The best way to stay on Amelia is to rent a house on a weekly or monthly basis. Few of the beach houses are fancy, but most are spacious, and nearly every one is but a few steps from the beach. Contact Amelia Island Vacation Rentals (800/772-3359, www.ameliaislandvacation.com) for rental information. When researching properties, you’ll need to decide whether you want to stay near Fletcher Avenue in Fernandina Beach, in one of the numerous rental properties within the confines of Amelia Island Plantation, or in of the various condo communities on the south side of the island.
Short-term visitors should check out the well-appointed beach-view guest rooms at the Seaside Amelia Inn (2900 Atlantic Ave., 904/206-5300, www.seasideameliainn.com, from $109 d). Located at the northern tip of the island close to Fort Clinch State Park, the hotel offers clean contemporary guest rooms that are some of the newest on the island.
In downtown Fernandina Beach yet only a few minutes down State Road A1A from the beach is the Hoyt House (804 Atlantic Ave., 904/277-4300, www.hoythouse.com, from $139 d), a beautiful and unpretentious bed-and-breakfast. The inn’s 10 guest rooms are housed in a 1905 house that’s perfectly evocative of the historic district’s lost-era elegance.
For a splurge, the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island (4750 Amelia Island Pkwy., 904/277-1100, www.ritzcarlton.com, from $399 d) has all the frills one would expect from the chain. Bracketed by a dense copse of trees at the entrance and opening up to a wide private beach, the hotel offers secluded luxury. An on-site spa, two golf courses, three restaurants, and two lounges give you little reason to leave the property.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition