Strolling Fernandina Beach

Shop, stroll, and eat where the locals do in one of the most charming small towns in Florida.
Les Thomas

It's only my second morning in Fernandina Beach, Florida, but I'm completely hooked. I wish I lived here.

This perfect little town just across the Georgia line will do that to you. Moss-draped live oaks shade sidewalks that lead through blocks of handsomely restored Victorian houses. Schoolchildren pedal past on bicycles. You almost expect to see Andy Griffith come whistling by.

I'm sitting on the porch of the Addison on Amelia Island, having breakfast. Five spacious, sunny rooms in the main house, built in 1876, feature soft, downy beds. Guests enjoy a full cooked-to-order breakfast. Fernandina offers a wide variety of lodging, but you really get the feel of the town when you stay in one of the vintage bed-and-breakfasts. You can walk anywhere.

Shopping Centre Street
It's an easy two-block stroll to Centre Street. The first sight of Fernandina's main street charms you. Set your watch by the clock in the courthouse steeple.

Many shops sell affordable gifts. You won't believe the bargain prices for works by 50 local artists at the Island Art Association Co-op Gallery. Some cost as little as $29. Check out the snazzy transportation at ZZ Toys. Snag a windup Buck Rogers-style airship ($13) or a tin windup rocket racer car ($8).

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