After checking out of our hotel on Amelia Island, Steve (DOS) and I headed slightly north to St. Marys, Georgia, where we are staying at a Bed and Breakfast for two nights. St. Marys is only an hour or so drive away from Amelia Island, and no, I’m not misspelling St. Marys by leaving out the apostrophe in Marys. Apparently St. Marys is apostrophe-less and nobody we talked to or read anywhere could tell us why. Useless trivia I know.
We are staying at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast Inn called The Goodbread House, and it’s conveniently located near the marina, where the boats leave for Cumberland Island. Growing up in South Georgia, my Mom always liked St. Marys, and this being our first time here we can see why she like it so much. St. Marys is a quaint town, and has to be one of the quietest and peaceful ‘resort towns’ we’ve visited, at least in the US.
As check-in wasn’t until 2pm and we arrived in town around noon, we first drove by the Inn, and walked around town for an hour or so and had a leisurely lunch.
We stopped by the US National Park’s office by the water (gateway ferry location to Cumberland Island) and DOS purchased the Senior Lifetime Park Pass for $80, which is available to people 62 years or older and is good at all of the US National Parks, including nearby Cumberland Island.
By 1pm we were getting hungry, so we had lunch in town at a local seafood place called Lang’s Marina Restaurant. Lang’s was on the waterfront, but set back a bit by the marsh and long pier.
Lang’s was a home-town type, casual place, and had terrific shrimp. There was a short wait getting seated, and there was even a small plaque that apologized in advance for slow service as the food “was made to order”.
While the service was a bit leisurely, the food was well worth the wait. I took a short walk outside on the pier and took a couple photos while we waited for our lunch.
DOS had the fried shrimp and oyster combo platter, while I had just the shrimp platter. The shrimp were fresh and delicious! We had a nice meal there and friendly, leisurely service. By the time we had finished lunch, it was time to check-in to the Goodbread Inn.
After lunch, we drove the short three or four blocks back to The Goodbread House, and parked right in front of the Inn. Like throughout the town of St. Marys, parking was free and there were plenty of spaces.
Once inside the Inn, we met the owner Mardja, a delightful red-head woman with a gracious Southern charm. (Below is a photo of the three of us taken as we were checking out the last day.)
Margre showed us around the tastefully decorated and period-themed Inn, before showing us to our 2nd floor room, the Lombard and Gable Suite. The room was large and appropriately themed with paintings, posters, and various memorabilia in the room.
The room had a large King-sized bed, and also a ceiling fan which I really appreciated, even with the cool air conditioning. The ensuite “powder room” as it was labeled on the door was a large bathroom with tub, and separate wash basin as well as a sitting area with mirror. Both the “powder room” and the bedroom were equipped with fireplaces, although were no longer being used. Still the fireplaces added to the ambiance and history of the Inn.
The Goodbread Inn dates back as a house to 1875, so it has quite a history. As I said to Mardja “If only these walls could talk!” The Inn has a Parlor room on the main floor, and complimentary red and white wines are available in the evenings (help yourself!) as well as cookies, nuts, and snacks.
The Parlor room has a very elegant and classy feeling to it, with various antique chairs, sofas, decor etc and fancy coaster for your wine glass. Both nights we were there Mardja joined us for a bit to chat, and offered us and the other guest suggestions for dining, and even tours if we had nothing booked. We did book a tour on our second day stay with one of Mardja’s boat captain contact’s as seen further below.
We really enjoyed the shared second floor balcony, which spanned the width of the Inn. It has several rocking chairs, a hanging swing glider an outdoor dining area, as well as a couple extra chairs amidst the plants and furnishings Mardja had placed there. Quite a nice and relaxing way to wind down the day, or relax after coming back to the Inn before dinner.
Likewise, the first floor also offered a similar setup at the front door entrance porch area.
On our first night we met a nice couple from Ormond Beach, Florida while we were all gathered in the Parlor area. We ended up dining together at a nearby restaurant called 401 West. We had a really enjoyable evening of conversation with them, and exchanged contact information as we’d like to visit sometime in Ormond Beach.
After dinner we headed back to Goodbread Inn, and had a quiet and good night’s rest. At 9am we had breakfast at the Inn, per our timed request with Mardja the night before. Mardja had arranged a 2 hour hour private boat tour with Dave, who we were meeting at 10am, so we weren’t rush while we ate. We had a nice breakfast with the Ormond Beach couple, and another couple from the Lakeland, Florida area as well before heading down to the marina for our boat trip.
At 10am, we headed down the street to the waterfront, and met Dave for our tour around the waters of St. Marys. Dave was a super guide, and he loved boating! Dave pointed out lots of things to us on our tour, including the Fort at Amelia Island, the various spots around Cumberland Island, and even sailed by the Submarine facility in the distance on the way back.
We made a short stop on Cumberland Island, and DOS and I walked around a bit going thru the museum located close to the dock area, as well as viewing the wild horses on the island. Cumberland Island National Seashore is part of the US National Park System, and now DOS is a lifetime member of all the US Parks thanks to his senior membership card he had bought in town.
Cumberland Island was home to the Carnegie Family fortune, and while we didn’t tour the home (now an ultra pricey Inn), Dave did sail by it, although it was mostly blocked by trees from the water. Here are a few photos from the museum we stopped by that showed the wealth and influence the Carnegie Family had in their day.
We had looked at taking the Cumberland Island Ferry over to the Island, but as there are only 2 shuttles a day (9am and 11:45pm) and later returns, we didn’t want to get tired out from walking around all day. There are no public food facilities, snack shops etc on the island, and you have to take your own water and food, although Mardja had a partner contact that could arrange a box lunch if we had wanted to. By using Dave, we got to sail by and see a small bit of the island as well as the submarine base in the distance, and the Fort on Amelia Island without spending a whole day. Dave was an awesome Captain, and we really appreciated Mardja for setting this up for us. Thanks to you both!
When we got back to St. Marys after our boat excursion, DOS and I had lunch in town at the Riverside Cafe. This Greek-type cafe, is actually a fairly large restaurant, with a few seats located on the second floor balcony, were we sat for lunch.
They were out of the Ahi Tuna special we wanted, but I ended up having grilled chicken kabobs, while DOS had the marinated roast chicken; both of which were delicious. The view from the balcony looking across the street to the water was beautiful, and the weather was delightful.
We spend the rest of the afternoon walking around town and a couple parks, enjoying the serene seaside, nature and the quaint houses and town of St. Marys.
Back at the Inn, after a short nap and shower, we then headed down to the Parlor for a glass of wine, (well I did, but DOS was driving so he didn’t have wine) before heading out to dinner.
For dinner the second night we went to a local seafood restaurant a couple miles away, which was off the tourist downtown path. It was a simple-looking diner type place, and seemed like it was mostly locals with their families there. The food was great; I had the salmon and shrimp, while DOS had the catfish and shrimp.
Both our meals were quite filling and we chatted with the couple seated next to us who were retired and visiting from Minnesota. A big joy of traveling is meeting new people and sharing travel adventures and family stories. We exchanged contact info with Bob and Patty, and like us they were heading out to another city and adventure the next day.
We bid Ron and Patty happy and safe travels as we headed back to the Goodbread house for one last night there.
In the morning, DOS and I had breakfast at the Goodbread Inn before leaving for our next stop: Savanah, Georgia. Most of the other guests had already checked out, so we had the breakfast room to ourselves, and had a leisurely 10am breakfast.
After breakfast we packed up our luggage, and headed out for our Savannah, but not before signing the guest book, and getting one more photo of Mardja and her helper Felicia. Thank you both for such a wonderful stay at the Goodbread Inn.
P.S. Ok, two more photos. The first is a photo of Colonel Goodbread himself, original owner of the house so named after him.
And one last photo of Mardja herself, as seen on a table outside the dining room. One heck of a classy lady you are Mardja! Thanks for the hospitality, and we look forward to returning to The Goodbread Inn in the near future.