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Where to go, what to do in Amelia Island, Fla.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Want to take a spur-of-the-moment trip to Amelia Island, Fla.? Here's what you need to know for the weekend of Nov. 20-22:

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GETTING THERE

Delta is offering one-stop flights from BWI Marshall to Jacksonville, Fla., which is a half-hour drive from Amelia Island, for $225 round trip.

WHERE TO STAY

Amelia Island Plantation, 6800 First Coast Hwy., 888-261-6161, http://www.aipfl.com. An all-inclusive package (room, meals, greens fees, tennis time, even rental fishing rods) can cost the equivalent of a flight to Paris or more for each day. But there are often special rates and promotions: Currently, rooms are available from $109 a night, and the Rise and Shine golf package, which includes breakfast and 18 holes of golf, starts at $269.

Ritz-Carlton, 4750 Amelia Island Pkwy., 904-277-1100, http://www.ritzcarlton.com. Rooms at this luxury resort start at $219 a night, packages at $249 a night.

Florida House Inn and Restaurant, 20-22 S. Third St., Fernandina Beach, 800-258-3301, http://www.floridahouseinn.com. Opened in 1857 by the Florida Railroad, this 22-bedroom establishment in the historic district has hosted Ulysses S. Grant and the Carnegies. Rooms from $139.

WHERE TO EAT

Brett's Waterway Cafe, 1 S. Front St., Fernandina Beach, 904-261-2660. A favorite with locals. This is the place if you want fresh grouper. Entrees start in the $20s, with a good prix-fixe menu for $28.

Espana, 22 S. Fourth St., Fernandina Beach, 904-261-7700, http://www.espanadowntown.com. This Spanish-Portuguese restaurant in the historic district serves a strong assortment of tapas. Entrees start at about $19.

T-Rays Burger Station, 202 S. Eighth St., Fernandina Beach, 904-261-6310. Burgers or breakfast for less than $10. Look for the Exxon pumps outside.

WHAT TO DO

Amelia Island Museum of History, 233 S. Third St., Fernandina Beach, 904-261-7378, http://www.ameliamuseum.org. Open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 1-4 p.m. $7; $4 for students and military.

Eight Flags Antique Market, 602 Centre St., Fernandina Beach, 904-277-8550. More than 50 antiques dealers.

Fort Clinch State Park, 2601 Atlantic Ave., Fernandina Beach, 904-277-7274, http://www.floridastateparks.org/fortclinch. You can fish from the pier here. Winter is best for catching whiting, speckled trout, bluefish. Open daily 8 a.m. to sundown. $6 per vehicle ($4 if only one person).

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Amelia Island Tourist Development Council, 800-226-3542, http://www.ameliaisland.com.

-- T.W.

Prices for flights and accommodations were valid as of press time on Thursday, Nov. 12.


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