Amelia Island

Amelia Island is on the Atlantic Coast of Florida, north of Jacksonville by about 30 miles. It is the northernmost of Florida's Atlantic barrier islands and sits across Cumberland Sound, south of the Cumberland Islands in Georgia. Amelia Island is about 13 miles long and 2 miles wide at its widest point. The island's population is somewhat under 20,000 people with about half or more living in Fernandina Beach. Tourism is one of its largest industries and swells the population during the entire year.

On Amelia Island's northern tip, guarding the pass into Cumberland Sound and the deep water port of Fernandina for over 150 years or so is Fort Clinch. Construction on the fort began in 1847 but was never completed. Work continued during and after the American Civil War, with each side occupying the fort for a time but developments in weaponry doomed this brick and earthen fort. Fort Clinch has seen service during the Civil War, Spanish-American War and the Second World War. It became one of Florida's first parks in 1937.

Fort Clinch sits inside the Fort Clinch State Park which is 1,153 acres of heavily wooded natural lands and seashore. There are campgrounds along the Amelia River on the west side and also just behind the dunes of the Atlantic-side beach. There is a -mile pier built along-side a rock jetty that provides for great fishing or picture taking. Biking and hiking trails wind throughout and there is abundant wildlife. The very best adventure though may be your excursion through the fort.

On the south end of Amelia Island is the commercial resort area known as Amelia Island Plantation and little known American Beach. American Beach came into existence in 1933 as a benefit to employees of the Florida-based  Afro-American Life Insurance Company. It was intended to provide "beach life" for Black Americans during a time when many were unwelcome or banned from many beach areas. Once a thriving Black beach community, today it sits tattered and torn and little used. 

Further south and just off Amelia Island we find Big and Little Talbot Islands. Fully natural seashore and wooded areas invite visitors to imagine Florida's past. Hiking trails, waterways suitable for canoe and kayak and windswept, pristine beaches make it possible for naturists to get up close and personal with nature. For those who like to be alone on the seashore, Little Talbot Island has some of the "loneliest" beaches around.

A little further south your trip can conclude with a visit to Fort George Island and the Kingsley Plantation. The site of the Kingsley Plantation was first established in the late 1790's by John McQueen, who fled from his debt-riddled life in South Carolina to Florida with 300 slaves. The National Park Service cares for a portion of the original plantation in what is known as Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. This historic site is well preserved and offers visitors the opportunity to walk the grounds of one of the earliest Florida Plantations.

Visitors to Amelia Island, Florida can tour many local cities by car.  Jacksonville, Yulee, Mayport and the beach towns of Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach are all within a 30-45 minute ride. The historic city of St. Augustine is about an hour away and Daytona Beach about 90 minutes. This area can be accessed best by aircraft from the Jacksonville International Airport (30 minutes).

Directory of

Northeast Florida Area Cities

Nassau County

Amelia Island

Fernandina Beach



Duval County

Atlantic Beach
Jacksonville Beach
Neptune Beach


Flagler County

Beverly Beach
Flagler Beach
Palm Coast


St. Johns County

St. Augustine
St. Augustine Beach

Butler Beach
Crescent Beach
Fruit Cove
Palm Valley
Villano Beach




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Fort Clinch Enlisted Men's Qrtrs.


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Sign on American Beach


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Little Talbot Island State Park


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Kingsley Plantation


More pictures from Amelia Island and the surrounding area.




Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce serving Amelia Island.


Nearby cities to check for activities and attractions: Fernandina Beach, St. Augustine Beach, Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach.


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