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From Jacksonville Beach, FL

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Road Trip to St. Mary's

St. Mary's peaceful waters are ideal for kayaking, canoeing and
sailing as in this boat.

St. Mary's, GA is the doorway to the Cumberland Island National Seashore and most people go there to board the pedestrian only ferry and travel forty-five minutes to the island. Founded in 1787,  St. Mary's was once a thriving port.  Today it has one short main street and an atmosphere that appeals to history buffs and outdoors people.  There's lots of water for kayaking, canoeing, sailing and for fishing.  It is an ideal place for birdwatching.  Cumberland Island is great for camping and exploring. 

From Jacksonville, FL where I live it is a perfect day trip.  We took the Mayport Ferry to get to Fernandina and from there traveled on I-95 to St. Mary's.  We had a lovely lunch of crab cakes at the Riverside Cafe.  We took a walking tour using a map given to us by the Visitor's Center.  It was a quiet day in the little town.  We were there in the middle of the week, it was rainy and Tropical Storm, later, Hurricane Isaac wasn't far away. 

If you want to take the ferry to Cumberland Island, you have to get there early.  The first boat leaves at 9am.  You can make reservations by calling (912) 882-4335.  For more info about the town, Check out St. Mary's website.

A prairie marsh near St. Mary's

Orange House is an ante bellum home built in the 1820's. It 
received its name because it once had orange trees around it.
It was built for Rev. Horace Pratt.

The First Presbyterian Church 

Many of the residencies in St. Mary's are vintage.  Most have little signs out front giving the date of 
construction and who originally owned the house.

We enjoyed a nice lunch on the porch of the Riverside Cafe.

Visitor's Center of the Cumberland Island National Seashore. 
Going home on the Mayport ferry.

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