St. Marys, GA, Awaits: A Mover’s Guide to Embracing the Serenity of Coastal Living

Whether you are new to Georgia or you are from the Peach State, you could not have picked a better place to move to than St. Marys. Scenic views and seaside living, this city is one of a kind. As a local business, Freedom Self Storage is a proud ambassador for our community, and we want to welcome you to the neighborhood by sharing some of our favorite spots with you. Take a look through our Mover’s Guide to St. Marys, GA, and start creating planning your visits around the city!

Table of Contents

I. Get to Know Life in Our City

II. St. Marys Nature Views & Attractions

III. Annual Community Events

IV. Favorite Restaurants

An Ultimate Mover’s Guide to St. Marys, GA

Living & Working in St. Marys

Population: 18,980

A picturesque city along the coast, St. Marys is the perfect laid-back and serene community for you to call home. The streets are lined with majestic oak trees draped in Spanish moss, creating a postcard-perfect setting. The historic downtown area features shops and local eateries, also offering a glimpse into its maritime past. St. Marys is right on the edge of Georgia, making our city easily accessible from south Georgia, as well as the northeast tip of Florida—the perfect mix of city, beach, and suburbs

St. Marys is the gateway to Cumberland Island, just off its coast. Pick up the ferry from downtown St. Marys, and within an hour, you can be exploring the largest barrier island in the state. The city perfectly balances the charm of a small coastal community with the convenience of city life. Its location on the Georgia-Florida line makes it easily accessible from both states, offering the best of both worlds. Just a 40-minute drive from Jacksonville, Florida, St. Marys provides easy access to a wide range of amenities while retaining its peaceful, small-town vibe.

Georgia’s Must-See Nature Attractions

St. Marys, Georgia, isn’t just a quaint beach town; it leads to some of the most stunning natural attractions in the region. At the forefront is the magnificent Cumberland Island, Georgia’s largest barrier island and southernmost island. Whether you’re checking out the water, hiking the trails, or joining a guided tour to learn about the island’s history and diverse wildlife, Cumberland Island has it all. Its secluded beaches are a serene in an undeveloped area, and if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the island’s famous wild horses roaming freely in their natural habitat.

Beyond the picturesque shores of Cumberland Island, Crooked River State Park offers another layer of outdoor adventure. Conveniently located near the ferry to Cumberland Island, this state park is an ideal spot for camping enthusiasts. Whether you prefer a traditional tent, an RV, or the comfort of a rented cottage by the tidal river, the park’s facilities cater to all preferences. The natural beauty of the park is complemented by a range of amenities, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for all visitors.

Bird watchers and nature lovers will greatly enjoy the Colonial Coast Birding Trail. This trail is a true ornithological paradise, boasting more than 300 species of birds across its 17 distinct sites, including the Cumberland Island National Seashore. The diversity of bird species, coupled with the stunning landscapes, makes the trail a must-visit for anyone interested in birding or nature photography.

Embrace the Community with Local Events

Dive into the culture of St. Marys like a local! Engaging in community events are a great way to settle into your new neighborhood and get to know the city. Here are a few local events you should add to your St. Marys bucket list:

  • As with any town along the coast, you will find a deep appreciation for seafood here. See it brought to life at the St. Marys Seafood Festival, complete with a parade and all-day entertainment. This signature event, held annually in the fall, is a celebration of the local seafood specialty—rock shrimp. There is fun for the whole family throughout the area and downtown. And when you are ready for dinner, indulge in the festival’s namesake. Your rock shrimp dinner will typically include fried fish, boiled shrimp, coleslaw, and hushpuppies.
  • Each year not long after the new year, St. Marys embraces the Mardi Gras spirit with a vibrant parade and festival. Complete with colorful floats, beads, free live music, and dancing, this event brings a taste of New Orleans to coastal Georgia. Come out for this two-day event as one of the first big events of the year.
  • In late April, the Crawfish Festival brings family friendly fun to Woodbine. With an arts and crafts area and live entertainment on the waterfront stage, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Saturday’s parade is a highlight for community members!

Surf, Turf & Cafes Galore

Like we said, we love our seafood here, and St. Marys has plenty of local options where you can find fresh seafood of many varieties. Look through a few of our favorites, and find your new go-to spot!

  1. Riverside Cafe: This cozy cafe is a great spot for Greek-American lunch and dinner dishes. With its indoor and outdoor seating options and a great view of the St. Marys River, it’s a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.
  2. Captain Seagle’s Seafood Restaurant and Saloon: Offering a unique blend of Southern and seafood cuisine, Captain Seagle’s is known for its relaxed, historic setting and live music nights. It is the oldest continuously operating bar and restaurant in St. Marys, and it is located in the Riverview Their menu features everything from fried fish to savory steaks.
  3. St. Marys Seafood & More: As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in seafood. From fresh catches to perfectly prepared platters, it’s a seafood lover’s paradise. They also offer a variety of “land favorite” dishes to please every palate.
  4. Cedar Oak Cafe: This charming bistro serves up a variety of sweet and savory dishes, in addition to carefully crafted global-inspired entrees. Their menu includes omelets, sandwiches, salads, and specialty coffee—perfect for a casual brunch or a romantic dinner.
  5. Pirate’s Point Bar & Grill: Known for its scenic waterfront views, Pirate’s Point Bar & Grill is a casual dining spot that embodies a fun, pirate-themed atmosphere. The menu includes a variety of American classics, such as burgers, sandwiches, and seafood dishes.
  6. Locals Dockside: Locals Dockside is a favorite among residents and visitors alike, renowned for its fresh, locally-sourced seafood and steak. It’s an ideal spot for those who want to experience the authentic taste of coastal Georgia. Make sure you take advantage of the outdoor seating for the best view!
  7. Ops Pizza Kitchen & Cafe: This family friendly restaurant offers a mix of Italian and American cuisine, from gourmet pizzas and calzones to subs, salads, and pasta dishes. Known for their generous portions, Ops Pizza Kitchen & Cafe is a great choice for both casual dining or for catching the game on some big screens.

Rent Self Storage to Help You Settle In

Looking for assistance settling as you get to know the area? That is what Freedom Self Storage is here for. We offer a range of storage options to help secure your items through all of life’s transitional periods. Our indoor, climate-controlled, and drive-up storage units are all protected behind our secure fenced perimeter, as are our outdoor parking spaces. The front gate has keypad access that is shared only to staff and tenants, and we have cameras recording at key points around the facility. Look through our available storage units online today to see why Freedom Self Storage is your premier storage choice in St. Mary’s, GA!

Our climate-controlled storage spaces are the ideal self storage option for when you need to store sensitive materials throughout changing Georgia weather. By keeping your storage in a specific temperature range, you are protecting it from damage like mold, mildew, and rust. We always want the best storage experience for you as possible. Call or stop by our office on Colerain Road to talk through your rent with an expert to make sure you have the right amenities and storage unit size for your load. Reserve your storage unit right away to start storing with us soon!

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Katie Mest

About the Author: Katie Mest is an SEO Specialist at Storage Asset Management in York, PA. She specializes in writing about the self storage industry, including storage tips and helpful resources. Outside of work, Katie enjoys camping, hiking, and exploring the outdoors with her newly adopted Greyhound rescue, Titan.