J.McLaughlin Local Guides: Amelia Island
Just off the coast of northeast Florida, Amelia Island offers a tranquil getaway with lush beaches and accessible, unspoiled views of wildlife. 30 minutes from the Jacksonville airport, you can take in this slice of paradise steeped in Southern charm and history. J.McLaughlin is located right in the beautiful city of Fernandina Beach on 4800 1st Coast Highway, Space 420. Pack your breeziest vacation wardrobe pieces for beach days ahead — in our guide to Amelia Island, we're exploring all the treasures that this Floridian beauty has to offer.
Amelia Island is home to 13 miles of lovely beaches. Along the Atlantic coastline, walk the brick streets by Fernandina Beach and explore historic Southern homes. At the heart of Fernandina Beach is the Florida House Inn, the oldest surviving hotel in the state. Not only is it a luxe bed and breakfast, but it's also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Walk along the beach or hop on a trolley to explore all of the beautiful buildings in the city.
For ocean dwellers, August is peak beach season. Collect shark teeth and seashells along the shore. You'll have your best luck after storms or when tides recede. On a low-key day, relax by sunbathing and wave-watching by the water. You can also check out the Fernandina Harbor, which is home to commercial shrimp boats and is considered the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry. Each year, discover the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, where you'll find lovely local crafts, antiques, music, and, of course, delicious seafood.
Amelia Island State Park is a spot that deserves a place on your travel itinerary, as it encompasses 200 acres of lush forest in total. Activities to do in the park include horseback riding on the beach and cycling along the Timucuan Trail. It's also a great area to see Florida's wildlife. Birdwatchers will appreciate views of egrets, herons, ibises, and more. Additionally, Amelia Island just so happens to be a stopover for monarch butterflies, which travel 3,000 miles between food sources and roosting areas.
After admiring the water, visit Centre Street downtown to browse the island's best shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Grab a drink while you're in town. Built in 1903, The Palace Saloon is a historical landmark as the oldest existing bar in Florida. Another way to unwind after wandering the beaches is to sneak in some tee time — there are six golf courses on the island for you to enjoy. Many reside alongside beautiful Amelia Island vacation rentals as well as charming bed and breakfast spots and luxury hotels.
Wherever your island days take you, enjoy them in a perfectly beachy chic #jmclook. Explore swimwear and other wardrobe pieces for your coastal adventures!