If you only had 24 hours to stay and play in Amelia Island, what would you do?
Instead of seeing some of the more well-known sights, such as the Amelia Island Lighthouse and Fort Clinch State Park, my husband, daughter and I opted for a more relaxing visit.
I'm so glad we stayed at Courtyard by Marriott/Springhill Suites Amelia Island, a new, clean property that is quiet and restful, but also provides fun options for families. The bonus is that it is just a short walk from the beach and directly across from Fort Clinch State Park.
We started our day with one of the most massive and delicious complimentary breakfasts I have encountered. It was nice to see high quality eggs, breakfast potatoes, and waffles offered, along with cereal, pastries, fruit, and other items.
Then, we headed to the expansive pool with fountains, where floats are provided for kids to enjoy. My daughter wanted to stay and play all day. I was surprised to see a number of guests at a poolside Yoga & Mimosas class, held every Saturday morning. What a cool idea!
We enjoyed lunch at the hotel and a visit with Niko Anagnostou, executive chef and director of food and beverage. An avid fishermen and a longtime resident of Amelia Island, Anognostou utilizes local seafood such as Mayport shrimp at the restaurant whenever possible. Soon, Anognostou will start offering cooking classes, such as how to make an authentic Greek dinner.
For dinner, we wandered downtown and happened across a restaurant with a wonderful outdoor patio area and fountain. We were pleasantly surprised that the quality of food matched the decor. The Shrimp & Grits with Onions and Gravy was one of the best my husband has tried, and that is saying a lot after growing up
near New Orleans.
Leaving out the next morning, we were overwhelmed by the many restaurants offering brunch. Of course we did not have time to try them all, but are so glad we checked out Beach Diner. My husband loved his house special breakfast, which included scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, and toast. The simple things - all done right. My daughter's waffle was also delicious, and they accommodated my dietary restrictions with an egg white omelette with shrimp and crab that was outstanding.
Disclosure: Hotel stay sponsored by Innisfree Hotels, which operates Courtyard by Marriott/Springhill Suites Amelia Island.