From the marina you can see Georgia, so technically this is the real First Coast of Florida.
It’s the tiny town of Fernandina Beach, but locals refer to it as Amelia Island, and it’s under an hour from our house. There are dozens and dozens of restaurants, art galleries, boutiques, and antique shops, dotted with the usual ice-cream parlors, coffee houses, and bars. There’s a very friendly welcome center that will give you useful coupons and advice. Many islanders are crazy into Pirates, and will start an argument if you say that St. Augustine is the oldest city in Florida.
The marina is always worth the trip and today was no exception, with the water like glass and the pelicans in chase-you-down-for-food mode. The Saturday Farmer’s Market has vendors that drive all the way from south Florida so it’s often very busy. Think about leaving the main street and eating at 29 South (which is also the address). The food is fabulous. The Cobb Salad has three fried green tomatoes (coated in goat cheese), two deviled eggs, and a scoop of bar-b-que that will fill you for the day.
Florida is famous for its strawberries, and the farmer’s market was rife with them. I bought so many I had more than enough to freeze… which is easier than you might think.
Just hull, gently pat dry, put on a cookie sheet and freeze for 24 hours before you bag them in bunches. This probably works well because they’ll go into the bag hard and won’t clump together. An average strawberry has less than 10 calories, so that alone makes them one of my favorite snacks. I just wish my watercolor palette had this color red.