To celebrate this history and to kick off the shrimping season in early May, Amelia Island holds the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. This festival draws more than 150,000 visitors to the historic isle and features fun activities throughout its three-day duration. Among a large collection of musical acts, you'll find contests for ice cream eating, shrimp boat decorating, the best beard, and the best adult pirate contest. There's also a Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant and fireworks show. But watch out for the pirate invasions that happen through the festival!
While there are festivals and events throughout the year, there are equally-enticing activities that are available throughout the year. Amelia Island features six different golf courses.
Some of these courses were designed by the legendary architects Pete Dye and Arnold Palmer. These courses live up to their designers' reputation, too, since Amelia Island has been rated one of the top 25 golf islands in the world.
The beach is just as big of a draw. Amelia Island has 13 miles of beautiful Atlantic coastline and 30 public access points to go with it. If you visit the beaches early in the morning you might find tracks in the sand left by mother turtles heading back home after the nesting season. Other traces of shelled creatures can be found along the water line, where you can go shelling for any of a variety of treasures, sometimes even shark teeth! Don't let that put you off getting in the water and having fun, though, since Amelia Island is a great place to surf, paddleboard, or just go for a swim. Other water activities included river cruises, kayak adventures, jet skiing, sailing or chartered fishing. If you prefer to stay dry, Amelia Island is one of the only places on the East Coast where you can ride local horses on the beach.