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Seaside Serenity: Unveiling Beach Living on St. Marys, Georgia

Nestled along the southeastern coast of Georgia, St. Marys exudes a unique blend of coastal charm and historic allure. As the gateway to Cumberland Island National Seashore, this quaint waterfront town boasts a picturesque location where the St. Marys River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Characterized by its moss-draped oak trees, historic architecture, and laid-back atmosphere, St. Marys invites visitors to step back in time and explore its rich maritime heritage. Known for its bustling waterfront, scenic riverfront parks, and charming downtown district, St. Marys offers a delightful array of attractions, including boat tours, museums, and waterfront dining. With its close proximity to pristine beaches, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences, St. Marys captivates visitors with its natural beauty and timeless appeal.

St Marys, GA

A Historic Gem: St. Marys

With a history dating back over 200 years, St. Marys, Georgia, holds a rich maritime heritage and a legacy deeply intertwined with the sea. Originally settled by British colonists in the late 18th century, St. Marys quickly flourished as a bustling seaport and strategic military outpost. Throughout the centuries, the city played a pivotal role in various historical events, including the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Its strategic location at the mouth of the St. Marys River made it a vital hub for shipping, trade, and naval activity.

Today, remnants of St. Marys' storied past can still be seen in its well-preserved historic district, characterized by antebellum homes, century-old oak trees, and quaint cobblestone streets. As one of Georgia's oldest cities, St. Marys continues to honor its maritime heritage while embracing modern-day amenities and attractions.

Outdoor Activities in St. Marys

Outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of activities to enjoy in St. Marys, Georgia, thanks to its scenic coastal location and abundant natural beauty. Kayaking and canoeing along the meandering St. Marys River offer serene experiences, allowing visitors to paddle amidst the tranquil waters while observing the diverse wildlife that call the river home. For those seeking adventure, guided eco-tours provide opportunities to explore the pristine marshes, creeks, and estuaries of the Cumberland Island National Seashore, where sightings of dolphins, manatees, and migratory birds are common:

  • Kayaking and Canoeing With miles of unspoiled coastline, Sea Island boasts some of the most picturesque beaches on the Georgia coast. Take a leisurely stroll along the shore, feel the soft sand between your toes, and discover an array of seashells and treasures washed ashore by the gentle waves.

  • Guided Eco-Tours: For a deeper exploration of St. Marys' diverse ecosystems, guided eco-tours offer an informative and educational experience led by knowledgeable naturalists. Participants can embark on guided excursions through the pristine marshes, creeks, and estuaries of the Cumberland Island National Seashore, gaining insights into the area's unique flora and fauna along the way. These eco-tours provide opportunities to observe a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat, from wading birds and marsh mammals to marine creatures such as dolphins and manatees.

  • Hiking and Biking Trails: St. Marys boasts an extensive network of hiking and biking trails that wind through its scenic landscapes, offering outdoor enthusiasts a chance to explore the area's natural beauty on foot or by bike. From leisurely strolls along riverside paths to challenging hikes through maritime forests, there are trails suited for every skill level and interest. Along the way, hikers and bikers can enjoy breathtaking views of the marshlands, tidal creeks, and ancient live oak trees that characterize the region's coastal lowcountry.

  • Fishing Charters: Fishing charters departing from St. Marys' marinas offer anglers the opportunity to cast their lines in some of the most productive waters along Georgia's coast. Experienced captains lead guided fishing excursions to prime fishing spots in the St. Marys River and nearby coastal waters, where a variety of saltwater species can be found year-round. Whether targeting redfish, trout, flounder, or even tarpon, anglers can enjoy a thrilling day on the water while soaking in the scenic beauty of the surrounding marshes and barrier islands.

  • Boat Tours: Embarking on a boat tour in St. Marys offers visitors a unique perspective of the area's coastal beauty and rich maritime history. Guided tours navigate the St. Marys River and its tributaries, providing opportunities to explore secluded creeks, remote islands, and historic landmarks. Along the way, passengers can learn about the region's ecological significance, cultural heritage, and notable wildlife from knowledgeable guides.

  • Birdwatching: With its diverse habitats and abundant wildlife, St. Marys is a paradise for birdwatchers seeking to spot a variety of avian species in their natural environment. The marshes, forests, and wetlands surrounding the town provide habitat for numerous bird species, including herons, egrets, ibises, ospreys, and bald eagles. Birdwatchers can explore designated birding trails, observation platforms, and wildlife viewing areas throughout the area, where they can observe and photograph birds in their natural habitat.

  • Beachcombing: St. Marys' proximity to Georgia's barrier islands offers beachcombers the opportunity to explore pristine shores and discover treasures washed ashore by the tides. Cumberland Island National Seashore, accessible by ferry from St. Marys, boasts miles of undeveloped beaches where beachcombers can search for seashells, driftwood, and other natural artifacts. The beaches of Cumberland Island are also prime nesting grounds for sea turtles, making them a popular destination for turtle watching during nesting season.

St. Marys's Culinary Delights and Local Attractions

Culinary Delights

St. Marys, Georgia, boasts a culinary scene that reflects its coastal location and Southern heritage, offering a delectable array of seafood specialties, Southern comfort classics, and locally sourced ingredients. Visitors to St. Marys can savor the flavors of the coast with fresh-caught seafood dishes served at waterfront restaurants overlooking the St. Marys River. From succulent shrimp and oysters to flaky grouper and crispy fried fish, seafood lovers will delight in the variety and freshness of dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. For those craving classic Southern fare, St. Marys offers a taste of traditional favorites such as shrimp and grits, Lowcountry boils, and fried green tomatoes, served with a side of Southern hospitality.

  • Seafood Specialties: St. Marys, Georgia, is renowned for its seafood specialties, with waterfront restaurants offering an enticing array of dishes crafted from the freshest local catches. Visitors can indulge in succulent shrimp, plump oysters, flaky grouper, and crispy fried fish, all reflecting the town's maritime heritage. Local favorites such as shrimp and grits, Lowcountry boils, and seafood platters laden with shrimp, crab, and scallops showcase the rich flavors of the coast. Whether dining on a breezy outdoor patio or in a cozy waterfront eatery, seafood lovers will find plenty to tempt their taste buds in St. Marys.

  • Southern Comfort Classics: Embracing its Southern roots, St. Marys offers a taste of traditional comfort classics that have been passed down through generations. Hearty staples such as fried chicken, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread are served with warm Southern hospitality. Shrimp and grits, a beloved Southern dish, features creamy stone-ground grits topped with seasoned shrimp, embodying the essence of coastal cuisine. Lowcountry boils offer a satisfying dining experience, perfect for sharing with friends and family. With its emphasis on flavor and hospitality, St. Marys invites visitors to savor the simple pleasures of Southern cooking in a relaxed atmosphere.

  • Charming Cafes and Bakeries: St. Marys boasts a vibrant cafe and bakery scene, where visitors can enjoy homemade treats, artisanal coffee, and handcrafted desserts. Cozy settings are ideal for lingering over breakfast or indulging in midday pick-me-ups. From flaky croissants to decadent cakes, each bite is a testament to the town's talented bakers and pastry chefs. Artisanal coffee shops brew up specialty drinks, providing the perfect accompaniment to a stroll along the riverfront or a quiet afternoon in the town square. With its quaint ambiance and irresistible treats, St. Marys' cafes and bakeries offer a delightful culinary experience for visitors to enjoy.

Local Attractions

St. Marys, Georgia, offers a wealth of local attractions that showcase its rich history, natural beauty, and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore historic landmarks, scenic parks, and charming waterfront areas, immersing themselves in the town's unique charm and character.

  • Cumberland Island National Seashore: Cumberland Island National Seashore, accessible by ferry from St. Marys, is a must-visit destination renowned for its pristine beaches, ancient maritime forests, and historic ruins. Visitors can explore miles of undeveloped beaches, hike through lush forests, and encounter wildlife such as wild horses and sea turtles.

  • St. Marys Historic District: The St. Marys Historic District boasts beautifully preserved architecture dating back to the 19th century. Visitors can stroll along tree-lined streets lined with historic homes, visit museums like the St. Marys Submarine Museum, or explore the ruins of Dungeness Mansion.

  • Crooked River State Park: Nature lovers will enjoy Crooked River State Park, which offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and scenic views of the Crooked River. Visitors can go birdwatching, fishing, or kayaking, and learn about the area's natural history at the park's interpretive center.

  • St. Marys Waterfront Park: The St. Marys Waterfront Park offers picturesque views of the St. Marys River and a variety of recreational amenities. Visitors can stroll along the riverfront promenade, enjoy a picnic, or watch boats come and go from the nearby marina.

  • St. Marys Railroad: A ride on the St. Marys Railroad takes visitors on a scenic journey through the countryside, offering views of marshes, rivers, and wildlife along the way.

Interesting & Fun Facts That Reveal St. Marys

  • Oldest City in Georgia: St. Marys lays claim to being the second oldest city in the state, with a history dating back to the late 18th century. Its storied past includes periods of British, Spanish, and American rule, leaving behind a legacy of diverse cultural influences.

  • Gateway to Cumberland Island: St. Marys serves as the gateway to Cumberland Island National Seashore, the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia. Accessible only by ferry, Cumberland Island is known for its unspoiled beaches, wild horses, and historic ruins.

  • Submarine Capital of the World: St. Marys is home to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, the East Coast homeport for the U.S. Navy's Ohio-class nuclear submarines. The base plays a vital role in the nation's defense and contributes to the local economy.

  • St. Marys Railroad: The St. Marys Railroad is one of the oldest operating railways in the United States, with a history dating back to the early 19th century. Today, visitors can take scenic train rides through the countryside, enjoying views of marshes, rivers, and wildlife along the way.

  • St. Marys Submarine Museum: The St. Marys Submarine Museum showcases the town's naval heritage and the role submarines have played in U.S. military history. Exhibits include artifacts, models, and interactive displays that offer insight into the world of undersea warfare.

  • Annual Events and Festivals: Throughout the year, St. Marys hosts a variety of events and festivals that celebrate its heritage, culture, and natural beauty. From the Rock Shrimp Festival to the Blessing of the Fleet, there's always something happening in this charming coastal town.

Communities in St. Marys

  • Downtown St. Marys: The heart of the city, Downtown St. Marys is a vibrant and historic district with tree-lined streets, quaint shops, and charming restaurants. Residents enjoy easy access to the waterfront, parks, and cultural attractions, as well as a strong sense of community.

  • Cumberland Harbour: Located along the St. Marys River, Cumberland Harbour is a premier waterfront community known for its luxury homes and resort-style amenities. Residents enjoy private marinas, tennis courts, swimming pools, and miles of scenic walking trails, as well as stunning views of the river and marshlands.

  • Harriett's Bluff: Harriett's Bluff is a peaceful waterfront community located along the Crooked River, offering residents a serene natural environment with beautiful views and abundant wildlife. The neighborhood is known for its spacious homesites, wooded lots, and access to boating and fishing opportunities.

  • Cumberland Oaks: Cumberland Oaks is a family-friendly community with a mix of single-family homes and townhouses nestled among lush greenery and scenic ponds. Residents enjoy a quiet suburban lifestyle with access to parks, playgrounds, and walking trails, as well as convenient proximity to schools, shopping, and dining options.

  • Laurel Island Plantation: Located just north of St. Marys, Laurel Island Plantation is a master-planned community offering a range of housing options, from custom-built estate homes to low-maintenance townhouses. The community features a golf course, clubhouse, swimming pool, and tennis courts, as well as walking paths and scenic ponds.

Beach in St Marys, GA

Real Estate Market Overview

In 2024, the real estate market in St. Marys, Georgia, has maintained its strength and allure, reflecting the town's enduring charm and desirability. Home prices have experienced steady appreciation, driven by robust demand for housing in desirable neighborhoods close to downtown and waterfront areas. While inventory levels have fluctuated, new construction projects have helped meet demand, offering a variety of housing options to prospective buyers. Waterfront properties remain highly sought after, commanding premium prices for their stunning views and recreational opportunities. Market trends indicate a growing preference for larger homes with outdoor amenities and features conducive to remote work. With strong rental demand and investment potential, St. Marys continues to attract buyers and investors seeking a blend of natural beauty, historic character, and modern convenience.

Investment Opportunities in St. Marys

Investment opportunities abound in St. Marys, Georgia, offering a diverse range of options for investors seeking to capitalize on the town's growth and potential. With a strong real estate market and increasing demand for housing, residential properties present a compelling investment opportunity. Investors can explore options such as rental properties, including single-family homes and multi-unit residences, to capitalize on the town's growing population and rental market. Additionally, St. Marys' proximity to major employment centers, recreational amenities, and natural attractions makes it an attractive destination for vacation rentals and second homes. Beyond residential real estate, investors may also consider commercial properties, such as retail spaces, office buildings, and mixed-use developments, to tap into the town's vibrant economy and commercial growth. With its favorable market conditions and strategic location, St. Marys offers investors a promising landscape for long-term growth and returns.

Future Outlook

The future outlook for St. Marys, Georgia, is promising, with continued growth and development anticipated in the years ahead. As the town's population continues to expand and demand for housing remains strong, the real estate market is expected to remain robust, offering opportunities for both homebuyers and investors. The ongoing development of new residential communities, coupled with investments in infrastructure and amenities, will further enhance the town's appeal and quality of life. Additionally, St. Marys' strategic location along the Georgia coast, with its access to natural attractions, recreational opportunities, and economic hubs, positions it for continued economic prosperity and growth. With a focus on sustainability, community engagement, and preserving its historic charm, St. Marys is poised to thrive as a desirable destination for residents, visitors, and investors alike in the years to come.


In conclusion, St. Marys, Georgia, offers a compelling combination of natural beauty, historic charm, and economic opportunity, making it an attractive destination for homebuyers, investors, and visitors alike. With its robust real estate market, diverse range of investment opportunities, and promising future outlook, St. Marys presents a unique opportunity for those seeking to invest in a thriving community with long-term potential. Whether looking to purchase a home, invest in rental properties, or capitalize on commercial opportunities, St. Marys offers something for everyone. As the town continues to grow and evolve, it remains poised to maintain its status as a vibrant and desirable place to live, work, and play on the Georgia coast.

For more information about homes on St. Marys, please feel free to reach out at or call us at 678-981-9110.


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