Cumberland Island was one of the most unique places I’ve ever had the pleasure of exploring. My husband and I stumbled upon it when we were living in Jacksonville, FL, and had no idea what to expect when we boarded the ferry to the island – but we were definitely not disappointed, and we still suggest that friends visit Cumberland Island if they are in the area.
Cumberland Island is Georgia’s largest and Southernmost barrier island, located seven miles east of St. Marys and only accessible by boat. It is the perfect place to truly get away from it all and is great for a day trip or a weekend of camping. Here are my top 4 reasons why this is a must-visit destination if you are in the North Florida or South Georgia area:
1. Gorgeous Ruins
The Dungeness Ruins were originally the home of Thomas Carnegie and his wife Lucy until it burned down. However, the remains make for interesting and beautiful photos.
2. Unspoiled Beaches
These days, it is rare to find a beach that is undeveloped and unaltered by man, but here you can walk for miles on unspoiled beaches covered in shells and starfish – and you may even have it all to yourself if you are lucky!
3. Awesome Trails
With more than 50 miles of hiking trails that take you through maritime forests, wetlands and along beaches, you will never get bored. Just make sure to bring plenty of water!
4. And… drum roll please… WILD HORSES!
This has got to be the coolest aspect of the entire island. Getting to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is breathtaking. And if you go in spring, you may even see babies!
A few things to know before you go:
- Bring food and water! There is no place on the island to buy food or water, so make sure to pack a picnic along with anything else you may need.
- The passenger-only ferry to and from the island only runs a few times a day and picks up in St. Marys. The current price for a roundtrip ticket is $28 for each adult.
- Permitted camping is allowed and reservations are suggested. Apparently the star gazing is superb!
- If you prefer to stay in a hotel, Amelia Island, FL, and Jekyll Island, GA, are both less than an hour away and have some nice options.
I lived in Jacksonville (less than an hour away) for more than 20 years before I heard about this amazing place! It just goes to show that great adventures are out there, you just have to go looking for them! Have you ever stumbled upon a surprisingly awesome spot near you?