Are you looking for fun things to do in Amelia Island, Florida? Then you’ve come to the right place! Amelia Island is one of the many Sea Islands that make up the barrier islands on Florida’s Atlantic coast. It’s one of the prettiest islands in Florida, and somewhere we definitely suggest visiting!
On Amelia Island, you’ll find sandy beaches, historic buildings, and even luxury resorts and hotels. It’s become a popular place to visit in Florida, and for good reason. Along with all of that, there are also some amazing restaurants on Amelia Island too. There is an endless amount of Amelia Island activities to explore, and on this list, we’ve found the best things to do in Amelia Island!
We’ve included a variety of attractions in Amelia Island, so, there is something for everyone on this list. From trips to the beach, exploring the historic downtown area, or riding bikes on the beach. Whether you’re traveling by yourself, with your partner, or with the whole family, these are some of the best things to do in Amelia Island!
16 Best Things To Do In Amelia Island FL You Shouldn’t Miss
Visit The Beach
The main beach on Amelia Island is Fernandina Beach. It’s one of the best beaches in Florida to visit. You’ll find Fernandina Beach in the city of Fernandina Beach, which is located on the northernmost tip of Amelia Island. The beach in Fernandina Beach is beautiful with white sandy beaches and clear blue water. It’s one of the best free things to do in Amelia Island! There are over 40 different spots along the beach where you can find beach access. While they don’t all have parking, usually you can find parking just a short walk away.
However, the most popular area to visit is Main Beach Park. Main Beach Park has volleyball courts, a playground, restrooms, outdoor showers, and of course, beach acesses. There is even a grassy area if you don’t love sitting in the sand. The beach park has lifeguards on duty from Memorial Day through Labor Day, which is when the beach is the busiest. If you’re planning to visit Amelia Island, we highly suggest taking some time to relax and explore Fernandina Beach’s Main Beach Park!
Fort Clinch State Park
Near the northernmost point of Amelia Island, you’ll find Fort Clinch State Park. The State Park is over 1,100 acres and includes the 19th century Fort Clinch. This is one of the best attractions in Amelia Island if you want to explore the more natural areas of the island. You’ll be able to walk on trails with local flora and beautiful views. The State Park also features a variety of different Florida landscapes.
Within the park, you’ll find sand dunes, an estuarine tidal marsh, sweeping plains, and a maritime hammock. A maritime hammock is an area that is full of hardwood trees that form a small island and their own ecosystem in a larger aquatic ecosystem. Fort Clinch, which gives the State Park its name, is also on the grounds. You can explore and tour the 19th century Fort as well, and learn about it’s history. Outdoor lovers and history buffs will love this free thing to do in Amelia Island.
Hunt For Shells And Shark Teeth
If you’re wondering what to do in Amelia Island while you relax on the beach, we suggest hunting for shells and shark teeth. Florida is full of amazing shelling beaches. On Amelia Island, most of the beaches are full of unique shells and a variety of different sharks teeth. In fact, we think it’s one of the best things to do in Amelia Island with kids. They’ll love hunting for treasure as they run and play on the beach!
The best time to go hunting for shells and shark teeth is during low tide. However, even at high tide, you’ll be able to find some great shells and sharks teeth on Amelia Island. If you’re anything like us, you can spend hours walking up and down the beach looking for unique pieces to take home. Even if you don’t fill up your pockets with shells and shark teeth, it’s a really cool thing to do in Amelia Island FL.
Explore Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach
One of the best things to do on Amelia Island, FL, is to exlpore Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach. Like we said before, Fernandina Beach is a city on Amelia Island that also has a beach. It’s a little confusing, but the city is on the shores of the beach, thus the name. In the city, you’ll find the stunning historic downtown district. Most of the downtown area was constructed during the Victorian period.
So there are some truly stunning Victorian buildings and homes that make up the historic downtown area. It’s a very walkable area and you can easily see it all on foot. In the district, you’ll find Florida’s oldest bar, unique boutiques, the oldest hotel in Florida, and more. There are also some amazing restaurants in this part of the city of Fernandina Beach. If you’re looking for some of the best places to visit in Amelia Island, this is it!
Rent Bikes And Explore
A great way to explore Amelia Island is by renting some bikes and just riding around! There are several companies on the island that you can rent bicycles from. However, you can always bring your own bikes too. Many of the companies also have beach cruisers, which are special bikes that are able to handle sandy beaches a bit better than your standard bike.
If you don’t bring your own bike, don’t worry. Almost all of the bike rental companies on Amelia Island offer free delivery to wherever you’re staying. You and your family can ride bikes on the beach, at Fort Clinch State Park, or in Fernandina Beach. It’s one of the best things to do in Amelia Island with kids because they’ll love getting to bike around the island.
Marlin And Barrel Distillery
Are you traveling to Amelia Island with a partner or group of adults? Then you’ll find that one of the best things to do in Amelia Island for adults is the Marlin and Barrel Distillery. The Marlin and Barrel Distillery can be found in Fernandina Beach. They have a variety of rum and vodka that you can sample during your visit. Marlin and Barrel Distillery offers tours and samplings. Or, you can just explore their storefront.
They are best known for their handcrafted rum and vodka, but they have other offerings as well. Along with rum and vodka, they have bourbon, whiskey, and a few mixed drinks you can try. In their store, you’ll be able to purchase all of their handcrafted and hand bottled liquors as well as other unique pieces of merchandise. It’s a really fun thing to do in Amelia Island for adults to enjoy.
Enjoy Scenic Views On An Amelia Island River Cruise
If you want to learn more about the history of Amelia Island while enjoying scenic views, we suggest taking an Amelia Island River Cruise. The River Cruise takes you through the scenic waterways that connect Amelia Island and the Cumberland Island National Seashore. There are a few different companies that offer these river cruises.
They all have different operating hours and schedules, so you’ll want to do your research ahead of time. However, if you’re visiting from Memorial Day to Labor Day, almost all of the cruise companies are open with a variety of cruise times available. On the cruise, you’ll learn more about the history of the Island and get to see scenic views. Depending on the time of the year you visit, you may even get to see the wild horses on the Cumberland Island National Seashore. This is easily one of the best activities in Amelia Island Florida.
Have A Picnic On The Beach
One of the most romantic things to do in Amelia Island is definetly having a picnic on the beach. With so many beautiful beaches and amazing restaurants, it’s also easy to do. You can get takeout from any one of the restaurants, or head to the grocery store and make your own picnic. Amelia Island itself is perfect for a romantic getaway, but a private picnic on the beach with your partner can’t be topped.
You’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful views while you spend some quality time together. It’s also a great way to wind down the day after you’ve explored all the island has to offer. If you want to make it even more special, there are a few companies on the island that will set up an umbrella and chairs for you. Not everyone’s idea of romance is sitting in the sand. But you can be comfortable on a nice beach chair while you enjoy your picnic meal. It’s a great option if you’re looking for romantic things to do in Amelia Island.
Boneyard Beach On Big Talbot Island
Right over the bridge from Amelia Island you’ll find one of the best things to do near Amelia Island. Boneyard Beach is a mile long stretch of beach that you can find at the Big Talbot Island State Park. It is named Boneyard Beach not because it is full of skeletons. Well, not human skeletons. It’s actually full of huge oak trees that have washed ashore. However, archeologist have also recently discovered fossilized mammoth skeletons!
The salt and sun bleached skeletons of the old oak trees give it an eerie vibe. That eerie vibe inspired the name Boneyard Beach. It is not recommended that you swim at this particular Florida beach. The oak trees are not just washed up onto the beach, but also in the shallow parts of the water. The current is also particularly strong there. However, it is a really unique spot for photographs and sightseeing. It’s easily one of the coolest things to do near Amelia Island.
Amelia Island Lighthouse
The Amelia Island Lighthouse was built in 1838. That makes it the state’s oldest lighthouse! It originates from a time period in Amelia Island history known as the ‘territorial period’. That is when Amelia Island was part of a territory and not actually a fully fledged American state. It also happens to be one of the few structures in Florida from that period that has managed to survive without major rebuilding.
The lighthouse is still in use, thanks to the US Coast Guard, who now owns it. Because it is government property, there are very few tours offered. In fact, tours are only offered on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month, and promptly at 10am. That’s it! So, if you want to actually tour the lighthouse, you’ll need to plan in advance. If you want to view the property around the lighthouse, you can only do that on Saturdays from 11 am to 2 pm. However, if you can make it work in your schedule, it’s a really cool place to visit in Amelia Island.
Visit American Beach And Nana Dune
American Beach itself has a really important and varied history in Florida’s past. It is especially important to the history of the Black community in Florida. With the rise of Jim Crow laws in the South, Black people were barred from visiting public beaches. So, the Black community in Florida created American Beach, a beach that they could visit freely and safely. As hotels, restaurants, and more popped up on the beach, it became a popular destination for Black people from all over the country to visit.
American Beach is also home to Nana Dune, the tallest sand dune in Florida. Nana Dune is 8.5 acres large and is owned by the National Park Service in an effort to protect it. However, the majority of American Beach is still owned by private landowners. Please respect their privacy when you visit and you absolutley should make every effort to protect the sand dune as well. There are currently projects underway to preserve and highlight American Beach’s history in the Black community as well. It’s a really unique place to visit in Amelia Island for a variety of reasons.
Amelia Island Welcome Center
One of the coolest attractions in Amelia Island is the Amelia Island Welcome Center. The building was originally a train depot that was built during America’s Gilded Age. You’ll find it in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach. Today, the charming brick building is the island’s welcome center. Within the building you’ll find information about exploring the island, among other things.
If you have any questions about what to do in Amelia Island, this is a great place to start. Inside the welcome center you’ll also learn a little about the island’s history. On display are the 8 flags that have flown on Amelia Island at some point. There is also a brief history about David Yulee, an important figure in Florida and Amelia Island history. In front of the building is also a statue of David Yulee that has became a popular photo op spot while exploring Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach.
Fernandina Beach Pinball Museum
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Amelia Island, we suggest heading to the Fernandina Beach Pinball Museum. The Pinball Museum is very hands on and not your typical museum experience. For an entrance fee, you’ll have access to over 20 different pinball machines. The pinball machines all vary in age, condition, and theme.
The oldest machines are over 50 years old and some of the newer ones are just a year old. The themes vary from Pirates of the Caribbean, The Addams Family, Game of Thrones, and The Simpsons. They also have a variety of machines with more generic themes like Rescue 911, Wizards, and the North Pole. It’s a really unique Amelia Island attraction that groups of all ages will love exploring!
Bosque Bello Cemetery
The Bosque Bello Cemetery, like many other things on Amelia Island, is the oldest cemetery in Florida. It is believed to have been started by the Spanish in 1798. It continued to gain ‘residents’ throughout the centuries and in the 1940s a new section was added. This section is known as the ‘new section’, despite it now being 80 years old. Both sections of the cemetery are beautiful, but it’s the old section in particular that attracts visitors.
In the old section, you’ll find ancient trees covered in Spanish Moss, tombstones that have long been weathered nearly bare, and more. Guests are invited to respectfully walk through the cemetery and observe the extremely old portions of the cemetery with care. There are a few benches where you can sit and admire the beauty of this extremely old cemetery too. It’s definetly one of the more unique places to visit in Amelia Island.
Grab A Drink
If you’re visting Amelia Island with adults, then this may be one of the best things to do in Amelia Island with adults. Throughout the island you’ll find a wide variety of bars and even night clubs. Many of them even have views of the ocean. Grabbing a drink with friends is a must when you’re looking for things to do in Amelia Island at night too!
We suggest stopping by a few different ones in particular. The Palace Saloon is said to be Florida’s oldest bar. It was established officially in 1903 and has been continually serving drinks since then. The bar is also famous for it’s Pirate Punch, which is quite strong. If you want to enjoy a drink with beachside views, we suggest Hammerhead Beach Bar. They have a large deck that sits right on the beach and serve great drinks. It’s one of the best things to do in Amelia Island at night after a day spent exploring!
Go Horseback Riding On The Beach
Another romantic thing to do in Amelia Island is to go horseback riding on the beach! There are a few companies on Amelia Island that offer horseback riding. You can choose to have a private adventure or join a large group. Before you set out, you’ll get a brief training on how to handle the horse while you’re riding. This is to ensure both your safety and the horses!
Many of the companies also have special horseback riding tours at sunset. There isn’t much that is more romantic than you and your partner riding horses on the beach as the sunsets. If you’re interested in this romantic thing to do in Amelia Island, make sure you plan ahead. You’ll want to make sure there are tours running and that they have availabilty when you plan on exploring the island.
Amelia Island is one of our favorite Florida islands to visit. There are just so many fun things to do in Amelia Island, plus it’s beautiful! Whether you plan on exploring the island with your partner, friends, or family, we guarantee you’ll find plenty of the best Amelia Island activities on this list!