Amelia Island, FL; Fort Clinch State Park & Amelia Adventures (2018)
Psalm 18:2:The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
We decided that a day trip to Amelia Island, FL was absolutely necessary while Eliza was visiting us from Kazakhstan. Located just over an hour north, Amelia Island is a gorgeous coastal town full of shops, eateries and tourist attractions. And so, we decided to visit two main attractions during our day trip: Fort Clinch State Park and access to viewing Cumberland Island National Seashore by boat.
Fort Clinch State Park
I’ve got a thing for any park, seashore or national/state attraction and so we decided to head straight to Fort Clinch State Park, a 19th-century fort created to protect the U.S. from seaborne attacks.
The beauty of this fort had us literally captivated. I could have spent days walking into each of these rooms, having been modeled like they were in the 1800’s. The Florida Park Service did a wonderful job staging all areas of Fort Clinch to look like they would have in real life.
My favorite part of Fort Clinch for kids were the reenactments! Several of the rooms were staged with real live actors, dressed in full 1800’s costumes and acting as if they were doing jobs they would have done in that time period. It was so cool! (But for them, it must have been sooo hot!)
It was beyond a gorgeous day for exploring all of the sights that this fort had to offer!
Cumberland Island by Boat
One travel goal we have had as a family is to visit Cumberland Island National Seashore. This seashore, operated by the National Park Service, is known for its wild horses and amazing coastal views.
There is only way to access Cumberland Island by foot: a ferry there. And we were so disappointed by the operation times of the ferry as a family with young kids! Also, the only eatery on Cumberland Island, Greyfield Inn, is not open to the public. And so, several hours in the hot sun without an option for food was a no-go for us.
We discovered Amelia Adventures and knew right away that this would be the best way for our family to experience Cumberland Island! Amelia Adventures takes families and patrons out on a boat tour where they can experience the wild horses of Cumberland Island by sea. And the best part: we stayed cool, had a blast and checked everything off our list that we wanted to see at Cumberland Island!
The kids absolutely loved the freedom that the boat provided from waves crashing on them to calling out directions to our captain. How adorable are these little explorers by sea?
We saw three absolutely incredible sights while on the boat tour: a shipwrecked vessel, the wild horses of Cumberland Island (ahh!) and a family of splashing dolphins.
We highly recommend a boat tour of the Amelia Island area by Amelia Adventures. It was such a special family memory that none of us will ever forget (even through the rain storm).
Trek Difficulty Level: (1): From Nocatee, FL, Amelia Island is just over one hour away, making it the perfect day trip.
Trek Budget: $300; To experience everything we experienced in Amelia Island as a family, you could plan on spending about $300. Entry into Fort Clinch State Park is super inexpensive at $2.50/per person. Amelia Adventures can quote you for your exact boating, kayaking or outdoor Amelia needs, as their prices vary. Our boat ride for a family tour, for example, cost around $300.
3 Trek Must-Dos:
- Find the perfect tunnel for photo ops at Fort Clinch; we took dozens of amazing tunnel pics here and it would be a great spot for a family picture!
- Wear a hat! There is not much shade on Amelia Island so protect your face from the hot sun.
- Stop at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort for a delicious dinner on your way home. Verandah was one of the best restaurants we have ever eaten at and will be back, if even only for dinner.