Club 14 Fitness' roster of trainers reads like the manifest of a submarine on its way to SEALAB III. It includes one University of Chicago educated biologist, one former Navy man, one chiropractor-turned-holistic healer, one nutritionist, and the first runner-up in the Mr. Wyoming bodybuilding competition. Together, they downright plaster the walls with all manners of certifications, issued by everyone from AFAA to CrossFit. They lean hard on their multifarious backgrounds to build personal-fitness regimens and a schedule of calorie-blasting classes, including a lineup of LesMills sessions, that firm up bodies more effectively than falling asleep in a cement mixer.
When not dancing or spinning through group fitness sessions, members can bolster heart rates in the cardio room, hoist free weights, or target hyper-specific muscle groups on the gym's cache of Star Trac equipment. Guests wind down in the wood-paneled sauna, slake thirst at the juice bar, or bronze up in the tanning bed. To make getting to the gym more accessible, Club 14 keeps kids entertained with childcare and pint-sized fitness programs, and keeps its doors open 24 hours. All of this earned the gym the Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award in 2010.
The Amelia Island Museum of History is the fortuitous result of circumstance. In 1975, a committee from the Duncan Lamont Clinch Historical Society gathered to found a history museum for Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island. Meanwhile, local collector William Decker was studiously acquiring historical documents and artifacts from the area—a lot whose pieces numbered in the thousands. When Decker died, the collection passed on to his son, a noted altruist, and just like that the Amelia Island Museum had its bones.
Today, the museum's exhibits examine local culture of the Timucua Native American tribe, Spanish and French explorers, pirates, and Victorian-era residents. Curators have assembled the Women of the Port photography display to highlight women working in the local maritime industry.
Museum guides are not restricted to the grounds, and often helm tours of the island's haunted locales, historic Centre Street, and Fernandina Beach's north end—with a focus on history from the mid-18th to 19th centuries.
Jay Handline created Dance Trance Fitness more than 15 years ago to shape up physiques with an intense exercise regimen disguised as a dance party. The program has since spread to locations in cities as far flung as Saudi Arabia and San Diego, torching calories and causing patrons to dig back up time capsules full of sweatbands. The energetic choreographers and dancers under Jay's employ blend moves from jazz, Latin, reggae, hip-hop, and rock dance to craft heart-pumping choreography that flows seamlessly against lively cascades of drums and bright swells of brass. This marriage of music-video-style dance and traditional cardio exercise tones muscles and melts calories from students of all age and fitness levels during sessions focused specifically on street moves, ballet influences, or efficiently stomping bubblewrap. Dance Trance Fitness works with a variety of causes to host benefits and other events, and the company bolsters students’ drive to get healthy with a range of online support options.
At Go Yoga, owners JP and Cassie McClellan pay homage to the practice that brought them together with a slate of classes inspired by Baptiste Power-Vinyasa yoga. Both veteran yogis train under the method's creator, Baron Baptiste, on a regular basis, and import his techniques to their own studio, which surrounds visitors in tropical plants and soothing earth tones. Baptiste yoga weaves several different traditions into a series of flowing postures performed in a space that’s warmed to 90 degrees, mimicking the average temperature found on the dark side of the sun. At Yoga for Beginners and Restorative Flow classes, instructors tweak gentle routines with a focus on linking breath to movement. Special events treat attendees to yoga on the beach, and regularly offered sessions such as massages and outdoor EcoVentures offer relaxation or tours of Amelia Island by foot, bike, kayak, or horseback.
Growing up in Poland, aesthetician Mariusz "Michael" Zaworski was surrounded by natural remedies and fresh foods, which he credits for his dedicated approach to beauty treatments that eschew surgery. After receiving an introduction to essential oils by his acupuncture-physician sister and witnessing the oftentimes negative and costly side effects of plastic surgery, Zaworski headed off to aesthetician's school to turn his interests into a full-fledged career. He now wields his favorite beauty find, the microcurrent machine, during age-defying facial appointments, zapping fine lines, increasing collagen production, and gently cajoling pores into shaping up. Always learning new techniques, Zaworski shares his knowledge with his clients while attending to their inimitable skincare needs and reassuring them that fairies are not dusting their faces with wrinkling dust while they sleep.
With help from a staff of paddleboarders, surfers, environmental scientists, and a dog named Dillon, Kayak Amelia founders Jody and Ray Hetchka combine their love for outdoor sports with environmental conservation. Ray, a certified naturalist and self-described tree hugger, peppers guided kayak, bicycle, and paddleboard eco tours with facts on flora, fauna, and all the best smells circulating throughout the island's delicate ecosystem. In addition to guided tours, Kayak Amelia teaches paddleboard and kayak lessons, and leads fishing trips and overnight kayak excursions. Guests can sign up for tours, or rent equipment for the day, at Kayak Amelia's storefront, Y.B. Green's General Store, which carries eco-friendly gifts such as beeswax candles, carved bone necklaces, and clay-dyed clothing.