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Always listed as one of Florida’s best beaches, Amelia Island’s location often surprises visitors. Located just within the Florida – Georgia Atlantic coast border, Amelia Island is Florida’s northern most island. It is also the southern most island in a chain of barrier islands called the Sea Islands, stretching from Florida to South Carolina’s Murphy Island.
Part of Nassau County, the island’s largest city is Fernandina Beach. Which is the northern most Atlantic coast city in Florida.
Can You Drive To Amelia Island?
- The quickest, most direct route, follows State Road 200 over Thomas J. Shave Jr. Bridge.
- The other follows the northern bank of the St. Johns River on Heckscher Drive. This turns into the A1A. It winds through Big Talbot Island State Park before crossing the flat Buccaneer Trail, which bridges the islands.
What Airport Do You Fly Into For Amelia Island Florida?
Amelia Island does have a regional airport on the island, called Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport. If you’re chartering a flight, or lucky enough to own your own jet, this is the closest option.
For the rest of us, Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) is the largest major airport. It’s only 30 miles away or just around 40 minutes.
Are There Shuttle Services To Amelia Island?
Yes, from Jacksonville Airport there are shuttle services to Amelia Island. Most require advance reservations.
For an idea on costs:
- Amelia Transport provides a private van, door-to-door, flat fee service for $70 (2020) per vehicle (up to 5 people) one-way.
- 8 Flags of Amelia Island offers a similar service for a $65 (2020) flat fee.
Both companies offer discounts for sharing a ride with other customers.
Hotels, like the Ritz Carlton and the Omni resort, also offer guest shuttles for a fee.
Do You Need A Car On Amelia Island?
Amelia Island is 13-miles long and 3 miles wide at its widest. Having a car is by far the most convenient way to get around the island, though not completely necessary.
The only public transportation is the Island Hopper bus. Operating Thursdays through Mondays, the $1-a-ride bus loops the central island from Atlantic Ave to Sadler Road. This is only 2 miles along the beach, but does go into the Historic Downtown District. If your hotel is further, or you want to visit the parks at the ends of the island, this may not work for you.
You can also rent bikes. As the island is not very big, and there are lots of lovely bike trails, this may be a viable option. Outside the hotter months that is.
Ride sharing services like Uber technically don’t operate on the island, but there are a handful of drivers that do.
Finally, it’s worth noting that many visitors staying at the larger resorts choose not to leave the resorts. Personally, this isn’t my favorite option, as I like to explore, but it is an option.
Is Amelia Island Walkable?
Yes, especially around the Historic District of Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island’s largest city.
This area feels more like a small town than a city. It’s known for it’s gorgeous small boutique shops and local restaurants. Parking is infamously bad, especially in peak season, so walking is preferable.
It’s worth noting, the Historic District is connected to the Island Hopper public shuttle. The shuttle picks up at City Hall and Central Park.
Plus, it’s only two miles to walk from the Ferry Terminal in the Historic District, to the main beach. About a 40 minute walk. Atlantic Ave has a large sidewalk on each side of the road, making it also safe.
There’s also plenty of recreational walking on the island. From the beautiful sandy beaches, to Fort Clinch, and Amelia Island State Parks.
Where To Stay On Amelia Island
If you stay within the Island Hopper route, you are unlikely to need your car during your trip. However, mid-range hotels can often be a little pricier in this area. Though you can’t beat the convenience.
On our last trip to the island we found a hidden gem of a budget option at the Beachside Motel. Right on the beach, very clean and updated rooms, and friendly staff. Staying off-season and mid-week we spent $98 per night, significantly cheaper than other accommodation at the time. Check their current pricing.