March 23, 2009

Fernandina Beach and Small Talbot Island Florida

After Stijn arrived on Wednesday March 4 we decided to just take it easy on Thursday and spend a little time on the beach because Friday we are going to head up to Fernandina Beach which is about a little more than an hours drive to the north. We headed down to the Cabana Club where Dan and Nancy have a membership, which makes it really nice as public access to the beaches here in Ponte Vedra Beach is very limited unless you are a member to one of the clubs along Ponte Vedra Beach Blvd. We walked for a little while on the beach and then decided to fly the kite Stijn had brought with him from Brussels. There wasn't enough wind to really do to many maneuvers with the kite, but we still had a lot of fun.

Afterwards we had some lunch at the Seaporch at the Cabana Club sitting at a table on the deck looking out over the ocean. I am in Heaven!
Once again I am on a home exchange that is perfectly located for exploring. I am on the Northeast coast of Florida along the Atlantic shore with a 120 mile string of beaches and resorts, interrupted by dunes and marshland. And right in the middle lies historic St. Augustine. Resorts run up and down this coast line from Daytona Beach to Fernandina Beach which is where we are headed today. There are a couple of ways to get to Fernandina Beach, take the inland route of I95 and see nothing or take the 1A1 up the coast and drive through some great beach towns. Hmmm, this is a no brainer for me! So up the coast we drive and once we get to Mayport we must now take about a 5-10 minute ferry ride for only $5.00 across the St. Johns River to Ft. George Island to pick up US1 and continue to our destination. We decide to stop at Little Talbot Island State Park and spend some time on the beach. To visit Little Talbot island is only a $4.00 entrance fee and well worth it! This is a beautiful undeveloped and natural haven for wildlife. We must have spent at least an hour here just walking along the beach and enjoying the ocean.
As we make our way into Fernandina Beach I spot a Lighthouse and I must have a closer look. As I drive through streets winding me past private homes I find my Lighthouse. However, there is a "No Trespassing" sign I walk up as close as I can get and snap a couple of pictures of the Ameila Island Lighthouse.

The town of Fernandina Beach is better known today as a charming Victorian resort, however everywhere you look you can see evidence of Fernandina Beach once being renowned as a pirates' den until the early 1800's.
You can explore Fernandina with a guided walking tour or even by a horse drawn carraige. We decide to enjoy walking around on our own through the 55-block historic district popping in and out of quaint shops selling everything from Christmas decorations to fine art.

We decide to head back to Ponte Vedra Beach, but not before getting ourselves a blizzard from Dairy Queen and driving onto the beach. That's right, you can drive your car right out onto the beach here on Amelia Island, park and enjoy the sand and surf.

So we find our spot of sand and park the car, pull out a beach towel, sit and enjoy our blizzard's while watching the waves and reflecting on all the beautiful sights we saw today.
If you would like to see more pictures of our day just go to Where's Debbie and click on the album "Fernandina Beach"

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