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How to Spend Christmas in Fernandina Beach, Florida

If you’re looking for a warm winter getaway this holiday season, there’s no better place than Fernandina Beach, Florida! Here’s how to spend your Christmas vacation in Fernandina Beach where there’s no snow and plenty of sun.

Fernandina Beach Christmas Tree

Top Christmas Events in Fernandina Beach

1. Dickens on Centre

Dickens on Centre

Dickens on Centre is Fernandina Beach’s annual Christmas celebration. Inspired by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, this Victorian holiday festival is a celebration that would warm even Ebenezer’s cold heart. Dickens on Centre includes weekend festival as well as special events starting early in December.

  • Dickens on Centre FestivalDecember 7, 2023 through December 10, 2023 — This free weekend festival features artisanal vendors, costumed characters, visits with St. Nick, and holiday entertainment on two stages.
  • Dickens Illuminated ProcessionDecember 7, 2023 — This walking parade opens the festival. Join in with something that shines, glows, or twinkles and then enjoy food trucks and fireworks.
  • Dickens Enchanted VillageDecember 7, 2023 through December 10, 2023 — Dine inside your own snow globe with a one-hour experience inside festive domes that include a delicious charcuterie picnic.
  • Portraits with St. NickDecember 8, 2023 through December 10, 2023 — Get your photo with St. Nick at St. Nick’s Workshop in the Tiny Tim’s Kid Zone.
  • Parade of PawsDecember 9, 2023 — Watch this adorable parade of festive pups and pets.
  • Run Like The Dickens December 9, 2023 — Enjoy a 1-mile fun run starting at Main Beach. Kids and dogs are welcome to join.
  • Dickens After DarkDecember 9, 2023 — This adults-only party at the historic Lesesne House features live entertainment, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and an open bar.

2. Holiday Home Tour

The Amelia Island Museum of History’s annual Holiday Home Tour in Downtown Fernandina is a unique opportunity to see inside five privately-owned homes. Each home is decorated by professionals for the holiday season.

This year’s Holiday Home Tour takes place from December 1, 2023 to December 2, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

3. Fernandina Beach Christmas Tree Lighting

Fernandina Beach Christmas Tree Lighting

The traditional Christmas Tree Lighting in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach is held every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The free event near the riverfront is complete with a visit from Santa, music, and vendors selling baked goods and holiday gifts.

This year’s Christmas Tree Lighting takes place on November 24, 2023.

4. Lighted Christmas Parade

Fernandina Beach’s annual Lighted Christmas Parade features decorated and lighted parade floats, marching bands, dancers, and more.

The free parade takes place this year on December 2, 2023 at 6 p.m.

5. Parade of Paws

The Parade of Paws is the island’s popular pet parade. Pets dressed in their holiday attire walk with their owners in a parade through Downtown Fernandina Beach. Prizes are awarded for categories such as “Looks Most Like Owner”, “Most Original Costume”, and “Best Victorian Costume”.

This year’s Parade of Paws takes place on December 9, 2023 at from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

More Holiday Activities in Fernandina Beach

6. Neighborhood Christmas Lights

Fernandina Beach Residential Christmas Lights

The residents of Fernandina Beach are a festive bunch around the holidays. Take a drive around the neighborhoods to check out Christmas lights all around Amelia Island.

Each year, the entire street of North Ridge Lane is transformed for a neighborhood light show. Each home on the street decks out their house in lights, inflatables, and more.

7. Walk Along the Beach

Amelia Shells

The weather in the winter is perfect for taking a walk along the beach. Enjoy fewer crowds as you walk along the snow-white sands. A stroll on the beach makes for the perfect Florida Christmas tradition!

8. Watch the Sunset

Fernandina Beach Sunset

The sun sets around 5:30 p.m. in the winter in Fernandina Beach. Head to the the riverfront to catch a beautiful Amelia Island sunset. You can find great sunset-watching spots in Old Town, Downtown, over Egans Creek, and Fort Clinch State Park.

9. Holiday Shopping

Downtown Fernandina Beach Christmas Lights

Get all of your holiday shopping done in Downtown Fernandina. Christmas on the River, which is open year-round, is perfect for finding holiday gifts and ornaments for your loved ones.

If you’re shopping for someone who loves all things lavender, stop by Pelindaba Lavender for an endless array of candles, lotions, essential oils, and treats.

And The Book Loft is a great place to find a gift for the book-love in your life, whether they like bestselling authors or local writers.

Where to Stay in Fernandina Beach for Christmas

Fernandina Beach’s hotels and B&Bs know how to make the season merry. Here are some of the city’s most festive places to stay.

  • Omni Amelia Island Resort enjoy festive activities like a Holiday Kids Tennis Camp, Holiday Crafts, a Christmas Dinner, and Christmas Day brunch along with the resort’s festive holiday décor.
  • Hoyt House Bed and Breakfast stay in a beautifully decorated Christmas room, enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Night dining at Fernandina’s top upscale restaurants, and enjoy a special Christmas show on Christmas Eve.
  • The Fairbanks House this 1800’s Victorian village is all dressed up for the holidays with all guest rooms and grounds fully decorated in a grand Christmas style. Enjoy events like a special Christmas morning breakfast, Christmas Eve tours of the historic district, a Christmas Eve dinner, daily bedtime sweets, and Christmas Day dinner, and Christmas stockings with special treats in every room.
  • Amelia Island Williams House this beautifully decorated inn offers a gourmet breakfast, Christmas cookies and eggnog in your room at check-in, and a Christmas Day dinner.

Hotels in Fernandina Beach tend to book up quickly for the holidays, so make your reservations sooner rather than later.

What’s the Weather Like in Fernandina Beach for Christmas?

December in Fernandina Beach typically sees temperatures in the 50s and 60s. It typically won’t get any colder than the high 40s, and don’t be surprised if it gets up to the low 80s. There’s much less humidity in December as well.

Don’t expect any snow on Amelia Island! The only time on record that Fernandina Beach had a White Christmas was in 1989 when there was a freak snowstorm.

If you plan on going in the water, ocean temperatures in December are typically in the high 60s. Most hotels and condo rentals offer heated pools and hot tubs.

For what to pack and wear during winter in Fernandina Beach, I recommend long pants and layers on top. Flip-flops are still perfectly acceptable in the winter, as are shorts if you’re warm-natured. Most people will be comfortable in long pants and short sleeves with a light jacket for the cooler nights.

Top Fernandina Beach Tours

With so much to see, Fernandina Beach can be overwhelming for any first-time traveler. To take some of the stress out of planning your visit, opt for a guided tour! Check out this list of the top Fernandina Beach tours to help you make the most of your time on Amelia Island.

More Things To Do in Fernandina Beach

Just can’t get enough of this coastal Florida town? Check out these other Fernandina Beach itineraries.

Ready to visit Fernandina Beach, Florida? Plan your trip with these tips.



How to Spend Christmas in Fernandina Beach, Florida

Have you spent Christmas in Fernandina Beach, Florida? Let me know in the comments below!

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