The cycle is always the same, I never feel like I need a vacation until I start to plan one. During the planning and in the interim between plan and execution I get antsy. I try to get everything done I need to in all of my business pursuits, while balancing social responsibilities. While I have become a lot better at this check list and balancing act, by the time said vacation rolls around I am beyond ready to un-plug.
If you are like me then you will really enjoy this post. I just got back from a long weekend in Amelia Island. I fell in love with the island in January. This trip I had the opportunity to show my parents around. It is just small enough that people remember you if you happen to stop in the same place twice, but large enough to have a plethora of fabulous dining and shopping options. The best part, for me at least, was the condo where we stayed did not have cell phone service. A forced unplug is sometimes the greatest gift. It allowed me to truly dive into vacation mode and stay in the moment.
If you are considering a trip to Amelia Island you have plenty of options for places to stay. While cute little B&B’s line the historic downtown and beach area there is also a Hampton Inn, Omni, and Ritz Carlton.
Both visits started with a happy hour at Sliders. This beach bar is the perfect place to perch for the afternoon. Enjoy your view of the waves with a great drink, fabulous food ranging from regular bar food and southern staples, to fresh catch varietals and ahi tuna tacos, and fun music. It is also dog and kid friendly with water bowls and treats for your fur children and a playground for the restless kids with you. If you are looking for a happy hour spot closer to the shops try PJD’s. It is a side street,outdoor bar with a few tables and popcorn at the ready. For something a bit fancier and a little off the beaten path check out the gorgeous Ritz Carlton hotel for a sunset happy hour with fabulously crafted drinks and insanely delicious sushi.
If you are looking for a dinner spot look no further than the historic downtown district. You can choose from the twinkly lit patio at Joe’s on second for Italian, tapas and sangria at Espana, burgers and craft beer at Amelia Island Tavern, or Mexican fare with a full tequila bar at Peppers. These are only a few of the great options. Most can be used as a lunch spot as well.
As we have started near the end of the day, let’s go back to the beginning. Brunch is always a good idea and I would suggest 29 South for a true brunch or The Beach Diner for a classic breakfast feel.
Now that we have fueled you for day let’s talk about the boutique’s and art galleries. While there are certainly many to enjoy I have found many cute and unique tops at Lemongrass and consider Hudson and Perry the mecca for home goods in Florida. This store may be tiny but believe me when I tell you I walked around it three times and found something new with each turn. Their website is still in the works but stop in when you go to the island. You will not be disappointed. The art scene is thriving on the island. There are quite a few galleries you will want to stroll through and an Art walk once a month.
Amelia island is truly a one of a kind place. It is a laid back and friendly environment that accommodates pretty much any kind of vacation you are looking for from the beach bum to the golf chic. The beaches are clean, the food is well priced, and the weather is amazing. I encourage you to book a long weekend soon to un-plug and enjoy all that this little paradise has to offer. Let me know what places you favor off this list or if you find one I didn’t mention.