In earlier seafaring times, Fernandina Beach was a popular haven for pirates and the debauchery of their lifestyles. In stark contrast, today’s Fernandina Beach is one of the most charming and appealing small towns I have ever visited. Considered the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry, seafaring (without the piracy) is still a way of life for many here. Fernandina’s hub is a Historic District of late 1800’s-early 1900’s era buildings occupied by restaurants and unique “Mom and Pop” shops that stretch along Centre Street for six blocks near the Intracoastal Waterway. This makes for an awesome place to take an afternoon stroll or engage in a small-business shopping adventure with the family. There have even been a couple of “Black Fridays” when we left the abundant shopping options of Jacksonville behind to instead patronize the small shops of Fernandina Beach. Shops here include a two-story independent bookstore, a year-round Christmas store, a fudge and ice cream shop, an Irish-themed shop, a pirate-themed shop, and various other places selling clothing, jewelry, art, beachy accents, and even shark’s teeth. A visitor center located a block from the Intracoastal waterfront provides a variety of free maps and literature for detailed information on Amelia Island and the Greater Jacksonville area. The Isle of 8 Flags Shrimp Festival, which features blocks of artists and food vendors, also draws crowds of visitors to Centre Street on the first weekend in May. In the blocks just off Centre Street, bed & breakfasts occupy a number of grand old Victorian homes.
HISTORIC FERNANDINA BEACH
EXTERNAL LINKS TO AMELIA ISLAND PLACES I HAVE VISITED: