Your Questions About Amelia Island Answered
Amelia Island is a special island in Florida known for its exceptional activities for tourists, island location, proximity to famous sites, waterfront hotels, luxury resorts and exotic history. Florida Travel Blog has returned to Amelia Island many times for fun road trips and great restaurants.
There are many questions surrounding Amelia island. We will list the questions and answers to 10 of the most common questions asked about Amelia Island.
How Big is Amelia Island?
Amelia Island is a little over 13 miles long. The width of the island is about 2 miles in some places. There are over 11,600 acres in Amelia Island.
Is Amelia Island in Georgia or Florida?
While you can look across the river and see Georgia, Amelia Island is in northeastern Florida north of Jacksonville.
How Far is Amelia Island From Jacksonville?
The island is about 45 minutes north of Jacksonville. The distance is 34 miles. You can also get there by Rt. A1A from the south. The drive may take longer, but the views are magnificent. It should be noted the largest international airport near Amelia Island is in Jacksonville.
Is Amelia Island Close to Savannah?
Comparatively, Amelia Island is close to Savannah, Georgia. The island is a little over 2 hours away north on I-90. The distance is about 125 miles.
Which is best Amelia Island vs. St. Augustine?
If you must choose, you will have to ask why you want to go. St. Augustine is the most historic city in America. Amelia Island also has a rich history. If you want fancy resorts and beaches, Amelia Island is the best.
Can You Drive to Amelia Island?
The island is accessible by car and is the preferred method of transportation. You can access the island from the west and south by road.
How Far From Orlando to Amelia Island?
Amelia Island is about 175 miles from Orlando, Florida. By interstate the time will be just under 3 hours.
Amelia Island vs. Fernandina Beach, Are They the Same?
Fernandina Beach is the main village on Amelia Island. The names are used frequently interchangeably many times. The historic district of Fernandina Beach is where many quaint shops and restaurants are located.
What is the Best Month to Visit Amelia Island?
We know Amelia Island is a tourist destination year-round. People in southern tropical Florida go north to the island in deep summer. Travelers trying to escape the snow in northern states head for Florida in the winter. Many Georgia residents make the short trip to the island for day trips or the weekend. Florida Travel Blog’s favorite time is in the late fall after kids are back in school.
Is Amelia Island Expensive?
Most tourist destinations across the country are more expensive than a normal town or city. However, we find Amelia Island less expensive than places like Miami, Orlando and Key West.
Fun Beaches – Lots of History – Good Restaurants Great Amelia Island Florida Road Trip
It’s hard to believe that any other small island in the world has experienced more historical significance than Amelia Island. For centuries Amelia Island was the most fought-over island in history. From the settlement of Timucuan Indians around the year 1000 until today, it is said there have been eight different flags flying on the island from governments around the world.
Pirate Controls Amelia Island
The beauty and security of the area is why the privateer, Louis-Michel Aury took control for a period of time. Supposedly Aury was working for the Mexican government but was actually a pirate who ruled Amelia island for a period in the early 1800s until turning Amelia Island over to Americans in 1817.
The newly formed country of the United States
was interested in controlling all of Florida, but the Spanish laid claim to the land between the Atlantic Ocean westward to near New Orleans. At that time, the land all the way to New Orleans was part of Spanish-controlled Florida.
Later, after some bargaining, arm-twisting, and a few million dollars, the United States took control of Amelia Island.
With the exception of a brief period when Confederate troops seized Fort Clinch during the Civil War, the island has remained the property of the United States. The fort, named Clinch in 1847, was previously the site the Spanish held to fortify the area. Of course, the Spanish got control from the French who routed the Timucuans from the area!
Throughout all of the fighting for control of Amelia Island, this little strip of land about 13 miles long was key to controlling the St. John’s River basin from this northern fortification. The river basin ran far into the heart of Florida.
Amelia Island has beautiful beaches, natural fresh water, and access to food from both freshwater rivers to the bounty in the Atlantic Ocean. Food sources, natural protection, and control over the river basin made this island valuable. This led to a much-fought-over island.
Amelia Island Makes a Great Florida Road Trip
Today, the natural beauty brings a continuing stream of Florida road trip travelers, plus visitors from Georgia and Alabama. The hotels and attractions stay busy year-round.
Floridians from southern Florida come for relief from heat and humidity, Georgia sees Amelia Island as a playground in winter months and folks from further west love the beaches along the Atlantic. The lush foliage a few hundred yards off the beach offer a quick transition from the sand and sun to the cool breezy shade in the shadows of resorts hugging the Atlantic Ocean.
While there are a couple of towns on the Island, Fernandina Beach is where the shops, restaurants, quirky stores, marine activities, and even the oldest bar in Florida reside.
Oldest Bar in Florida on Amelia Island?
The Palace Saloon claims to be the oldest continually operating bar in the state, but we may suggest that the Green Parrot in Key West and a couple others may dispute that! While not included as a best, The Palace Saloon is ornate and many of the old decorations, gas lights and woodwork are displayed.
It may be worth a Florida road trip to Fernandina Beach, just to say you were in the oldest bar in Florida.
The bar and restaurant scene is fun in Fernandina Beach with an almost equal number of visitors from Florida and Georgia, which is just a stone’s throw across the bay. A friendly discussion seems to arise between patrons about the Gators and Bulldogs college football prospects, plus everything
from the best-boiled peanuts to the best of “anything” between the states. Friendly people having friendly discussions is refreshing in a world of conflicts today.
Places like Peppers Cocina Mexican Grill and Tequilla Bar are worth the visit. You won’t find many more tequila brands anywhere! The food is above average, and you can sit inside or out.
The Salty Pelican on the river side of the island offers typical bar food, but the tacos are exceptional (even though we like Peppers for other Mexican delights!).
We have to give a shout-out to one of our honorable-mention dive bars. Just off the main street (Center St.) on 3rd Street, is the Green Turtle. This local’s bar has all the elements of a great Florida dive bar, plus some good entertainment.
The newest addition to the restaurant scene is the Boat House in Fernandina Beach. During our latest visit in April 2023, we enjoyed the Boat House food.
After touring the island you can see why Amelia Island was the most fought-over island in history. It is also a great Florida road trip.
Fernandina Beach is about 30 minutes north of Jacksonville, four hours from Tampa, three hours from Orlando and six hours from Miami straight north on I-95. Since getting there is half the fun, check out the Mayport Ferry service on your way to Amelia Island on a Florida road trip from the south of the island.
More about Amelia Island is on our recent – Road Trip to Savannah
Looking for more road trips in Florida? Read more here…
Always check The Florida Travel Blog for traveling the sunshine state.