July Guest Post: Amelia Island
I am so very excited to share with you July's Guest Post! This month's guest post comes from a super sweet lady from one of my favorite states, Texas! I found Dedra on Instagram when we were both doing the Instagram Challenge by Jenna Kutcher. I instantly knew I would enjoy following Dedra on Instagram because she not only posts fun, real-life photos of her living her best life, but also includes her pups in her feed! (You all know I'm no stranger to any other #dogmoms out there!) Her sweet pups even grace her Instastories from time to time! I eventually had a chance to check out Dedra's blog, "dedra davis writes" and have since truly enjoyed keeping up with her posts. Dedra is an excellent writer and story teller! I hope you all enjoy her guest post here as much as I do! Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us, Dedra, and for being a wonderful guest on the blog! -Alix
Just returning from a few relaxing days on Amelia Island, where the biggest question of the day was, “beach or pool?”, I was asked by Alix to write a guest post about our trip. I was happy to do so because her blog site is amazing and because I fell in love with Amelia Island.
Hi, I am Dedra and I am a late-in-life writer. Writing brings me much joy because it took me 26 years to get started! I graduated in 1988, with a degree in journalism but because of fear and life, mainly fear, I didn’t start writing until three years ago. My blog site, dedra davis writes, is full of posts about life, living, travel and Waco, Texas, where we call home. I try to inspire people to live a happy life, no matter what is going on around them.
Now, I want to inspire you to visit Amelia Island.
My husband and I love to travel and we like to explore new places. We wanted to escape to the beach for our thirtieth anniversary and we decided the Atlantic Ocean would be our destination.
After researching, we decided to spend our vacation on Amelia Island and I am thankful we did.
Never traveling to this part of Florida, it was an adventure to explore the island and downtown area of Fernandina Beach, on Amelia Island.
Amelia Island, located at the northern tip of Florida on the Atlantic Ocean, is a barrier island and is just across the river from the Georgia border. The island is 13.5 miles long. It resides in Nassau County and has a population of 11,952, according to http://www.ameliaisland.com/ Conde Nast Traveler voted Amelia Island one of ten best beaches in Florida.
Beach is the word for this vacation spot--thirteen miles of pristine, white beaches, two state parks and four public beach areas with access points that span the island. The island has many rentals, condos, motels, hotels and resorts. Unlike Miami though, Amelia Island has the feel of the past, the feel of a small-town beach. You won’t find over-crowded beaches and walls of high rise hotels.
Golf is another word spoken on the island. With six major golf courses, 117 holes in all, all lush, green and in pristine condition, Amelia Island is a golfer’s paradise.
Amelia Island also has arts and culture, shopping, history and don’t forget about the water adventures. Fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming or just listening to the waves—this island has water fun for everyone.
And, everyone we encountered on Amelia Island was of the southern charm—friendly, eager to please and inviting. All the people and establishments were laid back and had the perfect vibe for a vacation spot.
The quaint downtown area in Fernandina Beach is known as Centre Street. This walkable area is historical, full of charm, non-commercial for the most part and full of locally-owned shops, art galleries, restaurants, bars and coffee shops. And don’t forget the desserts—ice cream, gelato and fudge!
Salty Pelican Bar & Grill
Eating at the Salty Pelican, is a must while you are on the island. Dining upstairs on the open-deck for a view of the intracoastal waters, is also a must. The restaurant sits on the waterfront on North Front Street, in the downtown historic district in Fernandina Beach.
The Salty Pelican serves fresh boiled shrimp by the pound, oysters prepared several ways, fresh, local seafood, po boys, fried shrimp and typical bar and grill favorites like wings and burgers. They also have a happy hour and a drink of the day.
The servers were friendly and fast and the large fans, with misters, keep you cool while you enjoy the fresh-air sites, your food and drink.
The Crab Trap
Another must, The Crab Trap, located at 31 North 2nd Street, in the historic Seidel Building, built in 1877. This casual spot offers fresh local seafood-grilled, fried, broiled or blackened, including shrimp, lobster, oysters and yes—crab! They also serve steak and chicken.
You will love the nautical décor and friendly service at this family-owned restaurant. The Crab Trap also has happy hour and is a casual, fun spot to eat.
On the corner of Centre and 2nd Street, you will find a bar that claims to be the oldest saloon in Florida. The building dates to 1878 and originally housed a haberdashery. Word is they traded their “shoes for booze” and the saloon opened in 1903. That’s a lot of cold beverages served over the years.
The Palace is a historic pre-Prohibition bar with mosaic floors and several painted murals offering craft beer, artisan cocktails, a famous Pirate's Punch and on Sunday’s their also-famous Bloody Mary. The Palace also has live music.
The Ritz Carlton is a gorgeous and lush resort that lives up to the Ritz name. Located in the hotel, is an upscale steak and seafood restaurant called Salt. Named after the Himalayan Pink Salts, also available in the hotel’s boutique shop with the same name, this restaurant offers each table “salt tastings” with homemade rolls and breads, served with unsalted butter. Himalayan salts have less sodium and a larger amount of minerals and trace elements—84 to be exact. You get health benefits and more flavor without the salty taste.
Salt offers a streak that is served braised on the outside and brought out on a large, pink Himalayan salt block, heated up to 400 degrees. You cook your steak to the temperature of your choice and perfection. Not only is this a delicious way to order a steak but also entertaining.
Amelia Island Parkway
Whether you stay at the Ritz Carlton or go to dinner at Salt, or do neither, it is worth the drive to see the road in front of the hotel. Amelia Island Parkway is a “canopy road” lined with oak trees, palms, and lofty pine trees, among others, that have limbs that reach to either side of the way forming a canopy over the two-lane road. As you drive down the mesmerizing, winding lane that is a shaded-piece-of-heaven, you see the sun peeking through as if it is a strobe light on a dance floor. Spanish moss hangs in the dense trees, as well, adding to the southern charm, on this remarkable, protected road.
Amelia Island comes highly recommended from my husband and I as a vacation spot for you to explore. The island is perfect for families, honeymooners, or anniversaries, and there are many activities to keep you entertained. Or, if you simply want to relax, you can do that, too. I hope you enjoyed this guest post and I hope you discover Amelia Island someday.