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Beaufort or Cumberland Island?

University Place...
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Beaufort or Cumberland Island?

This may seem like an unusual comparison but my wife and I are flying to Savannah and then working our way down to St. Augustine. We've been to Charleston before (and loved it) but never Beaufort, Savannah or south. We're planning on driving through St. Simmons and Jekyll Islands on the way to St. Augustine.

We'll likely have a day where we could tour the Beaufort area or Cumberland Island further south.

Does anyone have any suggestions which one to choose? I've found some good walking tours in Beaufort and a ranger-led tour on Cumberland Island looks fascinating.

Thank You,

Mark

Decatur, GA
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1. Re: Beaufort or Cumberland Island?

Well, Beaufort is the opposite direction from St Augustine, so it's and hour there and then an hour back south after you've been there. As you recognize, Cumberland is an entirely different experience. Beaufort is a neat little historic town with shop and restaurants. Cumberland has some history but is a much more natural environment. How about neither and spend the day/night at Jekyll Island? Unless you just want to just see it, don't spend time driving through St Simons, because except for Christ Church Frederica and the Fort Federica site, there's not much in terms of interest.

Ridgewood, New...
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2. Re: Beaufort or Cumberland Island?

I have not visited Cumberland Island, though I would love to do so; however, I have visited Beaufort and highly recommended it.

Beaufort will tie in nicely with your interest in history. Revolutionary War and Civil War history in Beaufort is complex (as you will see in the graveyards), and worth looking into in depth. Domestic architecture in Beaufort is lovely, not entirely different from in Charleston or Savannah though more "small town" in feel.

From Beaufort, you can visit St Helena Island (a center of Gullah/Geechee culture) and the Penn Center http://penncenter.com/. You can also visit unspoiled Hunting Island, subject of much lowcountry art; and, you can do so without arranging a ferry and tour. http://www.huntingisland.com/

Here is more information about the Gullah/Geechee people of Georgia and South Carolina:

http://www.gullahgeecheecorridor.org/

Kiawah Island...
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3. Re: Beaufort or Cumberland Island?

A drive through of St. Simons and Jekyll isn't really a good use of time. Maybe spend a night at the Jekyll Inn (historic) and tour the "cottages" of the rich and famous, otherwise, there's not much to see on Jekyll (and there is a fee to access the island).

As indicated above, there is the old church, cemetery, fort and lighthouse on St. Simons, if you spent the night on Jekyll, it would then be worth the drive over to also tour these places.

If you are really interested in the area, read the series of books by Eugenia Price (fiction based on fact), Lighthouse is the first book in the trilogy. They are pretty quick reads and are available on Amazon. It's fun to go to the cemetery and find the headstones from the various people mentioned in the books.

Edited: 17 October 2015, 15:57
Beaufort, SC
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4. Re: Beaufort or Cumberland Island?

For consideration. The drive south of Fernandina Fl on A1A is beautiful. There is Fort Clinch State park in Fernandina, it's right on the beach and fun to tour. Further south a visit to Kingsley Plantation, great history. You can catch a ferry across the river to Mayport and continue through Jacksonville Beaches to St. Augustine.

I live in Beaufort, an hour from the Savannah airport. An afternoon visiting downtown and the historic area, spend the night and enjoy some good food. I would recommend the Best Western or one of the beautiful Bed and Breakfasts, all within walking distance. Hunting Island and the Penn Center are worth a visit, with these and downtown you would need a full day.

I love Jekyll Island for the beach, not the prettiest, ,and the historic village. Unless you're planning to stay at the Jekyll Inn and enjoy it's ambience and history I would pick Beaufort over Jekyll. I agree with the above posters about St. Simons.

The jewel in your trip is St Augustine. A fun place to tour and have some fun.

You are going to have a blast !!!

University Place...
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5. Re: Beaufort or Cumberland Island?

Thanks to all that offered comments. We just returned from our vacation and had a great time. We went to Beaufort but didn't have time for Cumberland Island. In Beaufort, we enjoyed 'Janet's Walking History Tour'. Beaufort has a nice feel to it with it's history and interesting architecture. The weather in November was great also.

Ridgewood, New...
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6. Re: Beaufort or Cumberland Island?

Thanks for the update! So glad you had a nice vacation.

7. Re: Beaufort or Cumberland Island?

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