Florida’s best-kept secret is only four hours away! My family was super excited to discover an awesome getaway that was only a car ride from home.
For a family of four which includes two kids that love to argue in the backseat, we are happy to find places that we could go to that were easy drives, would not last more than two movies (in mom car terms), and that we did not necessarily need to fly to. We absolutely adore Charleston, so it is a big deal to find places that are just as exciting, beautiful, and worthy of a long car ride.
Our Trip to Amelia Island
The first stop on our adventure was the beautiful Amelia Island which is pretty much exactly four hours from home. It’s an easy drive and you are there before you know it. We had never been but we had heard people locally talk about going.
So many people recommended an expensive well-known hotel but we did our research and found the perfect spot, the Seaside Amelia Inn, on the beach that would not break the bank. You are just steps from the beach and you can see it from your hotel room.
*Tip: I recommend waking up early and heading to the beach to see the most beautiful sunset. Then you can grab your free breakfast and coffee from the hotel and sit on your room’s balcony.
There is so much to see and do while in Amelia Island which is actually only four miles wide at its widest point. For the foodies and the mommas reading that can’t wait to get away, try new food, take a break from cooking and have a drink….. I have a plan for you!
Things to Do, See, & Eat
After you check into your hotel, take your family downtown. It’s is a super quick drive to The Decantery which is a premier wine, craft beer, and cocktail lounge. Because let’s be real, momma just had a long drive, probably a long week, and she can use a cocktail! (But don’t worry, there are things for your children there too!)
There are actually couches and the cutest little setups that make it perfect for families. They have the absolute best charcuterie boards and homemade desserts that I am sure will make everyone happy. While the craft beer is a great choice, I also recommend asking the bartender for a signature cocktail. Not only are the cocktails amazing but they also are super Instagram-worthy.
Now that the parents have treated themselves, you can surprise your children with some extra fun. Walk on over to Timoti’s Seafood Shak and if you get there before the sun goes down, there is a pirate ship playground in the back. There are picnic tables and it is very welcoming and relaxing. The food is also incredible! There is something for everyone there.
Next, take a super quick walk over to Gregor MacGregor’s Mini Links & Drinks. Yes, you read that right…. A mini-golf spot that also has drinks for you. Your kids will be so excited to play a round of mini-golf (which was a great little course) and you can walk around with a beer in your hand. Mom is happy, dad is happy, and the kids are happy!
Before you leave, if you have some time to sit and relax, go to the top of Gregor MacGregor’s and there is an amazing overlook of the golf course. There are couches and televisions and you can take drinks and food up there to hang out. This was a highlight for us because everyone was happy, filled, and tired for a nice sleep at the hotel which was only minutes away.
Squeezing Some History in
For other day plans, I suggest going to Fort Clinch State Park which is actually very close to the Seaside Amelia Inn. There is so much to do at the state park! You pay just $6 a vehicle to get in and you can go birding, fishing, geocaching, hiking on a ton of trails, picnicking on the beach and look for shark’s teeth, and swimming. Plus at the end of the road is the famous Fort Clinch.
We love taking our family to these historic places, reading all the signs, learning about American history, and experiencing new things. There are also amazing views from the top of the fort with the ocean behind you that you can take all sorts of family photos.
The state park alone could have been almost an all-day adventure. When you leave, across the street is the Pirate Playground which you probably wouldn’t notice if you were driving by. It is a super cute playground and perfect for kids of all ages.
By this time you are probably famished and we highly recommend you going to Amelia Tavern. When in Amelia, right? The tavern is exactly what you would think it is and it is filled with beers. You can even take beers with you, and if you plan ahead and you are going to Amelia Island for something special, you can preorder a custom growler. You can pick the font, the words, everything!
I was personally impressed with the flights. I loved the Madison Cherry Sour and the Creamsicle Hardcraft Seltzer. I also love that they make everything in-house. The food was amazing and beer matched it perfectly. Tell your spouse you are taking him to a brewpub after taking him to a historic fort and he will be a happy man.
Amelia was absolutely stunning. It had a Charleston feel to it. There are so many great places to eat, explore and you are able to get the downtown vibe with the relaxing beach town vacation. We will absolutely be back!
If you want to see more pictures and videos from our trip, you can go to my Instagram account @farindoran and click on my Florida highlights!