This is not a sponsored trip or post – just sharing a special spot and answering FAQ’s that popped up in my DM’s.
We just checked off our seventh summer visiting Amelia Island Plantation together as a family. My husband grew up vacationing here with his family and from the day we met, he talked about taking his children to the island… and now here we are. Henry was six months old during our first trip to Amelia Island together as a family. It really is a special place and a place that holds memories for us… Olive Amelia’s middle name even came from this place.
Normally we venture down to Amelia Island over 4th of July week/ weekend. This year we decided to push it out in hopes that it would feel a little safer, less crowed and we waited for the Georgia schools to be back in session (bonus, some of the Flordia schools we’re back as well ). It was so empty and felt like we had an island to ourselves. We were told by one of the staff members that this was the most quiet the property has been in over 10 years.
Beware… I’m sharing a lot of pictures from our trip – I can’t narrow it down and these posts are fun for me to look back on… kind of like a journal! I’ve also linked everything!
First family selfie of the trip! We immediately settled into our villa and ventured down to the beach for drinks and let the kiddos run wild. We played football and skipping ball (as Henry calls it)… later that evening we ordered pizza from Natural Slice and ate on the beach. Early mornings and evenings are my favorite on the beach.
Where We Stayed
Just to give you all background on where we stay because this brought up a lot of questions in my DM’s on Instagram. We stay at the privately owned Villas at Omni Amelia Island Plantation. We rent through the Omni so that we have access to the Omni amenities. If the amenities don’t really matter, you can rent through private sites and VRBO.
We’ve been staying in the exact same Villa in Turtle Dunes since Henry was six months old so it feels like home. Each Villa building has their own private pool and boardwalk out to the beach. Since we rent through the Omni we also venture to the Omni pool at the resort because they have Oceanside Cafe with the BEST fish tacos, one heck of a margarita, live reggae music (they only came out once while we were there) and Tanner the Turtle, which he sadly didn’t make an appearance this trip due to COVID. Tanner the Turtle (life-size 😉 turtle) typically comes out at 1:30pm everyday for a dance party and he passes out the best lemonade ice pops. In addition, the Omni pool always has fun activities for kids… in the past years they’ve had seashell and birdhouse painting, belly flop and cannonball contents, pool volleyball, build your own boat and then race your boat… it’s just a fun spot for the kiddos and a nice spot for the parents. Sadly, this year all of those activities didn’t happen.
We either walk from where we’re staying on the beach to the Omni pool every afternoon or we take our golf cart. Amelia’s Wheels will rent out bikes and golf carts by the day(s) and week. We normally don’t get in the car while we’re on property unless we’re heading into town.
This is just a recap of what we did/ ate at this trip. With all of the COVID restrictions so many of our favorite spots were closed.
Right outside of our villa! Lots and lots of turtles.
She has a fist full of “she”shells… she’s my shellin’ girl!
Pure JOY! The entire trip he was so happy and kept saying that Amelia Island is his favorite vacation and beach. I know we should probably be exploring different areas of the United States and beyond… but there’s something so meaningful to come back to the same spot. If you know me, you know I like to explore areas I am familiar with and that I don’t have to fly to… 😉
So happy to be at our favorite place.
Activities We Played
Fun fact – I love golf!! I’m not great, but I do enjoy playing. John and I used to play together when we lived in our old neighborhood which was on a golf course and then every year on vacation we play for fun. That being said, we play Oak Marsh every year together which is on property and it’s a BEAUTIFUL course. After a storm came through Amelia Island they decided to remove the gorgeous Ocean Course – which we played once together. We always take the kiddos with us – normally Oli and I just drive around behind the boys and if nobody is behind us, we’ll let her hit the ball. This year Henry played the ENTIRE round with John. He did great!
We also played tennis this year. And by “we” I mean John and Henry. Oli and I came for snacks! Henry attended a summer golf and tennis camp this year and fell in love with tennis. If you ask him what his favorite sport is – he’ll tell you tennis. Last night at dinner we went around the table and we said what our favorite part of our vacation was together and our least favorite part. Henry said his favorite part was playing tennis and his least favorite part was sleeping through his run with mom.
You can also sign your kiddos up for mini camps (we’ve never done this), but we saw the tennis camp and it looked pretty cute. They also have nature camps too for the kiddos.
There’s SO much to do from putt-putt, fishing, canoeing, biking, shopping, etc. on property… a lot of which was closed this year.
All he ever wants to do is play sports!
Oli lasted a hole or two and then we just followed the boys in our cart… eating lots of snacks of course! 🙂
When I would tee-off Oli would play with the screens in the cart!
John teaching Henry about respecting the greens! He gave him a little pep talk before each hole.
Love this picture… Henry trying to find balls and John getting ready to tee-off!
The tennis grounds are beautiful too! Also, tube socks for days!
The wore masks anytime we were walking in a busier area and did better than expected with them on. Both of their masks are from J.Crew.
Where We Ate
We stay on property for most meals… we love the food on the resort. Sadly, a lot of the restaurants we’re closed or worked on limited hours/ days. Our favorite dinner is at Marché Burette which is open daily for breakfast and lunch. It’s also a small grocery and wine store. We normally go for their low country boil and stake-out nights – they’ll have live music, we sit outside and it has all of the low country feels. They’re only doing stake-outs on Saturday’s and Sunday’s and since we arrive on Sunday and left on Saturday we missed out.
Verandah is one of our favorite spots as well – but it was closed this trip. We had Natural Slice Pizza twice – one night we ate it on the beach and our last night we ate in our villa. We also ate at Oceanside twice – one of the times we were the only party inside. We went into town to Down Under for one dinner and sat outside by the water (great live music).
We normally venture into town more… this year we just went to Down Under and out for ice cream!
I wouldn’t make it as a food or travel blogger because this is the only picture I have of a meal… I’m to hungry and anxious to dive right in! This was from Down Under (my hubby grew up coming to this restaurant). Previously, it was an old fish camp and in 1982 it was rebuilt into the restaurant – Down Under. We sat outside, the tables were spaced out and they had a live band. We normally just do raw oysters, but since they’re known for their famous garlic butter and parm oysters we went for those and OH MY GOSH they were delish!
Is that a dolphin? Or a Henry? It was BOTH! Cute little dolphins swam around right behind where Henry was sitting.
My little running buddy! We woke up most mornings before John and Oli and went for a run on the beach. On Monday morning we made it 3 miles together! It was slow, but we did it! This kid just loves being active outdoors. He asked me if we could do sit-ups and pushups… I explained that’s a lot for a vacay workout, lol! 😉
On our run we take about homeschool and we decided we’re going to try to wake up before Oli and go for a run together to start the day! He’s my early riser and would come into our room everyday on vacation fully dressed, hat and shoes on ready for his run with mom! 😉
John and I talk every.single.day how we can/ should just pick up and move to the coast. Our kids love it, we love it – I feel it happening in our future!
View from our villa’s boardwalk!
Don’t mind my rosé spill on the suit, but I LOVE my suit! I got it on sale along with this one from J.Crew this year… ti’s been YEARS since I bought a new swimsuit. I don’t go anywhere without my Yeti tumbler and this scrunchie!
Evenings on the beach!! Yes, they fight, but they get along SO well and love each other so hard.
Family golf card rides and popsicle stains – always!
View of our villa pool and Oli in her famous donut goggles!
My kids eat, sleep, dream about popsicles and in the summer (especially vacay) anything goes!
Henry riding his Dad’s skimboard from 35 years ago! I think it’s safe to consider this “vintage” 😉
Oli dancing in the sand! I love her wild hair!
This photo was taken straight from my iPhone with zero edits!
Breakfast and cartoons!
For the last four years we’ve gone sailing with Windward Sailing – they’re a husband and wife sailing team and they have two boats that you can choose from. You leave from the docks in downtown Fernandina Beach and you sail for two hours. We love going to Cumberland Island where you can see the wild horses running the beach – it’s beautiful! We pack our own snacks and beverages. The kids love it… we see beautiful birds, dolphins and horses! Plus you have the boat to yourself!
Captain Oli! The owners are SO kind and let the kids “drive” the boat! 😉
My new favorite picture of the kiddos!
Look at Henry in the background, lol!
Pool naps – nothing better and something I’ve always look forward to when going on vacation. This only happened twice this trip and I’m sure it’s our last poolside-nap-session-on-mommy!
The day we arrived!
Every year we do family pictures on the beach and around our villa. Here’s a BTS pic that I took using my iPhone!
John is really good at taking pictures and he snapped this one of us one morning on the beach! Loving this coverup that is $23 from Amazon! I sized up to a large for an oversized look!
Henry with his new sharks tooth necklace! 😉 Oli and daddy checking out the swimming turtles while we wait to pick up Natural Slice Pizza to take back to our villa.
Rarely do I take out my Canon Rebel camera, but I did a few times this trip and I just love the quality of the photos!
Beach walks… from our villa to the Omni pool! Our favorite mid-day mile walk!
During our walk from the villa’s to the Omni pool, Oli collected a lot of “she”shells! 😉
While we walked and waited to Oli to collect her “she”shells Henry would just walk in the water! So cute!
Gone boat racin’
The evening hours… my favorite time on the beach!
My happy beach babe!
We watch the sunrise every morning with a popsicle and either a run or a walk!
Another sweet sandy nap! These naps are so hot though… lol!
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Kiddos are happiest in the sand and collecting “she”shells (as Oli calls them)
So thankful for this week together… now we embark on virtual learning school, work, weddings and launching a new business!