AMELIA ISLAND, Florida – It has an exotic, tropical sound to it and fosters visions of faraway tranquility.
But it is really one of the closest, most convenient resort destinations on America’s East Coast. In fact, it was Florida’s first luxury resort destination.
The island is virtually two very diverse vacation destinations.
With places like the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort and The Ritz Carlton Amelia Island at one end, it speaks of upscale luxury – but in a low-country setting that is reminiscent of famous Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.
With the expansion of the railroad in Florida, the town of Fernandina Beach, at the north end of the island, gained prominence in the mid-1800s. The architecture of the quaint town provides testament to its Victorian Era roots.
Blending these two elements of the island, just north of Jacksonville, Florida, is the magic that brings this precious piece of coastal landscape to life.
“My first visit to Amelia Island was one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had in a number of years,” said Tony Castano, a lifelong golfer who’s traveled the globe for the better part of 20 years. “Amelia Island proved to be so much more than I expected. The longer I stayed there, the more I fell in love with the natural beauty of the low-country. And, the old railroad town sure has a fun atmosphere.”
Friendliness is the key component of everyone on Amelia Island. It is almost as if the laid-back nature of the island has invaded their souls. And it all starts with Kate Harris, Director of Digital and International Marketing for Amelia Island. She speaks to the history and charm of the region.
“This was the first luxury tourist destination in Florida,” she explains. “In the Gilded Age, in the 1880s, when the fancy people from the North started coming here and the railroad boom was going on, there was a lot of money and excitement. So they built this beautiful Victorian historic district and it is still all around us today. It’s remarkable that it is so well-preserved.”
The mix of old-world charm and natural beauty of Amelia Island dominates and captivates visitors from all walks of the Universe, whether you’re from New England or New Zealand.
Amelia Island in Northeast Florida boasts of great golf opportunities, making it the perfect getaway for golfers looking for pristine course conditions, beautiful scenery at affordable rates.
A barrier island rich in history, Amelia Island flaunts long, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife and clean waters. The island is home to Fernandina Beach, once a vibrant Victorian seaport village, and now a charming downtown district of eclectic shops, attractions and eateries. The “River City by the Sea,” Jacksonville is bisected by the north-flowing St. Johns River and home to more than 50 golf courses for every level of expertise and budget.
For more information about Florida’s First Coast of Golf visit www.florida-golf.org