Northeast Florida’s coastal treasure, Amelia Island is a barrier island rich in colorful history and breath-taking natural beauty. Consistently ranked in the top 10 North American Islands by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler, Amelia Island offers long, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and pristine waters. Upscale resorts with world-class spas, championship golf and exclusive dining blend effortlessly with a captivating collection of bed and breakfast inns and historic districts. The island is home to Fernandina Beach, once a vibrant Victorian seaport village, and now a charming downtown district of eclectic shops, attractions and eateries. Located on the northeastern coast of Florida, Amelia Island features an incredible calendar of special events throughout the year. Each event celebrates the island’s breathtaking assets, colorful past, or present day arts and entertainment. The small barrier island offers a large array of events including everything from music festivals, such as the Amelia Island Jazz Festival and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival to niche events such as Concours d’Elegance and the Amelia Island Garden Show. Major annual events scheduled for 2014 include:
Amelia Island Garden Show: April 19-20
With growers and nurseries from around the state, the Amelia Island Garden Show will feature more than 50 vendors with a full assortment of flowers and plants, fruit trees and palms, orchids, herbs, container gardens, native plants, butterfly-friendly plants, shrubs, garden accessories and much more. On-site experts will offer advice about gardening challenges and how to green your home, yard, and garden. Additionally, a Raptor Experience will offer an exceptional opportunity to learn more about Florida’s unique, native and migratory birds of prey. Guests can also enjoy gourmet foods at the Picnic Bench Dining Court. Admission is $5 for Saturday and Sunday, $4 for Sunday only, and children under 12 are free.
51st Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival: May 2-4
For more than half a century, this small crustacean has caused a big sensation in historic downtown Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, where thousands of visitors happily strand themselves for this annual tradition. The popular event features a nationally-recognized juried fine arts and crafts show, antiques, live entertainment, kids’ activities, contests, pirates, free admission and more than 25 food booths serving up the tastiest shrimp you can find, prepared every way possible by local non-profit organizations.
Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival: May 2-June 1
The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival showcases world-renowned artists performing a variety of music styles in intimate and historic settings on Amelia Island. At the 2014 festival, guests can expect the unexpected with an incredible line-up, including Anne Akiko Meyers, the Linden String Quartet, members of the Guarneri String Quartet, Sarah Charness and her hot-pink violin, and more. Known for a repertoire that ranges from Monteverdi to Radiohead, Brooklyn Rider will also perform a newly commissioned work and the finale will feature Chamber Pops, with everything from Bach to The Beatles.
Wild Amelia Nature Festival: May 16-18
The 2014 Wild Amelia Nature Festival invites residents and visitors to experience the wild side of Amelia Island. Visitors can enjoy numerous nature tours led by area naturalists and Park Rangers, nature photography workshops taught by local professionals, a nature-based green business expo, The “Kids Niche” nature-based activities for children, critters from the Jacksonville Zoo and more.