Located in historic downtown Fernandina Beach, the Amelia Schoolhouse Inn was built in 1886 as the local school for Amelia Island. Completely renovated in 2018, the 17-room boutique hotel has been certified as a National Historic structure and combines top-of-the-line modern amenities with professional restoration of much of the original building. With an emphasis on customer service, the Inn also has a high-end bar along with a courtyard with putting green that is open to the public.


Sleeping in a Schoolhouse


Even the bathroom in our suite held souvenirs of the Inn’s previous life as an educational institution.


And on the landing outside our door, antique school furniture, the desk with a circular hole to hold an inkwell and one seat with hinges that pushed up.


Imagine! The Principal’s Office has become a bar, complete with a dunce cap above the liquor cabinet, left over from the Inn’s previous life as a schoolhouse. Or, found online!


The Setting: Fernandina Beach

Feeling the need to “get away,” we made the 60-minute car trip straight north to take in the sights of the historic coastal town in Nassau County, visiting Fernandina Beach in early October.

The Timucuan Indians were the first to inhabit Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Since 1562, the town is the only municipality in the United States that has flown eight different national flags: France, Spain, Great Britain, the Patriots of Amelia Island, the Green Cross of Florida, Mexico the Confederate States of American, and finally, the United States of America.


Centre Street in Historic Downtown

Cedar Trees arching the sidewalk

Can you see the imaginary white-eyed bird, beak open wide?


Historic Hoyt House, now a Bed & Breakfast, decked out for Hallowe’en


Snooping in Bookstores, especially those independently owned 

Banner inside the Story and Song Books, which sponsors author events, both celebrity writers and local authors.



Story and Song also offers a bistro inviting al fresco dining and an intriguing mural on the wall.

Inscription   “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”
~  Psalm 91:11, King James Version



I met two of the congenial staff, Connor, the media manager and buyer, along with Dearsha, the children’s department specialist. When I visited, both were behind the counter, serving the lunch-time crowd. During a brief lull, they both seemed interested in turning the pages of my book, noting original illustrations.


Another book store, the Book Loft, which bills itself as “old-fashioned” and “charming,” invites with open door. I met Cathy behind the desk, who eagerly checked out my memoir, Mennonite Daughter.


Drum roll please!  Announcing the winner of Turtle Heart by Lucinda Kinsinger:

Congratulations to Linda Marie Washington!

Please email me to confirm your mailing address.


Have you visited a place you’d recommend for other visitors?

What independent book stores do you patronize in your area?