Tag Archives: St Marys

St Marys, Georgia: Small Town with Big Connections

Cumberland Lady
Cumberland Lady

Everyone's wired these days: my husband works from his laptop, my daughter texts from her cell phone–while listening to her i-pod, I use Facebook to stay current with my friends and my 89-year-old mother sends e-mail. Goodness! Sometimes we need to disconnect.

Nearby Cumberland Island is the place to escape, but you can't get there from here. No, you've got to go to St. Marys, because St Marys is the hub, the little town with big connections.

The National Park Service runs a ferry from the wharf of St Marys to Cumberland Island. The barrier island, whose domain name ought to be www.wilderness beach, lets you become the browser on her shores. Search for wild horses, shells, loggerhead turtles and historic mansions. On Cumberland, bikes are the high-speed mode of transportation.

You must obtain a permit to camp overnight, or else you'll have to return home. Some prefer to stay at the only hotel, the elegant Greyfield Inn. The lodge requires a two-night stay and provides guests with a private water taxi.

St Marys is just 20 minutes north of the Jacksonville airport making it easy to reach the quaint seaside village. I felt like I'd stepped back to pre-computer days when the pace was slower and somehow more personal.

Marianne's Cafe

In St Marys colorful cottages line tree-shaded streets, yards are nicely kept, and people ride around in golf carts, for heaven sakes. Meander her sidewalks and you'll find Market on the Square- the general store, the Riverside Cafe which serves breakfast all-day, a cigar company, bait shop, bookstore, gift shops and a saloon.

Pirate Welcome at Goodbread's B&B
Pirate Welcome at Goodbread

Of course the most relaxing way to spend the day on Cumberland
is to plan a full weekend retreat. Spend a night in one of many St Marys B & B's, such as the Goodbread House, a Victorian style inn. Mardja, the proprietor, serves a scrumptious breakfast in time to catch the 9 AM ferry. But if you must, Goodbread's offers free WiFi!

Another connection to and from St Marys links with Fernandina. The new Cumberland Sound Ferry transports people while they listen to an ecosystem narrative and cross into beautiful Georgia low-country. Sometimes passengers get lucky and spot a submarine from Kings Bay Naval Base.

Save a day this summer and drive to St Mary, then access Cumberland Island. It is definitely the place to shut-down.

St. Marys Harbor
St. Marys Harbor

This article appeared in the July 2009 edition of The Mandarin Newsline.

If You Go:
www.stmaryswelcome.com St. Marys Welcome Center and Visitor Information
www.nps.gov/cuis/ Cumberland Island National Park

Pop Rock Shrimp

Lang’s Marina Restaurant

307 West St. Marys Street
St. Marys, Georgia

Remember Pop Rocks—the tiny colorful candy nuggets that came in tightly sealed packets? You placed a few kernel-sized pieces on your tongue and they detonated in your mouth with a sizzling sound.I always thought the candy left a tingling sensation on my tongue.

Biting into a fried rock shrimp at Lang’s Seafood Restaurant in St. Marys, Georgia is very similar.The small shrimp are covered in a thin batter and briefly fried.They puff to the size of a cotton ball, but should not to be confused with popcorn shrimp.

Continue reading Pop Rock Shrimp