Located on Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach is Florida’s northernmost beach and is a popular destination for summer getaways. Fernandina has everything from beaches to water sports to Florida history. Check out these great ways to experience all there is to see and do in Fernandina Beach.
1. Visit Fernandina’s Beaches
Fernandina has 12 miles of beaches from Fort Clinch State Park to the southernmost point of Amelia Island with over 40 beach access points. There is parking at nearly half of these access points, and most hotels and beach houses along the beach have private access.
2. Jump into Fernandina’s Water Sports
Fernandina’s beaches are covered in soft white sand and have plenty of sea shells for the shell collectors out there. There are also some waves typical to Atlantic coast beaches, perfect for boogie boarding and body surfing.
Fernandina Beach offers plenty of opportunity to get out on the water with Stand Up Paddle Board rentals and tours, kayak rentals and tours, boat tours, sailing lessons, jet ski rentals, fishing charters, river cruises, and more.
These water sports are a great way to learn more about Fernandina Beach’s eco system and get an up-close look at the wildlife like dolphins and sea turtles.
3. Experience Florida History
Amelia Island is the only place in the U.S. to have been under 8 different flags: France, Spain, Great Britain, the Republic of Florida, the Green Cross of Florida, Mexico, the Confederate States of America, and the United States. Because of this, Amelia Island is referred to as the “Isle of Eight Flags,” and as you can imagine, that means Fernandina Beach is rife with history. Fernandina Beach’s historic district spans 50 blocks and has over 400 registered historic buildings.
You can find many of these historic buildings on Fernandina Beach’s Main Street, like the Nassau County Courthouse, which is one of the only remaining late-19th century Florida courthouses; the Palace Saloon, which is Florida’s oldest continually operating drinking establishment; and the Old Train Depot, which was the site of Florida’s first Atlantic-to-Gulf railroad.
You can stop by the Amelia Island Welcome Center in the Old Train Depot to pick up a map of all of Fernandina Beach’s historic sites.
4. Attend the Fernandina Festivals
Fernandina Beach is a town of festivals. Fernandina is best known for its Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, an annual celebration that takes place in May, which celebrates Fernandina Beach’s role as the birthplace of the modern fishing industry. It’s a festival where people gather to listen to music, shop local crafts, and eat lots and lots of shrimp.
Other popular festivals in Fernandina Beach include the 8 Flags Car Show, the Petanque Open, and the New Year’s Shrimp Drop.
5. Check Out Fernandina Shopping
What better way to experience Fernandina Beach than to shop from local stores? Fernandina’s Main Street is full of local boutiques selling souvenirs, books, artwork, clothing, antiques, and more.A few of local Fernandina favorites include The Book Loft, an independent book shop with local-interest reads and beach reads; Villa Villekulla Neighborhood Toy Store for unique toys and gifts for kids; and the Eight Flags Antique Market, a huge antique store with tons of variety.
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This article was written by Paige Watts of Paige Minds the Gap
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