In January, I visited Cumberland Island, GA and St. Augustine, FL with my husband and stepdaughter. We left on New Year’s Day and drove approximately 6 hours from Asheville, NC to Kingsland, GA.
We had a hotel reservation for one night at the Travelers Inn in Kingsland. Because the name had recently been changed, I couldn’t find any reviews online but I booked it anyway because it was so cheap (about $40 I think). That was a huge mistake! When we arrived, they said there were no non-smoking rooms left (even though I had made a reservation!) but let me look at two smoking rooms. One of them was occupied (!!) and the other one was disgusting. We promptly drove away and desperately looked online for another place to stay. We ended up at Motel 6, which was actually very nice ($67.14 including tax)!
The next morning, we headed to St. Mary’s to take the ferry to Cumberland Island ($25 plus tax per person aged 13-64 round-trip). We had booked one night of camping (the website says $4 per person per night at Sea Camp but we only paid $2 per person?) and the Lands and Legacies Tour. Unfortunately, when we checked in we learned that the price of the tour had increased from $15 to $45 per person! So we canceled the tour and decided to take the earlier ferry back the next day. We also had to pay an $8 entrance fee ($4 per person over age 15). Anyway, we lugged all of our camping equipment onto the ferry and took the 45 minute trip over to the island. We saw dolphins and wild horses along the way!
When we arrived on the island, we paid $5 to rent a cart to carry all our stuff to the campsite. It was so worth it! It would have sucked to carry everything the half mile to the campsite. The campsite was gorgeous! We loved it.
After we set up camp, we went out to Sea Camp Beach and hiked a mile down to the Dungeness Ruins area. Everything was so beautiful! A horse did charge at Chad and scare the living daylights out of him, so beware! We hiked back on the main road and it seemed to never end… Our feet felt like they were going to fall off!
The next day, we took the ferry back to St. Mary’s, stopped for lunch at Mi Casa in Kingsland, and drove about 2.5 more hours to St. Augustine. We checked into Americas Best Value Inn Ocean Inn (booked on Hotwire for $126.38 for 2 nights including tax) and took naps after a hard night of sleeping on the ground! That evening, we headed to downtown St. Augustine. We paid $3 to park at Castillo de San Marcos, wandered around, and enjoyed dinner at A1A Ale Works.
The next day was full of sightseeing! We started at the St. Augustine Lighthouse. Chad and Chloe went up ($21.50 for both) while I wandered around and took photos.
Next we headed to Fort Matanzas National Monument. A little out of the way but free! And pretty cool. Check into the office to get your tickets for the boat. It leaves every hour on the half hour and the whole tour takes less than an hour as the fort is right across a narrow river.
After a quick lunch in St. Augustine Beach at Fuji Japan, we headed back to downtown St. Augustine to check out another fort: Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. We parked at the visitors center for $12 a day and admission to the fort is $10 for adults (kids are free).
We had a few more hours to kill before A Ghostly Experience ($28 for 4 people with a Groupon) so we wandered around some more and stumbled upon Pizza Time, which was voted #2 of “TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Pizza Restaurants” in 2015. It was pretty delicious! After dinner and the ghost tour, we headed back to the hotel and then headed home in the morning. A great trip!