With fall rapidly approaching and the 2008 tourist season coming to a close, the downtown district on Amelia Island is still alive with activities and things to do for the whole family. My family and I visited recently the Intercoastal wine company located on Norht 2nd Street. This was our first venture to this new wine bar and everyone in our group had a wonderful experience of what Amelia Island has to offer. Here we found a couple of local fellows playing music, a great selection of wines, cheese appetizers and a cozy environment to spend an evening.
Upon leaving the wine company we took some time to walk down to the Fernandina Harbor Marina. This is the marina located directly behind Brett’s Waterway Cafe that extends both North and South along the Amelia River and the Intercoastal waterway. But, to our surprise the Fall Arts and Craft Festival was in place with vendors from around the country displaying and selling their crafts.
Despite a slow season for boating we found the marina bustling with both transient and permanent residents. The charter fleet has grown in both numbers and the size of the vessels and has even added a ferry service to St. Mary’s, Georgia to its ranks. This really is a great local spot to visit and if you want to see the best sunset views on the island this is the place. Florida’s oldest continuously operating saloon, The Palace Saloon, is located on the corner of 2nd and Center Streets in downtown Fernandina. The Palace Saloon has been a local favorite with its rich history and one of a kind murals painted on the walls. Even if you‚’re not into the bar scene or even a consumer of alcohol you still will not want to miss the opportunity to take a peek inside if for nothing more just to say, “I’ve been there”.
We finished our evening with a stop at O’Kane’s Irish Pub, on the corner of 6th and Center and learned Amelia Island was hosting her first annual Film Festival. O’Kane’s is another favorite of all who have eaten or stopped in for a drink and has a great atmosphere and excellent food. Many boutiques and shops can also be found in the historic district on Center Street along with a chocolate factory, coffee houses and several antique businesses. Many of these establishments are open late and are great places to browse.
I write this article as a lifelong resident of Amelia Island and to remind others who call this little piece of paradise home, not forget about our wonderful and quaint little downtown. For many locals we only visit here for annual events and festivals but, as I was recently reminded it’s a place worth visiting more often.
Check back for video updates of this weekend’s events: Fernandina’s first Film Festival, the fall Arts and Crafts Festival and the Beer and Wine Tasting Event.