Exterior of Addison on Amelia

Category Archives: Things To Do

Hurricane Irene Coming To Visit

August 23, 2011 by theAddison

Hurricane Irene will soon be churning up the coast of Florida.  The current projected path has the center of the storm well off-shore as it passes Amelia Island.  This storm is 700 miles across and still growing so we’re still going to have a wet and windy weekend but let me put my usual positive spin on things.

What to do on such a weekend?  Head down to the beach!  Walk the beaches with the wind in your face.  The surf will be pounding and churning up the beaches leaving behind a whole new collection of shells and shark’s teeth.  Stop into Sandy Bottoms and have a cold beer at the bar while watching the surf through the big picture windows.  It is a little hard getting their door open in a 70 mph wind (been there, done that!) but it is nice and cozy once you are inside.  Once back in town you can cruise the antique stores or spend an hour or two in the Amelia Island Museum of History. 

The wonderful restaurants in town will still be open so you can enjoy a nice dinner after the Addison’s Happy Hour. Then it is back to the Addison to curl up under the covers and watch a movie out of the DVD library in our front hallway.  There is nothing quite like falling asleep, snuggled up to the one you love, with the sound of rain on the roof. 

Day Trip to Jekyll Island, Georgia

August 18, 2011 by theAddison

Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Shannon and I took a rare afternoon off together and drove to Jekyll Island, Georgia.  The island is famous for being the playground of the rich and famous back in the 30s.   Some of their beach cottages (huge homes with interesting architecture) are still on the island, river side, next to the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. 

The island is largely undeveloped with the hotel and cottages in the historic district and a few small subdivisions of homes scattered about.  The beaches are nice but access appears rather limited.  Their Historic District with the hotel and cottages is considerably different from our vibrant little downtown full of restaurants, shopping and art galleries.

We had lunch (the whole purpose of the trip) at Fins on the Beach.  As promised it was right on the beach.  We opted for indoor AC for lunch and then had a final beer out on the porch.  The view was nice and they had these big sails flapping overhead to provide shade.  Grilled fish sandwich and a plate of fish tacos, all quite good and reasonable when the bill came.

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center was really interesting.  Injured and sick sea turtles from all up and down the coast are taken there for rescue and rehabilitation.  The big turtle on the operating table is getting barnacles (disease, water drag, along with other problems) scraped from his tummy.  The turtle hospital with all the tanks is where the turtles recuperate and are eventually released to the wild or a good home at an aquarium is found for them if they can’t survive in the wild.

Sea Turtle Hospital

All told, it was a pleasant way to spend the day as far as day trips from Amelia Island go.  You can leave after breakfast, see all there is to see on Jekyll and still be back in time for Happy Hour.

Inshore fishing on Amelia Island

July 29, 2011 by theAddison

Capt Danny catching bait

Shannon and I took a rare afternoon off today and went fishing. Captain Danny Flynn took us out about 3 miles off shore to fish along the jetty.

David reeling in a good sized Bonnet Head Shark
Me with a Red Drum.  Photography trick:  The fish was really at least 4 feet long!
David and Debbie, friends from Ontario, were in town so the 4 of us went out to catch us some fish. What a great afternoon! We caught (catch and release) some bonnet head sharks, red drums, blue fish and a lady fish. The sharks and the drums were big fighters and for a couple of guys who have never been off-shore fishing it was a fun way to spend the afternoon. 
In between catching fish we saw pelicans, loggerhead turtles, jumping rays, leaping dolphins, shrimp boats and most of the Fernandina Beach fishing fleet out having a great day on the water. The sun was shining although thunderheads were building over the coastline. The water was calm with a few low swells as the tide changed.   
Captain Danny made it all happen!
Captain Danny did everything but reel the fish in. He caught the bait, set the hooks, chopped the chum, cast the lines and netted the beasts into the boat. All we had to do was reel them in and pose for the photos!

Massages at Happy Hour

July 15, 2011 by theAddison

Our guests at Happy Hour yesterday had a nice treat. The massage therapists from Magna’s Aveda Salon came by and offered complimentary hand and foot massages and neck rubs. Our guests really enjoyed the experience although, according to one guest. having a hand massage really slows down the wine drinking.

A Little Something Extra at Happy Hour

June 4, 2011 by theAddison

Our guests had a little something extra at our Happy Hour today thanks to our friends at Magna’s Salon.  We had a glass of wine or beer raised to new friends, a nice nosh of grilled nan bread with homemade hummus and the opportunity for a free hand or neck massage from the massage therapists at our downtown Aveda Salon, Magna’s.   The salon is Shannon’s and Lee’s favorite spot for a massage and it is only a few minute’s walk from the inn.

We held our Happy Hour out on the veranda and our friends from Magna’s provided free massages in the air-conditioned living room.  In the photo it looks like Matthew is proposing but he is massaging one of our guests’ hands.

After Happy Hour?  The Sounds on Center free street concert was kicking off as most of our guests headed off to enjoy the music or get to their dinner reservations before the concert ended and the restaurants filled.  The sun sets tonight a little after 8PM which ties in nicely with the end of the Sounds on Center concert.   After that?  Live music at several venues downtown, a walk through the Historic District or an early night snuggled up in an Addison guest room with a DVD. 
Tomorrow brings another day with one of my favorite breakfasts, Banana Pancakes with a Toffee Sauce.  After breakfast?  The Farmer’s Market, another day at the beach, a nap in the afternoon at the Addison, Happy Hour, dinner…..   The beat goes on.

Amelia River Cruises – New Twilight Cruise

May 29, 2011 by theAddison

Amelia River Cruises is offering a new daily tour.  This is the Twilight Cruise, leaving at 7 pm for two hours.  They still do their regular sunset cruise for families, which lasts 1 hour, but this new cruise is a decidedly adult adventure.
The Twilight Cruise is a bring-your-own-bottle tour that offers live music, spectacular sunsets and a sophisticated scenic venue in which you can unwind from a long day or gear up for a night on the town.  The tour runs seven nights a week, departing at 7 pm, for a two-hour cruise that features live, local artists and views of the rustic, beautiful landscape that has made northeast Florida such a unique destination.  As an added bonus, drink specials at Cafe Karibo or at Indigo Alley are included with your Twilight Cruise ticket purchase.

This sounds like a fun way to spend an evening, especially as the days heat up.  A couple hours of cruising the river, listening to live music while enjoying a cold adult beverage is really appealing.  The dock is only a 5 minute walk from the inn, maybe a little longer coming back if you stop for ice cream at the fudge shop.  One-Eyed Louie looks ready to go cruising and he’ll be sure to want some ice cream later!

Amelia Island Beaches

May 3, 2011 by theAddison

I had a guest ask me the other morning which of the beaches was my favorite beach.  Truth be told, I don’t get to the beach much so I don’t really have a favorite section. 

I did get down to American Beach (about halfway down the island) the other afternoon.  Brandon and Ashleigh are repeat guests and really great people so I agreed to doing their wedding service at the beach.  The beach there looked pretty much like the beach at the north end of the island.  The first photo here is Main Beach at the north end and the second photo is American Beach further south.  Both have big, wide open stretches of sand and an ocean right next to the sand.  How can one choose a favorite?  

 The beaches down on Talbot Island, the next island south, are much different from the beaches of Amelia Island.  They aren’t the groomed, replenished beaches you see here.  They are more rugged with big driftwood and trees right up to the water in spots. 

It is all good whichever beach you prefer.  Lots of sand, warm water and sunshine!  

New Shop – Amelia Anglers

April 26, 2011 by theAddison

A new shop called Amelia Anglers has opened up on Center Street that offers everything for the fisher or wanna-be fisher. This is your one-stop for bait, licenses, tackle, lessons and charters. Visitors to the island can even rent fishing gear for their outdoor adventures.

Amelia Anglers can arrange charters for river or off-shore fishing trips. If you want to take off on your own and head out to the fishing pier at Fort Clinch they have everything you need. The biggest setback for avid fishers that travel to the island is usually availability of a rod and reel. Restrictions on air travel have made it almost impossible to bring your own rod but now you can rent a set. Don’t know what you are doing? Take a lesson and learn which lure to use and how to tie it onto the line.

Amelia Anglers also sells SPF, island wear and beach stuff. The staff is happy to share their knowledge of the island and their favorite fishing spots.

Caught a big fish and don’t know what to do with it? Bring it back to the inn and we’ll cook it up on the grill for happy Hour. Everybody loves a nice slice of fresh fish, especially if the fisher is there to tell the story of how it was caught.

Sandy Bottoms Beachfront Cafe

April 22, 2011 by theAddison

Sandy Bottoms is the only beachfront restaurant at the north end of the island from which you can actually see the surf.  They made a few changes last month that make it even a better spot. 

The owners discovered that they owned 30 feet of beach that they were unaware of.  They roped it off and added tables and umbrellas so that you can wiggle your toes in the sand while enjoying a Sandy Bottoms lunch or a cold adult beverage.

Where better to get that adult beverage than at their new outside Tiki Bar?  Artie-The-One-Man-Party runs the inside bar during the week’s day shifts but we caught our friend Russ tending bar at the new patio Tiki Bar.

We have guests at the Addison who are always looking for that perfect beach.  They are concerned that Main Beach might be too crowded for them.  The Main Beach photo shown here was taken from Sandy Bottoms at mid-day, mid-week April.  As you can see, there is plenty of sand between the towels.  If Main Beach does “fill up” on the weekends you just have to drive north or south to one of several beach accesses to find a beach similar to what you see here.

We have guests checking out today that are heading back to Wisconsin.  Kyle and Dawn have been hitting the beaches all week from one end of the island to the other.  At yesterday’s Happy Hour Kyle told me that it was still snowing in Wisconsin.  I think the snow back home just made their last day on the beach that much sweeter.     

Amelia River Cruises Eco Tours

March 29, 2011 by theAddison

Local Spoonbill Roseates

Our past guests will recognize Amelia River Cruises for the great narrated river cruises that they offer three times a day.  Captain Kevin is now adding a couple of special eco-tours to their regular offerings.  On Thursday, April 7, 2011 and Saturday, April 16, 2011, the newest of their tours will be open to the general public and reservations are now being taken for a three-hour Eco-Tour scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon both days.

This 3-hour tour will be presented by Kevin McCarthy and naturalist expert in this coastal environment, Andrea Margiotta. Originally from Morristown, New Jersey, Andrea grew up spending her summers at the beautiful Jersey Shore, where her passion for the marine environment began. 

During the tour you will experience the operation of the Otter Trawl shrimp net much like the nets used by the commercial shrimp industry today.  You will be actively involved in this process and deploying and retrieving this net will be part of the experience. The catch will then be displayed in an aquarium on board and each of the creatures will be identified and then released back into the wild.

The oyster beds, mud flats, and thousands of acres of marsh grass in Tiger Basin are a critical part of our local environment. Salt marshes are the most productive eco systems on earth, providing a nursery for all of the sea creatures that are native to our waters and providing a rich source of food for others. The summer months are most productive and our waters team with life. 

This is the time of year that our local dolphins are giving birth and we are visited by the manatees that migrate from the springs in central Florida into the salt water to mate and give birth. Sea turtles also visit and nest on our sandy shores. An abundance of shore birds are always seen wading along the shore and feeding. Egrets, herons, spoonbills, ospreys and many others are all part of this wilderness.

Seats are limited so we recommend you reserve early.  To reserve your seats for this exciting new tour, please call the office at 904-261-9972. Price is $30 per person.

I can see the new video now….  Maggie Doone Goes on an Eco Tour.  She already has the life jacket and handles herself well on the boat.  She’d love looking at all the critters in the on-board pools.   It sounds like so much fun I think I’ll go with her.