March 21, 2013

Day 158 - March 20, 2013: Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach

Amelia Island, named after Princess Amelia, daughter of George II of Great Britain, has frequently changed possession. This island is the southernmost of a chain of barrier islands reaching from South Carolina to the tip of Florida. In its long and varied history from 1562 to the present, it has been under eight different flags, the most of any area in the U.S. This reflects its importance as a deep water port of strategic location between northern cities and Florida.

We docked at the Fernandina Beach Marina and walked out, unfortunately in the rain, to explore.  A 50-block area of Fernandina Beach is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. Besides a beautiful old-style downtown filled with many nice shops and restaurants, there are many unusual and well-preserved historic homes. We took a 90-minute trolley tour of the area, which was well narrated and very informative. There is also a walking tour that covers 43 historic spots of which 22 are homes. One or the other is a must-see for any visit. You could easily spend several days here enjoying this town and the ocean beaches.

Fernandina Beach Marina with Great Laker (upper center)

Center Street from the marina
Oldest operating saloon (1918) in America

Waas House, 1856
Bailey House, 1895

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