We love to travel and explore as much of this world as possible. There's so much to discover and travel has a way of expanding our horizons. However, traveling does not always have to involve traveling to a distant island or a 12 hour flight, but can also involve finding a destination close by. We're based in the beautiful state of Florida and are fortunate to live within a few minutes or hours of some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. One such place that we recently made a weekend getaway to, was to the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. The Omni Amelia Island Plantation is a luxury resort located just off the Northeast Florida coast. Its local charm, private beach front, and expansive property (1,350 acres to be exact) have won the hearts of guests far and wide. It’s no surprise it even landed on the “Top 25 Resorts in Florida” by Conde’ Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards
The amenities were absolutely world class, and with such an expansive property, there is no shortage of activities offered by the resort. Whether it's playing golf on one of their three championship courses, tennis, paddle boarding, bike riding through multiple nature trails, or simply relaxing by the ocean on their 3.5 miles of private beachfront, there's something for any gentleman to enjoy. We took the more relaxing option, and simply took time to unwind and soak in the beauty of the white sand and blue ocean.
The resort is certainly catching on to the trends within the food and drink world by actually building an onsite barrel aging house, apiary, and aquaponic greenhouse. We were able to take a private tour and get a behind the scenes look at how the head chef, Daven Wardynski is using these onsite projects to offer a more sustainable and one of a kind menu selection for guests at the various resort restaurants. The barrel aging house was our favorite and we were impressed at the creativity. They are aging everything from a Maple Rum Old Fashion, to a Palmetto Honey Bourbon. There's not shortage of experimentation and the barrels are constantly being changed out with new creations.
With drinks on our mind, it was only fitting to order an Old Fashioned with our dinner at the Verandah restaurant. Blanton's was the bourbon of choice, which made for an excellent cocktail.
There is Eating and then there is Dining. When meals become more than mere sustenance, they are an experience. From beginning to end, our dinner at The Verandah was an enjoyable dining experience. The variety of tastes, textures, presentations, and colors had us savoring every bite. Executive Chef Daven Wardynski strives for fresh, local cuisine, and also incorporates produce grown from the resort’s own organic garden, aquaponic greenhouse, and honey from a large beehive collection.
Even though we only had two days to explore the beautiful resort and wish we had more time, it was no doubt an enjoyable and relaxing getaway that we would recommend to anyone wanting to visit the east coast of North Florida and experience this charming island community.