In Florida: Amelia Island

John Turner

At the northeastern tip of Florida, jutting out into the St. Mary's River which separates the Sunshine State from Georgia, is Amelia Island. It's not a large body of land and yet it's large enough to create a little world of its own which seems quite distinct from the rest of the state.
Harvard Square Commentary, December 18, 2006

I almost hesitate to write about Amelia Island for fear of sending too many people there.  But given the reach of this page, I don't guess there's much danger of that.

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It's main town is Fernandina Beach and it too appears quite different from most Florida communities. I mean that as a definite compliment. Florida has its charms but civilization is not usually one them. By contrast, Fernandina Beach strikes a visitor as a gem of civilization. How can this be in Florida?
The main good of Amelia Island is that it has somehow avoided the overdevelopment that has stained most of the Florida seacoast. It's not that the beaches have been kept as wilderness areas, but they aren't lined with soulless high-rise apartments either. And the coast itself is still open enough that you can walk on it without feeling strangled.
If a visitor does want wilderness, there's Fort Clinch State Park at the northern tip that offers a fine sense of what the land was like before the human invasion.