Fernandina knows how to be a beach town. It’s been doing so for almost 500 years, since its first French colonization. Today
the historic downtown includes the Southern Touch gift shop, O’Kane’s Irish Pub and Eatery, Café Karibo, and Joe’s 2nd Street
Bistro. The quaint downtown bustles with locals moving between the library, offices, and the growing foodie scene. Plus, river
cruises leave from downtown for Cumberland Island. Fernandina Beach (population 11,610) takes up the north end of the 13-mile-long
Jan Smith oversees the Saturday farmers’ market and notes that people who live here want to be involved. “We’re a bunch of self-starters, and the size and interests of this community foster that energy,” she says.
Toward the Amelia River and its vast marshlands or the Atlantic Ocean.
Art and antiques shops, galleries, and the Beech Street Grill.
Your favorite restaurant could be: 29 South, where the ingredients come from local farms and fishermen. Don’t pass up the lobster corn dogs with vodka-spiked horseradish ketchup.
North Beach, the quieter, local’s choice instead of the more popular, touristy Main Beach.
Mostly retired. With plenty of free time and an income stream on average higher than the rest of the state, they’ll likely
be found golfing at the island’s resorts or the Fernandina Beach public course or riding bikes and spotting birds on the Egans
On the weekend you might: kayak to Little Talbot Island State Park or take the kids camping near the beach five miles away in Fort Clinch State Park.