Get inspired with these unique ideas for a restful and restorative respite on Amelia Island.
By Jill Becker
There’s no denying that when you’re stressed, tired or overworked, taking a trip to the beach is one of the most relaxing things you can do. But if you really want to soothe your psyche and feed your soul, you’ll probably want to do more than just lay out on the beach soaking up the sun all day. Here, we share a therapeutic escape to charming Amelia Island, Florida, located just north of Jacksonville, about 5 ½ hours from Atlanta. Designed to revive, restore and rejuvenate you from head-to-toe, the tailored list of activities below might just change how you vacation. Read about our ideas for a trip to Amelia Island!
Get Your Spa On
The regal Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island offers personalized half-and full-day Wellness Retreats, which include a 2½-hour guided Nidra yoga meditation. Just a quick 45-minute session in this ancient art of transforming your state of mind to where the body is still enough to sleep but the mind is still conscious is said to be the equivalent of getting three hours of deep sleep.
Another unique offering is the hotel spa’s honey butter wrap, made with honey from the resort’s own beehives. Or opt for the Heaven in a Hammock treatment, during which you’ll be massaged as you relax in a handwoven hammock on the beach. The treatment gives you the combined benefits of zero gravity and touch therapy, while the gentle swaying motion of the hammock is supposed to duplicate the movements of the tides.
The resort also offers some exclusive experiences, including private charter boat excursions, during which a chef will prepare a healthy four-course meal using the fish you caught on the trip to Amelia Island.
Getting in a little exercise is another excellent way to get your juices flowing again. A stay at the Omni Amelia Island Resort qualifies you for a complimentary in-room Get Fit Kit, which includes stretch bands, a mat, 3-pound dumbbells and 5-pound kettle balls. The luxe property also features two fitness centers and has a variety of recreational activities, from spin classes to a heated indoor lap pool.
If you stay at either of the properties making up the new Marriott/SpringHill Suites complex, you will have access
to a Peloton in the shared fitness room, or you can join one of their occasional poolside yoga sessions. On March 13-16 and May 15-18, SpringHill Suites is sponsoring a Revive Retreat complete with beachside yoga, scenic hikes, holistic meals and more.
Time spent in nature is always time well spent. One way to get out and explore the scenery is by bike. Rentals are available from various outfitters, but if you want a little help with the pedaling from time to time, renting an electric bike from Pedego is the way to go. They offer guided tours of the island but will also direct you if you want to explore on your own. One option would be to check out the local section of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile-long route that stretches from Florida to Maine. On the island’s northern tip is Fort Clinch State Park, which includes six miles of biking trails under its shady tree canopy.
Ever fantasized about saddling up and riding a horse along the beach like you see in the movies?
The Kelly Seahorse Ranch is one of few places in the country where you can still do just that. Under the watchful eye of the ranch guides, your trusty steed will ferry you through a forested trail to the beach, where you’ll saunter among the sand and surf.
Trying something new is a great way to challenge yourself and get out of a rut, so why not give pétanque a go. Similar to bocce, this lawn game originated in France back in the early 1900s. There are two sets of pétanque courts in Fernandina Beach, one located downtown by the riverfront and the other at Central Park.
Or maybe you want to try your hand at riding a contraption called a hydro bike. Through Amelia River Cycle, you can rent one of these fun water cycles and explore the various marine life along the Amelia River.
To awaken your creative juices, try browsing the island’s numerous art galleries. Better yet, get hands-on by joining one of the Julie Delfs Gallery’s epoxy-resin art classes, and walk away with your own coastal-themed creation you can hang on your wall as a lasting reminder of your trip to Amelia Island.
For more information, visit www.ameliaisland.com.