Great Road Trips From Donna Vissing - Amelia Island
Northern Florida Destination;
An Easy Drive to Discover Amelia Island Plantation
By Donna Vissing
TACh Travel and Vacation Editor
Where can you find an all-inclusive resort catering to total relaxation with a touch of mystery and stories of old including pirates and buried treasures? Amelia Island Plantation, Florida AAA Four Diamond Resort is described as “harmony with nature”, blending comfortable accommodations, private beaches, dining, historical town, sand dunes, wildlife and lush vegetation. Tucked between marshes and ocean, over 1350 acres cover the Plantation’s boundaries. 80% natural foliage is preserved and considered the Plantation’s most treasured asset, with inner roads surrounded by sunken forests and protected dune lines.
Amelia Island Plantation offers something for everyone. Vacation, a relaxing weekend, a business conference, or destination wedding site, the staff is prepared and experienced in creating fun and memories. Beginning with accommodations, the Plantation offers a choice in luxurious hotel rooms, three-bedroom villas and penthouses, with either beach or resort views. The addition of 249 ocean-front hotel rooms in the Amelia Inn & Beach Club gives a total of 669 guest accommodations at Amelia Island Plantation.
Family fun takes on a whole new meaning with so many activity choices. The Plantation offers unique supervised youth programs providing endless entertainment for 3 years through teenage. This includes parent-friendly activities for families to do together. The resort’s signature award-winning youth program called “Kids’ Camp Amelia” is open 364 days a year for children ages three to ten, with age groups of 3-5 years, 6-8 years, and 9-10 years. The program entertains with nature activities, beach games, arts and crafts, swimming, outdoor discoveries, golf and tennis clinics, nature and aquatics clinics, field trips, water slide excursions and more.
“Just for Kids” is an activity for age three to ten. Providing a buffet dinner with everything a child would enjoy, the evening also may include hoedowns and hayrides, pool splash parties, beach treasure hunts, and “jama-rama” movie night in your pj’s, with a floor full of pillows and blankets and the movie projected on the ceiling. Great fun for the kids!
Another activity program is “Teen Explorers” for youth age 11 through teenage. For young people looking for a parent get-away, the program may include mini golf, Jacksonville Zoo visit, customized day trips, field trips, and other activities. Through all the programs, the objective is to provide entertaining fun for young people, and to discover Amelia Island’s natural beauty.
Adults will find Amelia Island Plantation to be much more personalized and relaxing. Whether your relaxation calls for shopping, a day at the spa, lounging around the pool, walking the beach, playing a round of tennis or golf, these activities are available for your enjoyment at the resort.
The Plantation features 54 holes of championship golf, capturing the natural elements of the island’s terrain while preserving the pristine habitat. Named by Golf Digest as a “Top 75 Golf Resorts in the U.S.”, there are three signature courses: Oak Marsh, Ocean Links and Long Point Golf Courses, each offering a unique golf experience. Oak Marsh is a 6,500-yard par 72 course, living up to its name by encircling centuries-old live oaks and majestic pines, curling through serpentine marshlands and lush forest. Ocean Links’ is a 6,300-yard par 70 course featuring scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean. The 3rd course is Long Point, home to The Ron Philos’ School of Golf. Designed by Tom Fazio and acclaimed as a “Top Twenty Courses in Florida”, the course flows amidst the marshland and natural dune ridges of the Intracoastal Waterway, known as Nassau Sound. Golf clinics and personalized instructions are provided year-around.
If tennis is your sport, the Plantation is home to the annual Bausch & Lomb Tennis Championships and is recognized as a “Top 50 American Tennis Resorts” by Tennis Magazine. Known as Racquet Park, it features 23 clay courts and is located under a natural-made umbrella of live oak trees, offering a memorable tennis experience. Tennis lessons for individual or group are available year-around.
The Spa at Amelia Island Plantation is one of few places in the Southeast featuring Watsu as their signature treatment. A unique concept for rejuvenation and wellness, the facility and Watsu Island was designed exclusively for The Plantation. In addition, there is a total of 13,200 square feet housing 25 treatment rooms, a meditation garden, sweeping views of lagoons and moss-draped oaks. Featured treatments include Reflexology, Total Body Moor Mud Mask, Seaweed Bath, Sea Dream Anti-Stress Body Wrap & Massage, and much more.
Other special events that Amelia Island Plantation is experienced and well equipped to handle are business conferences, corporate retreats and destination weddings, which have become very popular among brides-to-be. On staff is an experienced wedding planner who can take a wedding from bachelor party, bride’s breakfast, wedding, reception to honeymoon night.
Awarded by Meetings and Conventions Magazine the Gold Key & Gold Tee Award for the past 12 years, the Conference facilities include the Racquet Park Conference Center, The Amelia Inn Conference Center and full-service Business Center. This provides more than 30,000 square feet of conference and function space. With outdoor patios functioning very well for coffee breaks, luncheons and receptions, plus substantial foyer areas providing space for pre-function activities and remote group check-ins, The Plantation is an ideal location for conferences and corporate retreats.
Amelia Island Plantation dining is a sensory experience to be savored. Breakfast with a view of the ocean, lunch poolside and dinner in a charming atmosphere awaits you when it is time to dine. The Sunrise Café and Ocean Grill serves breakfast, dinner and Champagne Sunday brunch. The Ocean Grill sets the standard in sophisticated resort dining with a breathtaking ocean view. The Verandah, overlooking the tennis courts, is a more casual setting and features fresh seafood and family style restaurant, including a children’s menu. The Beach Club Grill serves lunch and dinner with relaxed dining inside or out by the two-tiered pool deck. Menu selections range from sandwiches to tequila lime chicken and shrimp dishes. The Plantation has many other restaurant selections such as Marche` Burette, a fresh gourmet market offering wood-fired pizzas and specialty sandwiches. There are also Falcon’s Nest, Golf Shop Restaurant, The Spa’s PLAE (People Laughing and Eating), Dunes Club Bar & Grill, Room Service and Roberto’s Pizza.
A 45-minute drive from downtown Jacksonville, Amelia Island Plantation is centered between Florida’s second largest city and historical 50-block downtown of Fernandina Beach, where pirates were known to seek for buried treasures. The resort is located 29 miles northeast of the Jacksonville International Airport. Private and corporate aircraft and charters can fly directly to Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport, four miles north of the resort. Airport shuttle service is provided to guests landing at both airports making access extremely easy and hassle free.
If You Go to Amelia Island Plantation: Lodging Specials: Offers a variety of value vacation and instructional packages that feature all resort recreation amenities, including family week, all-inclusive recreation, romantic Amelia getaway, beach and breakfast, unlimited tennis and friend’s week.
Things to Do: Golf – various packages are available for all levels of play. Sample packages may include accommodations, as well as spa/golf, Golf Amelia, Unlimited Golf and the Family Golf Special. Tennis, bike and nature trails, naturalist tours, health & fitness center, fishing and sailing, kayaking, horseback riding, youth programs, personalize your tour through Segway Amelia or Amelia’s Wheels rentals, Segway Safari Guided Tours, beach, pool, and shopping.
For More Information on Amelia Island Plantation: Call 1-800-874-6878 or visit the web site at www.aipfl.com