Amelia Island is located just off the coast of northeast Florida. It is the only location in the United States to have been under eight different flags. It is said that the first European visitor was France’s Jean Ribault with his crew on May 3, 1562. The Spanish under Pedro Menendez defeated the French and the island was named “Santa Maria”. In 1702 Ogelthorpe destroyed the Spanish mission and renamed the island “Amelia” after the daughter of George II. The third flag was flown by the British from 1763-1783. After the Revolution, Britain ceded Florida back to Spain. March 17, 1812 the so-called American Patriots overthrew the Spanish and hoisted their own flag. This did not last, and Amelia Island was returned to the Spanish. To liberate northeast Florida from the Spanish Sir Gregor MacGregor ceased control and raised his family flag. Spanish troops tried to regain Amelia Island but were repulsed by the rebel forces. The sixth flag was the Mexican rebel flag which was raised by the pirate Luis Aury. This too only lasted only briefly, and U.S. troops seized the island. They started to negotiate with the Spanish. Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1821. The eight and last flag flown was the confederacy from 1861 – 1862. They took over Ft. Clinch, but federal troops regained in in March of 1862 and occupied the fort for the duration of the Civil War.
Indeed, there is a lot of history to be found on Amelia Island. Step back to the year 1864 and see how locals reenact life during the Civil War at Fort Clinch. This beautiful Florida State Park offers 1,400 acres of nature and is located on the north end of Amelia Island. Segway tours are a great way to explore the park.
Let’s not forget about the 13 miles of amazing beaches, abundant native wildlife and other activities one can participate in. For those who like to be adventurous there are amazing biking trails. How about trying the Amelia Island Trail which travels between Peter’s Point County Park on the south end of the A1A/McArthur-Fishler Bridge.
If you are a walker and like to hike, make sure to visit the greenway which stretches from A1A/Atlantic Blvd to Sadler. Be close to nature and observe amazing sites from the marshes- to all sorts of birds and other wildlife. Let’s not forget the water sports that are offered in the area. Go diving or cruising and watch the local dolphins.
And if you still don’t know what to do try golfing. Amelia Island offers irresistible play for golfers of every skill level with over 117 holes and seven set along the Atlantic Ocean.
After a busy day check out one of over 70 distinctive restaurant on the south or the north end of the island. Enjoy the history and stroll among ghosts in historic Fernandina Beach.
As you see there is a lot to do on this small barrier island. Even if you just sit back to enjoy amazing sunsets and sunrise at one of our beach house rentals this area is guaranteed to give visitors and residents alike an amazing and unforgettable time.