20 Best Things to Do in St. Marys, GA

St. Marys, GA
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Georgia has a good chunk of fascinating places to check out, and one of them is St. Marys.

St. Marys is a city you can find at Camden County's southern border, sitting along the St. Marys river.

One of the many things this city is known for is being an access point to the Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Established in 1787, St. Marys is also one of the oldest locations in the state.

You can find plenty of places and activities to explore in St. Marys.

If you want to know a few top choices, list the 20 best things to do in St. Marys.

Explore the Facilities at the Crooked State Park

A tourist clicking pictures of the scenic beauty of the Crooked State Park
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Just as there are plenty of historical spots you can check out in St. Marys, there are several recreational locations you can explore.

One recreational spot you need to check out in the city is the Crooked State Park.

You can find the park by the Charles Smith Highway and reserve several facilities.

A man fishing in Crooked State Park
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The park spans 500 acres and features areas to go biking and hiking and spaces where you can enjoy a comfortable stay.

Some of the facilities you can find at this park include nearly a dozen cottages, a nature center, and a campground.

Scenic view of the plants, beach and drift wood at Crooked State Park
JohnHancockPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Besides areas where you can bike, fish, or camp, the park features spaces where the kids can play and a miniature golf course.

Whether you want to explore nature or have fun with a picnic, there is plenty you can choose to do at the Crooked State Park.

Take a Ride on St. Marys Railroad Express

Touring St. Mary's comes with plenty of options, and one of them is riding the St. Marys Railroad Express.

The St. Marys Railroad Express is a train line dating back to 1865, which currently offers different train services for both residents and guests.

If you decide to ride a train there, you'll travel through different landscapes in the area for nearly two hours and enjoy a ride in a unique train car.

A few types of train cars on the railroad express include an open-air rail car and a vintage 1950s passenger car.

You can find the train stop by heading to West Gallop Street.

Enjoy a Summer Day at the St. Marys Aquatic Center

Have fun swimming and splashing around by visiting the St. Marys Aquatic Center.

The St. Marys Aquatic Center has plenty for you to enjoy, featuring seven acres of space and several attractions.

Some of the attractions at this swimming facility include a twister slide and a lazy river.

In addition to the water attractions, the facility has concessions and a gift shop.

The swimming facility is open during specific times of the year and sits on Herb Bauer Drive Street.

Appreciate a Performance from the Saltwater Performing Arts

The Saltwater Performing Arts theater is where to go if you want to check out local shows.

Formerly known as the St. Marys Children's Theatre, the Saltwater Performing Arts features both classic and contemporary musicals throughout the year.

In addition to featuring different performances, the theater offers summer camps for kids to try their hand at acting.

You can find the theater at East William Avenue Street and book your tickets online.

You can also try out at the theater's auditions or check out their events.

If you like musicals or want to enjoy a show, you need to watch a Saltwater Performing Arts theater performance.

Learn about Submarine Forces at the St Marys Submarine Museum

The St Marys Submarine Museum is one of the many museums in the city, and it features various artifacts relating to the local Submarine Force.

Located on West St. Marys Street, the museum has nearly 5,000 square feet of space and two floors for you to explore.

Some of the displays you can find in this museum range from historical documents to different types of models.

You can also check out the museum and grab a souvenir.

Tour the Plum Orchard Mansion

There are many historical spots in St. Mary's, and one of them is the Plum Orchard Mansion.

The Plum Orchard Mansion is a 22,000-square-foot mansion you can find on the shore of Cumberland Island.

The structure dates back to 1898 and contains pieces that tell stories of Edwardian high society during the turn of the 20th century.

You are free to join a tour and peek at the various furnishings and machinery that survived over the years.

Unfortunately, tours are not open throughout the year as the mansion closes for managed hunts in the area.

If you want to check out the historic structure, you'll need to visit from February to September.

Look around the McIntosh Sugarmill Ruin

Ruins of McIntosh Sugarmill
Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Among the different historical spots in St. Marys, the McIntosh Sugarmill Ruin is one of its untouched historical locations.

The McIntosh Sugarmill Ruin is a set of ruins you can find around the Charlie Smith Highway and has been around since the late 1820s.

The ruins feature tabby concrete architecture and hold the remains of a structure that once had three rooms.

The current state of the former sugar mill is not from wear and tear but rather from a fire that broke in the mid-1800s.

While the ruins may not seem like the most prominent spot in the city, they are one of the more photogenic locations, which also enjoy convenient access to other locations.

Besides the ruins, you can enjoy the picnic space or look out for the St. Marys Tabby Trail.

Browse Local Historical Artifacts at the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum

If you're interested in checking out some local history, visit the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum.

Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum, which you can find on Osborne Road, is one of the different museums you can explore in the city.

When visiting this museum, you can find several exhibits covering different periods ranging from the Plantation Era to The Industrialist Era.

If you want to check out all the available pieces in this museum, you can look at the information brochures or roam around and look for pieces like an old canoe and anchor.

Check Out the Howard Gilman Waterfront Park

St. Marys has its share of parks in the area, and one of them is the Howard Gilman Waterfront Park.

The Howard Gilman Waterfront Park, otherwise known as the Howard Gilman Memorial Park, is a public park in the city's downtown area by 100 West Street.

You can find plenty of facilities in this park, including an amphitheater stage, a picnic area, and a gazebo.

You can also find several local events taking place in this park.

If you're looking for somewhere to relax while exploring the city, the Howard Gilman Waterfront Park is the place to go.

Try Camping at the Stafford Beach Campground

If you want to explore the recreational spots in St. Marys, you need to visit the Stafford Beach Campground.

The Stafford Beach Campground, which you can find by the Cumberland Island shore area, is a campsite that features ten spots for tents and a view of both nature and the ocean.

When setting up camp in this area, you can enjoy different amenities, including grills and food storage lockers.

Given the less than a dozen tents on the campground, you need to make a reservation to set up camp on the site.

Whether or not you like camping, the Stafford Beach Campground offers plenty of sights for campers to enjoy.

Kayak with Adventures up the Creek

Adventures Up The Creek is one of the many recreational services you can find in the city and gives you the chance to experience kayaking around the local waters.

Otherwise known as Up the Creek Xpeditions, you can find the service based at Osborne Street and book a half-day or full-day trip.

If you book a session with this service, you can paddle through various historical places and see spots around St. Marys, Amelia Islands, and Jacksonville areas.

Whatever experience you have with kayaking, Adventures Up The Creek offers you the chance to see hidden gems in St. Marys and other locations.

Find Treats and Gifts at Market on the Square

Are you looking for some local treats to sample?

Then head over to Market on the Square within the city's downtown area at Osborne Street.

Market on the Square is a general store running since 2002 and features a selection of sweets and gifts you can get as a souvenir.

A few sweets you can find in the store include homemade fudge and classic candies.

You can also enjoy a selection of ice cream and drinks.

Some of the gifts and other products you can find in the store include a selection of retail items and house products.

You can also find a selection of jellies and dressings.

Aside from the store in the city, you can find the store's headquarters at Cumberland Island.

Dine and Drink at Seagles Restaurant

Among the different places to enjoy a meal in St. Marys, Seagles Restaurant is one of the oldest establishments you can find in the city.

Seagle's Restaurant was established in 1926 and currently features a selection of dishes you can dig into for your lunch and dinner, along with various drinks ranging from wines to cocktails.

Moreover, the restaurant features live entertainment and events.

Another thing you'll appreciate is the restaurant's proximity to different historical and recreational spots.

If you want to dine at Seagles Restaurant, you must head to Osborne Street and look for the Riverview Hotel; you can find the restaurant inside.

Enjoy Seafood and Entertainment at the St. Marys Seafood Festival

The city has a list of events you can join; one of them is the St. Marys Seafood Festival.

The St. Marys Seafood Festival usually occurs around fall and lasts no more than a day.

There are several things for you to peruse at the festival, and a top option is sampling the home-cooked rock shrimp dinners.

In addition to the different dishes you can try at the festival, there are activities you can participate in, such as the marathon run.

You can also enjoy the different live entertainment and watch a firework show.

If you want to enjoy some local delights and entertainment, mark your calendar for the St. Marys Seafood Festival.

Go Golfing with Friends at Osprey Cove Golf Club

Osprey Cove Golf Club is a premier golfing destination in the serene marshes of coastal Georgia.

The 18-hole championship course boasts expansive fairways and plush greens perfect for a challenging round of golf.

With stunning oaks draped with Spanish moss throughout the course, Osprey Cove creates a truly memorable atmosphere for every visiting golfer.

The award-winning layout guides players through natural hazards, including ponds, creeks, and marshland, making each hole unique and engaging.

Players can enjoy the breathtaking views on their own or participate in one of many events the club hosts throughout the year.

Check Out Outdoor Gear at Cottle & Gunn

Cottle & Gunn in St. Marys is the premier destination for all outdoor needs.

It is conveniently set near several other popular shops and restaurants in downtown St. Marys.

The store specializes in providing high-quality products and experienced customer service to ensure a great shopping experience.

It covers thousands of square feet and offers a wide selection of outdoor gear, apparel, and footwear from some of the biggest names in the industry.

Whether you're an avid outdoorsman or enjoy spending time outside with friends and family, Cottle & Gunn has something to meet every need.

Spend a Night at Spencer House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Spencer House Inn Bed and Breakfast is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway or an unforgettable family vacation on a quiet street in the heart of historic downtown St. Marys.

From luxurious accommodations to warm hospitality, the Spencer House Inn Bed and Breakfast takes pride in providing guests with a memorable stay.

This gorgeous inn features tastefully appointed guest rooms with vintage furniture, plush bedding, and modern amenities like free WiFi and flat-screen TVs.

Guests will also enjoy delicious complimentary breakfast served daily in the cozy dining room or out on the sun-filled patio overlooking beautiful gardens and trees.

For those wanting to explore St. Marys, this charming inn is a stone's throw from the city's best restaurants, shops, and attractions.

Savor the Food at St. Marys Seafood & More

St. Marys Seafood & More, a staple in the community in St. Marys, GA, is the perfect place for seafood lovers to get their fix.

They boast an extensive menu of fresh seafood fares such as oysters and shrimp.

Customers can enjoy a variety of appetizers and entrees with different flavors and preparations that are sure to please everyone's palette.

Plus, they feature mouthwatering desserts, including homemade key lime pie and banana pudding!

If you're in a hurry, take advantage of their convenient drive-thru window!

Furthermore, they offer catering services for any event or special occasion.

Relax for the Weekend at Riverview Hotel

Situated right on the waterfront, Riverview Hotel offers guests stunning views of the beautiful marshlands and vast rivers and all the modern amenities they would expect from a quality hotel.

Featuring an outdoor pool, fitness center, and on-site dining at the Riverview Restaurant, guests can enjoy all St. Mary offers at this charming hotel.

The property offers spacious rooms with balconies, an outdoor swimming pool, and a full-service restaurant serving Southern-style seafood dishes and other classic cuisines.

Guests can also take advantage of a complimentary breakfast each morning, free WiFi throughout the property, and even access to a private pier for fishing or sightseeing excursions.

Whether you're looking for an exciting vacation spot or simply want to relax by the shoreline for a few days away from it all, Riverview Hotel has something for everyone.

Final Thoughts

St. Marys is a city that offers its share of sights and attractions like any other.

As one of the historical cities you can visit in Georgia, St. Marys has plenty of museums and historical sites for you to explore.

In addition to the different historical spots you can check out in the city, you can find a selection of activities to do, such as diving and camping.

Besides history and nature, the city offers a selection of hidden gems to discover.

A few places you can look out for are fun shops and old eateries.

St. Marys may not have the most explosive sights, but there are plenty of ways to have fun in the city.

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