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Old 06-12-2019, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
3,936 posts, read 2,261,985 times
Reputation: 13043

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On Saturday we will be driving from Orlando up to Amelia Island. Whenever I look up directions it gives me straight up 95. We have time to kill and would prefer a more scenic trip. Poking around it seems we could take either route 17 or 19. Is this correct? Would one be better then the other? Are both just too time consuming?

If we took one of those routes is there anything of interest along the way? We will have two kids with us. I have never been to central Florida and I am quite curious about it.

I wish I could just figure this out but I just can't seem to. My husband says stop worrying about it we'll just figure it out on Saturday. UGH! I like things planned out. So thanks if anyone can point me in the right direction!
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
3,936 posts, read 2,261,985 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying scotchman View Post
IMO there’s nothing interesting. It will really slow you down and to be honest I felt less safe because it was way too rural. I took one of those roads once ot twice to get in and out of Palatka. I also driven through the Ocala national forest several times. I didn’t see anything. I rather drive through the coast (I-95 and I-4) and stop at one of those coastal towns.
Darn it! That's too bad. We really have no interest in the coastal towns unless there is something I am missing. Is there an interesting spot we could kill a couple hours. We are fans of the odd and off the beaten path places.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:54 PM
 
21,917 posts, read 32,091,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicshark View Post
Darn it! That's too bad. We really have no interest in the coastal towns unless there is something I am missing. Is there an interesting spot we could kill a couple hours. We are fans of the odd and off the beaten path places.
You might stop off at Marineland along the way, it was the first of the aquatic attractions opened (80 years ago) and is now living a new life as primarily a dolphin experience attraction along with some sea turtle preservation efforts. The architecture of the park is well-preserved Florida kitschy thanks to the new ownership group that maintains the Georgia Aquarium as well.

https://marineland.net/80th-anniversary/
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:21 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
3,936 posts, read 2,261,985 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
You might stop off at Marineland along the way, it was the first of the aquatic attractions opened (80 years ago) and is now living a new life as primarily a dolphin experience attraction along with some sea turtle preservation efforts. The architecture of the park is well-preserved Florida kitschy thanks to the new ownership group that maintains the Georgia Aquarium as well.

https://marineland.net/80th-anniversary/
Thanks! I will look into it!

Since I am here already can I please pick everyone's brain? We are flying into Orlando and then making our way to Amelia Island. The tickets were dirt cheap. We are spending a week up there for a family reunion. We travel about with our kids a fair amount and always seem to find great quirky or I guess alternatives to classic tourist trap places to explore. Unfortunately I am honestly having a hard time with that this trip.

The only thing we have planned is a day visiting The Okefenokee Swamp with a stop at the Folkston Funnel. What am I missing? What is not too far but interesting or unique? Is there any local history we should explore? We thought of Saint Mary's and Cumberland Island but I'm not sure the ferry schedule will work or if it is sold out at this point. Any ideas?

Last edited by magicshark; 06-13-2019 at 03:32 AM..
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:42 AM
 
Location: NNJ --> NE FL 2015
1,265 posts, read 1,330,443 times
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No interest in St. Augustine (not too far north of Marineland)? Yeah, it's a bit touristy but it'll give you guys something to do if you wanted to carve out a day. I guess you can call us semi-locals but we enjoy going there just to walk around or hit up one of the restaurants which I think is some of the best in NE Florida (Preserved, Llamas, Collage, Ice Plant etc.).

Check out this article that NY Times did few months ago. It'll give you some ideas if you decide to go:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/t...e-florida.html

Last edited by Ivan Putski; 06-13-2019 at 04:53 AM..
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:48 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
3,936 posts, read 2,261,985 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Putski View Post
No interest in St. Augustine? Yeah, it's a bit touristy but it'll give you guys something to do if you wanted to carve out a day.

Check out this article that NY Times did few months ago. It'll give you some ideas if you decide to go:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/t...e-florida.html
Thanks! We did look into St. Augustine but we are kind of turned off by what we see online. We love history but it looked very touristy. I will give it a second look.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:55 AM
 
21,917 posts, read 32,091,453 times
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Fernandina Beach is well worth the historical exploration and you'll already be right there. https://ameliaislandliving.com/ferna...oric-district/

In terms of the ferry I don't recall hearing it fills up, here's the schedule plus online booking..
https://www.cumberlandislandferry.co...-island-ferry/
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:15 AM
 
Location: NNJ --> NE FL 2015
1,265 posts, read 1,330,443 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicshark View Post
Thanks! We did look into St. Augustine but we are kind of turned off by what we see online. We love history but it looked very touristy. I will give it a second look.
Yup, I get it. Believe me, I like to avoid touristy places at all cost but once I embraced the fact that St. Augustine has so much history behind it, I started to appreciate all the architecture and everything else that comes with the city, even the touristy spots. We visit 5-6 times a year and feel like we find something new to do each time.

Enjoy your stay. There are few posters here who know the Amelia/Fernandina area really well so hopefully they'll chime in.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:48 AM
 
22 posts, read 8,487 times
Reputation: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicshark View Post
On Saturday we will be driving from Orlando up to Amelia Island. Whenever I look up directions it gives me straight up 95. We have time to kill and would prefer a more scenic trip. Poking around it seems we could take either route 17 or 19. Is this correct? Would one be better then the other? Are both just too time consuming?

If we took one of those routes is there anything of interest along the way? We will have two kids with us. I have never been to central Florida and I am quite curious about it.

I wish I could just figure this out but I just can't seem to. My husband says stop worrying about it we'll just figure it out on Saturday. UGH! I like things planned out. So thanks if anyone can point me in the right direction!
On your way from MCO, you could stop at Blue Spring State Park to see the manatees. It is about one hour from the airport off I-4. Very small detour and worth a one-two hours visit.

https://www.floridastateparks.org/pa...ing-state-park
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
3,936 posts, read 2,261,985 times
Reputation: 13043
Quote:
Originally Posted by PVB814 View Post
On your way from MCO, you could stop at Blue Spring State Park to see the manatees. It is about one hour from the airport off I-4. Very small detour and worth a one-two hours visit.

https://www.floridastateparks.org/pa...ing-state-park
That looks very interesting! Only thing is it says it closes when at capacity. Does anyone know if it is worth it to try to get in maybe very late morning or very early afternoon? I will poke around at the reviews and see if anyone mentions anything about that. Thanks!
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