A Guide to Amelia Island Plantation


By: Carly Felton

Serene and natural with lush vegetation and many a sand dune, Amelia Island Plantation offers a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the everyday life. Located on the East Coast of northern Florida, Amelia Island Plantation has everything one could want for a relaxing weekend away: beaches, golf, shopping, pampering and dining.

Stay

For spacious rooms with multiple amenities, stay at the Amelia Island Inn & Beach Club. Recently purchased by Omni Hotels, the Inn is actually more of a resort with two giant pools and a golf course on the property. With dark shades for the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean, the rooms encourage peaceful slumber. And when you wake up, a private balcony beckons.

The hotel itself has covered exterior hallways so you can enjoy ocean air while walking to you room, but the lobby itself truly feels like a southern plantation—a large fireplace, ample seating for small talk, a big bar and hardwood floors. Weekend guests enjoy live music until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Dine

Amelia Island Plantation has numerous restaurants. At the Inn & Beach Club, the Sunrise Café serves continental breakfast both buffet-style and a la carte. The Beach Club Grill offers casual poolside dining both indoors and outside. Think burgers, salads, sandwiches and quesadillas. On the other end of the spectrum is Ocean Grill, a fine dining establishment that focuses on seafood.

Nearby and accessible by a free, on-property shuttle is Verandah, an older but trustworthy country club-like restaurant with a Southern twist. With high ceilings and ample windows for a view wherever you sit, Verandah serves steaks and seafood. The most popular menu items are the grilled Chilean sea bass served with sautéed spinach, sundried tomatoes, capers, kalamata olives and balsamic vinaigrette; and the Verandah Red House Grouper, topped with herbs, spices and a soft blue crab crust and sauvignon blanc butter sauce. Every entrée comes with an Asian-inspired house salad. For dessert, the Amelia mud pie would satisfy those in chocolate lovers anonymous.

Enjoy

At Amelia Island Plantation, there’s something for everyone. Depending on the time of year, visitors may enjoy exploring the island on bikes, horseback riding down the white sandy beaches, playing the 72-holes of golf or hitting some balls on one of Racquet Parks 23 Har-Tru clay tennis courts. Others may prefer wandering around Marche Burette gourmet food shop and deli or browsing Chico’s or one of the other retail shops. There’s even a nature center with turtles, snakes, squirrels and other animals to view

Opt for The Spa. Rather than force relaxation with candles and dark rooms, The Spa believes in surrounding everyone with nature. The sitting room where you sip citrus water and relax before and after your treatment is an L-shape, half-surrounded by windows out to greenery. And oh the treatments! Massages, manicures and pedicures and facials galore.

No matter what you do on Amelia, you’re sure to be at ease.

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