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Discovering St. Marys, GA - Part 3: Fun Things to Do

When you find St. Marys, Georgia on a map and realize that it has a population of less than 20,000, you might be tempted to underestimate what it has to offer in the way of entertainment and activities. Yes, it IS quiet and relaxing, but if you want to be active, you'll find plenty of opportunities. If you're a history buff, you'll be amazed at all that has happened in this corner of southeast Georgia along the banks of the St. Marys River. In recent posts, I've enticed you with descriptions of places to stay and great food to devour. Today let's look at some of the ways visitors might choose to spend their time in St. Marys.

Take the ferry to Cumberland Island National Seashore

St. Marys is the most convenient way to get from the mainland to Cumberland Island National Seashore. The ferry comes and goes from St. Marys Howard Gilman Memorial Waterfront Park. You can stay all day or for a few hours, but be sure to take plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks. There is a lot to see on the island. You can spend your time beachcombing, swimming, hiking, and biking, or you can take a guided tour to see Plum Orchard Mansion and First African Baptist Church.

Before or after your visit to the island, stop in at the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum on Osborne Street. The museum provides a wonderful overview of the history that has taken place there.

P.S. The waterfront park is a great place to sit in a swing and watch the boats pass by. You might also catch a community-wide event happening at the park.

Join Molly for a walking tour

Molly Silver's credentials include a B.A. in Art History, a Master's degree in Renaissance Art, and experience leading tours for Rick Steves in Rome and Florence, Italy. She loves researching and sharing her findings now with visitors to Cumberland Island and St. Marys. She's personable, entertaining, and extremely knowledgeable. Learn words such as tabby and haint blue while absorbing facts about live oak trees, Washington Pump and Oak, and Orange Hall. Hear stories about how a horse ended up in the bell tower of the Presbyterian church. Contact her through her website to make a reservation -- Molly's Old South Tours.

Camp, hike, bike, kayak, picnic, or canoe at Crooked River State Park

Entrance fee at Crooked River State Park is $5 per vehicle, and the hours are 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Birding, boating, fishing, and geocaching are additional activities to enjoy at the park.

Browse the downtown shops and buy a sweet treat

You know you'll want to find the perfect souvenir from your trip, something to read, or maybe something new for your home or closet. St. Marys' downtown shops will give you plenty of temptations. An ice cream cone or piece of fudge will give you the boost you need to keep exploring. Find both at Market on the Square.

Learn about our nation's underwater exploits at St. Marys Submarine Museum

A visit to St. Marys Submarine Museum will leave you impressed and feeling very patriotic. Executive Director Keith Post can answer all of your questions. Admission is less than $5. Take note that it is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Wander through Oak Grove Cemetery and the adjacent History Walk

Mary's tour will tell you some highlights of both places, but you can also explore on your own. Look for the Resurrection Angel in the cemetery and read the informative plaques on the History Walk Trail.

For another fun trail, inquire at the St. Marys Welcome Center about the Owls on Osborne project and go in search of the bronze owls that have been placed strategically around the town.

Other available activities include riding the St. Marys Railroad on a themed, hour-and-a-half-long excursion, cooling off at St. Marys Aquatic Center in the summer, or playing a round of golf. The staff at St. Marys Welcome Center can give you even more ideas.

Steve and I learned so much when we were in St. Marys and think you'll thoroughly enjoy your time in this town.

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