DALLAS – February 13, 2011 - In these growing eco-conscious times, when folks, it seems, are daily becoming ever the more green, one resort in Florida has been doing it right since 1971. Worth taking note, Amelia Island Plantation in Amelia Island, Florida is located in the northeastern part of the state between the Atlantic Ocean and the Amelia River. Just 30 minutes to Jacksonville International Airport so it’s an easy in and out, Amelia Island Plantation really is known for having set the standard for development “in harmony with nature.” And, that’s long before it was a popular catch phrase too.
With 1,350 acres guests can expect a number of green certifications and initiatives throughout the resort including a Certified Green Lodging Designation by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. There’s also Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries – three certified golf courses and the resort is a member of greenhotels.com and Istay Green.
More to like, green initiatives include a resort-wide recycling program, computerized energy saving HVAC system in the Amelia Inn, the Project Plan linen and towel re-use program, reclaimed water for irrigating the landscape and golf courses, use of clean and green pest control and housekeeping products, automatic and low flush water fixtures in guest and public restrooms, low energy and long lasting fluorescent lighting throughout the resort, environmentally-friendly in-room amenities and the use of high efficiency air filters and frequent cleaning of air handlers.
The resort also stays connected to nature through the Amelia Island Plantation’s Nature Center established back in 1996 and staffing naturalists who offer guided tours and hands-on experiences to groups of all ages. If you’re interested in a tour the options are as diverse as learning about native trees, plants and flowers; learning about the native and migratory bird species in the area or the Timucuan Indian culture, once a big part of the island. There are also tours to learn more about the animal communities including fish and crustaceans that live in the salt marsh eco-system nearby. Another plus, the center rescues native animals through a foster program by the staff.
Indeed, with Amelia Island home to a variety of trees such as live oaks and Spanish Moss, 70% of the natural tree canopy is still intact at the plantation. And on any given day among this natural habitat don’t be surprised to spot hawks, woodpeckers, herons or even the colorful roseate spoonbill. The sounds of the birds are special too since you aren’t looking at nature, you have become a part of it.
For an almost as natural experience, only indoors, it’s the holistic spa you don’t want to miss. The Spa at Amelia Island Plantation is a full-service spa with 20 treatment rooms. The view outdoors of the Spanish Moss dripping from the trees and the nearby lagoon are a sure-fire way to calm the most strung-out nerves. The spa features clean and green products that are chemical, paraben and artificial preservative-free and the products are also biodegradable.
No matter your guilty pleasure, the spa offers massages, facials, mani-pedis, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and herbal wraps as well as a few signature offerings. The spa also offers classes focusing on self-awareness and improvement, self-hypnosis and of course, there’s yoga held in the spas one-of-a-kind tree house.
Of course no resort would be worth a visit without a variety of tastes for guests to enjoy. At this resort there is a smorgasbord to choose from with the Ocean Grill, Marche Burette, Falcon’s Nest, Sunrise Café and the Lobby Lounge for just the right aperitif before you dine. The Verandah is the plantation’s finest so expect fresh catch, grilled New York Strip and the Amelia Mud Pie is a signature must.
There is also more than three miles of beach (which was not affected by the oil spill earlier this year), 54 holes of golf, 23 tennis courts, 20 pools, a shopping village on-site, nine dining options total and a mixture of youth programs. With oceanfront hotel rooms at the Inn there are also one to three bedroom villas with an array of view options.
You won’t get hungry, you won’t get bored and more to the point, at Amelia Island Plantation you’ll be having a good time with a wink at the environment. Here in this little piece of corner in Florida it really is easy to find that even on vacation you can make a difference while having fun.
Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 12-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings. Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and spends much of her time on the road traveling and working on books such as her latest release this April about Fredericksburg, Texas published by Channel Lakes Publishing.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.