One of the fanciest car shows in the world is on Amelia Island every March, and children under 12 can visit it for FREE when they join a paying adult.
We first attended Concours d’Elegance when our son was about to turn 2, and I was more than nervous that our little guy would be out of place. But the classy car show was even classy in the way it handled kids, and we found lots of other little ones exploring the show with their parents.
The name “car show” seems a bit simple for an event that draws hundreds of the most famous cars in the world. They showcase one-of-a-kind vehicles, cars that belonged to royalty and celebrities. Last year they even featured the Pope’s limousine.
When you view the cars, each has a large sign explaining its history. Often, there is also a man or woman dressed in attire from the appropriate era who can answer questions about the vehicle. It’s truly fascinating.
The 2012 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance’s headliners included a number of movie stars’ cars, including Natalie Woods’ Mercedes Benz 300 SL, Ginger Rogers’ 1929 Dusenberg and Tom Mix’s rare Supercharged Cord 812 Roadster. There was a controversial rear-engine Corvette; the 1964 concept car never saw production. And the show included a special commemoration of the Ferarri 250 GTO.
Concours d’Elegance takes place on the greens of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach alongside the Ritz-Carlton. Visitors park at the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport and take a shuttle to the event. The folks at Concours d’Elegance told me it’s OK to bring a stroller, but they recommended using a smaller type of stroller, such as an umbrella stroller, that would easily fit on the shuttle.
When we took our son, we did fine with the stroller, and he was happy to stare at the cars and watch all the excitement from his front row seat.
In addition to drawing car enthusiasts from all over the world to Amelia Island, Concours d’Elegance has donated over $1.8 million to local charities.
If you want to go:
When: Each year in March. The 2012 event was the 17th Concours de’Elegance.
Where: The car show is on the greens of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach. Entrance is at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, Amelia Island, FL
Parking: Parking in 2012 was$15 at the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport along Amelia Island Parkway, Amelia Island, FL. This price includes the shuttle. Note: Don’t be tempted to park in the designated “No Parking” areas, because we’ve seen plenty of folks get towed from these areas.
Ticket prices in 2012:
- Adults $50 in advance, $60 day of show
- Active Duty Military $25 (Available day of show only)
- Youth $25 (Ages 12-18)
- Children under 12 FREE when accompanied by a paying adult.
For more information: Go to www.ameliaconcours.org or call 904-636-0027.
Tip: Many of the cars featured in Concours de’Elegance will also be on display in downtown Fernandina Beach in a leadup “touring” event on the Friday of Concours week. They park on Centre Street in the late morning.