A Romantic Dan's Day Trip
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
Flowers, teddy bears and chocolates may be nice. But come on guys, you and I both know you can do better than that! Let me take you on a ride for an enchanting equine excursion.
"This is one of the coolest things I think I've ever done," says Steve and Shelley Nadeau who are vacationing for the week from Bangor, Maine.
But what else can you say when you combine the beauty of the beach with the majestic ride atop a beautiful beast? It's a romantic ride you won't forget.
It all starts at the Kelly Seahorse Ranch at Amelia Island State Park. Don't worry though, even if you have never been in the saddle before, a quick lesson on these gentle quarter- horses is all you need for the hour long ride.
Riders take a leisurely stroll through the woods before the impressive jaunt out through the dunes to the Atlantic Ocean. And it's certainly not a bad view.
"There are beautiful rides in the United States, but very few on the ocean and that's something we're proud of," says Jim Kelly of Kelly Seahorse Ranch.
For these riders, the seconds have flown by amidst the sand and the surf and it's time for the return trip. But most say they are ready to do it all over again.
"One of the most awesome things we've ever done," says Damien and Francesca Gardner. "It's definitely on the top of our list, definitely will do it again, oh yeah"
But the Gardner's loss is my gain as Jim takes me for a quick ride up the path with my horse "sky." We don't make it all the way to the beach, but no matter how far you go, you are left wanting to ride for a while longer... a lot longer. But this date isn't over yet.
After a romantic horseback ride, there's no better place than the beach for a romantic picnic lunch. So I came to Little Talbot Island State Park with a delicious picnic spread thanks to Paige and Chef Bert. I've got sandwiches and pasta salad, an apple with spread and cheese, strawberries with a delicious chocolate sauce and two heart shaped cookies for dessert. And to wash it all down with, sparkling blueberry lemonade.
About the only thing I'm missing though on this romantic picnic getaway is a Valentines Day Date! Since my horse, "Sky", turned me down in favor of oats, carrots and grass, I guess i'm all by myself.
Oh well! I guess it's more food for me!
"This would be a great Valentine's getaway," says the Nadeaus. "It's a great Valentines gift for a couple. It was very romantic."
"This would definitely be kudos for Valentine's Day," agrees the Gardners.
A big special thanks to the Park Service and the Kelly Ranch staff. You can check them out online at www.kellyranchinc.com.
The hour long rides run Tuesday through Sunday and cost 60 dollars a person. You must be at least 13 years old and weigh less than 230 pounds to ride.
Jim Kelly says for weekend rides, it's always best to call and reserve a couple days in advance, and a week ahead of time for holidays and spring breaks, especially for groups of more than four.
From Gainesville take 301 North to I-10 East. Then take I-95 North to Exit 373 (A1A Fernandina Beach/Yulee). Travel approximately 12 miles to bridge crossing Amelia River (entering Amelia Island). Make a right at the first red right onto Amelia Island Parkway. About 3 miles later, you will pass the municipal airport. Then bear right onto Buccaneer Trail (A1A South). It's about 6 miles to Amelia Island State Park. Take a left into the park. You can't miss the entrance to Kelly Seahorse Ranch on your left.
Depending on traffic, the drive will probably take you about 2.5 hours.
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- Dan's Day Trip Special
- Dan's Day Trips Part One
- Dan's Day Trips Part Three
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- Dan's Day Trips Part Four
- Dan's Day Trips Part Two
- "Dan's Day Trip Goes on the Road"
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