Explore Jacksonville

Things to Do With Kids in Jacksonville Amelia Island

The First Coast of Florida is the first choice for many families traveling to Florida. Along miles of beautiful Atlantic beaches are two destinations—Amelia Island and Jacksonville—that are packed with activity, culture and Southern hospitality. It's the best of both worlds. Families can enjoy sandy beaches, boogie-boarding on the waves, fishing from the piers and taking nature hikes at state parks. But once the sun goes down—or the sunburn sets in—you can retreat to numerous other attractions. Downtown Fernandina Beach is a charming area in Amelia Island, perfect for an afternoon stroll with an icecream cone. Jacksonville is a big, exciting city with lots to offer from water taxis on the St. Johns River to Saturday farmers markets and major attractions like the Jacksonville zoo, professional sporting events and the Museum of Science and History. Check out a few of the highlights below for the makings of a well-rounded, unforgettable family vacation.

Museum of Science and History

This interactive children’s museum focuses on the science and history of Northeast Florida. Museum highlights include an Allosaurus dinosaur skeleton, live animal shows, daily science programs, KidSpace, planetarium and traveling exhibits. Admission $15 adults, $12 children, seniors, military, students and teachers.

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

The only walking safari in Northeast Florida. Main exhibits include tigers, giraffes, lions, rhinos, elephants, antelopes and cheetahs, while the Wild Florida area presents local species like black bears, red wolves, Florida panthers and alligators.

Amelia Island Museum of History

Housed in the old Nassau County jail, the museum covers history from the Timucuan Indians through its occupation under eight flags. The museum offers permanent and temporary exhibits, interactive children's areas, holiday home tours and Friday night ghost tours. Open daily.

Riverside Arts Market

Every Saturday, patrons enjoy this huge, riverfront market, with more than 150 artisans displaying culinary and craft wares. Musical entertainment, street performers and delicious products round out the offerings. 10 am-3 pm.

Jacksonville Beaches

Jacksonville’s beaches are a varied lot — from the residential and reserved Atlantic Beach to the more commercial and high-rise oriented Jacksonville Beach. And don’t forget Neptune Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach. For a sense of what the beaches were like “back in the day,” stroll the streets of Atlantic and Neptune beaches.

Centre Street

In the National Register of Historic Places, this district includes 50 blocks of Victorian architecture, a depot, quaint churches, shopping, dining and the docks where the shrimping industry began.

St. Johns Town Center

More than 1 million square feet of upscale shopping and dining in a lifestyle-center setting include stores such as Apple, Coach, Lacoste, Williams-Sonoma, Anthropologie, West Elm and a Nordstrom. Valet and free personal shopper services available.