As soon as my in-laws asked us to send the kids their way for a week this summer, hubby and I immediately started Googling "romantic getaways". Amelia Island beckoned to us with her beautiful beaches, plethora of romantic bed & breakfast accommodations, and local activities. It was an ideal choice as it's an easy 4 hr drive from Charleston straight down I-95. Amelia Island offered a perfect little trip to refresh, recharge, and focus on quality time with each other.
Tracey & Ricky, owners of The Hoyt House Bed & Breakfast, treated us like family, and Tracey's hot breakfast sent us off with full tummies every morning. Her homemade scones are to die for! The Hoyt House is an original 1905 Victorian mansion, and you just know upon entering that this home has some stories to tell!
We spent several afternoons out by the pool, swinging in the hammock, and enjoying time away from our phones. This was a perfect place to really focus on each other and recharge our batteries.
Click on the video below to see a quick little tour of the outside pool area at The Hoyt House. Chris & I had the pool all to ourselves and the hot tub was such a treat.
On our first morning on the the island we decided to the take the River Cruise to Cumberland Island. The boat captains were so knowledgeable about the island's history, and we enjoyed watching the dolphins and seeing various wild horses along the shore.
I was fascinated to learn that Amelia Island and the surrounding area is considered the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry and close to 80% of the US shrimp nets are built on Amelia Island. (Don't fact check me, people! This is just what captain told me!)
Speaking of shrimp-- you can find the best shrimp & grits in town at Joe's 2nd Street Bistro. We dined there on our first night in town, and we figured out very quickly that when you are surrounded by locals eating dinner-- you know it's going to be good!
I also highly recommend the carbonara with andouille sausage and bacon. With just a bit of spice, it literally was the best carbonara we have ever put in our mouths! Chef Ricky went to culinary school in Charleston, and we loved getting to meet him and hear about his passion for sourcing and using the best ingredients in his cooking.
We did not have one bad meal on the island and the locals really pride themselves on scratch-made food and sourcing everything regionally as much as possible. Other favorites included Espana, which rivaled any of the restaurants we dined in during our time living in Barcelona. The Gambas Mozambique made of spicy coconut milk and cilantro and Patatas Bravas are a must when you dine there. Our favorite lunch spot was Cafe Karibo. It's a casual little spot that serves up cold salads and healthier fare. The rum punch put us in a delightful little mood! Ha!
On our last morning we headed over to the renowned brunch at the Marche Burette Deli at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. Boy were we in for a treat! The smoked salmon is to die for and we found out it is made right there on site. They also make honey and many of their jams & jellies there locally.
Amelia Island, you have a place in our hearts, and we will surely be back. Thank you for letting us explore your beautiful coastal town.
Thinking of visiting Amelia Island? Every year the island hosts the Shrimp Days of Summer from August 15-September 30. There are loads of specials for accommodations, activities, and events to celebrate the deep rooted shrimping history of Amelia Island.
If you prefer cooler temps, many locals also told us about the annual Dickens on Centre during December. The downtown area is transformed into a traditional English village with costumed characters and themed entertainment for this Victorian inspired holiday festival. The kids would surely love this, and sounds like a perfect December getaway to us! #loveamelia