The beach is on the opposite side of the island, but it is a very narrow Island. I don't know how far, I would drive it. Some might bike it.
Hotel not on the beach but on the bay side...beach is a short drive away.
I agree, it's definitely better to stay at the Hampton Inn on the bay, then drive to the beach for the afternoon.
This hotel is on the bay side facing a harbor. The closest public beach that I found is just a couple of miles east on Atlantic Ave. There is public parking, restrooms, covered tables and a long beautiful stretch of Atlantic Ocean beachfront. Gorgeous. Also, just off of Atlantic Ave. is the entrance to Fort Clinch State Park.
All the earlier responses are spot on. You do have to drive to Fernadina beach, can't remember exactly but it's 2 miles or so. This Hampton Inn is in a "historic" area with restaurants and boutique shopping, but it's not on or near the swimming beach.
Definitely driving distance, but worth it for just a day, because it is so much nicer in this area. It would be a shame to stay on the beach side of the island and miss the ambiance and all of the restaurants and shops in the harbor area.
You will have to drive to the beach, not close at all.
It's driving distance - beach area doesn't have as much ambiance as the town. Our initial intent was to stay on the beach, but as we drove around we changed our mind and just drove down to the beach one day.
Hope this helps!
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