This museum was under construction when we were there which mades it really off the beaten path as it was not open. The old museum was apparently located on Osborne Street, two blocks from the waterfront, but the new one is on St. Mary's Street, right on the water. It is open to the public every day except Christmas from 1pm to 4pm.
The NPS website says:
"The exhibition uses pieces from the collection to highlight the people of the island. The lives of Native Americans, African Americans, the Carnegie family as well as others who lived on the island in the 19th and 20th centuries are seen in the island environment. The museum was designed to provide a glimpse of Cumberland Island to those who are unable to visit the island. These exhibits were funded through fees paid by island visitors and campers. A small portion of the total collection will be on display, primarily pieces that illustrate life on the barrier island. “These are objects that have never before been on public display,” said curator John Mitchell. “We can learn from these items about how people lived in the past.”"
Visitor Center is open daily 8:00am to 6:00pm, Monday - Sunday. Park facilities are closed on December 25.
Public restrooms and water fountain
Some confusion in museum names has developed between the Cumberland Island Museum and the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum.
The Cumberland Island Museum (see URL under "Other") is a separate entity and was incorporated in 1985 to assure the protection and maintenance of the library, archival materials, and natural history collections of Carol Ruckdeschel and C. Robert Shoop. Unlike some museums, The Cumberland Island Museum does not have exhibits or displays, but simply houses and curates the research materials. It is open to the public.
The ruins are part of Crooked River State Park, which is a couple of miles north on GA spur 40. The original tabby building was destroyed by a fire and all that remains are the tabby portions: walls that have been worn down by weather. Also has a short woods trail leading from the front of the ruins, which has a small dirt parking area, to a larger cemented parking area to the north, and then loops back around to the back/north side facing ruins. There is a large cleared area in front with picnic tables and trash cans. A historic marker explains the history of the building and a little bit about the area. Interesting, makes for great photos (especially in the early morning), free, and receives few visitors (at least whenever I've been). Worth a couple of minutes to check out or to enjoy a picnic. Located along GA spur 40, across from Kings Bay naval base. The area sort of appears out of nowhere, so if you miss the first dirt parking lot, be prepared to turn right into the cement parking lot, which is immediately right after the railroad tracks. For longer hikes, you can check out Crooked River State Park, which charges a $5 parking fee for the day and includes information on local history and wildlife; it also has camping facilities.