Cumberland Island National Seashore | VISITOR CENTER

Cumberland Island National Seashore Visitor Center in St. Marys, Georgia

Cumberland Island National Seashore Visitor Center in St. Marys, Georgia

GENERAL INFORMATION

The Cumberland Island National Seashore Visitor Center is located on the mainland in St. Marys, Georgia. If you arrive early, you may be thrilled to find a parking space right in front of the building—how convenient! Unfortunately, you can only park here to drop off equipment and/or check in for the ferry ride and pay your entrance and camping fees. Vehicles left after the ferry departs will be towed. You can park for free either farther down the street in the roadside parking spaces or in the official parking lot for the park, which is a dirt field located on the next block behind a fancy mansion.

Visitor parking for Cumberland Island National Seashore

Visitor parking for Cumberland Island National Seashore

The park’s Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum is located in a separate building a short walk from the Visitor Center at 129 Osborne Street, but it is only open from 1 PM to 4 PM daily, except when closed on Christmas Day. These hours make visiting the museum nearly impossible for anyone who is traveling to Cumberland Island for the day because the first ferry leaves at 9 AM and the second at 11:45 PM. Only those who come to St. Marys specifically to visit museum or those returning to the mainland on the 10:15 AM ferry after a night of camping will be able to see it. There is a smaller museum on the island that covers much of the same topics, the Ice House Museum. This is located near the Dungeness ferry dock area.

OPERATING HOURS

The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 AM to 4 PM, except when closed on Christmas Day.

AMENITIES

  • Information desk where you can get a basic park brochure—detailed trail maps are available on the island
  • Check in for the ferry and pay the park entrance fee
  • Gift and souvenir store
  • Small exhibit area
  • Restrooms on the lower level
  • Ferry departs just outside at the dock
Cumberland Island Visitor Center information desk

Cumberland Island Visitor Center information desk

EXHIBIT AREA

A small exhibit area serves as a way to spend time while waiting for the ferry to depart. Exhibits focus on the natural and human history of Cumberland Island. Of particular interest is a timeline covering white settlement starting with American Revolution hero General Nathanael Greene’s purchase of land on the island up through the creation of the park in 1972 when the Carnegie family owned most of the island.

Exhibit on the settlement of Cumberland Island at the Visitor Center

Exhibit on the settlement of Cumberland Island at the Visitor Center

SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

Visitors must arrive at least 30 minutes before their scheduled ferry departure, though I suggest arriving an hour early because the line gets long. Once you have your tickets, any remaining time can be spent in the exhibit area.

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Last updated on April 14, 2022
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