By Grant Fraser

Not long after the pins have been pulled and the turf equipment stored away for the winter, the minds – and direction – of many Canadian golfers turn south.

For avid sun and sand seekers, Florida’s beaches are among the best in the world, where living the “salt-life” is more than just an expression – it truly is a way of life. And then there are Florida’s golf courses. With over 1,200 layouts, it’s no wonder you’ll often see a Florida license plate bordered with the phrase “World’s Golf Capital” as you travel along Interstates 75 and 95.’

If you have traveled extensively along Florida’s vast coastline, you’ve likely seen signs welcoming you to the state’s Gulf Coast, Paradise Coast, or Treasure Coast, just to name a few.

All are worthy destinations in their own right, but none can boast the moniker “First or Historic Coast”. That honour belongs to the northeastern beaches of Florida that extend from Amelia Island south to Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches along the historic A1A highway. For golf enthusiasts, this100-plus mile stretch of Atlantic Ocean coastline encompasses over 50 accessible golf venues.

Amelia Island: Navigating from north to south, your First and Historic Florida Beach itinerary logically starts on what may be Florida’s best kept secret: Amelia Island. As the southernmost part of the Sea Islands Barrier chain, Amelia Island is nestled on the coastal border of Georgia and Florida. Similar in size and shape to Manhattan, this 13-mile-long, 2-mile-wide temperate island paradise is renowned for its unspoiled beaches, treelined-streets and laid-back vibe.

If you are unfamiliar with Amelia Island, you’re not alone, and the 40,000 residents of the island are content to keep it that way. That’s not to suggest visitors are not welcome. Quite the opposite. It’s just that Amelia Island is located off the beaten path and requires some foresight to incorporate into any Florida travel plan. More