovers. Being out in nature is actually really good for you too. I lead a homeschool group in nature explorations each week and I love having so many nature spots to pick from. One of my favorites aside from the beach is the Egan's Creek Greenway. It's a great quiet place to enjoy a walk and see the diversity of the salt marsh and all the plants and animals you can view there. On our last trip we saw several different species of birds, a marsh rabbit, crab, snake, turtles, and an alligator.
7) Farmer's Market
Who doesn't love a good farmer's market? The Fernandina Beach Market Place is a great spot to grab fresh produce, local homemade goodies, my favorite herbal teas from Tea Nation, and more. It's another great way to support local small businesses and farms!
My family and I love going on bike rides together and with so many biking trails, Amelia Island is a great place for biking. You can bike on the many paved biking trails or go rugged and bike on the beach or on a trail at Fort Clinch or Egan's Creek Greenway. If you love to bike, check out more info on bicycling on the island here.
If you don't mind big crowds, Fernandina has some really great festivals and events. The Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is probably the biggest and there are always a ton of vendors and beautiful artwork, plus pirates! The Right Whale Festival was recently moved from Jacksonville to Amelia Island to celebrate the return of the right whales to our coastal area. For fellow book lovers, the annual Amelia Island Book Festival is something for you to check out. The Wild Amelia Nature Festival is another great one, and there are many others not on my list! I'd love to hear if you have another favorite that I didn't mention here. *Another of my favorites is listed below.
There's just something magical about the way Fernandina Beach does Christmas. The lights downtown are fantastic and the annual Dickens on Centre event is one of my absolute favorites and is on our must-do list every December. They have a great kid-zone, live entertainment, vendors (food and homemade goodies), and people dressed in Dickens era costumes adding to the atmosphere.
Is there something you love about Fernandina Beach that I didn't include in my list? I'd love for you to share it with me in the comments below!
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Kimberly Tank is an award-winning professional photographer in Rockledge, FL, servicing Brevard County on the Space Coast in Central Florida (including Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Merritt Island, Viera and surrounding areas). Using natural light and custom on location sessions, Kimberly Tank specializes in photographing families from babies to seniors and commercial clients, both on land and underwater; providing an exceptional customer experience and helping save you time and preserve this chapter in your life's story. Kimberly Tank is a proud member and ambassador of National Association of Professional Child Photographers.
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