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Northeast Florida

 

Activities and attractions for Northeast Florida visitors.

Cruising the Amelia River - Amelia Island, Florida

Cruising the Amelia River

 

With great vacation activities and attractions all over Florida, you'd be hard pressed to find a better place to tour than Northeast Florida. It starts at the very northeast quadrant of Florida in Amelia Island with Fernandina Beach, an old Army fort at Fort Clinch State Park, the Talbot Islands State Parks and the Kingsley Plantation on Fort George Island. The port city of Jacksonville is just inland from this area and cruises, sports events and tourism attractions can be found almost anywhere in this big city. Exploring and enjoying the activities and attractions of this area could easily take an entire week or more so don't plan to cut your time here short.

 

Driving trips are one of the best ways to see Florida and there is a fine opportunity for great vistas during the drive southward along the coast from Amelia Island on Route A1A. South of Fort George Island the road heads inland. You must take a short ferry ride across across the St. Johns River to Mayport, home to a US Naval Air facility, to avoid going back to the mainland. Stops in the twin cities of Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach and further south at Jacksonville Beach will allow beach access at the public beach facilities in the downtown areas and refreshments at  nearby restaurants. South of Jacksonville Beach is a small town by the name of Ponte Vedre Beach. Beautiful beachfront houses line the roadway which runs through Sawgrass, one of the more famous golf courses on the Professional Golfers Association circuit. Continuing south at Mickler Landing, Route A1A starts to run along the Atlantic Coast and through the Guana River State Park. This is a long drive to St. Augustine with nothing between the highway and the ocean except the long expanse of beach.

 

Once in St. Augustine, the choices for the day's activities and attractions are numerous. There is the famous fort, Castillo de San Marcos, which dates from the year 1695 when construction was finished. Many battles and skirmishes were fought here during Florida's early years however the old fort was never conquered. Once atop its bastions and the thick walls of the fort, visitors can overlook St. Augustine Inlet and the nearby historic town of St. Augustine, just a stone's throw away. From this vantage point it takes little to imagine the fort's parade ground filled with a huddled mass of townsfolk fleeing an invasion from the sea or an Indian attack on the land. The old town, now flanked by newer surroundings, has many of the original structures. The early buildings have been restored with utmost care and some now serve as commercial shops. It is indeed a treat to meander through this historic town and shop, eat and rest where early settlers carved out a life over 300 years ago.

 

Still, we're not finished with St. Augustine and a drive across the famous Bridge of Lions leads us to Anastasia Island and the Atlantic Ocean beaches. For an excellent stop, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum must be viewed. Climb to the top of the lighthouse, enjoy the museum displays and tour the grounds, all for a small admission fee. At the north end of the island lies Anastasia Island State Park, famous for the coquina stone quarries, where the stone was cut for Castillo de San Marcos but don't forget the beaches and miles of hiking and biking trails.

 

South of Anastasia Island starts another drive on Route A1A along the coast and through the towns of Crescent Beach, Marineland, Beverly Beach and Flagler Beach, home to the Gamble Rogers Memorial State Park at Flagler Beach. A stop at Marineland offers an opportunity to explore the oldest marine attraction of its type. Rest, eat or play at any one of the beach towns along the way - all have public areas for beachgoers and eateries nearby. From Flagler Beach it is a hop, skip and jump to Daytona Beach.

 

For further information on vacation attractions and activities in each city in Northeast Florida, please click on the underlined. linked city name in the directory listing.

Nassau County

Year 2000 population: 57,663.

Major cities, population or tourist centers include:

Callahan
Fernandina Beach
Hilliard

Yulee

Some of the more familiar islands included in Nassau County are:

Amelia Island

Little Talbot Island

Big Talbot Island

St. George Island

 

Duval County

Year 2000 population: 778,879.

Major cities, population or tourist centers include:

Atlantic Beach
Baldwin
Jacksonville
Jacksonville Beach
Neptune Beach

Flagler County

Year 2000 population: 49,832.

Major cities, population or tourist centers include:

Beverly Beach
Bunnell
Flagler Beach
Marineland
Palm Coast

 

St. Johns County

Year 2000 population: 123,135.

Major cities, population or tourist centers include:

Hastings
Marineland
St. Augustine
St. Augustine Beach

Butler Beach
Crescent Beach
Fruit Cove
Palm Valley
Sawgrass
Villano Beach

Some of the more familiar islands included in St. Johns County are:

Anastasia Island


 

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