Amelia Island, also known as the "Isle of Eight Flags," has Pristine Beaches and lots of water, history, and wildlife. As well as World-Class Resort Hotels, Spas, Golf Courses, and Restaurants. This guide to Amelia Island with Kids will share all the things you need to do on your trip as well as family-friendly places to eat.
Thank you to Amelia Island for hosting us.
We recently visited Amelia Island and we fell in love with the island. So much so that we started to look at real estate. Amelia Island is located on the East coast of Florida as North as you can go. It is about a 5-hour drive from our home in Boca Raton. And 30 minutes north of Jacksonville. We actually crossed into Georgia waters during our boat trip. Amelia is 13 miles long and two miles wide, with preserved parklands at its northern and southern tips, making up nearly 10 percent of the entire island.
Amelia Island is consistently ranked among the best of the best, including
- #2 Top 10 U.S. Island (Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards, 2018)
- #6 Top U.S. Island (Travel + Leisure, 2018)
- Top Ten Most Romantic Destinations in Florida (Coastal Living, 2018)
- # 4 Happiest Seaside Town (Coastal Living, 2017).
There is so much to do on the island making it a great place to travel with kids or on a romantic vacation. The island is home to a great mix of spa, golf, dining, shopping, and family fun. At the bottom you can see our itnerary.
Amelia Island Map
Amelia Island is the southernmost jewel in the Sea Island chain. The island is just over 18 square miles, similar in size to Manhattan. It is a barrier island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, strong-current Nassau Sound, and one of the East’s largest and deepest inlets, Cumberland Sound there is water everywhere you go. As a water lover, I was in heaven. The island breezes were magical. If you are looking for a town with long stretches of quiet beach, natural beauty, unique history, and charm Amelia Island is a must-see. See the Map of Amelia Island below.
Google Maps Amelia Island
Amelia Island Things to do Family Fun
There is so much to do on Amelia Island as a family. B and Slade are officially Amelia Island Kids. Here are some of our favorites:
Bike Rental Amelia Island
When on the island you don't want to miss the Amelia Island bike trails. We rented bikes from The Beach Store and More. The Beach Store and More have everything you need for a fun day at the beach or bike day. Kim and Mike Scott are the owners and they were so kind and they love Amelia Island. I love to support small businesses with passionate owners. We rented three bikes from them with a baby seat for Slade. I love that they had bikes in all sizes from kids to adults. We spent literally the entire day exploring the island by bike. It truly is the best way to get to know a new place.
Egans Creek Greenway
We went straight from the bike store to Egans Creek Greenway. It is a protected area of over 300 acres. It runs north to south along Egans Creek. In summer 2020 the Greenway opened for public use.
We love biking on it because it is grass-covered roads that make a network of trails. We got to see lots of birds and turtles.
Egan's Creek Greenway Trail
2500 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL, US, 32034
Amelia Island Attractions Not to Miss
- Bird Watching on Amelia Island
- Amelia Island Lighthouse
- Pippi Longstocking House
- Yummy Food Options
- Best Beaches on Amelia Island
Bird Watching Amelia Island
If you enjoy bird watching Amelia Island is a great place for you. We saw lots of walkers with binoculars who were looking for birds along the trail.
Amelia Island Lighthouse
We road along Egans Creek Greenway to The Amelia Island Lighthouse property. It is located in a neighborhood at 215 O'Hagan Lane (accessible from North Wolff Street). It is important to note that it is open to the public for viewing on Saturdays from 11:00am to 2:00pm. On Saturdays, you are only able to see the grounds and the outside of the lighthouse.
The Amelia Island Lighthouse is Florida's oldest lighthouse and the only lighthouse that has lived in two states. It was built in 1838 in Georiga before Florida was even a state. Then it was disassembled and moved to Florida.
Want to see the Lighthouse inside? There are two options.
- Use the Amelia Island app to take a tour inside the lighthouse.
- Take a tour. See details below.
Inside the Lighthouse with Lighthouse Tours
To register for a tour of the lighthouse, please call 904-310-3350 or visit the Atlantic Recreation Center at 2500 Atlantic Avenue.
The bus leaves the Atlantic Recreation Center promptly at 10:00am on the day of the tour.
The 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month (excluding observed City holidays)
$5.00 per adult
$3.00 per child ages 12 and under
A minimum participation of 5 people
Maximum participation of 22 people
Special Notes: The tour does not allow patrons to climb the stairs inside the lighthouse. Face coverings and social distancing are required.
Pippi Longstocking House Amelia Island
If you grew up in the 90's you may recognize the 131-year-old Captain's House in Old Town Fernandina Beach as the home of Pippi Longstocking in the 1987 movie The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking. Pippi Longstocking was filmed on Amelia Island. In the movie, the house is called Villa Villekulla. The location of the Pippi Longstocking house is in the Old Town neighborhood in Fernandina Beach. You can find it at 212 Estrada Street, Fernandina Beach, FL. We rode our bikes here, but I am not sure I would recommend it. Ir is a really long bike ride and there are no bike lanes. Most of the ride was along a major road. The drivers were great, but this mom was nervous about having two babies with us.
- Arte Pizza - We went to Arte Pizza and my husband said it was the best pizza he had ever had. I had an amazing salad. And they gave the kids extra dough to shape and then bake. Both kids made the dough into Mickey Mouse. The chef cook it and added chocolate sauce for a yummy dessert.
- Timoti's Food Shak- Timoti's is a quick-service seafood restaurant. I had a yummy tuna bowl and Kurt had a basket of fresh shrimp. The kids love the shrimping boat playground.
- Salt Life Food Shack - Cocoa Beach This was our second time eating at a Salt Life Food Shack, we went to their location.
- Sliders Seaside Grill - the flounder with crab was so amazing. I am still thinking about it. The kids loved the playground and we loved the view since it is right on the sand.
- First Love Brewing
- Salty Pelican
- Tasty's Burger and Fries
- The Boat House
Ice Cream Amelia Island
I highly recommend a stop at Fantastic Fudge. We enjoyed fudge, ice cream, and coffee with a show. We were able to watch them make sweet treats on marble slabs while enjoying our sweet treats. When you go make sure you lookup for the fudge on the ceiling - they sometimes get a little carried away. We highly recommend it.
Beaches on Amelia island
With 13 miles of beaches, it is hard to pick one beach as the Best beach on Amelia Island. Here are some recommendations.
- Fort Clinch State Park – 2601 Atlantic Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 We loved the tree lined streets of this state park. We even drive by people doing a photoshoot in the middle of the street. With more than 1,400 acres of great activities and landmarks, including historic fort tours, hiking, and biking trails, a picnic area with playground equipment, a half-mile-long fishing pier, and a campground. It is open daily from 8 am until sunset, the park also features a gorgeous beachfront. Just note there are no lifeguard towers, and dogs aren’t allowed on the beach. It’s located near the South Fletcher Avenue intersection, at 2601 Atlantic Avenue.
- Little Talbot State Park – 12157 Heckscher Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32226 This beach offers pristine white beaches you’ve always read about. It has over five miles of white sandy beaches, gorgeous dunes, and even beautiful coastal forests. Keep a lookout for bobcats, marsh rabbits, river otters, and many different species of native birds. Little Talbot State Park is located on Little Talbot Island, which is accessible by driving south on State Road A1A.
- Fernandina Beach – Main Beach Park, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 This beach is close to the island's historic downtown area. You can visit the marine welcome center and go downtown to go shopping and grab a meal. Main Beach has lots of parking making it easy to get to the beach. It is a great place for a picnic too they have picnic tables and even showers. The beach is located off Highway A1A, also named Fletcher Avenue.
- Burney Park – 1556 Gregg Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 This beach is on the island’s southern end. Burney Park is nestled between Summer Beach and Omni Amelia Island Plantation. It is a great park for families with picnic tables, outdoor showers, restrooms, and lifeguard towers. Burney Park is notable for being home to “Nana”, a dune system that has Florida’s tallest dune and is a big draw for tourists to visit. The park is actually located in historic American Beach, which is a 200-acre area that was once a vacation destination for wealthy African Americans and is now the first stop on the Florida Black Heritage Trail. Burney Park is a great spot for tourists of Amelia Island to get a firsthand look at some of the island’s rich history.
- Amelia Island State Park - Florida A1A, Jacksonville, FL 32226 Also, known as Amelia Island State Park. Amelia Island State Recreation Area is a state park in Florida, United States. It is located 7 miles north of Little Talbot Island State Park on SR A1A, and 8 miles south of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island along the Atlantic coastal plain.
Common Questions about Amelia Island State Park
Dogs are not allowed on this beach because it is a state park
It costs $2/person, but there was no one to pay when we went.
You can fish from the beach and we saw lots and lots of people fishing.
Driving on the Beach
You can also drive on the beach without a permit. You just have to have 4x4 since parts of the sand are not hard.
Amelia Island Wild Horses
Did you know there is an island off the coast of Amelia Island and Georgia where there are wild horses?
The horses were abandoned by Spanish settlers more than 500 years ago. Today, there are 150-200 feral horses that roam freely on Cumberland Island. The island is part of Georgia's Golden Isles, just north of Amelia Island, Florida, and south of Jekyll Island, Georgia. You can take a ferry boat from Georgia to the island. Or like us you can book a cruise with Amelia River Cruises. We went on both their sunset cruise and their longer cruise and loved them both. The sunset cruise would have been ideal, but the weather had different plans so the horses headed up to the trees early.
Amelia Island Beach Pictures
How much fun are these lifeguard towers? We even found bunnies on our walkout to the beach.
Sunrise Ameila Island
On our birthday and last day, we all got up early so we could watch the sunrise together. We were not alone on the beach. There were lots of people out watching the sunrise.
Sunset Amelia Island
The sunset on the beach in Amelia Island is so peaceful and beautiful.
Parks and Playgrounds on Amelia Island
Amelia Island has the most amazing parks. We could not get over how many amazing playgrounds they had.
Amelia Island Grocery Stores
When traveling with kids a grocery store trip is often a must. They have lots of grocery store options including:
- Harris Teeter
- Dollar General
Amelia Island Photos
We took hundreds of photos you can see our favorites here.
Famous People: Grisham Amelia Island
John Grisham purchased a number of ocean fronts on Amelia Island.
Camino Island FL
Have you ever heard of Camino Island Florida? It is a fictional town in a book by John Grishman. People often say that Camino Island may be Amelia Island, but no one really knows.
Our Itinerary for Amelia Island with kids
Check in to Amelia Hotel at the Beach
We check into Amelia Hotel at the Beach. It is an affordable option with the most incredible location. It is right across the street from the beach. And next door to the Beach Store and More where we rented bikes. and right in the middle of the island making it easy to get to everything. They also have a great breakfast that is included with your stay.
1997 South Fletcher Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL, US, 32034
Dinner at Sliders Seaside Grill
Sliders Seaside Grill is Fernandina Beach's only oceanfront tiki bar and dining. The food was so yummy. And their playground and sandbox were a highlight for our kids. We were lucky to be there on a night that they had a live band. After dinner, we got to see bunnies on the beach as we walked to the beach for sunset.
1998 S Fletcher Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL, US, 32034
Breakfast at Amelia Hotel at the Beach
Morning at the Amelia Island Park
We started the day at Amelia Island State Park. There were lots of people fishing and some cars driving on the beach which looked like fun. We took lots of photos since the views were beautiful
Lunch at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island
The property is beautiful and lunch was so yummy. The kids loved the egg chairs and I loved the view and the vibe.
Fort Clinch State Park
We explored Fort Clunch State Park, it was like stepping back in time.
Dinner at Arte Pizza
Kurt said it was his favorite pizza ever. They gave the kids dough to shape then baked them as dessert pizzas
We ended the night on a sunset cruise with Amelia River Cruises. We saw dolphins and learned all about the island's history. It is such a great way to learn more about Amelia Island. The kids even got to be the captain.
Amelia River Cruises & Charters
1 North Front Street, Fernandina Beach, FL, US, 32034
Breakfast at Amelia Hotel at the Beach
Rent Bikes from The Beach Store and More
We rented bikes from The Beach Store and More. I highly recommend renting from them.
- Bike ride through Egan's Creek Greenway
- Amelia Island Lighthouse (only open on Saturdays)
- Playground time
- Lunch at Timoti's Food Shak
- Treat for the Family from Fantastic Fudge
- Shopping downtown
- Bike back via Egans Creek Greenway
Dinner at Salt Life Food Shack
Salt Life Food Shack It was a magical location right across from the beach with a great vibe. The food was so delicious. We highly recommend it.
Salt Life Food Shack
17 N Fletcher Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL, US, 32034
Breakfast at Amelia Hotel at the Beach
Boat Ride with Amelia River Cruises
We enjoyed our sunset cruise so much that we went on another one. So we could see the horses on Cumberland Island.