Top Places, Hotels & Things To Do In Fernandina Beach |

9 Things To Do In Fernandina Beach

Trip Ideas May 25, 2024

Fernandina Beach, located on Amelia Island off the northeastern coast of Florida, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by travelers. With its unique blend of natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and modern amenities, Fernandina Beach offers a charming escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

One of the most appealing aspects of Fernandina Beach is its variety of activities. History enthusiasts will be captivated by the stories of historic Fernandina Beach, where the past comes alive through well-preserved architecture and fascinating historical tours. The Amelia Island Museum of History provides a deep dive into the area’s rich past, while walking tours of the historic district reveal the charm of a bygone era.

Fernandina Beach
Source: Timoti Seafood Shak

For those seeking outdoor adventures, Fernandina Beach has it all. The pristine waters of the Atlantic Ocean provide the perfect setting for water sports, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. The Fernandina Beach Pier is a popular spot for anglers and offers stunning views of the coastline. The surrounding natural beauty is also ideal for hiking and biking, with scenic trails that wind through lush landscapes.

Fernandina Beach is also known for its vibrant events calendar. Fernandina Beach Christmas events bring holiday cheer to the island, while other Fernandina Beach events throughout the year celebrate the local culture and community. Whether you’re exploring the charming shops during Fernandina Beach shopping excursions or attending one of the many local festivals, there’s always something happening.

Accommodation options range from quaint bed-and-breakfasts to luxurious hotels near Fernandina Beach, ensuring a comfortable stay for every traveler.  

1. Explore Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach

Exploring Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach offers a captivating journey through time. As you stroll through its charming streets, you'll be surrounded by stunning Victorian-era architecture. These beautifully preserved buildings tell the story of a bygone era, inviting you to step back into the rich history of Fernandina Beach.

Start your day with the best breakfast in Fernandina Beach at one of the quaint cafes downtown. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee and homemade pastries sets the perfect tone for a day of exploration. As you wander, you'll discover an array of unique shops offering everything from antiques to locally crafted goods. Fernandina Beach shopping is an experience not to be missed.

Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach
Source: Tripadvisor

For lunch, there are plenty of options to suit any palate. The best lunch in Fernandina Beach can be found at various downtown Fernandina Beach restaurants, where you can savor delicious seafood, southern cuisine, and international flavors. The vibrant food scene here ensures that you’ll find the best places to eat in Fernandina Beach, with many establishments boasting spectacular waterfront views.

Fernandina Beach is also renowned for its festive spirit, particularly during the holiday season. Fernandina Beach Christmas events are magical, with twinkling lights adorning the historic buildings and special events bringing the community together. 

2. Visit Fort Clinch State Park

Fort Clinch State Park is a gem for anyone visiting the picturesque area of Fernandina Beach. This historic park offers a fascinating glimpse into American history with its well-preserved Civil War-era fort. As you explore Fort Clinch, you'll be transported back in time, learning about its significant role in protecting the coast during pivotal moments in history. The reenactments and exhibits bring history to life, making it an educational and engaging experience for visitors of all ages.

But Fort Clinch is not just about history. The park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 1,400 acres of natural beauty, it offers a variety of activities. Hiking and biking trails wind through lush maritime forests and along scenic coastal dunes, providing breathtaking views at every turn. Bird watchers will be thrilled with the diverse avian population, making it a prime spot for birding. Don't forget your binoculars!

Clinch State Park
Source: 904 Happy Hour

For those seeking relaxation, the pristine beaches within Fort Clinch State Park are perfect for unwinding. The soft, white sands and gentle waves make it an ideal spot for sunbathing, swimming, or simply enjoying a peaceful day by the water. The park's beaches are some of the most beautiful in the area, offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle.

3. Enjoy Amelia Island’s Beaches

Amelia Island’s beaches offer an unparalleled experience for those seeking a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Spending a day on the sandy shores of Amelia Island, you'll find yourself surrounded by the island's natural beauty and the soothing sounds of the ocean. Start your morning with a hearty meal at one of the best breakfast spots in Fernandina Beach, ensuring you're energized for a day full of activities.

For thrill-seekers, the waters of Amelia Island are perfect for paddleboarding, kayaking, and surfing. The island’s gentle waves make it an ideal spot for beginners and seasoned water sport enthusiasts alike. As you paddle through the clear waters, you might spot dolphins playing in the distance or a variety of seabirds flying overhead. If you prefer staying on land, take a leisurely walk along the beach to collect seashells and observe the local wildlife. Keep an eye out for shorebirds, crabs, and even the occasional sea turtle.

4. Tour the Amelia Island Museum of History

The Amelia Island Museum of History offers a captivating journey through time, perfect for history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike. Located in historic Fernandina Beach, this museum is a treasure trove of interactive exhibits and engaging displays that vividly portray the island’s rich history. From the tales of the Timucua Indians to the Spanish settlers, and the dramatic pirate invasions, you’ll find yourself immersed in the vibrant stories that shaped Amelia Island.

One of the highlights of your visit will be the themed tours. These guided experiences delve into specific aspects of local history, providing deeper insights into the island’s past. Whether you’re interested in the architecture, the Civil War era, or the Victorian period, there’s a tour tailored to pique your curiosity. The knowledgeable docents, passionate about sharing the island’s stories, bring these periods to life with their detailed narratives and engaging storytelling.

Amelia Island Museum
Source: Trip

5. Take a River Cruise

Taking a river cruise along the Amelia River is one of the best things to do in Fernandina Beach. The scenic beauty of the river and its surroundings is truly captivating. As you glide through the water, you might spot playful dolphins, gentle manatees, and a variety of bird species. These cruises offer a perfect opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike.

For a romantic evening, consider a sunset cruise. As the sun sets over the water, the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant colors, creating a magical backdrop for a memorable night. Sunset cruises are a popular choice for couples looking to enjoy a peaceful and intimate experience on the water.

Amelia River
Source: Amelia Island

6. Go Fishing

Fishing in Fernandina Beach offers a perfect blend of adventure and tranquility, making it one of the top things to do in Fernandina Beach. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice, the waters around Fernandina Beach provide ample opportunities for both deep-sea and inshore fishing.

Start your day with a hearty meal at one of the best breakfast spots in Fernandina Beach before heading out. For an unforgettable fishing experience, book a charter with a local guide who knows the best spots to catch the big ones. Charters are perfect for those looking to explore deep-sea fishing, where the thrill of reeling in a big catch is unmatched. The guides often share fascinating insights about Fernandina Beach history and the local marine life, adding an educational twist to your adventure.

Fernandina Beach
Source: Fishing Booker

If you prefer a more relaxed approach, try inshore fishing or cast your line off the Fernandina Beach pier. The pier provides a serene environment where you can enjoy the calming sounds of the waves while waiting for a bite. It’s also a great spot for family outings, where everyone can join in the fun. After a morning of fishing, head to one of the best lunch spots in Fernandina Beach to refuel. Downtown Fernandina Beach restaurants offer a variety of fresh, local seafood dishes that are perfect after a day on the water.

7. Visit the Fernandina Beach Pinball Museum

Visiting the Fernandina Beach Pinball Museum is a delightful experience that promises fun and nostalgia for visitors of all ages. Located in the charming town of Fernandina Beach, this unique museum boasts a wide array of both vintage and modern pinball machines. As you step inside, the sounds of flippers, bumpers, and bells immediately transport you back in time, making it an ideal spot for anyone looking to explore the rich history of pinball.

The museum offers a comprehensive look at the evolution of pinball, showcasing machines from different eras. Each machine is meticulously maintained, providing an authentic gaming experience that highlights the ingenuity and craftsmanship behind these classic arcade games. As you play, you can also learn about the fascinating history of pinball, from its early beginnings to its resurgence in popularity today. This makes it not just a place for entertainment, but also an educational outing that blends fun with learning.

Fernandina Beach Pinball Museum
Source: Florida TImes Union

Fernandina Beach itself is a wonderful destination, with plenty of things to do beyond the Pinball Museum. After an exciting day of playing pinball, you can explore the best places to eat in Fernandina Beach. Downtown Fernandina Beach restaurants offer a variety of dining options, from casual cafes serving the best breakfast in Fernandina Beach to elegant spots known as the best restaurants in Fernandina Beach. For a midday meal, the best lunch in Fernandina Beach can be found at several downtown Fernandina restaurants that cater to all tastes.

8. Attend a Festival or Event

Attending a festival or event in Fernandina Beach is a surefire way to immerse yourself in the local culture and community spirit. One of the highlights is the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, where you can savor the best local seafood while enjoying lively parades, arts and crafts, and live music. This event showcases the rich history of Fernandina Beach and its long-standing connection to the shrimping industry.

Beyond the Shrimp Festival, there are numerous local events that provide a taste of the vibrant community life. Art walks in the historic district offer a glimpse into the creative soul of Fernandina Beach, with galleries and local artists displaying their works. Farmers markets are a great opportunity to sample fresh produce and homemade goods, while music festivals bring a range of genres to the downtown area, creating a festive atmosphere that’s hard to resist.

9. Explore Egans Creek Greenway

Exploring Egans Creek Greenway is a must when visiting Fernandina Beach. This lush natural preserve offers an ideal escape for hiking and biking enthusiasts. Winding trails take you through diverse ecosystems, allowing you to immerse yourself in the tranquility and scenic beauty of the area. Along the way, keep an eye out for local wildlife; spotting alligators, turtles, and a variety of bird species adds an exciting element to your adventure.

Located conveniently close to downtown Fernandina Beach, Egans Creek Greenway provides a refreshing break from urban life while still being near the best restaurants in Fernandina Beach. After a morning of exploration, head to one of the best breakfast spots in Fernandina Beach to refuel. Whether you're craving a hearty meal or something light, you'll find a variety of options that cater to all tastes.

Egans Creek Greenway
Source: Florida Hikes

The Egans Creek Greenway is also easily accessible from Jacksonville, making it a great day trip destination. Whether you're traveling from Jacksonville to Fernandina Beach or exploring other nearby attractions, the greenway is a highlight you won't want to miss. It's perfect for those seeking outdoor adventure, peaceful scenery, and a glimpse of Florida's natural wildlife.


Fernandina Beach offers an enchanting blend of activities that cater to every traveler's interests. From exploring the rich history to indulging in its natural beauty, this charming destination ensures a memorable experience for all. Visitors can delve into the past by wandering through the historic district, where well-preserved buildings tell the tales of yesteryears. For a deeper dive into Fernandina Beach history, the Amelia Island Museum of History provides fascinating exhibits and guided tours.

Nature enthusiasts will find no shortage of things to do in Fernandina Beach. The pristine beaches invite you to relax or engage in water activities like kayaking and paddleboarding. The Fernandina Beach pier is a favorite spot for fishing and enjoying scenic views. For a serene retreat, the Egans Creek Greenway offers trails for hiking and bird-watching, providing a glimpse into the area's diverse wildlife.

Dining in Fernandina Beach is a delightful journey in itself. The downtown area boasts some of the best places to eat in Fernandina Beach, with an array of restaurants offering everything from fresh seafood to gourmet breakfasts.  

Fernandina Beach Christmas events add a magical touch to the holiday season, making it a perfect time to visit. The festive atmosphere combined with unique shopping opportunities at local boutiques ensures a memorable holiday experience.

Whether you're planning a trip from Jacksonville to Fernandina Beach or traveling from St. Augustine to Fernandina Beach, the journey is worth it. The welcoming atmosphere, diverse range of activities, and delicious dining options make Fernandina Beach an ideal travel destination. Don't miss the chance to explore the downtown Fernandina restaurants, enjoy the scenic Fernandina Beach water, and immerse yourself in the local culture. With its unique charm and friendly locals, Fernandina Beach promises an unforgettable getaway.

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1. What is the historical significance of Fernandina Beach?

Fernandina Beach is rich in history, showcasing its past through preserved sites and museums. It is known for the Amelia Island Museum of History, which highlights the region's history under eight different national flags. The area's past is deeply entwined with the stories of Native Americans, and European explorers, and it played a significant role during the gilded age.

2. How is the water quality at Fernandina Beach?

Fernandina Beach is renowned for its beautiful and clean beaches. Egan's Creek Greenway and Main Beach Park are notable for their natural beauty and well-maintained environments, providing visitors with quality water and beach experiences. The beach areas offer clear waters ideal for various water activities.

3. How far is Fernandina Beach from Jacksonville, FL?

Fernandina Beach is approximately 33 miles from Jacksonville, making it a quick and accessible destination for a day trip or weekend getaway. The drive typically takes about 45 minutes, allowing visitors from Jacksonville to easily enjoy the coastal charm and historical sites of Fernandina Beach.


Emily Carter

With over 10 years of experience, Emily is a seasoned expert in planning bespoke tours across the United States and Canada, with a specialization in eco-tourism and adventure travel.