Springtime comes early most years on Amelia Island and this year is no exception. With temps in the mid eighties the past week everything seems to be blooming. The gardens around Williams House and all up and down city streets are letting mother nature appear in her full glory. Regardless of your color preference, you can find something to your taste. Of course along with the beautiful flowers comes loads of pollen and the leaf change over for our large live oaks. I’m not sure why they shed leaves in the spring instead of the fall like most other oaks, but they are in full leaf replacement mode and Byron has already done one large leaf sweep with more to come. Keeping the Koi pond clear is an hourly battle. We will be getting back to high 70 temps later this week and into next week, which is great since we aren’t quite ready for summer to begin this early. It’s a great time to visit on Amelia Island!
Posts Tagged ‘Amelia Island Activities’
The 2011 Concours D’Elegance or parade of elegance kicked off yesterday with a group of cars coming downtown to show a portion of what will be presented at the Amelia Island golf course on Sunday. There were plenty of options from Allard to Dusenberg, Ferrari to vintage race cars with something for every taste. Many proud drivers and owners were nearby to explain details of the restorations and their own car’s history. There was a good crowd on a beautiful but slightly cool day in downtown Fernandina Beach. The show continues today with the auction segment and tomorrow these cars and many more are displayed on the golf course for enthusiastic auto buffs and anyone who appreciates the finest in automotive design and restoration. We and most of the island’s lodging have been booked out for months and restaurants are mostly fully booked in advance. A great time to visit if you enjoy cars and the early start of Spring on Amelia Island.
Guests always enjoy meeting Boomer the carriage horse and are usually amazed at what and how much he eats. And Boomer always expects to be fed whether just passing by on a tour or taking Williams House guests for a ride. But he has such personality one can’t resist liking him and he does do a great and near automatic piloting job for the tours. This allows the driver (either Cindy or Nicole ) to tell the stories, histories and events that are so unique to Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach. So…if you are planning to visit with us at the Williams House, consider a historic carriage ride…we think you will enjoy it!
Last weekend was the second annual flower and garden show on Amelia Island. We were blessed with beautiful weather near 80 degrees and sunny skies. Vendors include regular Farmer’s market vendors (held every Saturday morning) and additional and unique items. Crowds were good and in addition to the booths there was live music, food, whirlygigs, vegetables and fruit, pasta and italian gourmet specialties. Operating both Saturday and Sunday, it was a great time for Williams House guests to see a garden show and enjoy the local scenery. Deborah picked up some fill in plants for some of the winter damage and some new twists. We find garden beds a never ending story with some things doing well in Florida and others that struggle. There were some awesome flowers for just about anyone’s taste and plenty of variety. Attached below are a few colorful shots of the garden show activity and offerings.
Each fall the Amelia Island B&B Association holds a cookie tour where visitors can enjoy seeing all of the B&B’s on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This is a fund raiser for both the association and charities. Each year we select worthy charities and allocate a portion of our proceeds to their cause. This years recipients included Cats Angels and Nassau Humane Society. Recently, Deborah McCutchen of the Williams House, who is President of the local association, and Theresa Hamilton from Fairbanks House visited both groups to present checks from the association. It was impressive to see both of these groups efforts to care for the local animal community and attempt placement of abandoned and stray animals. We hope these donations will help further their missions and apply some love and care for animals in need of a helping hand.
We always enjoy returning guests and recently Dan and Liz came back for a return visit. After catching up with Byron and Deborah over wine hour, they decided to enjoy a historical carriage tour through downtown Fernandina, and met the great white horse Boomer. They enjoyed the ride and Boomer and learned a lot of history about this quaint town and island. They continue to explore and experience our great local restaurants mixing new ones with those they already know. It was great to see them again and we look forward to another visit.
The Amelia Island Williams House was recently featured in an article on Romantic Getaways in the February 13 Sunday edition of the Miami Herald. Covering Inns across the state for Valentine’s weekend, the Williams House was described as “the perfect introduction” to B&B stays. The author describes guest’s first reaction as “wow” and building from that to the amenities, breakfasts and wine hour that create a double “wow”! A picture of our parlor was included and we appreciate all the nice things said about our Inn. We enjoy creating a romantic and relaxing B&B experience for guests while they discover quaint Fernandina Beach and the slow paced beauty of Amelia Island.
One of the favorite activities for guests at the Williams House is horsedrawn carriage rides thru the historic downtown area. The town is so rich in history and with Victorian homes and buildings ready to tell their story, 50 minutes passes before you know it! Of course every ride begins with Boomer meeting and greeting guests, but really just anxiously awaiting treats from Byron and Deborah. He also has a few stops along the way where food is anticipated and expected. Cindy and her daughter Nicole do a great job of filling in the Island’s history and retelling the secrets of its homes and early times. As usually these rides taper off during January due to both cold weather and short days. But Valentine’s weekend restarts the season as it did this year with a desire for the romantic rides and somewhat warmer temps. We had three rides this weekend and the evidence is visible below. Come join us and enjoy an informative and fun historic carriage ride.
We have a variety of events thru the seasons on Amelia Island that can appeal to almost everyone’s favorite activity. We have listed them below for those considering or planning a visit to Amelia Island. Come and join us at the Amelia Island Williams House for these events or just a relaxing getaway. This list is primarily festivals but I’ve also added a few other items that may be of interest!
Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach Schedule of Events
Amelia Island Book Festival, Feb. 18-19 (www.ameliaislandbookfestival.com)
Amelia Island Film Festival, Feb. 24-27 (www.ameliaislandfilmfestival.com)
Concours D’Elegance, Mar. 11-13 (www.ameliaconcours.org)
Old Town Bicentennial, April 2 (www.oldtownfernandina.org)
Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, April 29 – May 1 (www.shrimpfestival.com)
Wild Amelia Nature Festival, May 20-22 (www.wildamelia.com)
Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, May 20 – June 17 (www.aicmf.com)
Stars and Stripes Freedom Festival, July 4 (www.shinybadges.com)
Amelia Island Blues Festival, Sept. 16-17 (www.ameliaislandbluesfest.com)
Amelia Island Jazz Festival, Oct. 2-9 (www.ameliaislandjazzfestival.com)
Amelia Island Autumn Fine Arts Festival, Oct. 8-9 (www.islandart.org)
Historic B&B Cookie Tour, Nov. 19 (www.ameliaislandinns.com)
While listening to a speaker at the recent innkeeping convention I was inspired to make a “top ten” list (Letterman style) for things to enjoy while visiting Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach. However, as I began to list these enjoyable potential items, the list grew longer and is now well above 30! So…needless to say there are many local opportunities to enjoy and I will start with ten in this blog and bring the rest forward a little later. These ten are those most often enjoyed by the average guest and thus are repeated more than some of the others. If you are planning to come for a visit….plan on these and stay tuned for more!
Williams House “Top Ten” List
1. Walk to and eat in one of more than 20 local fine restaurants.
2.Take a historic carriage ride thru downtown.
3. Enjoy a boat cruise around Cumberland Island.
4.Tour Fort Clinch Park, a civil war era fort.
5. Walk to and explore more than 20 boutique shops.
6. Visit the beach and ocean.
7. Visit the history museum.
8. Have dessert at the Icecream and Fudge shop on centre street.
9. Bike around the area (free as Williams House guests).
10. Explore the Saturday Farmer’s market.