GoSouth: Florida

Home to world-class resorts and spas, championship golf courses, bed and breakfasts, and an array of exclusive shopping and distinct dining options, trade in the everyday for a better kind of getaway.

“Easy to reach but hard to forget,” northeast Florida’s Amelia Island beckons you to “come make memories.”

That’s not just a catchy marketing slogan. Surrounded by sea and soft, rustling marshes, this barrier island boasts 13 miles of all things beautiful. Sprawling white beaches, lush landscapes overflowing with wildlife, and pristine waters, edged with natural Appalachian quartz beaches and framed by sand dunes as tall as 40 feet. Home to world-class resorts and spas, championship golf courses, bed and breakfasts, and an array of exclusive shopping and distinct dining options, trade in the everyday for a better kind of getaway.

Photo / Deremer Studios Jacksonville Commercial Photography

A new taproom experience in the space taken over next to the Amelia Island Brewing Company’s original location. Offering a wide variety of beers – from Pilsners to IPAs as well as seltzers, everyone can find exactly what they fancy. Nosh while throwing back a few brews on Alley’s appetizers and light fare to match your brewery selections. From pizza fries to crispy avocado bites and you just might find yourself languoring in The Alley longer than expected.

Photos / Courtesy of AmeliaIsland.com

Get Salty at Salt Life Food Shack
Get close enough to sand and sea and find yourself surrounded by all things Salt Life – including the Salt Life Food Shack, a foodie extension of the Salt Life brand. With multiple locations, there’s always a way to “eat, drink, and be salty.” Maintaining the brand’s laid-back vibes, beachgoers and sunseekers are invited to enjoy, “delicious dishes, cool cocktails, and salt air” which includes a front row seat to ocean views in the St. Augustine and Fernandina locations.

Photo / Deremer Studios Jacksonville Commercial Photography

Gregor MacGregor’s Mini Links & Drinks
These “Scottish greens on island time” have everything you are looking for to escape from the beach. Complete with snack bar perfect for a day on the links: corn dogs, jumbo pretzels, ice cream and more! Named after a particular Scottish scalawag who tried to take control of Amelia Island back in 1817, only to be overthrown himself. So in honor of Mr. MacGregor, pull out your best golf socks, order a John Daly, and hit the mini links for a massively good time.

Photos / Deremer Studios Commercial Photography

Fort Clinch State Park
Sound the cannons and clinch the perfect day trip for your Florida family vacay. “History meets nature” where a row of cannons aims across the St. Mary’s River into Georgia, echoing the fortress’s strategic Civil War importance. Visit galleries, grounds, and preserved rooms as you learn about the life of Union soldiers through “unparalleled living history programs.” Visit the first weekend of every month and hear the soldier garrison fire the cannons as part of a battlefield skills demonstration. The fort is but a backdrop to the park’s 1,400 acres of hiking, biking, birdwatching, camping, fishing, shelling, and shark-tooth hunting.

The Fairbanks House
A “best-of” B&B, this “Select Registry” inn has been celebrated by Fodor’s, Frommer’s, Southern living, Atlanta Journal, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, The Guardian, Conde Nast, New York Times, and The Best Romantic Escapes in Florida. This stately estate rises from Victorian gardens of soaring oaks, 50ft magnolias, arching jasmine arbors, and wild butterfly gardens in the heart of the Historic District. The mansion and private cottages are “a blend of today’s comforts and yesterday’s beauty,” with oversized suites decked with kitchens and multiple beds, standing sentinel on an acre of private land. Pull up an Adirondak and set a spell.

Wheels up!
Nestled between Falcon’s Nest and The Spa & Shops at Omni Resorts on Fernandina Beach, Amelia’s wheels take you round in a variety of ways. Sign up for guided Segway™ tours or rent bikes and Island Hoppers (four- and six-person gas powered carts) to get there faster. Explore seven miles of Amelia Island Resort’s most beautiful points of interest – Aury Island, Drummond Point Park, and Walker’s Landing, and spectacular views and pristine coastlines.

Williams House
The B&B experience everyone is looking for in historic Fernandina Beach village, is nearby to everything from shopping to hitting the beach, bar hopping and everything in between. The Victorian-style, Antebellum house has a rich history over three buildings with 10 unique and renovated rooms. Take a deep breath of history exploring by foot, bicycle, or trolley, all the treasures of the island, or imbibe in rest and relaxation, Southern hospitality and luxury and elegance.

First Love Brewery
Beer, handcrafted pizza, and love are paramount at this brewery where they “aim to bring together great beer and good people under one roof.” Founded by two lovebirds who found a common interest in brewing, this hotspot might be small but it packs a punch with beers like Cardinal Truth (West Coast IPA) and Lily (Belgian tripel) or the Pau Hana (Munich Helles). The taproom also offers food with interesting culinary twists, like gochujang wings and truffle fries.

Le Clos
What better way to enjoy classic French cuisine than in a candlelit cottage built in 1906. Chef and Owner Katherine Ewing has degrees from Le Cordon Bleu and L’Ecole de Gastronomie Francaise Ritz-Escoffier and has trained at the elite Ritz Hotel in Paris and has brought her knowledge and abilities to charming Fernandina Beach. Enjoy dishes like escargot and pate, as well as bistro steak au poivre, scallops, shrimp, and pasta pomodoro, all prepared in traditional French styles.

To read this story in its entirety, subscribe now to the print edition for the full article or get instant access to our interactive digital edition.