What do so many people from Michigan do in March and April? Head south! It is the time of year to escape the end of winter, spend some time on the beach, and hopefully return to Michigan with warm weather. That is exactly what we did. We took the road trip to Amelia Island in the very northeast corner of the state. We have had many drives south in the past but this year we took a different route and experienced some great views (and white-out snowstorms) in West Virginia, Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia.
When we arrived at our home for the week, we quickly headed to the Atlantic Ocean. The waves were perfect for paddle surfing, but we didn't have our boards with us so we spent some quality time on the beach and in the water. The next morning the waves were even bigger. We then had to figure out our best route for getting a surfboard, so obviously we went to Craigslist and found what we were looking for and had our $45 surfboard in under an hour. The entire week was quite windy, so it was a good thing that we found this deal and had some fun in the waves. Check it out!
At Fernandina Beach, we came across an awesome surf shop, Driftwood. This shop has been around since 1979 and was very cool. Full selection of SUP's, surf boards, skateboards and accessories. We can see how it has been around so long and seemed like the local go-to for everything needed for the water or skate park. The board in the photo below looks familiar! If you are ever in the area, check out Driftwood Surf Shop.
Since we are from Michigan, we had to check out the local breweries in the Jacksonville area so we picked a cloudy day to go exploring. If you have been to any of the breweries in Florida, most of them are in very industrial areas and have small tasting areas. We made our way to 4 different spots, had some good conversation about Michigan beers, and sampled some of each of their favorites. We also made sure to get our hands on some Jai Alai from Cigar City, our all-time favorite from Florida.
As we try to fit in as much as possible on vacation, we had to get out and do some fishing. This would be considered a fail, but was still fun. We didn't have a lot of luck bringing in the fish but we did see some dolphins, got some good photos, and explored the south end of Amelia Island.
Overall, we really enjoyed Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach. We checked out a lot of good restaurants, had some good beach time, surfed, went fishing, and explored Fort Clinch State Park. As the vacation came to a close we checked the forecast in Michigan for our return and saw 80 degrees on Sunday. That made the return easy and we spent the day on our boards in Lake Michigan. That is the crazy thing about Michigan. Leave one week for vacation during a snow storm, return the next weekend and spend it on the water.