Some consider the drive southward, via Rt. A1-A, along the coast from Amelia Island, one of the best ways to see Florida. The drive along the coast, known as the First Coast, features cities such as Jacksonville and historic St. Augustine, dozens of state parks, public access beaches and noted golf courses.
Located in the northeast quadrant of Florida, Amelia Island features beautiful Fernandina Beach and a Civil War-era fort at Fort Clinch State Park. Nearby are the Talbot Islands, which are among the few undeveloped barrier islands and known for their quiet beaches and birding and paddling opportunities.
Fort George Island
Kingsley Plantation, one of Florida's earliest plantations, is on Fort George Island. It is now part of a state park and includes an ecological and historical preserve. South of Fort George, the road turns inland to the Jacksonville area.
Near Jacksonville Beach is Ponte Vedra Beach, which runs through Sawgrass golf course, a part of the PGA circuit and home to the Players Tournament. The modern city of Jacksonville offers professional sporting events, nightlife, shopping and culture. It is also a home port for Carnival cruises to the Caribbean.
St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the continental United States. The city includes the seventeenth century Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest stone fort in the United States, a busy "old town," a lighthouse and museum, and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park.
Daytona Beach is one of the best-known beaches in northeast Florida, and is home to one of the largest spring break crowds of young people in the nation.