Off The Beaten Path: Georgia/Florida Weekend, Atlanta to Amelia Island
Last week, we brought you our guide to Georgia/Florida weekend via Athens to St. Simons Island. This week, we're focusing on the route many folks will take who have moved on from Athens to the big city of Atlanta. Many Atlanta residents may choose to skip the overwhelming crowds of St. Simons Island for the slightly calmer Amelia Island. This post won't be as exhaustive as last week's, but merely hit on some high points to enjoy the trip.
We'll assume you're taking a couple of days off work and you're heading down on Thursday morning. We don't have to warn you of the pitfalls of Atlanta traffic, so try and leave early enough to avoid a potential pileup on the connector. Get out of there around 6:30 am if possible.
If you're able to leave as early as 6:30 am from Atlanta, that should put you around Darien, GA just in time for lunch. A small town that's just off of I-95, Darien has a restaurant with some of the best, freshest seafood around. B&J's Steaks & Seafood is a wonderful local place that has just about anything your heart could desire. The lunch menu boasts sandwiches, seafood, steaks, pizza, and even a lunch buffet. If you're a seafood fan we recommend splittng the seafood platter with your group so you can take advantage of all the fresh, local seafood.
B&J's isn't the fanciest, but it's filled with nice locals and delicious food. That's all that really matters, right? Photo via panoramio.com.
After you've sufficiently stuffed yourself at B&J's, head on down to Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Walk off your large lunch on the beach and enjoy the perfect late fall weather. After you've settled in, you've got plenty of places to consider for dinner. Downtown Fernandina has a plethora of options for a delicious dinner. If you're craving something upscale, we recommend Joe's 2nd Street Bistro, Espana, or 29 South to name a few. Stroll around the downtown area and experience all of it's charm.
There's nothing like watching the sun rise on the beach. We snapped this photo of an Amelia Island sunrise this sumer. There's no better way to start off the day.
Fernandina Beach, FL
Now that you're up bright and early, head to T-Ray's, a local favorite for a traditional breakfast with some killer biscuits. It's an old gas station and the inside decorations are all University of Georgia and University of Florida. What a perfect backdrop for the Georgia/Florida weekend! T-Ray's also serves a killer burger for lunch if you'd rather give that meal a try.
T-Ray's Burger Station in Amelia Island, FL
Tasty's in Amelia Island, FL
For dinner we recommend getting some good seafood near the water. This can be the sports bar The Salty Pelican or Sliders Seaside Grill. Both are fun places that have a great drink list. If you're still thirsty after dinner, check out The Palace Saloon, which claims to be Florida's oldest bar.
Slider's Seaside Grill is just off the beach in Amelia Island, FL
By now it's Saturday morning and it's time to head down to Jacksonville for the big game. Jacksonville is a quick trip, but we still recommend leaving early enough so you can grab breakfast at Maple Street Biscuit Company in Jacksonville. It's a crowd-friendly place with outdoor dining and this killer biscuit with all natural fried chicken breast, a fried goat cheese medallion and house made pepper jelly called "The Squaking Goat."
The Squaking Goat at Maple Street Biscuit Company in Jacksonville, FL
Whether you choose to head to the actual game or just hang out at The Landings in Jacksonville, your Saturday will surely be jam-packed. For more info on navigation, parking, and where to watch the game check out our previous GA/FL post.
On Sunday morning stop by Amelia Island Coffee on your way out, or for a more hearty breakfast try the local favorite Ms. Carolyn's. Both are excellent options.
Amelia Island Coffee on Amelia Island, FL
Ms. Carolyn's Restaurant on Amelia Island, FL
Depending on when you left Amelia Island, you might be getting back to Atanta anytime between lunch and dinner. We recommend stopping at Buckner's Family Restaurant in Jackson, GA. Just south of Atlanta, this family-style restaurant has some of the best fried chicken and country cooking in America. Be cognizant that this is on a Sunday, so you might have some pretty serious after church crowds. Because what else should you eat after church on a Sunday in Georgia than fried chicken and peach cobbler?
Try your best to roll yourself out of Buckner's and mosey on back to Atlanta. You've had a weekend of good food, drinks, football, and friends/family. It's time to start looking forward to GA/FL next year.