A short drive from Kings Bay, and located just off the coast of northwest Florida, Amelia Island is a wonderful day trip for families. The island offers 13 miles of beautiful beaches, wildlife and a wide range of activities for families with children of all ages.
Below are some of our favorite activities:
Situated on the north eastern part of the island, Fort Clinch State Park offers a whole host of activities, with deep historical roots. . From exploring the Civil War era Fort Clinch to biking across 1,400 acres, this park has a lot to offer. Open from 8am until 5pm, Fort Clinch does charge with a small entrance fee. Due to COVID- restrictions, some areas of the park are not operating (such as bike rentals). There is beach access with swimming on the Atlantic side of the park.
Situated on the southern tip of Amelia Island, this state park offers 200 acres of wilderness access, including 4×4 beach access and fishing. The park is open from 8am until sundown and has a small entrance fee. The George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier stretches for a mile across the Nassau Sound. Families can bike from this state park along the Timucuan Trail bike path, which connects up to Peters Point on Amelia Island, crosses the Nassau Sound and enters Big Talbot Island. This state park is also a favorite for those who collect shells.
If you are looking to go hiking with the kids, look no further than Egan’s Creek Greenway Trail. This network of trails runs through 300 acres of protected land and is perfect for biking, hiking, running or wildlife watching. Make sure to pack the sunscreen and bug repellent. There are signs and benches throughout the trail. There are many different access points to the trail.
Located behind the main Fernandina Beach Recreation Office and close to one of the parking lots for Egans Creek Trail is the Pirate Playground. This playground is great for children 10 and younger, as it has swings, a sandpit, musical instruments, and areas for pretend play including a pirate ship and shops. is a great playground for younger children, as it is a fenced and gated, situated safely off the main road. The park also offers plenty of shady areas, picnic tables, benches and nearby bathrooms.
Close to the entrance to Fort Clinch State Park, Main Beach Park has a lot to offer to children of any age. Main Beach Park has access to the Atlantic Ocean, sand volleyball courts, a playground, a skatepark and outdoor showers. There are also restaurants in walking distance from this beach park, as well as a variety of shops to rent water sport equipment and bikes. The beach is also dog-friendly.
Have a little one who loves horses? There are a variety of companies which provide both beach riding as well as trail rides throughout Amelia Island. Please note that many of these businesses have minimum age requirements. Here are a few of them: Happy Trails Walkers, LLC; Kelly Ranch, Inc.; Amelia Island Horseback Riding.
Amelia Island has a multitude of opportunities for kayaking, both ocean kayaking and river kayaking. Amelia Island is surrounded by waterways, with the Atlantic Ocean, Cumberland Sound, Nassau Sound and the Amelia River surrounding the island. Some companies offer guided tours; others you can rent kayaks for self-guided tours. Similar to Horseback Riding, many kayaking companies have minimum age requirements. For more information on kayak rental companies, click here.
Hunting for shark teeth and shells is a popular past time on Amelia Island. Shark teeth can be black, grey or white and can come in a wide range of sizes. Many people recommend hunting at low tide and looing in the shell line for teeth. Many teeth are found on the northern side of the island in the Cumberland Sound, due to the dredging for commercial shipping and submarines that takes place between Amelia Island and Cumberland Island. While hunting for shark teeth, you might find some pretty shells or get to see some crabs. To learn more, click here.
Do you like the beach but hate slogging all the beach toys, gear, and children from the car down to the water? I absolutely hate trying to get myself, my kids, and all our stuff down to the beach, particularly when my spouse is out to sea. Quickly after moving here, I learned that there are some beaches on Amelia Island that you can drive onto! It makes it much easier to get children to and from the beach! I recommend you only do this in a car that handles well on the sand. If you are a resident of Nassau County, you do not need a permit to drive onto the 4×4 beach access roads. Currently, due to COVID-19 restrictions, non-Nassau county residents cannot get a permit to drive on the beaches. For more information concerning permits, click here. Popular beaches to drive onto include the beach at Amelia Island State Park, Seaside Beach Park, and Peters Point Beachfront Park.
What are some of your favorite kid and family-friendly activities on Amelia Island? Comment below!