St. Mary’s and Kingsland, Georgia
Just across the border from Florida in the Southeastern corner of Georgia sit a couple of towns with dual identities. On one hand, both Kingsland and St. Mary’s, its waterfront sister, are quaint little Southern towns with quiet neighborhoods and quiet, old-fashioned “Main Street” downtowns. On the other hand, the two towns are also separated by Interstate 95, a busy six-lane swath of highway that funnels hordes of sun-seeking tourists to and from their Florida vacationlands. Given this location along the interstate and the state line, the towns themselves are linked by a commercial highway and major exit that sport roadside accommodations, restaurants, and service stations doubling as Georgia “welcome centers” with their maps, trinket souvenirs, and “cheap” gas. In addition to being a draw for tourist dollars, Interstate 95 also benefits the residents of these towns by providing quick access to the Jacksonville metropolitan area and its many employment and recreational offerings. Speaking of employment, the Navy’s Kings Bay nuclear submarine base provides additional fuel for Camden County’s economic engine.
St. Mary’s also has a quaint area along the St. Mary’s River waterfront offering views of Amelia Island, Florida across the way. From here, tourists may also be interested in taking a ferry to nearby Cumberland Island National Seashore. Cumberland Island has unspoiled beaches and is home to wild horses.