Cumberland Island Beach

White sand beach
St Marys, GA 31558, USA
87 miles from Savannah, GA
Cleanliness
Water quality
Crowded
Impressions
Overall
Grades suggested by our reviewer
Water Quality
Unknown (read more)

Beach amenities

  • RestaurantsF&B places nearby
  • ParkingCar parking nearby
  • Picnic tablesPicnic benches available
  • WCPublic restrooms nearby
  • ShowerPublic showers available
👉 Download a FREE PDF map

About this beach

Warnings and hazards

There are no lifeguards – please exercise caution in the water.

Reservations are recommended – the daily number of visitors is limited.

You can only reach the island by ferry or kayak.

The largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia, Cumberland Island National Seashore has a reputation as one of the country’s most pristine seaside regions and boasts over 17 miles of serene, white-sand beaches with enormous dunes, unforgettable views, and unique wildlife.

In addition to its tranquil, undeveloped scenery, the island also has some historical secrets to share since it used to be home to a wide variety of people from natives and enslaved African Americans to missionaries and wealthy industrialists.

A Bit of History

Seven villages of Native Americans used to thrive on the island; later it was settled by Spanish and English explorers. Finally, in the 1880s the wealthy Carnegie family bought the island and now you can see the remains of their wealth (like mansion ruins).

Location and Access

Cumberland Island is located just off the Georgia coast and is accessible only by ferry or kayak. The ferry goes from the Cumberland Island Visitors Center in St. Marys and it is recommended to make reservations in advance through the official website because there is a limit of 300 visitors per day.

In season, ferries depart at 9 a. m. and 11:45 a. m. and return at 10:15 a. m. and 4:45 p. m. There is also an extra departure at 2:45 p. m. from Monday to Saturday. The entrance fee is $7.

Amenities

The island has public restrooms, restaurants, and picnic areas.

Beach Conditions

Cumberland Island National Seashore offers tranquility and untouched natural setting. There are no watersports or other activities of the kind so prepare for the most traditional sunbathing and swimming on a scenic beach. The expansive, white-sand beach offers more than enough space for everybody.

The water is usually calm. However, there are no lifeguards so please exercise caution and keep a close eye on children. There are no children’s playgrounds but there is plenty of clean sand and clear waters for your kids to frolic.

Nature and Wildlife

There are three ecosystems including marshes, forests, and beaches and a variety of plants and animals. Wild horses and loggerhead turtles roam freely along the beach and throughout the ruins. It is worth mentioning that local horses boast bloodlines tracing to the royal stables of the King of Arabia. Other species you can spot on the island include deer, armadillos, hogs, turkeys, raccoons, and rabbits.

Biking

The best way to explore the island is by walking and biking. You can rent a bike at the Sea Camp Dock the ferry arrives to. Note that the number of bikes for rent is limited so do this soon after your arrival.

Driving Time (till Cumberland Island Visitors Center)

You can drive to Cumberland Island Visitors Center and leave your car on the nearby parking lot. Then take a 45-minutes ferry ride to the island. Note that the ferry station on Cumberland Island is located in the southern part of the island whereas the beach is in the north, with the distance between the ferry station and the beach making up about 7 miles.

  • 45 minutes from Jacksonville, FL
  • 50 minutes from Brunswick, GA
  • 2 hours 30 minutes from Valdosta, GA

Beaches nearby

Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Cumberland Island Beach which you can visit:

Beach reviewed by:
Steve
Photos from Google Maps
Horses in the parkA human hand holding a baby turtleCumberland Island National SeashoreA hang-glider over the beachSeashoreTwo horses on the beachSand and grass
Show rooms near this beach×

Cumberland Island Beach videos

Christmas Creek - Cumberland Island
An amazing drone made video of the island
Finding monster shark teeth on Cumberland Island
A scary video of enormous shark teeth found on the beach

Weather conditions

Current weather at the beach and 3 day forecast

Best times to visit

Average temperature (°F)
Beach map and directions
The beach is located in St. Marys, Georgia St Marys, GA 31558, USA (Open on Google Maps)
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Cumberland Island Beach reviews and photos
Reviewed on: April 1, 2020