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We don’t need to tell you how great living in Northeast Florida is. (The beaches! The sun! And did we mention the beaches?!) But if you’re looking for some other outdoor ways to spend your days, we’ve put together some thought-starters. 

Outdoor Fun in Northeast Florida 

Kayaking & Canoeing 

If you want to get out on the water, the kayaking in Yulee, Florida has plenty of opportunities. Like Lofton Creek, for one. This protected hardwood creek is shaded, shielded from wind, and suitable for all ages and skill levels (although younger kids may want to ride with an adult). And while you’re paddling through the towering trees keep your eyes peeled and your ears open — you might see a sea turtle, alligator, otter, hawk or heron … or hear the distinctive bird calls of the creek’s winged residents. Of course, if you’d rather stay close to home (as in right in the community), you’re in luck. Wildlight has its own pond — Whistling Duck Pond — for kayaking coming soon!    

Biking

Northeast Florida is a terrific spot for two-wheeled fun, including 40 miles of bike trails on Amelia Island. You can take the Amelia Island Trail that runs from Peters Point Beachfront Park to Amelia Island State Park in the city of Fernandina Beach —  a 7-mile paved and tree-lined route, much of it with views of the water. Of course, in Amelia Island some of the best biking isn’t on a trail at all, but on the wide, flat beaches when the tide is low. Here at Wildlight, we have 11+ miles of trails, and many more planned, that beckon bikers, and take them past parks, through nature — even down to our Village Center.  

Sea Turtle Season

If you’ve never seen a sea turtle up close and personal, take note of when it’s sea turtle nesting season in Nassau County. Running from May 1st to October 31st every year, turtles are actively nesting, and may be seen emerging from or re-entering the ocean. There are three different types of sea turtles in Northeast Florida (Green Sea Turtle, Loggerhead Sea Turtle and Leatherback Sea Turtle), each endangered, and each with a distinct track that they leave in the sand as they drag their shells in search of a dry place to lay their eggs. While catching sight of one of these amazing creatures is exciting, if you do see one, make sure to keep a quiet distance, stay out of their path and report any sighting to ameliaislandseaturtlewatch@gmail.com.

Go Fish

So. Much. Fishing. And so many kinds of fish to be caught. Redfish are one of the most sought-after species, for good reason: they’re a challenge to catch, and they’re big — like impressive-in-a-social-post big. In fact, fishing for reds is so popular, there are whole tournaments based on catching them. Rather focus on bass? Northeast Florida bass fishing rivers include the St. Marys and Nassau Rivers, with their feeder bodies of water — like Lofton Creek, a haven for bass. And don’t be surprised if you also catch a saltwater fish … sea trout, flounder and others like to live where saltwater mixes with freshwater. Whether you go at it alone, or out with a charter, there are almost as many opportunities as … well, fish in the water. 


Whatever outdoor adventure you embark on, Northeast Florida (and the parks, pools and trails here at Wildlight) will satisfy your curious spirit. Enjoy your time. (Make sure to tag some pics with @wildlightliving and share your adventures with us!) 

On March 11th, over 500 runners took their marks and got set to run in the first Run Wild 5K and Family Fun Run. Participants of all ages (from 2 to 83!) found themselves enjoying a morning of events that included everything from an exciting race course to an awesome Kids’ Zone. 

Running through our trails and neighborhoods — on asphalt, gravel and boardwalks, and over wetlands and natural grass, we think it’s safe to say our racers had a great time. (Speaking of times, we want to give a shout-out to Kathryn Ches and Connor Etheridge, our top female and male finishers who finished in 21:43 and 19:26, respectively.) 

Of course it wasn’t “run and done.” Racers (and spectators) also got to enjoy the food trucks, beers from SJ Brewing, and the local vendor marketplace. As for the kids? They lined up (balloon animals in hand) to ride the rides in the Kids’ Zone. 

It was a good day, and we did some good, too — awarding Girls on the Run of Northeast Florida with a check for $3,000 from the race proceeds. 

So, what do you say? Let’s do it again next year. 

P.S. Whether you missed the Run Wild 5K (or just want to relive the memories) you can view some highlights in the video.

Highlights from the 2023 Run Wild 5K.

Mocama Wildlight to open in community’s former StoryCenter

Download Press Release Here


WILDLIGHT, Fla. – January 31, 2023 – Wildlight is pleased to announce that Mocama
Beer Company will open a new satellite taproom in its mixed-use community. Occupying
2,000 square feet of space with beer taps and wine selections, the new location will
serve as a gathering place for residents of both Wildlight and greater Nassau County.


Reflecting the sophisticated, mid-century design of the historic Fernandina Beach
location, the taproom will offer ample parking along with additional outdoor space for
community events, activities and games. It is expected to open in the summer of 2023.
“From the beginning, Wildlight was created to encourage community connections
through a vibrant mix of neighborhoods, walkable trails, and dining and retail options,”
said Wes Hinton, Vice President, Wildlight. “We’re excited to offer residents a social hub
that embodies the authentic Nassau County spirit with the addition of Mocama’s
thoughtfully-designed concept.”


Mocama plans to serve its distinctive products through 12 taps, along with a curated
selection of craft beers from around the world, in a large custom bar and lounge room.
Unique to this location, an enhanced wine program offers an expanded collection from
varying regions available by the glass, bottle or to go. Outdoor seating areas will play
host to festivals, culinary events and live music ideal for families and guests of all ages.
Future plans for the taproom include the addition of Mocama Coffee.


“We hope to create a welcoming space for friends to gather and drink great beer,” said
Dan McCranie, Mocama Beer Company’s operations manager. “Our vision perfectly
aligns with the goals of Wildlight, and our new partnership allows us to serve even more
residents as we expand our Northeast Florida presence.”

About Wildlight
Wildlight is a mixed-use master-planned community inspired by a character, culture and
way of living called “Florida Lowcountry”. Approximately half of this 2,900-acre
community is devoted to green space, including parks and nature trails. The other half
features a mix of unique homes, townhomes and rental properties, as well as
businesses, shops, restaurants, schools and medical facilities, connected by trails and
walkable pathways. It is located 20 minutes from Downtown Jacksonville and Amelia
Island, just east of I-95 on A1A with easy access to Jacksonville International Airport.
Wildlight is being developed by Raydient Places + Properties, a taxable subsidiary of
Rayonier Inc., a real estate investment trust. For more information please visit
www.wildlight.com.


About Mocama Beer Company
Mocama Beer Company offers an experience curated for seekers, blending classic
design, future vision, and expert attention to detail. Finding beauty in the pursuit of
perfection, the goal is to engage the senses while creating opportunities for connection.
Founded in historic Fernandina Beach, Mocama Beer Company offers a range of beers
from lagers, stouts, and “not your average” IPAs. Mocama was designed from the
ground up to have a meaningful positive impact on our communities and the
environment.

 Jax Daily Record: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/wildlight-announces-plans-for-senior-housing-community

WILDLIGHT, FLA. – November 29, 2022 – Wildlight announced today that The Fellowship Family and Ambling Property Investments will develop a senior housing community within its mixed-use master planned development in Nassau County. 

Fellowship at Wildlight will be a highly amenitized senior housing community consisting of 24 memory care units, 48 assisted living units, 125 independent living units and six cottages on nearly 16 acres of land within the first phase of the Wildlight development. Sitework is slated to begin in 2023 with anticipated completion in 2025. Fellowship at Wildlight pre-leasing will begin in 2024. 

“Our goal at Wildlight is to create an extraordinary sense of place for community residents and families in every life phase,” said Wes Hinton, vice president of Wildlight. “The addition of Fellowship at Wildlight will bring a new sanctuary for seniors with a range of living options and support services available, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with the family-owned Fellowship Family to offer this level of care.” 

The Fellowship Family is a welcomed addition to Wildlight’s initial phase, consisting of 2,900 acres with a mix of residential homesites, multi-family apartments, an expansive town center, schools, and UF Health and YMCA health & wellness facilities already in place, as well as the recently announced Wildlight Commerce Park. 

“Fellowship at Wildlight will bring premier quality senior living accommodations with personalized service for every resident, delivered by an experienced team in an inviting, warm atmosphere,” said The Fellowship Family’s President and CEO John LaHood. “Each of our Fellowship communities are designed among a unique landscape, offering a tranquil place to connect with God and nature. The beautiful scenery of Nassau County makes this a perfect fit.” 

In addition to the community’s thoughtfully planned amenities, residents and their families can take advantage of the greater Wildlight community offering miles of trails, creative parks, open green space and access to healthy living systems and facilities. 

“Ambling believes in building generational relationships,” added Kevin King, Ambling Property Investment’s president of development. “We are excited to further our partnership with Fellowship while supporting the vision and purpose of Wildlight.” 

To ensure masterful integration of Wildlight’s Florida Lowcountry aesthetic, ETM, Stewart & Conners Architects, Niles Bolton Interiors and Elkins Construction have been selected for project design and construction. 

Follow this link for renderings and a conceptual site plan of Fellowship at Wildlight. 

Third Northeast home donated by PulteGroup’s Built to Honor® Program

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 16, 2022) –U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Matthew Perry, a Purple Heart recipient, has received the life-changing news that PulteGroup is building him a new mortgage-free home through PulteGroup’s Built to Honor Program. Sgt. Perry and his family will break ground on their future home at Forest Park at Wildlight later this summer.

“We are honored to build this home for Sgt. Perry and his family in appreciation of his bravery and service to our country,” said Tony Nason, Division President of PulteGroup’s Northeast Florida Division. “We are thrilled to build a home for Matt and his family that is fully accessible and that will vastly improve his quality of life.”

Being built specifically for the Perry family, the home is designed to meet all of Sgt. Perry’s needs. The Forest Park at Wildlight location offers easy access to parks, nature trails and is within walking distance of UF Health Wildlight.

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with PulteGroup’s Built to Honor program and welcome the Perry family into the Wildlight community,” said Wes Hinton, vice president, Wildlight. “It truly is our honor to be a small part of giving back to those who have sacrificed so much for their country.”

This is the third home dedicated in Northeast Florida through PulteGroup’s Built to Honor program and is in partnership with Building Homes for Heroes®, a national non-profit organization strongly committed to rebuilding lives and supporting the brave men and women who were injured while serving our country’s armed forces, with the support of Wildlight.

For more information about PulteGroup’s Built to Honor® program, visit builttohonor.org and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Let’s get real here. We certainly understand why South Carolina would want to lay exclusive claim to the lowcountry. After all, it’s one of the most naturally beautiful, culturally rich regions in all of North America. But sorry, Charleston, you’re not the only place that has sea islands, long beaches and an inland geography characterized by lush forests and wetlands brimming over with wildlife. 

The geographical fact is, the lowcountry extends from the Santee River north of Charleston down past Savannah, Georgia, all the way to the St. Johns River that runs through Jacksonville. In fact, all you have to do is hop on Google maps and look at that stretch of the Atlantic coastline, and you’ll say to yourself, “Yep, that all looks pretty much the same.” 

Of course we also understand that the lowcountry is more than a certain kind of geography. It’s a unique intersection of cultures and cuisines. And we happily acknowledge that as you travel from South Carolina to northeastern Florida, the cultural tone changes. It’s still lowcountry, but it gets more relaxed. More beachy. Instead of the quaint formality of Charleston and Savannah, you find the laid-back vibe of Amelia Island. You could say that in Florida, the lowcountry trades in its bow tie and seersucker for board shorts and a pair of flip-flops.

Then there are the homes. As with other places around the globe, classic lowcountry homes are a direct response to local weather. A raised first floor was a defense against high water. Tall ceilings helped to keep the indoors cooler. And a big front porch provided a shady place for everyone to come together and enjoy a cold drink and some neighborly conversation. In Wildlight, we’ve created a fresh interpretation of lowcountry style. Here you’ll find plenty of porches and high ceilings. But the forms are simpler, more streamlined. With a contemporary flair that just feels … right.

Fortunately, what doesn’t change with Florida’s version of lowcountry is the yumminess of the food. The shrimp are just as fresh, the grits are just as creamy and the lowcountry boil is just as delicious and messy as anywhere else along this magnificent stretch of coastline. Maybe even a bit tastier. And around here, you can follow it up with a slice of made-from-scratch key lime pie.

Wilmington, NC – ideal-LIVING magazine is pleased to announce the Best Places to Live issue that features the Top 100 Planned Communities. The honorees are also revealed on www.ideal-LIVING.com/bestplaces. 

Ideal-LIVING researched communities from our readers’ most-desired areas based on survey results. Each year we survey our readers to determine the most popular destinations and amenities. The destinations featured in this special issue are representative of those desires.

Most of our readers are looking to escape high taxes and find a better climate and quality of life. Whether you would like to move to the mountains or the coast or even internationally, the communities in this issue should help give you ideas of where you might like to live.For more than 25 years, ideal-LIVING magazine has been a leading national publication  for readers who are nearing retirement age or who are interested in the benefits of relocating their families or businesses. From its headquarters in Wilmington, North Carolina, each edition of the quarterly publication is curre

ntly delivered to more than 80,000 homes. The magazine’s parent company, RPI Media, also distributes other publications like the comprehensive ideal-LIVING Relocation Guide and sponsors the company’s signature ideal-LIVING Real Estate Shows each year. For more information, go to the website at www.ideal-LIVING.com.     

CONTACT: 

Kelly Godbey

KellyG@ideal-LIVING.com

Publix at The Crossings at Wildlight opens in Yulee

The grocery store anchors a shopping center developed by Sleiman Enterprises.

by: Monty Zickuhr Managing Editor

Link to article in Jacksonville Daily Record: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/photo-gallery/publix-at-the-crossings-at-wildlight-opens-in-yulee

Publix at The Crossings at Wildlight shopping center opened June 2 in Nassau County.

Sleiman Enterprises and Raydient Places + Properties announced the opening in a news release.

The Crossings at Wildlight is at 76010 William Burgess Blvd. in Yulee, east of Interstate 95 off of Florida 200.

Store hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The pharmacy is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Sleiman Enterprises developed the more than 80,000-square-foot shopping center. Raydient Places + Properties, a subsidiary of Rayonier Inc., is the developer of the Wildlight master-planned community.

“Publix is set to be the foundation for this shopping center creating a vibrant center which will include both needed goods and services for the area along with dining and lifestyle opportunities this community desires,” Sleiman Enterprises Chief Operating Officer Michael McNaughton said in the release.

He said the company soon will announce additional tenants.

“We enjoyed working with Publix, Raydient Places + Properties, and the Wildlight team.” Sleiman Enterprises President Toney Sleiman said in the release.

“We look forward to developing more properties together in the future.”

The Crossings at Wildlight sits on just under 17 acres. The site includes three multitenant retail buildings, two single- or multitenant buildings and up to three outparcels. Construction began in July 2021.

Grumpy’s Restaurant says on its website it will open there in mid-2022.

Sleiman said more than 10,000 residential units are planned within 3 miles of the shopping center.

It is the second Publix in Yulee. The chain has a store about 6 miles west in the Villages of Amelia shopping center.

The company says it operates 1,297 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

“The much-anticipated opening of this exceptional store with quality products and legendary customer service is an amazing addition to Wildlight’s overall commercial offerings,” said Wes Hinton, vice president of Wildlight, in the release.

Our Porchfest Model Home Tour was a fun-filled couple of weeks, and a celebration of community—from the fresh homes to the fresh food and the fresh air. We gathered together to celebrate neighbors, nature and all the things that make Wildlight so special.

For those who couldn’t make it, here’s what you missed: live music from local artists (a feast for the ears), six beautiful model homes to tour (a feast for the eyes) and delicious fare from local eateries (a feast for … well, a literal feast).

It was our way of showcasing the wonderful way that Wildlight lives. We like to say we’re a new kind of Florida lowcountry. A town in nature, where your new home is an easy walk or ride (bike or golf cart) from a town center full of shops, restaurants, a YMCA, parks and trails. A place where, whether you prefer coastal or Craftsman, you can find a home that fits your flavor. And a spot where, without a doubt, the porch is the perfect place to spend time with family and friends.

We already can’t wait for next time.

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The Hamlet at Wildlight, a 250-unit single family rental community, is coming soon to Wildlight.  The Hamlet at Wildlight will include cottages, townhomes and duplexes.

Read more about it here: https://www.citybiz.co/article/251950/middleburg-communities-starts-construction-on-250-unit-single-family-rental-community-near-jacksonville-fl/