Traveling to destinations around this great country of ours, vacationers are always seeking the little edge that pushes the family toward a great spot. The perfect family getaway, if you will.
Found it ... and not because of the usual amenities.
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is that location. Simple to get to, The Ritz- Carlton is just north of Jacksonville, Fla., on the Atlantic coast.
This is no ordinary destination. Yes, it has golf, tennis and a spa, not to mention the warmth of the Sunshine state and the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, the usual creature comforts.
What it does have is Salt.
Salt, you say.
That's right, Salt is the name of the culinary masterpiece of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.
Far from humdrum, Salt is the centerpiece of dining at the resort. Simple, but elegant. Unique, yet casual. A wonderful balance of nature, from salads, Hawaiian Blue Marlin and White Asparagus Soup to Beef Tenderloin, Maine Lobster and Lamb T-Bones. Let's not forget the fare from the sea, complete with Alaskan Halibut, local Snapper and Tasmanian Trout.
But, it's where the restaurant gets its handle that heightens this succulent excitement at Salt.
The basis for the cuisine is as simple as its name, seasoning the "elements from the earth and sea." Not only is there a menu for incredible delicacies, but there's a listing of natural and infused salts. The menu is far more extensive than the fare ... and rightfully so. From Fleur de Sel, known as the "caviar" of salts to Salish, a smoked sea salt, or Cyprus Black Lava from the Mediterranean and activated with charcoal, just to name a few. Can you imagine, salts from around the globe, from Peru to Italy, from the Himalayan Mountains to the Hawaiian Coast, and everything in between. There's no question, this makes the meal.
Before making reservations for dinner, a visit to the Salt Shop for the Salt Infusion Class is a must. Here you'll learn all about the previously mentioned salts and best of all ... you get to taste and buy them!
We return to the original reason for your stay at The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, the warmth and relaxation of Florida.
With an average year-round daytime temperature of 78, how can you go wrong. Even if the temps dip under 60 at night, beach bonfires are available.
Golf on the championship layout is forgiving, yet challenging. So much so, that Conde Nast Traveler called it one of the Top Golf Resorts in the country.
Not long by today's standards, the Golf Club of Amelia Island features a slope of 140, stretches to just over 6,700 yards and boasts 11 holes guarded by water. Although there's plenty of danger, the course is a women-friendly layout, featuring four sets of tees under 6,000 yards.
Touring the Fernandina Beach is another sure thing. Whether it's by bike, kayak or foot, Amelia Island has it all, for the nature lover, fitness enthusiast or history buff. The Fort Clinch and Fort George tours are outstanding, especially when navigated with the incredibly knowledgeable Ritz Carlton staff. You'll be stunned by how much you learn.
If it's a spa that strikes your fancy, go no further than The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Amelia Island.
Over 27,000 square feet of relaxation and luxury with 26 treatment rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, steam room, sauna and a fitness center. Massages, facials, pedicures, wraps, exfoliations and more ... get the picture? If not, try the Amelia Island Honey Butter Wrap, as that will send you over the top.
Although you don't have to leave the resort proper, let's not forget the Atlantic Ocean that sits just 100 yards away. The views from your suite are breathtaking. All of the water activities you'd expect are at your disposal, so indulge.
You're on vacation.
So there you have it. Did I miss anything? I don't think so.
For years, friends and family have raved about the resort, and rightfully so. This is not a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You'll want to return over and over.
Trust me. Sun, Surf and Salt, what more you could ask for.