Located on the southeastern shore of Cumberland Island, Stafford Beach is a beautiful and isolated seaside destination where you can hike, camp, sunbathe, swim, enjoy quiet sunsets, and watch wild horses and loggerhead sea turtles.
Moreover, with its tidal marshes, freshwater lakes, marine forests, and historical and cultural sites, Cumberland Island offers great opportunities for hiking, camping, exploring, and sightseeing.
Location and Access
Stafford Beach is located in Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia. Cumberland Island is located two hours south of Savannah and can only be reached by ferry or private boat from St. Marys. To enjoy the full extent of the island, including Stafford Beach, it is recommended to plan a trip with overnight camping. However, day trips are also common.
Sand and Water
This pristine, undeveloped beach offers plenty of tranquility and seclusion – sometimes there is no one in sight and you can enjoy the sun and the sea all by yourself. The vast, wide, flat shore is covered with clean white sand. The Atlantic Ocean is usually clear and calm. However, there are no lifeguards so please exercise caution and keep a close eye on children.
If you’re into fishing bring your fishing rod and bait to cast a line in the surf for croaker, catfish, bluefish, and whiting.
There are several campgrounds on the island and Stafford Beach Campground is closest to Stafford Beach (just about 0.2 miles from the beach and 3.5 miles from the boat dock). It is small and secluded.
There are shaded tent campsites with tables and cooking grills and the most basic facilities such as restrooms with flush toilets and cold showers. The facilities are well-kept. Prepare to pack your own waste to carry it out since there are no trash receptacles on site. Overall, camping here is pretty Spartan but enjoyable if you’re a nature lover.
There are marked hike and bike trails. You will enjoy exploring the surrounding forests and marshes with abounding wildlife, including wild horses, deer, hogs, raccoons, rabbits, armadillos, snakes, pelicans, and loggerhead sea turtles.
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 there is only one ferry station on Cumberland Island, with the distance between the ferry station and the beach making up about 5 miles (1 hour 40 minutes on foot or 30 minutes by bicycle).
- 45 minutes from Jacksonville, FL
- 50 minutes from Brunswick, GA
- 2 hours 30 minutes from Valdosta, GA
Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Stafford Beach which you can visit: