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Amelia Island Rentals - Best Beachfront Condos

Updated on December 27, 2012
Amelia Island horseback riding
Amelia Island horseback riding | Source

Florida Condo Rentals

My family and I have had a lot of experience with Florida condo rentals, including Amelia Island rentals. We’ve been all up and down the peninsula and much of the Panhandle, taking in all the wonderful beaches. We love swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, saltwater fishing, crabbing, shopping, and eating fresh seafood. When we can find really big vacation homes, we like to stay there so that we can all be together in one house. On the other hand, there’s a lot to be said for beachfront condos. With condos, each family unit within the extended family can have their own “space,” while we’re still all close to each other. We like the Gulf beaches, but we often visit the Atlantic beaches, too. Whenever we want to head to a fairly close beach with which we’re very familiar, we check out Amelia Island rentals.

One reason we prefer beachfront condos: the view.
One reason we prefer beachfront condos: the view. | Source
Sunrise over the Atlantic
Sunrise over the Atlantic | Source
The grandkids enjoying the soft sand.
The grandkids enjoying the soft sand. | Source

Beachfront Condos

Beachfront condos are definitely our preference when it comes to Florida condo rentals. We don’t mind paying extra for staying right on the beach. We love being able to see the ocean at all times while we’re on vacation, and beachfront condos are a lot more convenient for my family. We always have little kids – my grandchildren – along, and it’s easier for us if we don’t have to worry about crossing busy streets and highways in order to access the beach and the surf.

Condos are almost always less expensive than Florida beach house rentals. That’s largely due to the high price of oceanfront real estate. Condos make the best use of the land because they’re compact, and because most condominium complexes are multi-level. Most also have amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts, outdoor hot tubs, grills, playgrounds, and/or picnic areas.

When you're looking for oceanfront condos on Amelia Island, you can check the websites of the complexes. There, you'll usually get a standard rental rate, sort of a "one size fits all" price. The problem with that is that since condos are individually owned, there can be big differences, even in the same complex. Oh, the floorplans might all be the same, but the similarities often stop there. One three-bedroom condo might have four televisions, a game system, extended cable, and a washer-dryer, while a three-bedroom unit in the same complex might not have as many amenities. The rental price for the units are often identical, however. It's important to find out exactly what you're paying for.

Another way to rent condos and other vacation rentals is through VRBO. There are a couple of advantages to using the site. For one thing, you'll get information and photos of a specific unit. For another, an individual owner will often charge less for vacation rentals than those charged by the complex or by a real estate agency.

Atlantic surf
Atlantic surf | Source
beach boardwalk
beach boardwalk | Source

Amelia Island Florida

Amelia Island Florida is one of our favorite vacation spots. In fact, I’ve been enjoying vacations there since I was a toddler. The island is located in Northeast Florida, north of Jacksonville. In fact, it’s not far from the Georgia state line. It’s a charming little isle with lots of fascinating history, ranging from Native Americans to early explorers to pirates. There are also plenty of great restaurants and amusements for kids. The main city on Amelia Island is Fernandina Beach.

Amelia Island provides some great shopping, too, for antiques, clothing, books, jewelry, gourmet foods, home décor, local art, toys, collectibles, and souvenirs. The downtown area is wall-to-wall restaurants, shops, bars, galleries, and beautiful Victorian homes. At the end of Centre Street, the main street in downtown Fernandina Beach, are the docks. We often enjoy strolling along the docks and looking at all the different boats and yachts.

Of course, the main attraction here is the beach, and visitors have several choices. Main Beach is noisy and crowded, a favorite spot for teens. Beaches farther south on Fletcher are quiet and rarely very crowded. In my opinion, one of the best beaches for kids is located within Fort Clinch State Park. On the Sound side of the concrete pier, there’s a soft, sandy beach with calm water. A bath house and restrooms are adjacent to this beach.

Amelia Island, Florida

amelia island, florida:
Amelia Island, Florida 32034, USA

get directions

Jonathan and Tristan navigate the waves.
Jonathan and Tristan navigate the waves. | Source

Amelia Island, Florida:

Amelia Island Rentals

There are all sorts of Amelia Island rentals available. Many of these are offered with long term stays, so they might require the signing of a six-month or twelve-month lease. Many people who work in Jacksonville prefer to live on Amelia Island. Its laidback atmosphere is a far cry from fast paced Jax. "Snowbirds" from northern states might also be interested in spending six months of the year in Florida, escaping the frigid temperatures and ice of their home states.

Amelia Island rentals include private homes, apartments, townhouses, duplexes, triplexes, and condominiums. Real estate rental agencies on the island include Heritage Realty, Chaplin Williams, ERA Fernandina Beach Realty, Amelia Rental and Management Services, Maddox Realty, Troxel Team, Curtiss Lasserre, Galphin Real Estate, Middlekauf Realty, Century 21, Oceanfront Realty, Vestcor Properties, JDM Real Estate Services, and Keller Williams Realty. Most of the agencies have websites that you can visit to see what's available.

You might also find some long-term rentals on VRBO. If you're visiting the island after Labor Day and before April, you can often find some great deals on monthly rates. It's still warm enough for swimming in the ocean in much of the fall, and the fishing is awesome in September and October. Even in December, January, and February, you won't have to worry about snow and ice.

Brooklynn on the beach
Brooklynn on the beach | Source

Amelia Island Vacation Rentals

Amelia Island vacation rentals, generally speaking, are for people who wish to stay on the island short term, for a few days, a week, or a month or two. Over the years, we’ve rented homes, condos, and hotel rooms on the island. We’ve also camped at Fort Clinch State Park, on the northern tip of the island, many times.

Amelia Island vacation rentals include just about anything you can imagine – beach houses, cottages, log cabins, townhouses, condominiums, resorts, villas, rooms, and suites. You can even rent a charming little lighthouse, right on the beach! Visitors have the option of renting a budget-friendly place or one with all sorts of amenities and guest-pampering services.

You can find lots of places to rent on the beach, but these are almost always more expensive. To save money, you might prefer to rent a place on a marsh or on the island's interior. Only you can decide how much a great view and easy access to the beach are worth in dollars and cents.

Sunrise over the island.
Sunrise over the island. | Source
under the pier
under the pier | Source
one of the Amelia Island Hotels
one of the Amelia Island Hotels | Source
a bed-and-breakfast on the beach
a bed-and-breakfast on the beach | Source

Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton:

Amelia Island Hotels

Amelia Island hotels and motels range in type, location, and price. Only one motel is located directly on the beach – Beachside Motel. In the summer months, it’s difficult to get reservations there. A boutique hotel, Seaside Amelia Inn, is oceanfront, as are the Ritz-Carlton, Summer Beach, and Amelia Island Plantation, all resorts. Amelia Hotel at the Beach is located right across the street from a public beach, with easy beach access.

Amelia Island hotels that are located within walking distance of the beach include Days Inn and Suites, Comfort Suites, Residence Inn, and Hampton Inn. Hampton Inn and Suites is located downtown, on the harbor.

If you’re interested in staying at a bed and breakfast, there are several on the island. On the beach include Amelia Oceanfront Bed and Breakfast and Elizabeth Pointe Lodge. In the downtown historic district are Fairbanks House, Williams House, Hoyt House, Florida House Inn, and Blue Heron Inn.

Historic Fernandina Beach - Downtown

Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida.
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida. | Source
tidal pool
tidal pool | Source
catching minnows
catching minnows | Source

Amelia Island Condos

You might prefer Amelia Island condos to hotels, motels, and resorts. No condo complex on the island is more than seven stories high, and several are located on the beach. Beachfront condos include Amelia South, Amelia Surf & Racquet Club, Atlantis, Oceans of Amelia, Ocean Place, The Pelicans, Ketch Courtyard, Sand Dollar Villas, Sailmaker, Terraces at Beachside, Sandpiper, Shipwatch, and Amelia by the Sea. Condo complexes within walking distance of the beach include Ocean View Plaza, Port of Call, Ocean Place, Forest Ridge Village, Fernandina Cay, and Amelia Landings.

Amelia Island condos range in price and size, although most condos have two or three bedrooms and two or three bathrooms. Rates are highest during the summer, and a seven-night minimum stay during this season is usually required. The rest of the year, many condos are available for shorter stays, at nightly rates. Rental prices often drop significantly after Labor Day. You can find condo rentals and other Amelia Island rentals through real estate agencies, through VRBO, and through the websites of condominium complexes.

Something you need to keep in mind when renting condos on Amelia Island is the number of people in your party. Most of the complexes strictly enforce this. You might have to sign an agreement stating that you won't exceed the number of occupants agreed upon. If you do, and you get caught, you can be asked to leave without a refund. Some condos are more lenient than others in this regard, especially if one of your party is a baby. Sometimes the rules might be stretched a little if you're renting a groundfloor unit, too, because of the fire codes.

Along these same lines is the number of vehicles you're allowed to have on the property. With most condos we've rented, the maximum number of automobiles in the parking lot is two. You'll usually have to have a permit with your tag number placed on the dash so it can be seen from outside the vehicle. Cars and trucks without the paper can be towed. Believe me - most condo complexes on the island are pretty strict about this.

Amelia by the Sea - view of the condos from the pier.
Amelia by the Sea - view of the condos from the pier. | Source
Pool at the beachfront condos.
Pool at the beachfront condos. | Source
Amelia by the Sea private fishing pier.
Amelia by the Sea private fishing pier. | Source
Each condo has a private balcony that overlooks the beach and ocean.
Each condo has a private balcony that overlooks the beach and ocean. | Source

Amelia by the Sea:

Amelia by the Sea

Amelia by the Sea is our favorite place to stay when we’re spending time on Amelia Island. These beachfront condos are located on South Fletcher, away from most of the traffic and noise of the main beach area. They’re still close enough to town, malls, restaurants, and shopping centers to be convenient, however. In fact, there's a fun restaurant called The Surf right across the street.

Amelia by the Sea has an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, a cabana room for parties and get-togethers, outdoor grills, picnic areas, and a laundry. Most of the individual condos include washers and dryers, but the laundry is there for the ones that don’t. The complex includes a security entrance gate at the front parking lot and at the beach. The grounds are well maintained, and the property manager is friendly and helpful. The thing we really love about this place, however, is the private fishing pier. The pier juts out into the Atlantic and has benches, lights, covered picnic tables, and fish cleaning-stations with running water. We spend hours on the pier every day of our vacation – night, too! Of all the Amelia Island rentals we’ve sampled, these beach condos are definitely our favorite.


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