There is so much more to Amelia Island than white sandy beaches and roaring cerulean waves, though those certainly contribute to the allure. Historic downtown Fernandina Beach attracts visitors with its unique, coastal charm year after year! Spanish moss dances in the ocean breeze and drapes the branches of giant oak trees. Colorful buildings and Southern Victorian architecture line the streets and paint the scene for a memorable experience. Listen to live music at a local bar, shop for one-of-a-kind gifts at unique boutiques, feast on delicious food at one of the area’s best restaurants, which all happen to be in downtown Amelia Island!
Don’t forget to access our Vacation Guide for even more great suggestions to consider while planning your visit!
The Best Things to Do in Downtown Amelia Island
Fantastic Fare at Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach Restaurants
Maybe you’re in the mood for something light and refreshing for lunch. Perhaps you’re hoping to splurge on an indulgent meal at a fine-dining establishment. You will find an array of exciting restaurants to choose from downtown! Explore a variety of unique flavors that range from international delicacies that utilize locally sourced seafood to restaurants serving classic American cuisine with a creative twist! What are you craving?
- Explore international cuisine from the Mediterranean, France, and Mexico
- Indulge in succulent seafood dishes that are popular in New Orleans and Charleston
- Appeal to the vegans or vegetarians in your group at a charming bistro
Explore the Flavors of International Cuisine
From the Mediterranean to Mexico, dishes from around the world made their way to Amelia Island for your dining pleasure! For a romantic evening, treat your taste buds to the traditional flavors of old world Spain and Portugal at España Restaurant. If you’re on a girls getaway, opt for a round of margaritas and the Florida shrimp burritos at Pablo’s Mexican Cuisine!
Enjoy Freshly Caught Seafood
It comes as no surprise that Fernandina Beach boasts some of the most delicious seafood on the East Coast! Find some of your favorite seafood recipes such as Shrimp Po’ Boys with Cajun-style potato salad at Cafe Karibo or seafood bouillabaisse at Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro.
Classic American Cuisine with a Creative Flair
You can never go wrong with classic American cuisine, especially if it’s prepared in a unique way. Vibrant, eclectic, and flavorful, the tasty eats at Cafe Karibo will satisfy any appetite. Try the tofu tower, chicken carbonara, or coquille St. Jacques for dinner!
A Night Out Downtown
Sophisticated wine bars, cozy taverns, and casual bars make for an eventful evening out on the town! Fancy a glass of fine wine? Check out Pozzi Coffee and Wine Bar or the Patio Place. History buffs looking for a local watering hole will enjoy grabbing a few drinks at Florida’s oldest operating bar, the Palace Saloon! Music lovers can order a few brews at the Green Turtle Tavern and enjoy some local tunes. There’s plenty of options for a fun night out in Fernandina Beach! The best part is that you can easily walk to and from all of these local spots when you stay at Fairbanks House!
Shop ‘Til You Drop
Maybe you’re hunting for the perfect souvenir to remember your trip by. Perhaps you're trying to find a little black dress for a date night. You might even just want to peruse works by local artists. Regardless of what you're shopping for, you’ll soon discover that downtown Fernandina Beach is home to some of the most unique shops! Uncover treasures at upscale consignment shops. Pick out a gift for your loved ones back home at a locally owned boutique like Twisted Sisters. You might even find some local artisan olive oils, sauces, and other food items at Olive Amelia. It’s the perfect way to spend your day in the downtown historic district!
Museums, Musicals, & More!
History buffs, music lovers, and theatre-goers will find an array of arts and culture-related activities and entertainment in downtown Fernandina Beach. Learn about Amelia Island’s rich history at a museum like the Amelia Island Museum of History or the stroll through the Bosque Bello Cemetery. In addition, you can even tour the island via trolley or carriage!
Art & Theatre
Perhaps you’d like to meet local artists and see beautiful displays of their works at galleries such as Blue Door Artists. You might want to attend a play, musical, or live concert performance at the Amelia Community Theatre or Amelia Musical Playhouse. Ponder oil paintings, tap your foot to some tunes, then read up on some local history. Visitors will find so many amazing options for exciting entertainment on the island.
Sights to See
Historic architecture from the Gilded Age stands out against natural landscapes setting the scene for a dreamy stroll through downtown. Lookout over the marina and watch as boats rock in the morning light beneath an orange and pink sky. After that, admire large oak trees as they sway in the breeze and romantic carriages as they pass by colorful shops and restaurants. Then, spot statues from the nineteenth century on park benches or in historic homes. The beauty of the downtown districts draws visitors to Amelia Island all year long. You might even come across a pirate or two along the way…
The Best Place to Stay in the Historic District
When you stay at Fairbanks House in downtown Amelia Island, you will be within walking distance of all the best things to do in Fernandina Beach! During the day, pack up for a day at the beach and take advantage of some of our amenities such as complimentary beach cruisers, towels, and coolers. After you return, head down the street to some of the best restaurants, bars, shopping, entertainment, and more! Then, come back to our inn for a relaxing evening in comfortable accommodations!
Our Country French Room soothes and relaxes with calming blue and yellow hues. The room’s decor captures a casual elegance through the combination of plush bedding, a carved soapstone fireplace, and a delightful box bay window sitting area. It’s the perfection option for couples!