The Holidays have traditionally been a time for giving, and the Amelia Island Association of Inns was able to do that in a big way – thanks to all of the wonderful guests who came through on the 2014 Holiday Cookie Tour of Inns. Through your purchase of tickets, cookbooks and VIP Packages, we were able to present a check for $3500 to Micah’s Place, Nassau County’s domestic violence center. Needless to say, they were quite pleased with the donation. Tour Chair, Deborah McCutcheon (r) and Co-Chair, Julie Jones (l) presented the check to a very surprised Elaine Coats and Marianna McIntyre, of Micah’s Place.All of the decorations are down now, and many inns have been sprucing things up this first part of January in anticipation of the busy and fun year ahead. Make your plans now to visit your favorite inn on our lovely little island. First up will be Restaurant Week (and a half), January 16th – 25th. With the fixed price values and many of the island’s restaurants, and some off-season values at your favorite inn, it’s a great time to be here. See you soon!
Category Archives: News From Amelia Island
The clock is ticking on your savings for the 2014 Holiday Cookie Tour of Inns to benefit Micah’s Place. November 1st, Tour tickets will go to their full price of $25. If you’re quick, you can still save $5.00 per ticket.
Always fun and festive, the Cookie Tour kicks off the holiday season on the island and puts guests in the spirit in a big way. Inspiration will come in the form of baking, decorating, and where to book for your next getaway or vacation. Six beautiful inns dressed to impress will bring out the kid in everyone – especially when the cookies come out. Did we mention that it’s a Cookie Tour? Tour guests will sample a different signature cookie at each of the six inns, and then take the recipes home. What a great way to kick-start the holiday baking ideas!
With the horse-drawn carriage, trolley and docent-led tours included in the cost of the ticket, the Cookie tour is a bargain at any price… but if you hurry, you’ll save $5.00 per ticket. You can get your tickets at any of the six inns on the Tour, at Micah’s Place, the Fernandina Beach Library, the Welcome Center in the railroad depot on Centre Street, or the Chamber of Commerce. You can also purchase tickets online; even with the service fee, you’ll still save over the ticket price after November 1st. See you on the Tour on Saturday, November 22nd from 12-5 PM!
It’s time to scurry to get your discounted tickets to this year’s Holiday Cookie Tour of Inns. Those that plan ahead for this very popular event will save big. Tickets purchased before October 1st will get the bargain price of $15 – a savings of $10 per ticket! Tickets purchased in October will realize a $5 per ticket savings, and if you really must wait until November, your ticket will be the full price of $25.
A bargain at any price, the annual Holiday Cookie Tour of Inns showcases the grandest historic properties on Amelia Island all dressed up in their holiday finery. While enjoying the holiday decor, you’ll sample a signature cookie from each inn, and take the recipe with you to create some holiday magic at home. Lucky tour-goers can expect to hear stories of yesteryear, pick up some decorating ideas and be tempted by too many great room choices for their next getaway. Tour-goers can get around on foot, by trolley, or by horse-drawn carriage – all included in the cost of your ticket.
Be sure to take a look at the best bargain in town, our VIP Packages. Each $150 package will get the purchaser two tickets to the Tour, a cookbook, and a certificate for a future midweek night at one of the inns. There are only five packages available from each inn, and these sell very quickly. If you do not see your favorite inn in the list, that means that their VIP Packages have sold out. These gift certificates have been donated by the inns to help raise money for this year’s recipient of our charitable proceeds, Micah’s Place – the domestic violence center for Nassau County.
So, make your plans now to join us on Saturday, November 22nd from 12pm – 5pm for the annual Holiday Cookie Tour of Inns, brought to you by the Amelia Island Bed and Breakfast Association and the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. Tickets are available at any of the six bed and breakfasts in our association, the Purple Dove resale store in Yulee or the Fernandina Beach branch of the Nassau County Library. You may also purchase tickets online here to have them sent to you. Surcharges apply.
Each month, we will be featuring a different member of our association to offer a more focused look at what makes each inn stand apart from the others. We are so very fortunate to have a number of truly excellent choices here, on Amelia Island, and we’d like to give you some tools to get to know each one of us a little more closely.
We begin with Hoyt House.
Rich in History surrounded by 500 year old oak trees dressed in Spanish moss this unique 1905 Queen Anne Bed & Breakfast has all of the amenities that a hotel offers wrapped in a 10 bedroom en suite mansion. Amenities include Heated Pool & Spa, custom terry chaise covers, 600 count Egyptian cotton sheets, in room massage and a full private guest-only bar makes for a relaxing experience. A three-course menued breakfast includes five appetizers and six entrees, plus daily specials. This luxury Select Registry property on Amelia Island has it all under one roof.
The Hoyt House accepts children ages 10 and older, and allows pets in select rooms. Smoking is allowed on porches and around the grounds. Elopement ceremonies are available, and weddings are hosted on a limited basis. Please inquire directly about these policies before booking.
There’s lots of press going around about the annual Concours d’Elegance – a huge annual event on Amelia Island – but accommodations are sold out, so what’s a fun-seeker to do? Beat the crowds and take advantage of a jam-packed February festival schedule, that’s what! There’s still plenty of February left.
Many of our island visitors are familiar with our annual Chamber Music Festival, but did you know that there is a Winterfest component going on this year? There are still a few concerts left, including a romantic Valentines Weekend Romantic Virtuosi on Saturday. While you’re there, check out the schedule for the spring dates, and make your reservations at your favorite bed and breakfast now.
The weekend of the 21st brings three events worth a look (and a book). There will be some very tough choices, indeed. The Amelia Island Book Festival has grown from its humble beginnings to an event that now showcases almost 100 authors, including this year’s headliner, David Baldacci. There are workshops for writers and book signings for readers, as well as many opportunities to mingle and learn. With events running Thursday through Saturday, you’re sure to find many to suit your taste and budget.
Next up on the weekend of the 21st is the annual Amelia Island Chili Cook-Off. Honestly, you don’t have to be anywhere near it to enjoy it; the scent of 20 different kinds of chili cooking wafting throughout the town is enough to bring a smile to locals and visitors, alike. But you sure will enjoy it more if you head down to Second Street on Saturday afternoon to sample the fare and help select a winner. Entertainment is always in store, as well, at this fun and delicious annual fundraiser for the Amelia Island Montessori School.
Are you crafty? The third event of the weekend is the 2014 Quilts By the Sea show and sale. Amelia Island is known for its great artists and writers, but did you know about our thriving craft community? This group boasts over 70 members and is representative of the talent and fellowship found throughout the crafting community on the island. Philanthropic efforts play a big role, as well, and you’ll have a chance to take part by purchasing raffle tickets for the benefit of a local not-for-profit. You can also see some of the quilts donated to these organizations. The Quilt Festival runs on Friday and Saturday 9-5 at the Peck Center, a very short drive from the downtown inns.
By the end of the weekend, you should be able to curl up with a good book in a beautiful quilt with a belly full of chili at your favorite bed and breakfast! Rooms are still available, but are booking up, so make your plans now.
If you can’t make it to the island until the weekend of February 28th, fear not for it’s the weekend of the Amelia Island Film Festival. This four-day event starting Thursday, February 27, features shorts, documentaries, international offerings and full-length features. An in-town event, all venues are “walkable” from the in-town bed and breakfasts. Films will be shown beginning at 11:30 am, running through a few midnight screenings. There will be a beer garden, VIP events and an Oscar night party with awards on… Oscar night, March 2nd.
There is always something going on here, on Amelia Island, but the next few weeks offer an abundance of choices. Come join us!
As the November 23rd Holiday Cookie Tour of Inns rapidly approaches, it’s time to take advantage of the hidden treasure trove of value in the limited number of VIP Packages still available for purchase. Tickets for the Tour are $25 each, but for $150 per VIP package – plus shipping and handling – lucky purchasers will get two tickets for the Tour, a copy of Sunshine Mornings with the Amelia Island Bed and Breakfast cookbook ($20 value), and a midweek getaway at your choice of inn (values will vary and are dependent on inn selected). It’s the best bargain on Amelia Island. Each inn has five packages available, but they’re selling fast, so it’s best to get yours right now. Packages are available online only because of the limited number available. Book this package for your favorite inn here. If your first choice doesn’t show up in the list, it has sold out of VIP Packages. Feel free to explore another inn at this great value, while helping to raise funds for our library. Certificates for your stay will be valid for Sunday through Thursday nights with the exception of holiday periods and special events. Please note that certificates may not be used for existing reservations and may be restricted to certain rooms. If you have questions about restrictions, please call the inn whose VIP Package you wish to purchase directly. Limit one package per inn, please, but you may purchase VIP packages for multiple inns. Treat yourself, or someone on your list to a gift that will be remembered for years to come.
Innkeepers are often asked “the best way” to do the Tour. Since the tour is essentially self-paced and self-guided, tour guests may start/ finish and go in any order they wish. Parking at the inns is generally reserved for overnight guests of the inns, so good advice is to come to town early, park downtown, and enjoy the shops and restaurants in town before starting out on the Tour. Don’t forget about the Saturday morning Farmers Market that goes from 9-1 and is located at the corner of 7th and Centre – close to several inns.
Start at any inn and work your way around walking the short distances between inns. If the carriage is out front when you’re finished touring an inn, hop on for a ride to the next inn. The carriage ride is included in the cost of your Tour ticket, and the stops are marked on the back. Carriages will run along Seventh Street between Fairbanks House and Addison/ Blue Heron, and along Ash Street between Williams House and Addison/ Blue Heron. Carriages will run continuously but are not on a set schedule, but if one is ready to go when you are, hop on.
Trolley rides will, again, be a part of the Tour this year, and are included in the cost of your Tour ticket . The stops (marked on your ticket) will be at Florida House Inn, Addison/ Blue Heron, Hoyt House and Elizabeth Pointe Lodge out at the beach. The walk from the Florida House Inn to the Addison on Amelia is about four and a half blocks, so the trolley will come in handy if you wish to take a break from walking. If you can swing it, stay at one of the inns for the weekend. Some inns are offering special packages for Tour weekend, and all weekend inn guests will be offered favorable rates on ticket prices for the Tour. We’re getting ready to welcome you. The cookies are baking. The decorations are going up. See you on the Tour!
What’s your pleasure? As usual, the fall season is jam-packed with a variety of cultural, athletic, musical and epicurean events all over Amelia Island. Many of our Amelia Island bed and breakfasts have enticing packages tagged to these events; be sure to check with your favorite inn now. Take advantage of the great fall weather and the great booking opportunities while they’re both around.
October brings wine, athletic competition and classic cars. The weekend of October 11th brings the Amelia Island Wine Festival, two triathlons and the 2013 Tour Americal car display. The Wine Festival has a new location this year, having moved from the riverfront down to the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. The same award-winning wine entries from around the globe will be available for tasting, along with high-end arts and crafts for purchase on Saturday, October 12th.
If competition is more your speed – or you need to exercise off the wine, there will be two triathlons taking place on Sunday at Main Beach. The Atlantic Coast Triathlon is a half Ironman distance event featuring top talent from around the region. A shorter, but no less exciting event comes the same day in the form of the Ameliaman Triathlon. Both Olympic and sprint distances are offered, and registration is limited. Both events feature relay teams, so spectators are sure to see a good show.
If classic cars strike your fancy and you’re unable to get to the Concours d’Elegance show in the spring, two October events will be right up your alley. October 13th, 14th and 15th, 50-60 classic cars will be displayed each day right on Centre Street. These cars are part of the Tour Americal, and event routing cars from Antwerp to Miami with several stops along the way. The following Saturday, October 19th, brings the annual Amelia Cruizers car show. Hundreds of classic cars and street rods line Centre Street all day for your viewing pleasure. Both car events offer free viewing and plenty of photo opportunities.
November is no less an exciting time on the island. The Gators and Bulldogs will renew their storied rivalry on Saturday, November 2nd at the annual Florida/ Georgia football game in Jacksonville. There are still rooms available for fans on the island for the weekend, but they’re going fast. Some of your favorite inns will have some special packages available, so be sure to check out those, and the scheduled festivities at the official Amelia Island Florida/ Georgia website.
If you’re not coming for the game, but you’re here to celebrate a nice, romantic weekend, have no fear because there are lots of other wonderful diversions – and the fans all head to the game – and the island is yours. Another in the series of Story and Song concerts will be on tap Saturday, November 2nd, when Mike and Ruthy, one of acoustic America’s most revered musical duos, come to town to share their stories at Burns Hall. These singer/ songwriter concerts consistently bring top-level talent to the island in an intimate setting and are a joy to attend.
Veteran’s Day Weekend always brings a host of activities for the enjoyment of visitors and locals, alike. As always, the Second Saturday of every month brings the Artrageous Artwalk in Fernandina. The galleries offer a vast array of fine art in varied media-photography, pottery, copper, metal, fused as well as stained glass, watercolors, acrylics, oils and batik. This event is free to the public and runs from 5:30pm until 8:30pm on November 9th.
Gamesmanship more your thing? The sixth annual Petanque America Open will be underway along the waterfront downtown. Frequently described as a cross between bocce and horseshoes, Petanque is played around the globe by people of all ages and abilities. This truly international event will bring 200 players from around the world for some high-level competition.
Last, but not least, if you haven’t made your plans to come to the Holiday Cookie Tour of Inns, you’ll want to do so now, because there are still savings to be had on the tickets. The regular ticket price is $25.00 each, but you can save $5.00 per ticket if you purchase them before November 1st, when the discount will expire. VIP Packages are currently available, as well, but these almost-secret deals are sure to run out. Your Amelia Island innkeepers are looking forward to seeing you soon!
Innkeepers are busier than Keebler Elves right now trying out new recipes for the 2013 Holiday Cookie Tour of Inns. This year’s Tour will be deliciously presented Saturday, November 23, from 12-5 pm. Visitors to this annual event will enjoy a festive kickoff to the holiday season by way of a self-paced tour of seven beautiful bed and breakfast inns, widely recognized as some of the most striking structures on Amelia Island. The interiors of these gorgeous buildings are usually reserved for overnight lodgers, but this is a chance for all with a ticket to experience the intricate details of these fine inns.
In a twist from other years, visitors will find two different types of holiday decorating for inspiration: Thanksgiving and Christmas. On tours past, all inns were decorated in fine Christmas fashion. Since the Tour is held on November 23rd, some inns will light a spark for decorating your Thanksgiving table the following week. Even if you’ve been on the Tour before, you’ll see some different looks this year. As always, it will be a treat just to see the striking details of these inns and the beautiful room decor that abounds.
In keeping with tradition, the Amelia Island Bed and Breakfast Association has partnered with a local not-for-profit organization and will donate a portion of the sale price of every ticket and cookbook sold for the Tour. Our partner for 2013 is the Friends of the Library group, and advocacy group who is currently tasked with fundraising for a new, improved and contemporary library for Fernandina Beach.
In addition to donations from standard ticket sales and cookbooks, 100% of the sales price of VIP Gift Packages will go directly to the Friends of the Library. These gift packages include a gift certificate for a future midweek stay at one of the seven participating inns and a copy of the Association’s $20 cookbook, Sunshine Mornings at the Inns of Amelia Island. As a “thank you” for purchasing the package, you will receive two tickets to the Tour. At only $150, these gift package represent considerable savings over regular room rates at our luxury inns, plus you’ll receive the cookbook and tickets! And did we mention that all of the money goes to the library? Each inn has donated five gift packages, so be sure to purchase one from your favorite inn soon.
Tickets and VIP Gift Packages may be purchased online beginning August 15th. They will be mailed out in October. Reserve yours now! Friendly innkeepers are awaiting your arrival.
A favorite of guests! This recipe is sure to please your guests as well, and is perfect for the busy cook.
* 1 lb. sausage browned (I use only Jimmy Dean’s Maple flavored)
* 12 slices bread (crust removed and cut into quarters)
* 6 eggs
* 2 cups milk
* 1 Lb. grated cheese
Grease 9 x 13 baking dish. Place bed quarters in bottom of pan. Add browned sausage. Combine eggs and milk and pour over sausage and bread. Top w/ cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Bake at 350° covered for 30 min. Remove foil and bake 30 minutes more.