Monday, July 25, 2016

Amelia Island wants you to take a 'PokeBreak'

            You would be living on a remote island if you missed the Pokemon Go craze with all those people running around staring at their phones as if in a trance. To tap into that mass frenzy over the Pokemon Go gaming app, Amelia Island — not a remote island but a beautiful destination isle in Florida — will host a “PokeBreak” weekend. Over the weekend of Aug. 5-7 there will be a variety of events, activities, packages and attractions along miles of Amelia Island’s beaches, trails and waterways.
            “We’ve seen plenty of visitors exploring the island in pursuit of Pokemon, but we want to make sure they don’t miss all the real-world experiences you can only have on Amelia,” said Gil Langley, managing director of the AITDC, in a recent press release. “The PokeBreak weekend will be a great chance to stop fretting over drained batteries and crashed servers and try to catch some lasting summer memories before the kids head back to school.”
            If you’ve never been to Amelia Island, you’re in for a blow-away treat. The barrier island off the coast of Florida near Jacksonville offers gorgeous pristine beaches where visitors can discover fossil shark teeth and shells, wetlands full of wildlife you can access by kayak or canoe and lush live oil tree canopies. There’s also a quaint downtown that offers boutique shopping, ghost tours and local entertainment.
            Travelers can start their PokeBreak weekend on Friday, Aug. 5, with Sounds on Centre, an outdoor evening performance in downtown Fernandina Beach; a Ghost Tour of Amelia Island, leading guests in the footsteps of the island’s haunted past; or a performance at the Amelia Musical Playhouse. Other weekend events include the Shrimping Eco Tour with Amelia River Cruises, an interactive exploration of the St. Marys River Basin that includes using locally made shrimp nets to catch, display and identify local sea life in an onboard aquarium before releasing them.

Packages and offers include:
•       The Amelia Island Williams House is offering a 15 percent discount on a two-night stay over the Aug. 5-7 Weekend for travelers mentioning PokeBreak when making a reservation.
•       The Fairbanks House PokeBreak for Two package includes daily gourmet breakfasts, evening beverages and hors d’oeuvres, complimentary use of bikes, pool and beach equipment as well as a choice of a private downtown carriage tour or two tickets aboard Amelia River Cruises with the code PokeBreak when booking two or more nights the weekend of Aug. 5-7.
•       Located in downtown Fernandina Beach and offering fun accessories for women and home, Bijoux Amelia is offering a 25 percent discount on all purchases when customers mention PokeBreak Aug. 5-7.
•       The Book Loft will be offering a 10 percent discount on young adult books during the weekend and on Saturday, Aug. 6, there will be a release of a new book by local author, Nancy Blanton, complete with Irish music and food at 3 p.m.
•       Located in the historic district, Timoti’s Seafood Shak is offering customers a free fountain beverage with the purchase of a Tuna Poke Bowl as park of the promotion.
•       The popular children’s store, Villa Villekula, is offering a 20 percent discount on the purchase of any item with the mention of PokeBreak for customers and visitors can relive a classic school recess with sidewalk neighborhood fun from 2–5 pm outside at 5 South 2nd Street with jump rope, double-dutch, hopscotch and sidewalk chalk.
•       The Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort is offering 10 percent off Nature Center Tours (Includes: kayak, paddleboarding, naturalist segway, and Birds of Amelia tours). To reserve, call 904-321-5082 and mention PokeBreak; pricing varies per tour.
            To plan your PokeBreak weekend getaway, visit www.PokeBreakAmelia.com.

Cheré Dastugue Coen is currently on Level 11 of Pokemon Go but working hard to advance. She is also the author of several Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire and “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.

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