Fletcher Avenue (Florida A1A) is the main beach road, running parallel to the ocean for most of Amelia Island’s length. Fernandina Beach has 40 beach access points along North and South Fletcher Avenue; about half have parking. Look for the blue access point signs. The beach also may be reached at Fort Clinch and Amelia Island state parks and at five Nassau County access points, three with parking.
Vehicles may access the beach at Amelia Island State, Burney Road Park, Peters Point Park and Seaside Park. Permits are required for out-of-county residents to drive on the beach. Daily and annual passes are available.
Flash Foods, 5518 S. Fletcher Ave., Fernandina Beach (904) 261-3113
Nassau County Historic Courthouse, 416 Centre St., Fernandina Beach, (904) 491-6430
A1A Express Discount, 3331 S. Fletcher Ave., Fernandina Beach (904) 310-6163
Nassau County Judicial Annex, 76347 Veterans Way, Yulee (904) 548-4500
Amelia Island State Park, State Road A1A North
Burney Park, 1556 Gregg St.
Fort Clinch State Park, 2601 Atlantic Ave.
Main Beach Park, 32 N. Fletcher Ave.
North Beach Park, 1230 N. Fletcher Ave.
Peters Point Park, 1974 S. Fletcher Ave.
Seaside Park, 2002 S. Fletcher Ave.
Amelia Island’s beaches are framed by dunes reaching heights of 40 feet. Do not pick the sea oats or walk in the dunes – this is Florida state law. No vehicles or horses allowed on dunes or vegetation. The 60-foot high, 8.5 acre NaNa dune system at American Beach is protected by the National Park Service as part of the Timucan Ecological & Historical Preserve.
Handicap accessible beach accesses are located at Burney, Main Beach, North Beach, Peters Point and Seaside parks and the Mantanza beach access. A beach accessible wheelchair is available from the Fernandina Beach Parks and Recreation Department by calling (904) 277-7350.
Amelia Island is one of the few places along the east coast that allows horseback riding on the beach.
Horses are permitted only on county beaches and must be under the control of a rider at all times. Parking for horse trailers is at Peters Point Park. Trailer permits are required. Permits are free for county residents; there is a charge for commercial and non-resident trailers.
Horse trailer permits are available from Nassau County Animal Control, 86078 License Road, Yulee, (904) 491-7440.
Fernandina Beach Ocean Rescue patrols all of Amelia Island. Lifeguards are on duty seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day and weekends in May. Call (904) 277-7331 for more information. Lifeguard towers are located at Burney, Main Beach, North End, Peters Point and Seaside parks and the Scott Road Beach Access.
Lightning is a hazard that should be viewed seriously. Immediately seek shelter any time you believe lightning threatens. Lightning Prediction and Warning Systems are installed at Burney, Main Beach and Peters Point parks, the Scott Road Beach Access and the Fernandina Beach Fire Rescue station across from Seaside Park.
Parking at public beach accesses is free of charge.
Pets are permitted but must be on a leash. Pet owners are responsible for immediate clean-up.
Alcoholic beverages, glass bottles, littering and overnight camping within Fernandina Beach city limits are all prohibited.
Public restrooms are located at Burney, Main Beach, Peters Point and Seaside parks.
Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore. If you are caught in a rip current stay calm and don’t fight the current. Swim parallel to the shoreline. Float or tread water if you’re unable to escape by swimming. When the current weakens, swim at an angle (away from the current) toward shore. If you cannot reach shore, draw attention to yourself. Face the shore, call or wave for help and an Ocean Rescue guard will respond.
Our wide, sandy beaches are made up of quartz crystals produced by the weathering of continental land masses like the Appalachians. The quartz is washed down America's great rivers into the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico where it is carried onto the beaches by water currents and waves.
Each summer, loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles emerge from the surf to lay their ping pong ball-size eggs in the sand and then quickly return to the sea. Dedicated locals volunteer to patrol the beaches to log the nests and track hatchings.
Please protect these endangered sea turtles by leaving nests, eggs and hatchlings undisturbed. From May 1 to October 31, lights that shine on the beach and open fires are prohibited from sundown to sunup.
Mild surf conditions and varying underwater terrain make this a great place for novices to learn and experts to practice. Boards can be purchased or rented and lessons are available. Surfers must have surf and boogie boards tethered to one leg while in the water.
Weddings are allowed on the beach and no special permits are required. All beach regulations must be followed. Marriage licenses are issued by the Nassau County Clerk of Courts. Call (904) 548-4600 for more information.
Photo by ElizabethWilkesPhotography.com