Ever noticed the T-shirts and bumper stickers with the phrase "Salt Life?" Well, it was coined in Jacksonville, capturing the locals' love for an active lifestyle on the water. Travelers will feel the same draw when visiting this area.
Jacksonville and Amelia Island are tucked into the far northeast corner of Florida beside sandy, Atlantic Ocean beaches. At the heart of the two coastal towns are elaborate veins of creeks and rivers, nourishing estuaries and wetlands rich in plant and animal life from wild horses on Cumberland Island, to manatees in the St. Johns River and nesting loggerheads on the coast. The north-flowing St. Johns River, also the state's longest river, empties into the Atlantic at Fort George Island and Mayport, the site of the country's first—and still thriving—shrimping industry. There is water, water everywhere, and locals and visitors alike can't get enough. From kayaking on the quiet Amelia River to cruising the urban St. Johns River to surfing on laid-back Jax Beach, outdoor activity is the lifeblood, and these are top activities: