One of the first ports in northern Florida is Fernandina Port; it is located along the western narrow coastline opening on Amelia Island. It was named after a, King Ferdinand VII of Spain and was acknowledged in the year 1811. The area was first settled by fisherman from Minorca in the 1700s. Today, the harbor of Fernandina Beach gives mooring for a huge and successful shrimp fleet. Its magnificent historical buildings attract attention due to the town’s illustrious past; filled with fishermen, pirates, explorers and smugglers.
Fernandina Beach offers a wide array of shopping experience. Here are some tips where you can find items of your interest.
You can go to ZZ Toys for some beach toys including kites. You’ll be amazed to sometimes see the owner doing yo-yo tricks outside the store.
Visit the Sea Jade and choose from their selection of shells, jewelries and souvenirs as they advertise “"best selection and prices of shells on the island!”
You can drop by the Hunt Fossils Gallery and see different fossils, rocks and really unique things.
Put some candies in your bags from Fantastic Fudge. They have candies and ice cream which are made with all natural ingredients and are cooked in copper kettle and prepared on a marble slab."
Have a wonderful shopping at the Christmas on the River. Here you can find Christmas items all year round.
Other shops you’ll be interested in include the Front and Center, a fancy souvenir shop, Last Flight Out for airplane related items, Ship's Lantern for nautical gifts such as sharks teeth, tide clocks, lighthouses, woodcarvings and ship models.
What to See
Enjoy the unspoiled, lovely, Atlantic, Fernandina Beach located at the mouth of St. Mary’s River where you can do surf fishing. It is also an ideal place to relax and unwind especially when you stay along the beach and under the sun. This area is not as crowded as some other beaches in Florida; the water also does not get as warm as the more southern beaches.
See the old and historical Chandlery Building which was once home of pirates which has become a commercial hub. This place became the central shrimp operation commercial area.
Visit the Old School House that turned into a commercial place with law offices and travel agencies. You can also stay at Florida’s oldest hotel more known as the Florida House. It is a restored building built in 1857 and now operates as an inexpensive hotel with pet-friendly accommodation. The location of the building is strategic; it is in the center of the old district and just a few minutes walk from the other historic sites.
The other historical establishments to see around Fernandina are Center Street, Fort Clinch State Park, United Methodist Church, Nassau County Courthouse, Cumberland Island, Downtown Shops, and historic homes.
Restaurants and Bars
Below are the best dining tips in Fernandina Beach.
- For great American cuisine, step inside any of the following: Beech Street, Brett's Waterway Café, Happy Tomato Café, Florida House and Amelia Island Gourmet Coffee.
- For delicious tasty seafood, you can choose Crab Shack, Bonito Grill & Sushi, Golden Grouper Café, Crab Trap, or Who's On Fourth.
- For eclectic and international cuisine, try 1878 Tavern & Grille and for the greatest Mexican cuisine in town, do not forget to visit Tio Loco's Fresh Mexican Grill.