Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Amelia Island And Fernandina Beach, Florida

We recently traveled over to Amelia Island to attend an annual meeting.  Each year this particular meeting is held in some charming location somewhere in the State of Florida.  We were pleased to get the opportunity to visit this uppermost northeastern section of Florida.

If you have visited Sweet Southern Days in the past,  you know I enjoy taking my camera with me and trying to capture some of the beauty all around.  This trip seemed like a great opportunity for some interesting picture taking moments.

We decided that when the meeting was concluded we would take some extra time to sightsee on north along the southeastern coast visiting what is referred to as, the "Sea Islands,"  from Florida through Georgia,  and on into South Carolina.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I was able to find a map showing all of the Sea Islands all along the southeastern coast.  If you look at the eastern uppermost section of the Florida portion of the map you can see where Amelia Island is located.

Photo of map from Wikipedia

It was a great pleasure staying at the charming Ritz-Carlton Oceanfront Hotel, which is located 
close to the quaint Historic Victorian Seaport Village of Fernandina Beach.

I think the palm trees surrounding the hotel entrance have a charming tropical look.

The entrance to the hotel was so nicely landscaped and so "green."

While my husband attended his meeting I  took my camera around the hotel taking a few photos.  I loved the traditional look of one of the lobby sitting rooms seen below.

This flower arrangement in the middle of the table in the lobby caught my eye.  
How pretty the way they designed this driftwood with glass vases for a lovely floral display.

These beach scenes were taken from a sixth floor window of the hotel
and show the beautiful beach below.

You can see the rolling sand dunes which stretch on out to the beach of the Atlantic Ocean.

Amelia Island is a barrier island with pretty white sand beaches and exquisite natural beauty.  The island is about 13 miles long and 4 miles wide, which is just about the same size as Manhattan in New York. 

Visitors to this island can enjoy natural beauty plus swimming, surfing, fishing, sightseeing tours and golf.  There is also fine dining and shopping on the island.

How beautiful to see the sunrise,  and the quiet peacefulness of the beginning of a new day.

The below photo shows the pretty tree lined entrance into the hotel.  

When the meeting was over we drove the short distance on over to 
The Historic District of Fernandina Beach.

We began our adventure visiting the Welcome Center seen below.  This building opened in 1899 and was originally a railroad depot for the first cross-state railroad in Florida.

There were several walking ramps along the highway for those wishing to go down to the beach.

The below photo shows the view back from the beach showing beach homes along the highway.

In the below photos we see the streets of historic downtown Fernandina Beach lined with old Victorian buildings.  This lovely island includes a large 50-block area of buildings and homes all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the below photo we see the group of downtown buildings which 
includes the very old and historic Palace Saloon.

This old Saloon has quite a history.  This building was originally constructed in 1878.  The building was later purchased in 1901 and would become The Palace, an elegant gentleman's saloon.

Between 1880-1910 Fernandina's docks were some of the busiest in the South.  Ships were welcomed from the far corners of the globe.  This Palace Saloon was known as the "Ship Captains Bar."  The Saloon still has the elegant features that made it famous with inlaid mosaic floors, embossed tin ceilings and carved mahogany fixtures.  

Not being too much of a "bar" person myself, I have to say we did peek inside just to take a look.  It was a little on the dark side in there, but it seemed to be quite busy.  If walls could talk I am sure they could tell some tall tales from the past.

Someone told us that the current bartender at the Palace Saloon is the city Mayor.

I have read that in the early days there were many ships visiting this island and lots of pirates as well.  I do wonder if they looked at all like this fella standing outside of the Palace Saloon.

This photo below shows part of the downtown area looking west toward the docks.

Another view of downtown Fernandina Beach.

The Fairbanks House seen in the below photo was built in 1885.  This home originally belonged to the local newspaper editor George Fairbanks who later became a State Senator.

The lovely Fairbanks House is now an elegant Bed and Breakfast.  For more information you can click this link:              

Driving along the historic neighborhood of Fernandina Beach we spotted many very interesting old houses.  I thought the flowers growing across the front porch of the house seen below were so pretty.

Notice the front door wreath decorated with starfish.

 Prescott House
 built in 1876.

A closer look shows the inviting front porch of this lovely home.

Chadwick House
Built around 1883 by Captain Steve Chadwick, owner of a tugboat company and livery stable.

Hinton Baker House
Built in 1859 by the son of the first minister of the First Presbyterian Church.

There were many Live Oak Tree lined streets on the island similar to these seen below.

Humphrey House
This Queen Anne home was built by Dr. D.G. Humphrey in 1900.

This large Bougainvillea Plant seen below caught my eye and looked like it was almost finished blooming.   This plant is hardy to zone 9.  There is just a small section this far north where this tropical plant will survive. 

    There were several charming homes seen on the island,  but not seen in the list of historic homes.

I loved this cute little blue cottage seen in the below photo.

And what a pretty little yellow cottage seen in the below photo.  
Don't you love that cute little front porch!

The sign on the front door of this adorable cottage porch says, "Come Sit On My Porch."

Seen below is another colorful beach cottage.

And another colorful home.

Baker House
This home was built in 1859 and owned by the first minister of the First Presbyterian Church.

In the below photo we see another charming beach cottage. 
Notice the wooden red-fish-decoration on the second floor porch wall.

There were many more homes on the island that were very charming and beautiful.  

As we left the island we see the tall grass marshes seen all along the route of the sea islands.

Thanks for coming along with us as we traveled around through this old historic seacoast area.  Come join us next time as we visit the old Historic Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island.

I do hope you are having a very nice Summer with many blessing wherever you may be.

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