Amelia Island, Florida
32 mi. north-east of Jacksonville is Amelia Island (pop. 15,000), an exclusive holiday island of coral limestone that has become a frequent venue of major tennis tournaments. In the north-west of the island is the very attractive bathing resort of Fernandina Beach. At its northern tip is Fort Clinch, built in 1847. Perhaps the most beautiful holiday resort on the island is the Amelia Island Plantation, with an enchanting 12 mi. long beach, a golf course and a variety of facilities for water sports.
American Beach was the first beach in Florida set aside for the enjoyment of African Americans. It was established in 1935 by A.L. Lewis, who founded Jacksonville's Afro-American Life Insurance Company and went on to become one of the nation's first African American millionaires. Incredibly popular during the days of segregation, American Beach quickly grew into a 200-acre resort area, frequented by thousands of black vacationers in the 1940s and 1950s. It was one of the few recreational spots they could call their own.
Fort George Island
The Spanish established a blockhouse and the mission San Juan del Porto on Fort George Island in the 16th century. By 1736, the island was the site of a fort used as a base for raids against the Spanish thus giving the island its name.Visitors to Fort George Island come for boating, fishing, off-road bicycling, and hiking.
Address: 12157 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32226, United States
Opening hours: 8am-Sunset
Entrance fee: FREE
Visitors to Kingsley Plantation will see the main house, the kitchen building, the gardens, the barn and the slave quarters. Zephaniah Kingsley owned and operated this cotton, citrus, sugar cane and corn plantation from 1814 to 1839. He left to establish a colony in Haiti after living conditions deteriorated for his workers and his black wife.
Address: 11676 Palmetto Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32226-2449, United States
Opening hours: 9am-5pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee: FREE
Useful tips: There is a Ranger program daily at 2:00 p.m. The main plantation house at Kingsley Plantation is closed.
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Fernandina Beach is a town on Amelia Island featuring many architectural styles such as the Victorian district with over 50 blocks of residential, commercial and a popular shopping area.
Fort Clinch State Park
Fort Clinch was begun in 1847 but never finished. It was occupied by Federal forces in 1862, and helped to introduce northerners to the south. This caused a tourism boom after the Civil War. Fort Clinch is a well-preserved fort that was garrisoned during both the Civil and Spanish-American wars. Fishing, swimming, and beachcombing are popular activities on the nearby beach.
Amelia Island Museum of History
Located in Nassau County's former jailhouse, tours of the main floor of the Amelia Island Museum of History give insight into the history of the island. The second floor tells the story through photographs and artifacts.
Adventure Landing, Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Adventure Landing is host to numerous wet activities such as an uphill water coaster, wave pool and over 200 spray nozzles. Go-karts, laser tag and miniature golf are other aspects of the park.