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7 Ways to Enjoy Sustainable Travel on Amelia Island, Florida

There are plenty of ways to enjoy sustainable travel on Amelia Island! With such an abundance of natural beauty, the community strives to follow sustainable practices to protect our beloved beaches and wildlife. The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) was recently recognized as a Leader in Sustainable Tourism. It was acknowledged for its collaborative efforts that aim “to protect the island’s pristine beaches, sea turtles and other wildlife through community education, awareness efforts, and legislation.” Here are some of our favorite ways to embrace a sustainable lifestyle while vacationing on Amelia Island.

Ways to Embrace Sustainable Travel on Amelia Island

Check Out Our Locally Sourced Produce

We love shopping at the Fernandina Beach Market Place for locally sourced fruits and vegetables. Every Saturday, we head to the farmers market to stock up on the seasonal ingredients we need to create our wholesome, made-from-scratch breakfasts we prepare fresh daily for our guests. We encourage our inn visitors to peruse the weekly farmers market themselves. Besides selling fresh produce, a variety of vendors sell freshly baked breads and pastries (a sweet treat now!) and jams, sauces, honey, and plants (great local souvenirs to take home).

Spend Time Relaxing in Our Courtyard

Our lush gardens in the courtyard and landscaping in the front of the property remind guests of Amelia Island’s beautiful native plants and flowers. We work hard to preserve the natural landscape in our little corner of Amelia Island, providing our guests and our neighbors with a lovely visual treat.

Philip Standifer, landscape architect and owner of Rockstar Gardens, strives to stick to an organic or as simple and clean as possible nutrition process. For nitrogen, we use quick release blood meal and Milorganite for slow-release nitrogen to stimulate overall strong green foliar growth. Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) is added regularly during the warmer months to ensure healthy root and tissue growth. Magnesium sulfate strengthens the cell wall of plants allowing nutrition to enter and promote overall vigor and growth. Our soil amendment where needed is Mushroom Compost, a Vegan soil conditioner for binding sandy soil and added nutrition. Our weed killer is a Pure-Gro product called Weed Crush, an organic essential oil liquid spray. Insect and disease are limited in our healthy, vigorous landscape; however, when apparent, they are removed or treated with natural essential oils in Young Living’s Thieves Household Cleaner.

The plants are a mix of locally successful subtropical plants that can be utilized for botanical art displays in rooms or vases in the common areas. We have planted lemongrass along the sidewalk in front of the inn. It has mild insect repellent qualities, is aromatic, and can be used for teas and recipes or ground for an organic addition for a calming therapeutic bath. All of our decisions are carefully considered for the environmental impact, especially runoff into our freshwater, as well as the effect on local wildlife, including shrimp and oysters harvested locally.

Spend the Afternoon Biking Around Town

This is our favorite way to embrace sustainable travel on Amelia Island! One of the wonderful things about our area is how easy it is to get around! Not only can you walk to almost anywhere you might want to go, but hopping on a bike is also a fun way to explore Fernandina. Lucky for you, our inn provides complimentary bikes that you are free to use for a relaxing bike ride through the historic district, to the beach, and wherever else your heart desires!

Donate Gently-Used Goods to Charities

You can rest assured that the items you use at our inn won’t go to waste. We try to find a good home for some of the inn’s gently used items by partnering with a few local charities in Fernandina Beach. For example, we donate household goods to Second Chance Resale, which benefits the Nassau County Humane Society. We also give gently used sheets and towels to Purple Dove Resale Center to help Micah’s Place, our local domestic violence survivor shelter.

Additionally, when we replace our old appliances with more energy-efficient ones, we donate the old to Nassau Habitat for Humanity. Ditto for when we upgrade our fixtures! Besides keeping materials out of the landfill, we support the excellent work of our community organizations. No matter where you travel across the world, it never hurts to search for lodging that shows a little extra love to the planet and the local community! 

Reduce Single-Use Paper and Plastics

We take small steps, too, as every little eco-friendly practice makes a difference. We serve coffee in our inn’s beautiful ceramic coffee mugs rather than cardboard to-go cups. We don’t use plastic straws at the inn and instead serve our social hour beverages in elegant glassware. We also use cloth napkins instead of paper, which provide both an aesthetic appeal and an eco-friendly benefit. Later this spring, we’ll replace the plastic water bottles we put in guest rooms with more eco-friendly insulated water bottles. This will enable our guests to avoid single-use plastics while they explore the island. Instead of throwing away a one-and-done plastic bottle, guests can grab their insulated water bottles and refill them throughout their stay to keep hydrated. These efforts will reduce the waste that gets sent to the landfill and help maintain our coastal environment and marine life.

Install energy-efficient lighting

We’ve left the traditional, energy-draining incandescent bulbs behind and switch to the more energy-efficient LED bulbs. This will allow you to vacation with ease, knowing that we have already taken steps to reduce our carbon footprints.

We Encourage Recycling

As you walk throughout our bed and breakfast, you’ll notice that we place recycle bins in all the guest rooms, laundry room, dining room, and kitchen. This encourages and our guests to recycle the paper, plastic, aluminum, cardboard, and glass items used at the inn. With hundreds of guests staying at The Addison every year, the amount of materials we regularly recycle genuinely makes a difference!

Commit to Green Lodging Practices

Here at The Addison on Amelia Island, we proudly join with the community’s efforts to minimize our negative impact on the environment. In fact, our “going green” initiative is evident throughout our property as we incorporate eco-friendly solutions. We strive to balance the needs of our guests with the wellbeing of our environment. We aim to deliver exceptional comfort to our guests as we incorporate newer products and eco-friendly “green lodging” practices that ensure the health and safety of our guests. Our commitment to be an environmentally friendly bed and breakfast means that we can help preserve the natural beauty of Amelia Island for future generations. 

 

 

Why Celebrate Your Babymoon at The Addison?

Are you expecting your first child (or adding another one to the family)? Congratulations! The blessing of a new baby brings so much love and happiness into your life. Caring for your new bundle of joy also means you and your loved one will be taking on lots of extra responsibilities, from late-night feedings to diaper changes to getting your baby to sleep. Mixed with anticipation, excitement, and nervousness as you prepare for your new arrival, you both might feel a little spent—emotionally and physically.

The solution? A Babymoon!

What is a Babymoon?

Growing in popularity, a Babymoon offers expectant parents the chance to get away together before the baby arrives. It’s the calm before the “baby storm,” so to speak, giving couples an opportunity for one last hurrah. By taking this just-the-two-of-us vacation, you get time to relax, connect, and enjoy some couple-time. What a fantastic idea! I wish this tradition were around when I was an expectant mom.

Couples usually take a Babymoon when it’s still safe (and comfortable) for the expectant mom to travel—typically in the second trimester of pregnancy. Of course, check with your doctor first, especially if you’ll be hopping on a plane to get to your destination.

Where can you celebrate a Babymoon?

Speaking of destinations, Ron and I hope you consider staying at The Addison on Amelia Island to celebrate your Babymoon, whether you’re flying in from afar or just a short drive away. Situated within walking distance of historic downtown Fernandina Beach and only one mile from the stunning beaches of Amelia Island, The Addison on Amelia Island specializes in making your Babymoon truly special.

We designed our Babymoon Package exclusively for parents-to-be, offering thoughtful touches to make your stay relaxing and memorable. With the needs of expectant parents in mind, our carefully curated Babymoon Package amenities include:

  • a prenatal massage for mom
  • a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne
  • an assortment of hand-dipped chocolates from a local artisan candy-maker
  • lavender sanitizer and milk bath for mom and baby
  • $50 dinner gift certificate to a fabulous local restaurant
  • an Addison on Amelia Island onesie for your little one

The Babymoon Package is $250 in addition to your room rate, and a two-night stay is highly recommended, so you don’t feel rushed during your visit. Call the inn at 904-277-1604 or reserve online.

Why Choose The Addison on Amelia Island?

Of course, the inn itself serves as a respite for travelers looking to unwind. You can sleep in late and cuddle under the sheets in one of our luxurious queen or king beds. Enjoy a three-course, home-cooked gourmet breakfast outside on our lovely veranda. Maybe you want to escape to your private porch or sitting area overlooking the landscaped courtyard and fountain. You can look for seashells as you stroll along the pristine beaches of Amelia Island. Enjoy our evening social hour with beverages and appetizers. Or spend time shopping and eating in our downtown historic district. The possibilities are only limited by your desire to explore our beautiful coastal community.

Keep in mind that there’s no one “right way” to do a Babymoon. Since taking ownership of the inn in 2017, we’ve had quite a few couples stay with us for their Babymoon, and they all approached their stay differently.

One couple wanted some together time and some alone time. Perfect! The dad-to-be headed to a nearby restaurant to watch his favorite soccer team play, while the mom-to-be stayed back at the inn. She spent time relaxing in their guest room and getting some fresh air on their private porch writing in her journal. Another couple chose to relax in their room and enjoyed riding bikes around downtown.

No matter how you want to celebrate your Babymoon, we hope that where you celebrate it is with us—at The Addison on Amelia Island!

 

 

The Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Romance on Amelia Island

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, you might be thinking about a romantic getaway for you and your special someone, perhaps a tropical island getaway. You’re in luck! You don’t need to leave the states to get your romance fix. Experience romance on Amelia Island!

beach chairsWhile much of the U.S. reels from freezing temperatures this time of year, Amelia Island in Northeast Florida boasts an average temp of a balmy 65 degrees in February, often hitting the 70s and 80s during the day. Doesn’t it sound heavenly?

Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Romance on Amelia Island

Gorgeous weather aside, there are plenty of reasons why Travel + Leisure named Amelia Island, one of America’s top three most romantic towns. Curious? Let me count the ways.

  1. With Amelia River on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east, you can start your day with a sunrise on the beach and end it with a sunset at the marina.
  2. While you’re at the beach, go for a romantic stroll, hand-in-hand, as you listen to the rhythmic sounds of the ocean waves. (Hint: Search for shark’s teeth in the sand.)
  3. Better yet, go horseback riding right on the beach—even if you’re a complete beginner. As one of the few areas in the U.S. where you can do this, Amelia Island State Park offers miles of pristine beach for a tranquil beachside horseback trail ride.
  4. Hop on one of the inn’s complimentary bicycles and enjoy a just-the-two-of-us ride to the beach or through the canopy-covered road to Fort Clinch State Park.
  5. Feed your appetite and take a Downtown Tasting Tour through historic Fernandina Beach. The 2½-hour Booze & Bites tour makes stops at two local eateries and two bars, giving you a chance to meet the owners, chefs, and bartenders while sampling their fantastic food and tasty cocktails prepared just for you.
  6. Speaking of food, shop with a chef, and get tips on choosing healthy options. Led by former Ritz-Carlton Chef Bill Thompson, now with Amelia Island Culinary Academy, the monthly farmer’s market tour includes a walking (and tasting) adventure through the Amelia Island Farmer’s Market. You and your honey can go back home armed with ideas for cooking romantic, healthy meals.
  7. Stay the weekend (and get your tickets early!) to see the phenomenal Dover, Diaz, and Rex performing February 16, 2020, as part of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival.
  8. Ready to catch that gorgeous Florida sunset? Do it on the water with a private sunset cruise on the Amelia River. The spectacular views of Cumberland Sound and the Intracoastal Waterway will take your breath away.
  9. Indulge in a couples’ massage. Wellness is the word on Amelia Island, as our seaside community boasts several luxurious spas to relax and rejuvenate together. Try the couples massage at Coastal Massage, just two blocks from the inn.
  10. Book a romantic getaway at The Addison. Valentine’s Day marks a special time to connect as a couple. Staying in the coziness of our bed-and-breakfast inn provides you with an intimate, personal, and unique stay that you can’t get at a large hotel.

The Romance of a Stay at The Addison

Enjoy upscale comfort in our beautiful bed and breakfast inn—the historic house dating back to 1876! With 14 luxurious guest rooms, The Addison provides an elegant backdrop for a romantic getaway. With a nod to the inn’s history mixed with modern amenities, The Addison blends the past with the present. Our calming color scheme and understated hints of the tropics suggest Old Florida stylishness, complete with four-poster beds and rich hardwood floors.

With our premium bedding and linens (600-thread-count sheets, anyone?) and modern baths (some with jetted tubs big enough for two!), you might not even want to leave your room. Some rooms offer private porches, while others feature a fireplace—perfect for snuggling up together on a cool February evening. When you do venture outside your room, you’ll be drawn to our central courtyard with lush gardens, brick walkways, and a three-tier fountain as the centerpiece. You won’t find this homey feeling at a large hotel!

Plus, our inn’s ideal location puts you within walking distance of Amelia Island’s beautiful shops, restaurants, museums, and historic homes—yet gives you just enough distance to retreat to the inn for a quiet, relaxing stay. Plus, The Addison offers a special romance package perfect for lovebirds!

Why Celebrate Valentine’s Day at The Addison?

Create beautiful memories with a pampered stay at The Addison this Valentine’s Day! Our special romance package includes a bouquet of roses, a chilled bottle of premier champagne, and a fruit-and-cheese platter to welcome you to your room when you arrive. Enjoy a romantic dinner at some of our favorite restaurants with a $60 restaurant gift card included in the package. (Our top picks? Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro, Espana, Burlingame, Le Clos, or David’s.)

As always, your stay at The Addison on Amelia Island includes a made-from-scratch three-course breakfast each morning plus our guest-only social hour with complimentary beer, wine, and appetizer served every evening. This romance package is $250 in addition to your room reservation. Call us at (904) 277-1604 to reserve your cozy room today. Or book online to make your Valentine’s Day a memorable one at The Addison.

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Our Inn’s Transformation

Happy New Year! As we enter a new decade—and Ron and I enter the third year of owning The Addison on Amelia Island—it seems an appropriate time to reflect on how far we’ve come since purchasing the inn. As I mentioned in our B&B origin story, we felt like proud parents as we officially welcomed The Addison on Amelia Island into our lives on December 15, 2017. It’s been an interesting process as we found our footing as innkeepers. Since so many of our guests ask about what it’s like to own an inn and what’s changed since we took over, I thought I’d give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the transformation of The Addison on Amelia Island.

Year 1: Learning the ropes

Paella at one of our favorite restaurants – Espana

That first year, Ron and I threw ourselves into learning the innkeeping business. We joined the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals (AIHP) to lessen the learning curve of how to successfully run a bed-and-breakfast inn. Locally, we met with innkeepers in Fernandina Beach, developing wonderful relationships with our tight-knit group of competitors/colleagues. Ron and I explored all the wonderful neighborhoods, restaurants, shops, small businesses, and organizations that make Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island such an inviting community. We established relationships with these local business owners so we could make recommendations to our guests looking for places to eat, where to shop, and things to do. Converting recipes to meet the fluctuating number of guests staying with us, ranging from two to 28 guests became a priority. Getting to know repeat guests from the previous inn owners and developing relationships with new guests so they, too, become repeat guests was most rewarding. The goal of year one? To blend the old with the new—offerings, processes, relationships—as we learned how to actually BE innkeepers in 2018.

Year 2: Growing the business

No longer newbies, we now focused on growing the business in 2019. We had to understand the demographics of our guests so we could better meet their needs, whether that’s creating new specials and packages or developing new recipes. Two of our proudest moments this year? Being approved for membership in Select Registry (for distinguished inns of North America) and earning a #1 rating on Trip Advisor. Yay, us!

What enhancements and experiences resonated best with our guests this year?

  • Small touches with a big impact. It was time for new cushions for our outdoor chairs, with brighter colors and more padding for a comfortable seat so guests can enjoy a cup of coffee or glass of wine on our gorgeous veranda. Charging stations were added for phones, laptops, and iPads so guests don’t have to crawl under beds or desks. We take guest feedback seriously, so adding little touches like these helps improve our guests’ experience.

    New cushions on front porch rockers

  • Bigger touches to add that “Wow!” factor. We installed vanities for the courtyard guestrooms, providing more “real estate” on the sink surface and more storage under the sink. (When you’re traveling with cosmetics and personal care items, you need a convenient place to store your things, right?) We also added a fresh coat of paint in guestrooms and bathrooms with our favorite new color—Sea Salt! We think it ties in nicely to the coastal ambiance of our seaside community. Finally, we found a professional landscaper that helped our property blossom by bringing our gardens and courtyard back to their grandeur. We received so many compliments about our stunning landscaping from guests!

    Vanities in the courtyard guestrooms

In both big and small ways, we aimed to retain the charm of The Addison on Amelia Island and improve our guests’ experience when they stayed with us. With a heartfelt thanks to both our returning and new guests, we increased occupancy by 6.5% from 2018.

Year 3: Creating unique offerings

As we move into our third year in 2020, we hope to sustain our growth rate and add special touches. We’ve got a few approaches to help us do just that. For starters, we plan to continue offering unique guest experiences at The Addison on Amelia Island, such as our inaugural cheesemaking class on January 17-20, 2020, taught by Linda and Larry Faillace of Vermont-based Three Shepherds Farm. (With space limited to just 10 guests, we’re almost sold out! If you want to guarantee your spot, call us at 904- 277-1604 to make your reservations.) Since we don’t want to copy what other Amelia Island inns are doing (such as weddings), we’re creating our own niche with a focus on distinctive experiences, such as Babymoon at The Addison. We’re also creating a rewards program for our repeat guests to thank you for your loyal patronage, so be on the lookout for details! Finally, we want to inform and engage with both current and prospective guests, which we’ll do through our blog, our social media channels, and our quarterly email newsletter.

Of course, we’ll continue to educate ourselves about the innkeeping industry by attending the annual Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) conference in early January. Here, we’ll network with other innkeepers and learn about industry trends so we can continue providing top-notch experiences for our guests. Our goal? To exceed your expectations and create wonderful vacation memories for you, year after year.

Say Cheese! An Exclusive Culinary Adventure on Amelia Island FL

Travelers looking to infuse their Amelia Island vacation with extra special memories often find themselves staying at a bed and breakfast inn like The Addison. If you’re like most of our guests, you don’t want to stay in a large, impersonal chain hotel while visiting the island. Why? Because the lodging is part of your travel experience and you want an intimate, personal, unique stay.

Well, it’s about to get even more amazing with our exclusive culinary adventure just for guests. Whether you’re a full-blown foodie or just a wine-and-cheese lover, you won’t want to miss the special treat we’ve got lined up for our guests at The Addison in January!

Exclusive Culinary Event

Cheesemaking class participantsTo tie-in to Amelia Island’s 12th Annual Restaurant Week, we’re offering an intimate,  artisan cheese-making class right here at The Addison on Amelia from Jan. 17-20, 2020. Taught by renowned cheesemaking connoisseurs Linda and Larry Faillace of Vermont-based Three Shepherds Farm, our inaugural three-day class offers a unique culinary adventure in a small-group setting. Think of it as a mini-master class in cheesemaking as you learn the art of making a variety of delicious cheeses while getting expert tips and advice from cheesemaking gurus.

For this exclusive experience, we’ve limited the class to only 10 participates and set aside a block of rooms for this special event, which we expect to sell out quickly. (Hint: Book now to reserve your spot at this limited event.)

Calling All Foodies!

Set against the cozy backdrop of The Addison, the class walks you through the fundamentals of transforming the essential cheesemaking ingredients (curds and whey) into scrumptious mozzarella and ricotta cheese. (Can you say “yummy”?) You’ll get to enjoy your handcrafted goodies during your stay and then take samples back home to share with family and friends.

In addition to the hands-on learning component, we’ve lined up a slate of culinary delights for you and your new wine-and-cheese-loving friends. We’ve scheduled breakfast each morning at the inn, lunch on Saturday and Sunday, and an evening social hour Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Plus, we top the event off with a fun wine and cheese tasting and pairing.Wine and cheese pairing

For complete details and the three-day event schedule, visit Say Cheese at The Addison.

Grab Your Spot!

As mentioned, we’re limiting this exclusive culinary event to just 10 guests. We’d love to have you join us! To book your reservation and guarantee your seat at the cheesemaking table, please call us 904- 277-1604.

Finally, if you love exploring local food scenes, we encourage you to spend a few extra days in Amelia Island’s historic downtown Fernandina Beach to taste your way through some of our award-winning eateries during the 12th Annual Restaurant Week

Discover the Magic of an Authentic Victorian Christmas – The Addison on Amelia

Every year, the Christmas season on Amelia Island officially kicks off the day after Thanksgiving. Locals and tourists alike don their Christmas PJs and go shopping in downtown historic Fernandina Beach to score those Black Friday deals. It’s small-town fun at its finest, and we love to see our guests at The Addison participate in this island tradition!

Once December hits, the Christmas festivities take over the town, starting with our beloved traditions—the Holiday Home Tour and Dickens on Centre.

Fortunately, The Addison is in the heart of it all. We’re close enough to the action that guests can walk to the holiday celebrations, but far enough away that our inn provides a peaceful respite on their return. Much to their delight, Ron and I welcome guests back at night with true Southern hospitality—a glass of wine and appetizers during our evening Happy Hour.

Here’s a sneak peek of our two most popular Christmas traditions on Amelia Island.

Holiday Home Tour

       

This year’s Holiday Home Tour takes place December 6-7 (10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.), marking the 13th year that Amelia Island Museum of History brings the Christmas magic to our community. What can you expect to see? Five Victorian homes in historic Fernandina Beach, including our next-door neighbor, decked out with holiday flair, courtesy of our talented local florists. Plan to spend about 45-60 minutes in each home for an up-close look at beautiful renovations, family heirlooms, and preserved historic elements intertwined with the Christmas spirit of a bygone era. For example, at the Maier home, you can hear the stories behind the owners’ unique collection of Santas.

Insider’s Tip: This popular tour attracts big crowds! Avoid long lines to enter the homes by going a bit later in the day and touring the homes in a different order rather than starting at the first house listed on the tour. Grab your Holiday Home Tour tickets online.

thumbDickens on Centre

The following weekend, Dickens on Centre takes over the historic downtown area. Ron and I look forward to the festival’s newest addition: the inaugural Dickens Illuminated Procession, which takes place on Thursday, December 12, from 5 pm to 8 pm and will proceed right in front of the inn! Then the rest of the weekend (December 13-15) is brimming with festivities!

Now in its fifth year, Dickens on Centre transforms Fernandina Beach into a charming, Victorian-inspired holiday village, complete with a full slate of activities and entertainment. This free, family-friendly event draws visitors near and far to experience costumed characters, magical holiday lights, music, theatrical performances, visits with Saint Nick, and plenty of options for seasonal gifts and holiday shopping. It’s fun to watch the locals dress up in Victorian costumes, immersing themselves in the Christmas spirit. Even pets get in on the action, with the Parade of Paws on Saturday!

Check out the complete Dickens on Centre event schedule to map out what you’d like to experience.

Celebrate the Christmas Magic

Despite being known as a beach community and a summer destination, Amelia Island transforms into a holiday wonderland that rivals Santa’s Workshop. This is honestly one of the best times of year to visit Amelia Island, and we’re lucky enough to be able to share this festive time with our guests.

If you’d like to join us this holiday season at The Addison, we’d love to have you! Our rooms book up fast at this time of year, so I encourage you to make reservations soon. Also, if you’re looking for a unique gift for someone on your holiday shopping list, consider purchasing a holiday gift card to treat someone special to a relaxing stay at The Addison on Amelia Island.

 

How to Spend Thanksgiving on Amelia Island

Do you love a traditional Thanksgiving dinner? At The Addison on Amelia, we sure do! But it’s a lot of work, right? Let Ron and me lighten your load this Thanksgiving as we prepare a feast for our guests—and we hope you’re one of them! We’re all about traditions, especially when they involve making holidays special for guests at The Addison on Amelia. Thanksgiving is no exception. Let us tell you all about how you can enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving on Amelia Island.

Everything You Need to Know About Spending Thanksgiving on Amelia Island

While other inns make reservations at a local restaurant for guests and attend dinner with them, we like to do things differently here. For years, it’s been a tradition at The Addison to serve Thanksgiving dinner right here at our inn, surrounded by old friends and new ones.

Our Traditions

Since buying the inn in 2017, we’re thrilled to carry the tradition forward. We thoroughly enjoyed our first Thanksgiving at The Addison last year as we met returning guests who stayed with the previous inn owners. In fact, we received many calls to see if we would be continuing this beloved tradition. Of course, we said yes! We look forward to welcoming returning guests and we eagerly await the arrival of new guests who will gather around our Thanksgiving table with us for the first time.

As children, we enjoyed Thanksgiving with our grandparents and cousins in Pennsylvania. Even though Nan’s mashed potatoes were lumpy, her recipe was the best! As we got older, my brothers and I would rotate hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our homes in Sarasota, Plant City, and Atlanta. After our grandmother relocated to Sarasota, I hosted my brothers and their families so Grammy could enjoy time with her great-grandchildren. And just like the old days, we’d gather around the table, share stories, and laugh, feeling oh-so-thankful for these special people in our lives.

The Thanksgiving Celebration

At The Addison, Ron and I want to create the same kind of “warm-fuzzies” for our guests on Thanksgiving. And it begins weeks before the big day arrives. I dig through my family recipes to recreate a few favorite dishes. And I anxiously wait for my issue of Bon Appetit to arrive to see what new creations I can whip up. I plan the inn’s special menu and share it with our wine expert to create the ideal pairings. We want everything to be just perfect for guests joining us for Thanksgiving!

Beyond preparing a sumptuous feast, we take care of all the little touches that make Thanksgiving a truly festive occasion at The Addison. From the autumn-themed tablecloth and napkins to the beautifully adorned Christmas tree in the foyer, the decorations set the stage for a warm gathering.

And one of the best parts (at least according to our relaxed guests) is that Ron and I handle all the cooking and cleaning ourselves. Our guests can linger over pumpkin pie and coffee while we deal with the “kitchen clean-up aftermath” of a wonderful Thanksgiving feast shared with friends.

You’re Invited to the Celebration!

If this sounds like a little slice of heaven to you, please consider joining us this year. Our Thanksgiving Package begins with a two-hour narrated boat cruise with Amelia River cruises on Thanksgiving morning. This means you’ll be cruising, having fun, and learning about the area while Ron and I are back at the inn preparing an amazing feast for your return. Our Thanksgiving dinner includes appetizers, salad, roast turkey, dressing, potatoes, vegetables, and, of course, several pies (my favorite part!), along with a wine pairing for the four-course meal. The fun continues on Black Friday, as everyone dons their Christmas PJs to go shopping in downtown historic Fernandina Beach! https://www.facebook.com/events/downtown-fernandina-beach-amelia-island/annual-downtown-fernandina-pajama-party/1010434879085010/

Ready to gather around our table this year? Join us at The Addison on Amelia and let our inn be your home this Thanksgiving.

Say Hello to the Innkeepers at The Addison on Amelia Island

About once a week, a guest staying at The Addison on Amelia Island will ask my husband Ron or me our “B&B origin story.” They want to know our background, why we decided to purchase a bed and breakfast inn, why we picked Amelia Island, and, specifically, why we chose The Addison.

Curious? Here’s our backstory.

We didn’t start out “in the biz”—or even in the same state. Ron, born and raised in Wichita, KS, was a high school history teacher who later moved into pharmaceutical sales and healthcare software sales. Born in Philadelphia, PA, I lived in more than a half dozen Eastern U.S. states, finally settling in Sarasota, FL. I was a hospital director of pharmacy who also moved into pharmacy software sales, later becoming a healthcare consultant and certified project manager. We met working for the same Kansas City-based healthcare software company, with Ron moving to join me in Sarasota in 2002.

Despite neither of us having any professional experience in the hospitality industry, I developed a passion for bed and breakfast inns. How? I lived on an old rice plantation in the Lowcountry of South Carolina (midway between Charleston and Savannah) during the 1980s. The owners’ adult children had no interest in inheriting the property and asked me for my recommendation. I instantly saw the property’s potential as an inn, as it was nestled on a rice pond alongside the Ashepoo River with every room overlooking this magnificent view. Although the South Carolina property sold and remains a private residence, this experience planted the seed of one day owning a bed and breakfast of my own.

Ron and I started out just like you—as guests, staying at B&Bs like The Orchard Inn, a beautiful property in Saluda, NC.

Then we took a deeper dive into the industry side of it. First, I attended an innkeeping conference in 2014 in Charleston where I got connected with industry consultants. Then, I also needed to learn about the ins and outs of owning a small business, so I attended SCORE workshops and found a mentor. Both of these provided a solid foundation in place before we even began looking at properties.

Though Ron and I considered a property near our Sarasota home, the sales process was not a viable option. We abandoned a Gulf Coast search for our dream property, but continued to further our hospitality education.

In the fall of 2015, we attended an intensive weekend conference for aspiring innkeepers just like us. We found ourselves back at The Orchard Inn for this event, with the conference  conducted by one of the consulting groups I met at the Charleston conference.

Feeling prepped and ready for the B&B industry, we moved our property search to Florida’s Atlantic Coast. We looked at two properties on Amelia Island in August 2016. Unfortunately, we couldn’t pursue either because we’d already committed to a vacation in South Africa and wouldn’t be available to run an inn just yet. But we adored the community of Fernandina Beach and fell in love with Amelia Island. In fact, the area checked all the boxes we were looking for:

  • Coastal location with an intriguing history—it’s the only U.S. location where eight different flags have flown.
  • Incredible weather—perfect for year-round outdoor activities.
  • Easy access to a major airport—Jacksonville International Airport is just a 30-minute drive
  • Walkable downtown with high caliber shops and restaurants—our 50-block downtown historic district boasts more than 100 local eateries, boutiques, bars, art galleries, museums, theaters, and independent shops.

Things moved swiftly after that, as the consultant helped us prepare and submit an offer to purchase the property. The owners accepted our offer in August 2017, we made a validation visit in September 2017, and officially purchased the inn on December 15, 2017.

We felt like proud parents as we officially welcomed The Addison into our lives. We can’t wait to share the rest of our story with you—especially as we look to celebrate our second anniversary here on Amelia Island!

 

Visit to White Oak Conservation Center

White Oak Conservation Center is just a 45 minute drive from the Addison. Until recently they have been closed to the general public for tours but that is changing. Lee and I took one of their tours yesterday and had the most fun (educational fun) that we have had in ages.

White Oak specializes in the conservation of some of the world’s most endangered animals. White Oak is home to species such as cheetah, rhinos, okapi and many more.

We toured in an open van with Randy who knows so much about the animals, why they are endangered and what is being done to protect the species. We saw cheetah (cubs and full grown), three varieties of rhino, antelope, gazelle and, my favorite, the giraffes. We got to feed the giraffes and I had my arm muzzled by a baby rhino. This is a real up-close and personal tour.

The two hour tour starts at 10:00 mid week only and is $100 per person. Lunch is an additional $25 per person if requested.  Advance reservations are a must! Check out this amazing facility at www.WhiteOakWildlife.org

Family Visiting!

One frequently asked FAQ question that we get is “Do you ever shut down the inn and go on vacation?”. We do occasionally shut the inn down during slow periods for maintenance purposes but once every few years family comes to visit and we close the inn to spend a little quality time with them. And paying guests here for a romantic weekend just might not find the charm of naked little grandchildren running in circles in the courtyard laughing their faces off.

Eldest son, Matt, and his family were here for most of last week. When they left their home in northern Alberta it was minus 39 so they were really enjoying the 70 degree January weather here on Amelia Island. The family got a little beach time and parents got a break from the kids while Grandma Shannon just loved looking after them.

One family outing was the Amelia River Cruise which is always fun. The picture shows Olivia (2 years old, almost 3) driving the boat while her father and Pajama Dave (local legend, far left in photo) watch on and offer advice.

We heard today that they have arrived safely back at their home after an incredibly long air journey. The Addison is back open. We have a pretty busy week ahead of us due to Amelia Island Restaurant Week and are looking forward to a full house this weekend.

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