Ultimate Amelia Island Travel Guide

If you’re planning a trip to Amelia Island, Florida this is the ultimate Amelia Island travel guide to follow! From where to eat, stay, and what to do – I have you covered.

The Ultimate Amelia Island Travel Guide | Louella Reese

Finally sharing an Amelia Island travel guide after visiting the charming Florida beach town earlier this month. The trip was a trip of a lifetime – truly! We had the opportunity to participate in so many activities I probably would have never thought of or been too nervous to do. Not to mention eat some of the yummiest food this seaside town has to offer! 

Needless to say, I am very excited to share this travel guide with you and hopefully help/encourage you to plan a trip to Amelia Island soon! It is 100% one of the most dreamy, charming spots I have ever had the opportunity to explore. A perfect spot for a romantic getaway, a full on family vacation, or an adventure filled experience with your bestie (I experienced the latter). 

With this travel guide, I’m breaking it down by what to do, where to eat, where to stay, and where to shop! Because the island truly has it all and a little for everyone!

Where to Shop in Amelia Island | Hudson & Perry | Louella Reese

Where to shop in Amelia island 

First things first, no really, this is what we did immediately upon arriving in Amelia Island. We drove right into downtown Fernandina Beach and explored several of the local shops. We also made a few purchases! Most coming from my top shop recommendation…

Hudson & Perry 

By far one of the cutest shops I have ever walked into. This natural light filled shop is filled with adorable goodies for your home, travels, and friends. Everything is very unique, charming, and a little overwhelming because you want just about everything. At least my girl friend and I did!! 

I walked out with the cutest pig print ever – if you didn’t already know this, I am obsessed with farm animals. As well as the sweetest mini woven basket. Which I am currently looking at as it sits atop my desk and holds business cards. 

Where to Shop in Amelia Island | Hudson & Perry | Louella Reese
Where to Shop in Amelia Island | Hudson & Perry | Louella Reese
Where to Shop in Amelia Island | Florida Antique Shops | Louella Reese
Where to Shop in Amelia Island | Florida Antique Shops | Louella Reese
Where to Shop in Amelia Island | Pearl | Louella Reese
Where to Shop in Amelia Island | Pearl | Louella Reese
Eight Flags Antique Market

This was actually the first shop we ventured into. We had the absolute best time walking through this incredible antique market. Which is filled with one of a kind treasures. If you’re looking for any kind of home decor piece – large or small – Eight Flags has you covered. They have 35 dealers and approx. 300 consignors! All creating a mix of primitive, vintage and designer merchandise! Again, if you’re looking for it, they probably have it! 

Pearl Boutique

Our favorite clothing store downtown. You cannot help but instantly feel you mood boost upon walking into this store. It is so bright and cheerful. Filled with fabulous brands like Tyler Boe, LillaP, Lilly Pultizer, and J.Marie to name a few. Perfect spot to find a new look for your vacation! 

Amelia Island Lighthouse | Amelia Island Travel Guide | Louella Reese

c/o fabletics sports bra | c/o calia shorts | c/o everlane baseball cap | reebok classic leather sneakers | bp. round frame sunglasses | Fitbit versa watch

What to do in Amelia Island

Oh my goodness does this island have a lot to offer! It seems as though there are endless excursions, activities, parks, and places to visit. Perfect for those that like to stay active and busy on vacations! Or those with children that need to stay active and busy haha. 

Amelia Island Lighthouse 

First, let me say the reason my photos aren’t super close to the lighthouse or have it in full view are because they only offer tours tours on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. Which did not align with the dates of our trip. If you experience the same thing, don’t fret! You can still catch a beautiful view of it across the marsh from Fort Clinch State Park. Which we didn’t end up having time to explore but I heard it is quite amazing as well!

Amelia Island Lighthouse | Louella Reese
Amelia Island Lighthouse | Louella Reese
Things to do in Amelia Island | Shrimp Museum | Amelia Island Lighthouse | Amelia Island Travel Guide | Louella Reese
Things to do in Amelia Island | Shrimp Museum | Amelia Island Lighthouse | Amelia Island Travel Guide | Louella Reese
Things to do in Amelia Island | Adventurous Vacation Activities | Louella Reese

c/o fabletics sports bra |c/o calia top |  c/o calia shorts | c/o everlane baseball cap | bp. round frame sunglasses | Fitbit versa watch

Marine Welcome Center & Shrimping Museum

A great spot to visit if you’re interested in learning more about the shrimping history of Amelia Island. Which I will say is quite interesting! Fun fact: Fernandina Beach is known as the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry!

Backwater Cat Adventures

This was the highlight of our Amelia Island trip and would be my number one recommendation. Whether you are traveling with your significant other, best friend, or family (children must be 5 and up to ride). 

The tour/adventures is about 2.5 hours (ours was closer to 3 hours) and you drive your own catamaran. If you’re anything like me and that sounds a little nerve-racking, don’t worry, you get use to driving it pretty quickly! As you drive you spot wildlife, sea life, Fort Clinch, and stop for a little history lesson on Cumberland Island, GA. Which by the way is absolutely beautiful and truly incredible! Also, I have to note, some of the wildlife includes wild horse and y’all, they are majestic! 

Things to do in Amelia Island | Adventurous Vacation Activities | Louella Reese
Things to do in Amelia Island | Adventurous Vacation Activities | Louella Reese
Ameila Island Travel Guide
Things to do in Amelia Island | Shrimp Eco Tour, Family Activities | Amelia Island Travel Guide | Louella Reese
Things to do in Amelia Island | Shrimp Eco Tour, Family Activities | Amelia Island Travel Guide | Louella Reese
Outdoor Activities Amelia Island, FL | Louella Reese
Outdoor Activities Amelia Island, FL | Louella Reese
Shrimping Eco Tour with Amelia River Cruises

Another great way to see wild life, sea life, and learn a little more about the shrimping industry in and out of Amelia Island. While on the cruise, guides will deploy and retrieve a net to catch some sea life. The catch will then be displayed in an on-board aquarium and each of the creatures will be identified. Afterwards, they are released back into the water. A great activity for families with young children. 

Paddleboarding at Omni Resorts Amelia Island Plantation 

A beautiful way to explore and get a little exercise in! This is a guided paddle boarding tour through the marsh creeks around the Omni Resorts Amelia Island Plantation property and y’all the views are breathtaking. The tour lasts about 1.5 hours and the path depends on the tides at the time. 

Explore Downtown Fernandina Beach | Louella Reese
Explore Downtown Fernandina Beach | Louella Reese
Explore Downtown Fernandina Beach | Louella Reese
Explore Downtown Fernandina Beach | Louella Reese
Explore Downtown Fernandina Beach | Louella Reese

brixton Joanna straw hat | maxi dress (under $30) | similar wicker cross body | c/o everlane leather slide sandals

Explore Downtown Fernandina Beach

The adorable downtown has so much to offer! From the shops I mentioned above to restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, and beautiful homes to admire. If it isn’t too hot when you visit, I highly recommend spending some time walking around. Pop into shops, grab a coffee and pastry at Amelia Island Coffee, and then walk along the Artrageous Artwalk

Where to Stay in Amelia Island Florida | Louella Reese

heart shaped sunglasses | c/o fabletics biker shorts | birkenstocks rose gold sandals

Where to stay in Amelia island

Oh my goodness I could not possibly say enough good things about the Omni Resorts Amelia Island Plantation! This spot is truly a destination in itself. Upon driving into the plantation you feel your stress level lower, your body relax, and your eyes overwhelmed by the beauty. When people talk about paradise on earth, this is one of the spots they are talking about! 

The resort is nestled on 1,350 acres at the tip of Amelia Island. They offer luxurious oceanfront accommodations with unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean. As well as one of the most incredible resort pools I have ever seen, a championship golf, and a full-service spa. Oh, and a really great gym! We visited every morning and the walk there was the perfect way to start each morning. We spotted beautiful wildlife each time and watched the sun come up over the plantation. 

This resort plantation truly has something for everyone! While also being a beautiful place to lay your head and relax each evening. 

Where to Stay in Amelia Island Florida | Louella Reese
Where to Stay in Amelia Island Florida | Louella Reese
Where to Stay in Amelia Island Florida | Louella Reese
Where to eat in Amelia Island | Timoti's Seafood Shack | Louella Reese

The Best places to eat in Amelia island 

Let’s get down to the most important part…where to eat! We all know food can totally make or break your trip and y’all, Amelia Island’s food scene definitely made this trip! Oh my YUM!

Timoti’s Seafood Shak 

The ultimate seaside seafood shack! Timoti’s open-air restaurant offers a casual menu filled with fresh, wild-caught seafood. Including shrimp, lobster, clams, and so much more! There were several items on the menu we wanted so we decided to go all out and order multiple dishes. We could not pass up the opportunity to try them! 

Grilled shrimp tacos for me, chicken wrap for my friend, and a lobster roll + hushpuppies to split. Do not, I repeat DO NOT go without ordering the hushpuppies. They are life changing! Also, I’m currently sitting here dreaming of the grilled shrimp tacos, wishing I was having them for lunch today – so good! 

Timoti’s is the perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon after hitting the beach or exploring downtown Fernandina. Park your group at one of their wooden picnic benches and enjoy! 

Where to eat in Amelia Island | Timoti's Seafood Shack | Louella Reese
Where to eat in Amelia Island | Timoti's Seafood Shack | Louella Reese
Where to grab a drink in Amelia Island | Louella Reese
Where to eat in Amelia Island | Louella Reese
Where to eat in Amelia Island | Louella Reese
Where to eat in Amelia Island | Louella Reese
Oceanside at Omni Resorts Amelia Island Plantation 

We dined here our first evening and it was the perfect spot to kick off our dining experiences in Amelia Island. The view of the ocean from our table was stunning! We also had the absolute best waiter – I believe his name was Cole but not 100% sure I’m remembering correctly. Always, he was so sweet and really made our experience!

We started our meal with their crab cake appetizer which they so kindly split for us. The passion fruit aioli gave the crab cake a unique taste – one we both really enjoyed! For our meals, Mahi-Mahi tacos and a black bean burger. Both were very good! Finally we finished off with their Beach Fire S’mores dessert. Which is a warm chocolate cake with graham sand and marshmallow clouds. Drooling, seriously drooling thinking about it! A must order – you’re on vacation afterall – indulge a little!

Where to eat in Amelia Island | Salt Life | Louella Reese
Where to eat in Amelia Island | Salt Life | Louella Reese
Where to eat in Amelia Island | Salt Life | Louella Reese
Salt Life Food Shack

To keep the breathtaking dinner views going, we headed to Salt Life Food Shack for dinner our second night. They have an awesome rooftop bar with dining. Here you can hear the live music being played downstairs while also taking in the ocean view.  

The Salt Life Food Shack is the perfect spot to visit if you’re looking for a laid-back casual dining experience. Whether you’re coming straight from the beach with family or having an easy date night. 

As far as food, we started off with their guacamole appetizer and dove into all of the seafood – mahi-mahi taco (a steak one too) and a salmon salad. Everything tasted very fresh and was packed with flavor! Next up, two desserts because we couldn’t choose just one – key lime pie and ice cream blondie. Both were wonderful but if I had to recommend one, get the ice cream blondie! We both could not stop ourselves until it was completely gone! 

Where to eat in Amelia Island | Joe's 2nd Street Bistro | Louella Reese
Where to eat in Amelia Island | Joe's 2nd Street Bistro | Louella Reese
Where to eat in Amelia Island | Joe's 2nd Street Bistro | Louella Reese
Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro

If you’re planning a date night while visiting Amelia Island, this is the spot to make reservations at! The intimate atmosphere and perfectly curated menu are what date night dreams are made of. While being intimate the restaurant is warm and inviting. A spot you want to spend the evening in, sipping a great glass of wine. 

You may notice a trend here…we started our meal with their Maryland Crab Cakes. These crab cakes were all crab and absolutely wonderful! From there I indulged in their shrimp and grits while my girl friend tried their grilled chicken penne. I believe we both finished every last bite! Please trust me when I say their shrimp and grits is the best I have ever had!!!! I desperately want to bring Joshua here so he can try for himself as I have probably told him 10+ times how incredible the dish was! 

Obviously we could not pass up dessert! Especially after our waitress told us all about their chocolate creation you see pictured above. It was like nothing I have ever tasted before, melt in your mouth incredible. As was their key lime pie – perfectly tart like being light and fluffy. 

The Shrimp Days of Summer Amelia Island | Louella Reese

Shrimp Days of Summer 

You may have noticed that several of our activities were centered around shrimp. Oh and that I ate A LOT of shrimp! Well that is because this summer Amelia Island is celebrating their shrimping history with the “Shrimp Days of Summer“. This includes many ways to enjoy “all things shrimp” and create lasting end of summer memories (runs until September 30th).

A complete list of Shrimp Days of Summer packages and special offers can be found online on Amelia Island’s shrimp page

Thank you to Visit Amelia Island  for making organizing this incredible trip! All meals, accommodations, and activities were comped. All views and opinions are of course my own!

Interested in seeing more recent travels? Visit my travel diary & guide page or check out my most recent trip

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

28 Comments

  1. Rachel wrote:

    What an amazing trip! I need to add Amelia Island to my list, especially to take advantage of all of the cuteness at Hudson & Perry!

    Rachel
    http://www.hello-her.com

    Posted 8.27.19 Reply
    • It really was! Yes, you do girl friend. Isn’t it the cutest shop you’ve ever seen? Completely obsessed!

      xo Laura Leigh

      Posted 8.27.19 Reply
  2. Lacey wrote:

    Well I know where I’m going next! How stunning! I can’t get over how clean everything is!

    xx,

    Lacey// theglittergospelblog.com

    Posted 8.27.19 Reply
  3. Alex wrote:

    Seriously, so charming! Ready to plan a trip asap!

    Posted 9.1.19 Reply
  4. The pictures are absolutely stunning! You’re guide is so robust it makes it easy to plan a trip to amelia island!

    Posted 9.4.19 Reply
  5. This trip looked like so much fun, I wish I could’ve gone!! Let’s go next summer?!

    xo, Hillary | hillheady.com

    Posted 9.4.19 Reply
    • Same girl, same! Next time I’m thinking spring or fall – when it’s a tad cooler 🙂

      xo Laura Leigh

      Posted 9.5.19 Reply
  6. Nailil wrote:

    It looks like an amazing place to visit. I love all the shots you got to capture. Ps. love that maxi dress, it’s beautiful.

    Xx, Nailil
    thirtyminusone.com

    Posted 9.4.19 Reply
  7. Stephanie wrote:

    The more of your travel posts I read, the more I want to travel to all the places you go! I’ve never even heard of Amelia Island before this, but now I’m so fascinated! I’m going to Florida next week, but to a spot closer to Miami – which is definitely not this quaint and beach town-esque haha.

    Posted 9.4.19 Reply
    • Aw yay! That makes me so happy 🙂 Amelia Island is absolutely incredible. Truly a spot you need to add to your travel bucket list. Have fun in Florida next week!!

      xo Laura Leigh

      Posted 9.5.19 Reply
  8. roxy wrote:

    What a cute seaside town!! Those food shots are making me hungry, haha. I love all the cute stuff at Hudson & Perry! I would be all over that shop too.

    Posted 9.4.19 Reply
    • Isn’t it? And whoops haha. Everything really was so tasty though! Very happy to hear you would be all over Hudson & Perry’s amazing selection as well. Seriously the cutest!!!

      xo Laura Leigh

      Posted 9.5.19 Reply
  9. Kileen wrote:

    This looks like such a dreamy island!! Definitely need to add this location to my travel list!! Sounds like an amazing trip.

    Kileen
    cute & little

    Posted 9.5.19 Reply
  10. Morgan wrote:

    Laura Leigh – these photos are insanely gorgeous!!! Have you been taking photography classes without me?! 🙂 Seriously though, this place and these photos are stunning!

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

    Posted 9.5.19 Reply
  11. Greta wrote:

    How have I never heard of this island? Everything looks absolutely beautiful and that food looks so yummy!

    Posted 9.5.19 Reply
  12. Anna English wrote:

    What a fun little trip! It looks like you had a great time.

    Posted 9.6.19 Reply
  13. What a cute city! I love that Seafood Shak and shopping spots. I have never been to Florida but I for sure need to plan a trip to Amelia Island in the fall 🙂

    -xo, Azanique | https://www.lotsofsass.com

    Posted 9.8.19 Reply
    • Isn’t it though? Completely obsessed. The Seafood Shak was our favorite – so stinking cute and beyond delicious. You absolutely do need to – and fall would be the perfect time.

      xo Laura Leigh

      Posted 9.9.19 Reply
  14. Caitlin wrote:

    Such a beautiful place I hope to visit some day!

    Posted 9.11.19 Reply