Jekyll Island, Georgia
After a spectacular day of exploring Savannah for my birthday, I was ready for some downtime on the beach. Unfortunately for me, winds were at around 25-30 mph and the sky was overcast on the first of my two planned lazy beach days, so instead of laying on the beach, I ended up just doing some exploring.
I had stayed with a friend until this point in the trip, and from her town, there were several great islands to check out within a half-hour drive. After seeing some pics of Jekyll Island, I opted to go there.
Jekyll Island had several beach areas, all fairly similar until you keep driving up the coast and hit Driftwood Beach, that has these amazing, gnarled trees along both the pathway to the beach and on the beach itself. During my visit, many of the trees had been overturned during the recent hurricane but were still beautiful even in their damaged state.
I saw at least two couples in wedding garb having their photos taken and another handful of people also obviously engaged in a professional photo shoot. Even with the high winds and the damage, it still remained a hot spot for taking photos.
Amelia Island, Florida
I arrived at Amelia Island around brunch time with a growling stomach and immediately consulted Yelp for a quick restaurant reservation. The Patio Place was one of the top-rated spots in the area, so I headed there and snagged a spot at the bar.
While sitting at the bar perusing the menu, I noticed people out of the corner of my eye kept coming up to the far end of the bar. They were getting their glasses refilled because this place has a bottomless mimosa bar on the weekends! As tempting as that was, I opted for just a coffee to start with.
For my meal, I ordered the Brazilian Crepe Roll with grits on the side along with a Canelle Sucre Beurre crepe. The combination of the savory crepe with the sweet crepe was amazing. The Brazilian Crepe Roll was a very generous size, with egg, potatoes, and chorizo, all atop a black bean sauce. The sweet crepe was filled with cinnamon sugar and topped with whipped cream.
While eating at the bar, I overheard a conversation regarding the restaurant closing early to be involved in the Taste of Amelia, a food and wine tasting gala, going on later that night. After a quick look online, I discovered ticket sales for the event had ended, or otherwise, I definitely would have attended that event.
Post-brunch, I had plenty of time to kill before I could check in to the hotel, so I drove into Amelia Island’s downtown area to wander around and shop a bit. There were a lot of fun small shops here, including an antique store that I loved, Eight Flags Antique Market. I got a few things there to bring back home, and seriously considered some larger furniture pieces. The workers there were very friendly and knowledgeable about the area.
After shopping, I was desperate for some beach time, so I braved the wind and headed to Fernandina Beach. Even though the wind was a little rough, the temp was warm, and I was able to comfortably walk the beach for a couple of hours.
At evening time, my original plans to join a group kayak trip up to Cumberland Island were canceled, so of course, I decided to find another restaurant to try instead. I wanted something nicer than average, but not “too” nice, and ended up at 29 South. This was a cute restaurant in a converted house and had plenty of outdoor seating available on the porch. The rain seemed to be ending, so I took my chances and sat outside.
I ordered the pork eggrolls as an appetizer, the short ribs as a main dish and the coffee and donuts for dessert. All of that was way too much for one person, and I didn’t finish it all but have no regrets about trying as much food as I could while I was there.
The next morning, I woke up and opened the curtains to see the sun shining brightly and not a cloud in the sky! Finally! I was so excited to get a sunny day that I checked out of the hotel early and went directly to the beach, where I spent the rest of the time until I needed to leave for the airport. It was a perfect way to end a fantastic birthday vacation.
Everyone I came into contact with on Amelia Island was friendly and personable. Being alone for this portion of the trip, I still felt very comfortable here and enjoyed the positive, laid-back vibe of the island. I was pleasantly surprised at how great the food was here, and would happily return to check out more restaurants and enjoy some more beach time in between.