A getaway to Cumberland Island, Georgia is guaranteed to be peaceful: This national seashore is federally protected, so amenities are limited – really limited. That means Cumberland Island’s beauty is unspoiled. The island is only accessible by ferry or private boat, and once you arrive, motor traffic is restricted (meaning you can’t rent a car or hop a shuttle to get around). There are almost no shops or restaurants on the island; you won’t even find a public trash bin.
It’s just as well, because you’ll be enjoying the coast. Forbes recently named Cumberland Island one of “America’s Island Paradises,” and with good reason. On Cumberland you can fish, bike, kayak, hike Cumberland’s wilderness, and catch a glimpse of the wild hogs or horses that roam freely there. Plum Orchard and the ruins of Dungeness mansion are vestiges left from the island’s era as a playground of the wealthy Carnegie family. Find these historic homes (as well as the tiny First African Baptist Church) on foot. Visitors can also comb the beach for seashells, gaze at stars and take lots of photos. For overnight accommodations, choose campsites or the island’s only hotel, the swanky Greyfield Inn. The Greyfield, another former Carnegie home, has a small gift shop and a restaurant that are open to its guests only.