This enchanting port lies on the southernmost coastline of Georgia, which the Creek Indians aptly described as "the Enchanted Land." Its quiet marshlands, pristine forests and undeveloped beaches make it a destination for anyone who loves nature. Its quaint neighborhoods, lined with massive Southern oaks, give it a small-town feel. With its lush forests and scent of the sea breeze, this jewel of a town provides a variety of recreational activities year-round, and the area is steeped in history. For single people or families who want to rent in the best of both worlds, St. Marys shouldn't be overlooked.
The region was first explored in the 16th century, and an act of the U.S. Congress made the town a port of entry in 1799. It has been through a lot since then: It became a hotbed for smugglers in the early 1800s, was occupied by the British during the War of 1812 and was heavily bombarded by the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. Things are much more peaceful these days.
With so much to see and do, St. Marys 17,600 residents face tough choices every day, such as whether to golf on the waterfront or take a ferry ride to Cumberland Island? They could also enjoy the serenity of the Colonial Coast Birding Trail or a thrilling kayak excursion. Biking, camping and charter fishing are tempting possibilities. Deciding what to do first might prove more challenging than a hike through Crooked River State Park.
A definite must-see is the Thomas Carnegie Mansion. It burned in 1866 and was rebuilt only to burn again--reportedly by arson--in 1959. The area surrounding the ruins, on Cumberland Island, is populated with magnificent wild horses. Be sure to save time for the Cumberland Island National Museum while you're there.
St. Marys Waterfront Park is a great place for idling in one of the many shore-side cafes and perhaps watching the shrimpers unload while the sun sets. This historic neighborhood offers golf cart and tram tours for exploring the town's 18th and 19th century treasures. Military buffs will appreciate the local submarine museum or a day of reflection at quiet Oak Grove Cemetery; soldiers from every major war rest beneath its moss-draped trees.
Theatre By The Trax will enrich you culturally, with performances for all ages and tastes in the fine arts. Choose an excursion on the St. Marys Railroad and make a day of it. More adventurous people may prefer the South Georgia Dive Charters. Their diving tours are ideal for fossil-hunters, undersea photographers and would-be pirates who are into sunken shipwrecks.
There are apartments for rent throughout the city, and commuting time to work or other neighborhoods is typically 10-20 minutes. Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1 connect the town to larger hubs.
Nearby colleges include fine schools like Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville.
The region holds many diverse employment opportunities for those that rent apartments here. The award-winning Southeast Georgia Health System and Lockheed Martin are nearby. The tourist, restaurant and hotel industries thrive. Larger companies like CSX, Landstar Systems, Fidelity National Financial and Winn-Dixie are short commutes away.