The Jacksonville, Florida Anheuser-Busch Tour was the first order of business. I learned about the history of the company and the contributions that Budweiser made to the brewing process. Mr Anheuser bought a brewery. Mr Busch married his daughter and they merged companies. Busch was an innovator in brewing. The CEO’s have been family members until the company was sold to MBev last November, as a wholly owned subsidiary. We got to see the history of the company, the brewing process, and then the Busch has corn and malt; and the Michelob has only malt. That is probably why I have always liked Michelob best of the AB brews. In the hospitality room I tried Land Shark (yuck) American Ale, Michelob Porter, Michelob Ultra (pomegranate raspberry and Tuscan orange grapefruit), and finally the Michelob Amber Bock. I liked them all except the Land Shark.
I finally found Fort Caroline (signage was horrible!) get good directions and realize there are several Fort Caroline Roads. I wandered through the visitor center exhibits, watched the brief (pictorial only) video, and walked down to the miniature reproduction of the fort.
I did finally find the Singleton Seafood Shack. It is not in Atlantic Beach like my book had stated, but is right next to the ferry crossing at the end of A1A in Mayport. Take the ferry crossing and turn right onto the highway. The Kingsley Plantation turnoff is about ½ a mile on your right-with very good signage.
On the way out to the mansion I took the road to the right. It is gravel most of the way and a beautiful trip. When you arrive at the plantation, there is a map and encouragement to wander the grounds and read the information. I learned a bit about the plantation life and interracial love in Florida in that era. After freeing his female slave, Kingsley sent her to Haiti to protect her when the slavery rules shifted from the Spanish version to the more harsh English version.
Of particular interest at this site was the exposed floor and walls in the kitchen building, the landscape, and the kitchen garden with local plants. I noticed the row of slave housing on the way out of the plantation.Back to the highway I took the other road which ended up being paved most of the way and almost as nice (there were homes on this one). There is also a state park on the paved road.
Coming off of St George Island at Little Talbott state park the beaches are gorgeous. I didn’t pay to go see them, but you might want to if your schedule allows it.
When an old bridge dies in Florida it becomes a fishing pier.
Spa and shops at the Amelia Island Plantation is beautiful. If I had the cash, this would be a top pick for me.
Fernandina Beach has a very wide beach with about 40 access points, some with parking. The main beach down at the end, is where I parked. All the parking was free and there is a nice little place to grab a bite or a drink. This beach also has lifeguards. There were not many shells and they were very dark grey.
There is Comfort Inn across from the main beach and the only real hotel I saw here. Most of the buildings are residential type, some with rental signs. It is nice, but I wouldn’t choose it over St Anna Maria’s beach.
The historical downtown was nice, about 6 blocks long with a wharf down at the end. I saw the Palace Saloon, it was in really good shape for its age. South 8th Street takes you off the island and this is where all the commercial and fast food is located.
Gasoline in Georgia was 20+ cents cheaper than Florida!
After a quick stop at the South Carolina Visitor Center, I drove out to St. Mary's. unfortunately too late to visit the exhibits about Cumberland Island. I did get to see some glorious old homes though.
I ate dinner at Quick Chic in Kingsland, SC. I asked the gal in line with me what a “keel” (on the menu) was (chicken part) and she explained that it was both sides of the breast bone without the ribs and back-interesting I have never seen that cut. I would have got that just to see it, but I prefer dark meat chicken. The food was good and pretty cheap-was kinda bummed that they did not have macaroni and cheese though. Must be good, they were out of it for the day.
I checked into one of the three little dives in the town (more at the interstate). The Camden Inn was clean enough. It is apparent that they are redoing this place, but they should remember to maintain the refurbished rooms as they move on to the older rooms. This place would have actually been quite nice with a little 4o9 and some scrubbing. The owners were quite nice.
ROUTE: I 95 South> FL 9A South> Merrill>Monument>Fort Caroline>FL 10 East> A1A North>Ferry Across to A1A North>US 17 North>I 95 North>GA 40 East and West>US 17
Lodging: Camden Inn & Suites
Budweiser (****Food ****Service)
Quick Chic Kinglsand, GA just west of US 17 on GA 40 (***Food **Service)
$$$: $26 Fuel $5 Ferry $10 Postage $4 Dinner $34 Motel =$79