Amanda Island, Florida

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Kongo is in Florida for a few weeks and got up early this morning to capture the sunrise at the beach at Big Amanda Island northeast of Jacksonville.  Pam, one of Kongo’s favorite bloggers, told him about this beach over dinner in San Diego a few months ago, so the monkey was really happy to finally get a chance to see it in person.

Kongo was at the beach before 7 AM only to find out that they open the gates at 8.  Huh? You can’t get a sunrise at 8 in the morning!  Who’s in charge of opening gates in Florida, anyway?  No matter.  The monkey scampered under the gate and headed toward the beach and was delighted to be the only one there.  Having the beach all to yourself is fun.

Big Amanda Island State Park is full of weird driftwood from a forest along the edge of the water.  As the beach erodes, the trees fall to the beach and get bleached by decades of sun and saltwater.  It’s an eerie but beautiful sight.

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When you stand on the beach the sound of the gently lapping surf is balanced by the cicadas in the woods nearby.  Over time, the trees sink slowly into the sand until only the top of their root balls remain.

Just up the road from this beach is Amelia Island with all of its resorts and golf courses but you would never know it when you’re the only one making footprints on a pristine beach.

Travel safe.  Have fun.



  1. You cheeky, cheeky little daredevil of a monkey, Kongo. I bet you could rob a bank and get away with it 😉 Majestically stunning photos. Really love the angle of the second photo. It looks more like a sunset that a sunrise.


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