Take A Day Trip To Cumberland Island On Your Next Jekyll Island Vacation!

Island History

When you’re staying in our Jekyll Island vacation rentals, you’ll notice that Cumberland Island is a treasure trove of history, where the past and present seamlessly merge ancient dunes and live oaks sway, and wild horses roam free without a care. An arena where Gullah Geechees once thrived and toiled, and the Carnegie built grandiose mansions, also where Spanish missions stood and then recoiled, and the Timucuan Indians’ culture commences.

For a long time, humans have relied on its resources for sustenance, drawn inspiration from it for artistic endeavors, or simply found comfort in its breathtaking beauty.

Boats sit in the bay with a yellow and orange sunset against a blue sky

History provides a more detailed record, beginning in the 16th century with the earliest Spanish missions. James Edward Oglethorpe built two forts in the 1730s, one at either end of Cumberland Island. As soon as slavery began on the island’s coasts in the 1750s, eager planters started to arrive. Wealthy households became interested in Cumberland’s natural riches after the American Revolution. In the present-day Dungeness location, we had the first home created.

In the turbulent years following the Civil War, speculators and formerly enslaved people attempted to make a life. Thomas Morrison Carnegie and his wife, Lucy Coleman Carnegie, arrived on the Island in the early 1880s and started the family’s presence there, which is still present today.

As early as 2000 B.C., native people inhabited the area that is now Georgia and savored its wide variety of exquisite food sources, including oysters, crabs, fish, deer, and bears. 

It is a  place where nature reigns supreme. You can escape the hustle and scheme and find solace in the island’s mystic grip—Cumberland Island, a place of rich lore, a tapestry woven by time, always.

Untouched Beaches

The untouched beaches of Cumberland Island are places of pristine paradise and natural bliss,

where the sand is white, the water is still, and the horizon stretches on with a kiss.

In 1947, the State of Georgia acquired the island, opening its 10 miles of stunning coastline to tourists. One of its most well-known segments is named Driftwood Beach, located on the island’s northern end and is known for its large driftwood logs that have washed up on the shore. 

The beach is surrounded by natural dunes and is a popular spot for walking and photography. The St. Simons Lighthouse Museum is directly across from it, littered with the skeletal remains of trees that have fallen and become weather-worn. If this area interests you, be sure to check out our St. Simons Island rentals! Great Dunes Beach is located on the island’s southern end and is known for its giant dunes and natural vegetation. The beach is relatively secluded and is a popular spot for bird-watching. Glory Beach is on the island’s eastern side and is known for its clear water and abundant sea life. The beach is relatively secluded and is a popular spot for swimming and fishing.

Another hidden gem in the area is Sharktooth Beach, which is notable for its unusual draw of oyster shells instead of sand. Visitors search the wreckage of the coastline for prehistoric fossils and shark teeth. Other locations along the coast, such as Corsair, Oceanview, and South Dunes Beach Parks, are well-liked spots to enjoy a picnic, construct sandcastles, and splash around in the waves.

You may expect some of the world’s most pristine beach conditions because the beaches are entirely undeveloped. This beach is for you if you seek stunning white sand, wind-whipped dunes, and fantastic beach conditions. Wild horses, turkeys, alligators, deer, armadillos, and other coastal birds have all made this region their home, along with the area’s undeveloped beaches. It is important to note that on most beaches, cars are not allowed and the area is only available for pedestrians, bicycles, and golf cars. This destination is a natural place to get lost in the beauty, forever and under.

Wild Horse Island

There is plenty to enjoy when visiting Wild Horse Island, where you will be taken away to a place rich in different species, including the wild horses that wander freely across the island. You receive an untouched island ready to explore since there is no beachfront development and minimal interior renovation.

Plan Your Visit!

Ready to explore all of the wildlife and rich history that Jekyll Island offers? Browse our wide variety of vacation rentals and discover your perfect match today!

The horses which roam freely on Cumberland are feral, meaning that their ancestors were once domesticated. Legend has it that they were initially brought to the Island by the Spanish. However these particular horses’ ancestors arrived, they made a very pleasing vista for the visitors of Cumberland. They are one of the most sought-after sights by visitors coming to Cumberland.

In addition to seeing the Cumberland Island ponies up close, a trip to Cumberland Island gives you a rare chance to discover Georgia’s breathtaking coast.

The Ferry

The only way to get to Cumberland Island is by ferry. It is advised to make reservations for the 45-minute ferry voyage. St. Marys, a historic tiny town situated on the Georgia coast roughly halfway between Jacksonville, Florida, and Brunswick, Georgia, is where you may catch the boat to Cumberland Island.

When you board the Cumberland Queen for the quick ferry voyage across the harbor to Cumberland Island, you will know you are going someplace absolutely extraordinary. It gives you a chance to take in the pleasant breeze off the sea and witness a wide variety of aquatic and avian life. The Cumberland Island ferry departs numerous times, allowing you plenty of flexibility in planning your trip, and the fees are fair. Cumberland Queen Ferry provides regular round-trip fares via concession-operated ferry boats to Cumberland Island National Seashore.  

The check begins one hour before ferry departure at the Mainland Visitor Center. All unclaimed reservations are canceled a half hour before departure, and prior reservations are highly encouraged.

Cumberland Island awaits, with its sandy beaches and ancient trees, a place of natural beauty. So come and take a ride, On the ferry to Cumberland and discover for yourself the magic this island has in hand.

Where to stay

Jekyll Island is a popular vacation destination in Georgia, known for its beautiful beaches, historic sites, and outdoor activities, offering various rental options for visitors. Our rentals on this gorgeous island include beachfront homes, cottages, condos, villas, and apartments for short-term and long-term stays. 

Many of our rentals come equipped with private pools, hot tubs, and fully-equipped kitchens, making our stays perfect for families and groups. Visitors can also find rentals near popular attractions such as the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, and the Jekyll Island Historic District.

Our Jekyll Island cottages at Jekyll Island vacation rentals range in styles and offerings, including accommodation options like one, two, and three-bedroom places and larger homes near the beach. Many are within walking distance of the island’s historic district and other popular attractions.  Amenities at the sites include private porches or patios, fully equipped kitchens, and access to on-site amenities such as a swimming pool and tennis courts. Just a few of the many reasons The Cottages at Jekyll Island are so popular!

For a resort-style stay, be sure to check out our Villas by the Sea on Jekyll Island. A beachfront resort located on Jekyll Island, Georgia, we offer villas, cottages, and rooms with contemporary conveniences such as fully functional kitchens and individual patios or balconies. Our visitors enjoy easy access to the island’s beaches, other attractions, and on-site amenities like an outdoor pool, hot tub, and fitness center. 

If you’re looking for a little extra adventure on your vacation, be sure to check out all of the Jekyll Island things to do. Whether you’re looking for a luxury resort, a cozy bed, and breakfast, or a quiet place to rest in between adventuring, there are plenty of options when you stay with us in our Jekyll Island rentals.