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Fernandina Beach
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The Fernandina Beach Destination is located in both Florida and Georgia in the United States of America, consisting of major cities such as Jacksonville and Gainesville, along with smaller towns like Palm Coast, Brunswick, and Cedar Key. Fernandina Beach, situated on Amelia Island in Florida's northeastern corner, is the namesake of the destination. Amelia Island has received the nickname of the "Isle of 8 Flags" due to the fact that the area was conquered or managed by multiple nations over the last five centuries.[1] Fort Clinch State Park is one of the city's most prominent attractions—offering visitors historical tours and over 1,000 acres of explorable property—though the area is also home to places that allow for hiking, biking, bird watching, fishing, and boating.[2] The general climate in the area is humid and sunny, though Fernandina Beach does receive 48 inches of rain each year, which is above the national average of 38. Temperatures generally range between 90 and 44 degrees Fahrenheit, with July seeing the highest temperatures most years. December is the only month where seeing snow in Fernandina Beach would be even remotely possible, though the average still rounds out to be 0 inches each year.[5]

What Fernandina Beach is known for

Fernandina, the namesake of the Fernandina Beach Destination, is a city located on Florida's eastern shoreline in the United States of America. The town is situated on Amelia Island, which acts as the northeastern corner of Florida, ending just before the state boundary with Georgia. The area is known as the "Isle of 8 Flags" due to the frequent shift of national power in the area over the course of the last five centuries. France, Spain, Great Britain, Spain for a second time, the Republic of East Florida, the Republic of the Floridas, Mexico, the Confederacy, and the United States all have at one point flown flags over Amelia Island. The city's name can be attributed to the Spanish and was in honor of King Ferdinand VII of Spain.[1]

Though Fernandina is comparatively smaller than cities such as Jacksonville and Gainesville—both located in the Fernandina Beach Destination—the town is home to a handful of family-friendly activities. The beach itself has been reported to be a viable attraction for either "day trips" or "short weekend getaways." Fort Clinch State Park is described as "one of Fernandina's claim[s] to fame." The fort is comprised of over 1,000 acres that are open for exploration. Daily guided or self-led tours can be accessed at the fort, or visitors can participate in activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, bird watching, and picnicking. Amelia Island State Park is another attraction in the Fernandina area, with the unique feature of being the only state park in Florida offering horseback riding on the beach.[2]

Jacksonville, Florida, is roughly 40 minutes away from Fernandina Beach and is described by city officials as "one of the nation's most value-friendly travel destinations." Some of the area's attractions involve beaches, art, history, sports, shopping, dining, and parks. Specifically, regarding the beaches, Jacksonville contains approximately 22 miles of shoreline. Additionally, with over 80,000 acres that are designated for urban parks, Jacksonville "boasts the largest urban park system in the country." This acreage is made up of 400 city parks, seven state parks, and two national parks. Fans of the Jaguars, a National Football League team, can visit a home game at the TIAA Bank Field. Golfing is another prominent sport in the area, with a total of 14 clubs and parks. The golf courses vary in their difficulty, meaning that experienced and novice players alike can determine at which club they would prefer to play.[4]


Including portions of both Florida and Georgia in the United States, the Fernandina Beach Destination is home to various cities and geographic features. The destination follows Florida's west coast until Steinhatchee, where it curves northward to include Florida cities such as Madison and Jasper. Georgia's southwestern corner is then included in the region, along with Florida's east coast before Daytona Beach. Jacksonville is the largest city in the destination, followed by Gainesville; however, the area is ultimately named after the town of Fernandina, located on Amelia Island in Florida's northeastern corner. 

The area is home to coasts that overlook either the Gulf of Mexico or the North Atlantic Ocean, as well as other prominent bodies of water such as St. Johns River and parts of Lake George. Fernandina Beach receives an average of 48 inches of rain each year, which is 10 inches more than the national average of 38. Snow, on the other hand, is absent in the area, with an average of 0 inches annually. Temperatures in Fernandina Beach usually range from approximately 91 degrees Fahrenheit to 44 degrees over the course of a year, and a "BestPlaces Comfort Index" ranked the city as a 7.2/10, which is one of the highest scores of its kind in Florida.[5] Though the area's temperature does not change dramatically in comparison with other regions in the United States, the area's temperate months are reported to be April, November, and March. On average, July and August tend to be the "least comfortable months" for the destination.[5]

The climate of Gainesville, located to the southwest of Fernandina, is described as "humid subtropical," witnessing frequent afternoon thunderstorms and high levels of humidity. Gainesville's climate is somewhat unique compared to other cities in Florida, given that every few years, the city is prone to over a dozen nights of sub-freezing temperatures, leading to the possibility—albeit a small one—of snow. For example, the town experienced light snowfall on Christmas Eve, 1989, and has recorded a few other "traces" of snow in 1977, 1996, 2010, and 2016.[6]

Some of the animals that can be found in the Fernandina Beach Destination include bobcats, river otters, and alligators. Many species of birds live in the area, including the great blue heron, bald eagles, ospreys, anhingas, and egrets. The city of Fernandina requests that "if you are lucky enough to observe a wild animal in its natural environment, enjoy it from a safe distance."[7]


The Fernandina Beach Destination is named after a city located in the region's central-eastern portion, overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean. Fernandina, though smaller than other cities in the area, such as Jacksonville and Gainesville, has elements of its history that are completely unique. One of the more distinct facts about the city is that, along with the rest of Amelia Island, ownership of the area fell under the control of eight "flags," or countries. There are some countries that controlled Amelia Island more than once, though the frequent changes in territorial nationality have been rivaled by relatively few other regions in the United States. The French were the first Europeans to settle the area when explorer Jean Ribault first landed on the island's shores in 1562. By 1573, Spain established the Santa Maria mission on the island, which would eventually lead to the settlement of Fernandina in 1685. The area was destroyed by British raiders in 1702, leaving the town deserted for many years. However, the remaining nations that would lay claim to the site would include Great Britain (under the English flag), Spain for a second time, men from Scotland under the name of "Green Cross of Florida," Mexico, and America. The eighth flag was the Confederate flag during the Civil War in 1861.[8]

Fernandina's' name is a derivation of King Ferdinand VII of Spain and was first coined by the governor of East Florida at the time, Enrique White. Another distinctive feature of the city is the fact that it is the last Spanish city to be platted in the Western Hemisphere, which occurred in 1811. In modern times, the city's population is estimated to be over 11,000, and the town acts as the seat of Nassau County in Florida. Most of the residents in the area are White (83.40%), with the next largest racial demographic being comprised of African American individuals at 11.70%.[1]

Much of the prominent history in the area is at least partially linked with Jacksonville, which is the largest city within the Fernandina Beach Destination. European settlement began in 1562 with the French, who were ousted by the Spanish in a similar fashion as Fernandina. By the year 1821, Florida had been formally incorporated as a U.S. territory, and soon plantations became one of the region's assets. Jacksonville was established only a year later, in 1822, and was named in honor of the seventh U.S. president Andrew Jackson. He had been the territory's first provisional governor, despite never setting foot in the town itself. The area experienced the need for recovery following the Civil War, though as a result of much progress and development during the 20th century, the area has since recovered. In modern times, Jacksonville is one of Florida's centers for the economy and home to millions of residents.[9]

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Herlong Mansion Bed and Breakfast

Micanopy, Florida

Herlong Mansion Bed and Breakfast

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Herlong Mansion Bed and Breakfast is located in Micanopy, Florida. As its name suggests, the property is known for its history with the Herlong family, who inhabited the home starting in 1845. They converted the building's foundations as a farmhouse into the mansion that it is today, with Greek-inspired elements as its exterior décor. In addition to the mansion itself, there are two cottages on-site that can be reserved. With 11 rooms available in the main house, the total number of accommodations is 13. Each room is distinctly decorated and has a name that is derived from a flower or tree, such as the Rose Room, Azalea Suite, and Oak Room. Ownership of the Herlong Mansion Historic Inn belongs to Kim Shore, and the establishment is open year-round. Daily breakfasts are served as part of a reservation.

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