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Historic St. Marys is the gateway to Cumberland Island but offers numerous attractions and fun activities of its own throughout the year. Learn about the history and culture of the area by following the St. Marys History Walk, a 600-foot walking trail with 24 interpretive panels of information. Start at the corner of Barlett Street and W. St. Marys Street. This is also where you’ll find Oak Grove Cemetery. For more history, there’s the St. Marys Submarine Museum, a site that joins St. Simons’ own World War II Home Front Museum as a stop on the Georgia WWII Heritage Trail. Walking tours are offered to help acquaint visitors with the town’s iconic landmarks. If you’re more of a DIY person, you can pick up a self-guided tour brochure at the Mainland Visitor Center. This is also where to check in for Cumberland ferry reservations.

The Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum is also located on the mainland in St. Marys. Free and open daily, the museum has displays of artifacts representing daily life of the people who influenced the island’s history throughout thousands of years. Exhibits span from Timucuan Culture through the Colonial, Plantation and Industrialist Eras and highlight significant events and sites of regional significance like Dungeness and the Greene-Miller Plantation, First African Baptist Church, and the War of 1812’s “Forgotten Invasion.”

Beyond the Historic District and ample opportunities to eat and shop, there’s St. Mary’s Waterfront Park for enjoying sunset strolls, live music, and other community events. For more recreational activity, take the 11-mile bike and multi-use path known as St. Marys Tabby Trail from the Waterfront Park to Crooked River State Park where there are nature trails through maritime forest and salt marsh. St. Mary’s Aquatic Center with pools, water playground, lazy river, and water slide provides splashtastic fun from May through September.

St. Marys originally posted on by Elegant Island Living magazine.

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