When we first moved to northern Florida, my husband was excited to share with me the Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach area that he grew up vacationing. The area reminds me of the Carova/Corolla area of the Outer Banks where I grew up vacationing. Amelia Island isn’t overly developed and is easy to escape and unwind in the tranquility of wide-open beaches and a quaint small town.
Located on the barrier island beaches of North Florida is The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The hotel connects guests with the peaceful flow of natural waterways and native sand dunes. On a recent visit, the hotel was primed and ready to shepherd in the holiday season. Despite being December it was a beautiful day with the dazzling sun shining and warm enough for guests to dip in the heated pool.
Oceanfront destinations aren’t just for the summer months, Amelia Island has so many offerings to make it a year-long destination.
First, let’s tackle football. For those Georgia/Florida football fans (go Dawgs), the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island hosts a tailgate experience on the beautiful lawn overlooking the ocean for those staying with them for the big game weekend.
For the holidays there are so many spirited options.
Guests can travel back in time during the Dickens on Centre festival held annually in early December in historic downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida, on Amelia Island. Families will enjoy a plethora of fun including Tiny Tim’s Kids Zone, visits with St. Nick, holiday entertainment, shopping, festive food and drink, costumed characters, holiday movies, and plenty of Christmas inspiration.
Mom’s and dad’s can enjoy picnicking in their very own life-sized snow globe decorated in a Victorian Christmas theme in Dickens Enchanted Village. While mom and dad get cheery, the kids get a break from the parents while participating in the Ritz Kids program for children ages 5-12 with supervised movies, games and more.
Families who love to explore nature and the great outdoors can’t miss a visit to Big Talbot Island State Park’s Boneyard Beach. Sculpted by nature, this shoreline boasts a striking beach peppered with massive driftwood trees perfect for climbing and peaking a youthful imagination. It is also a beautiful location to hire a professional photographer to capture visually unique familiar portraits.
After climbing giant driftwoods, families can climb on the back of a horse and enjoy a seaside ride through Amelia Island State Park.
Of course, with a name like Salt and Sky Travel Designs, my interest was peaked with Salt, the Ritz’s fine dining restaurant named for one of my favorite things and the sea’s most valuable resource. They boast more than 40 salts from around the work to add depth of flavor to coastal-inspired dishes.
Interested in an experience like this? Be sure to book with a travel advisor aligned with the Marriott STARS program to get benefits like:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Complimentary daily breakfast
- A $100 hotel credit during stay
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- In-person welcome from hotel management
- A welcome amentiy personalized for you