I visited Amelia Island (4 nights) in December 2017 as part of a holiday getaway with my family. This was also our first flight and trip with our 2 month old daughter so it was a good test of the travel experience with a small child. Just like with our son, the experience was smooth and I always advocate traveling with kids as early as possible to get yourselves and the kids used to the whole experience. The trip was very relaxing and the weather cooperated nicely – we are still Zika conscious (and will be until our daughter turns 6 months) so the location was far enough North in Florida but still in the zone of nice weather. There are a variety of nice dining options in town and great family activities throughout the hotels and the island. The temperatures range from the low-to-mid-70s during the day to the mid-50s at night. From NYC, we flew directly to Jacksonville airport, which is a wonderfully short flight given we were with an infant, and then drove an hour and half to Amelia Island. It felt to us that the winter/early spring months are the best times to visit to escape the cold in the northeast and 4 nights was a perfect amount of time to be away.
We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island on the Island itself which is perfectly situated on the beach right and nestled into the island golf course. The hotel has everything from family friendly activities to direct access to the beach with wonderful views of the Atlantic. The staff is wonderful - from the moment you pull up to the entrance, there are kind folks welcoming you and your family and have never ending gifts for the little ones. The hotel also has a great kids club and kids room with all kinds of activities for kids of all ages.
- We really enjoyed the casual but high-quality dining experiences we had in the downtown of the Island. Only a 10-15 minute drive from the hotel, we spent each night in town - mostly on Centre Street. We especially enjoyed dining at Ciao Bistro (Italian) and Pepper's Cocina Mexicana (Mexican) on the main street. We also enjoyed the high-quality sandwiches at Cafe Karibo (sandwiches) and we saved the iconic Salty Pelican (local waterfront bar with live music) for our last night
- We successfully kept the trip very relaxing and family focused, enjoying the best of the hotel's and Island's activities. We played golf twice at the hotel's course - The Golf Club of Amelia Island - and my 3-year-old son even spent some quality time on the putting green with me. Around the hotel, we walked on the beach, enjoyed the indoor pool with outside views and a glass ceiling, played tennis, enjoyed a s’mores bonfire night and tested air hockey with our son for the first time in the Ritz Kids game room. Beyond the hotel, the many bike trails,
I would certainly recommend a 3 to 4 night trip to Amelia Island during the winter and early spring months. We had a great, relaxing visit and enjoyed the local hospitality, dining and activities. Uber makes transportation around the island pretty easy and as always I recommend making all dining reservations in advance especially for bigger groups. The Ritz has everything to make a trip easy. While there isn’t anything specifically unique or memorable about the destination itself, it is a wonderfully easy, family-friendly and warm getaway during the cold months of the Northeast. Enjoy your trip!