Located about 40 minutes northeast of Jacksonville, St. Marys serves as the gateway to Cumberland Island, the largest and southernmost barrier island in the state of Georgia. This historic and dog-friendly city on the Georgia Coast offers residents and tourists plenty to see and do, from historic landmarks to pleasant parks. To ensure your best friend stays fit for adventure, St. Marys has two animal clinics looking after the community's critters.
Experience the city's culture and heritage by going on the St. Marys History Walk. This self-guided tour will take you and Fido down a 600-foot trail that meanders through a grove of shade trees, with several interpretive panels and a view of the St. Marys River along the way. You can pick up a brochure at the St. Marys Welcome Center or download it online.
The Welcome Center also offers a one-hour tram tour for those who would like to learn more about St. Marys and Cumberland Island. Get a puptastic history lesson from a local guide as you and your pooch are shuttled around town in an open-air golf cart. Note that the tram tour is subject to availability and space is limited, so be sure to call in advance!
Enjoy the best of Coastal Georgia with your pup in St. Marys!
Let Fido have some off-leash fun and make new friends at the Tommy Casey Memorial Dog Park! Located near the city pool, this fully fenced dog park has an agility course, lots of trees, and benches for the dog parents. A spigot and trash receptacles are also available, but it's recommended to bring your own waste bags as they sometimes run out. If the dog park is empty, take your pooch to the St. Marys Waterfront Park, also known as the Howard Gilman Memorial Park. Here, you and Fido can watch the shrimp boats come in as you go for a leashed stroll along the boardwalks and piers.
Explore the Intracoastal Waterway and maritime forest of Georgia at the Crooked River State Park! The pawfect place for an outdoor adventure with your pup, this pooch-friendly state park features campsites surrounded by Spanish moss-draped oaks and palmettos, as well as four miles of trails that travel through the woods and a salt marsh. Keep an eye out for the gopher tortoise, Georgia's state reptile, and other animals such as fiddler crabs and herons during your hike. You'll also get to see a myriad of plant and tree species, including myrtle oak, red cedar, and yaupon holly. Fido is allowed on all trails as long as he is kept on a six-foot leash.
Step back in time with Fido at the McIntosh Sugar Mill Park. Located past the Stimpson gate to Kingsbay Naval Base, this park houses the historic tabby ruins of an old sugar mill. It is the largest and best preserved of all tabby ruins in the Southeast, giving visitors the opportunity to explore the rooms that were used to grind, boil, and process cane back in the 19th century. The mill's thick walls are believed to play an essential role in maintaining the quality of production by keeping the warmth in. The park also has a shaded picnic area where you and your pup can take a break.
Right behind the public library lies the 32-acre St. Marys Civic Park. A great spot for daily walkies, this park features a paved walking path, a boardwalk, a pavilion with picnic tables, a playground, an aquatic center, and several athletic fields and courts. The walking path loops around a 4.5-acre lake, and while the view is lovely, make sure that Fido doesn't get too close as alligators and snakes live in the area. Just keep your pooch leashed at all times, avoid the water and tall grass, and there shouldn't be any problems. Bring some snacks that you both can enjoy after your walk!
Looking for a place to stay in St. Marys? The Cumberland Island Inn & Suites has got you and your pup covered. For an additional fee per night, Fido can check in with you to this dog-friendly hotel with a convenient location. The Cumberland Island Inn & Suites offers rooms equipped with free Wi-Fi, cable TV, free local calls, a microwave, a refrigerator, a coffee and tea maker, and an iron and ironing board. Breakfast, which guests say is extensive and filling, is also included. Be sure to book your room in advance to ensure a smooth check-in process and avoid unwanted surprises.