From natural wonders and historic sites to award-winning beaches and picturesque scenery, Florida has so much to offer. Escape the hassles of flying, pack up the car and set out on a weekend getaway to one of these in-state destinations. Though you’re just a few hours from home, you’ll feel worlds away.
By Angela Caraway-Carlton
At 5.5 hours from Miami, a road trip to this barrier island off the coast of northeast Florida will be your longest trek—but it
’s worth the drive. You’ll instantly feel as if you’ve been transported to the Deep South. Amelia Island is rich in history and wildlife and offers 13 miles of treasured beaches.
Stay: Enveloped by sparkling Atlantic waters and lush salt marshlands, the newly reimagined Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort flaunts an adults-only infinity pool with sweeping ocean views, 10 restaurants and lounges, a spa with nature-inspired treatments and three golf courses, which boast seven seaside holes (the most in Florida). Ride horseback along the shoreline, take a kayak tour through the marshes or assist in a sea turtle recovery program with an on-property naturalist.
Play: Book the popular Cumberland Island tour with Amelia River Cruises, where you’ll learn about the area’s bountiful past, cruise past shrimp boats and see the wild horses that roam free. Visit during the resort’s annual Fish to Fork weekend to see award-winning chefs turn their catches of the day into signature dishes, which are then judged by audience taste-testers.
Eat: The Sprouting Project is the resort’s outdoor aquaponics greenhouse, which is surrounded by an expansive garden and on-site apiary. Guests of this intimate dining venue enjoy a true farm-to-table experience, where everything on the menu is either grown on-property or caught nearby. Dinners are held just once a month, so be sure to call to reserve your seat in advance.
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, 39 Beach Lagoon Road, Amelia Island; 904.261.6161; omniameliaisland.com