Amelia Island/Cumberland Island

mtnrdredux_gwFebruary 9, 2013

Thanks to those of you below who suggested Cumberland Island. I am trying to plan a little getaway there, and for the first night I don't want to worry about making a ferry connection so I was thinking I'd stay mainland. Then I was looking and saw that the Amelia Island Ritz Carlton is very near the ferry embarkation point.

Amelia Island looks nice. I was even wondering if it's better to stay there and do Cumberland as a day trip? Thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

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cyn427 (zone 7)

Depends on the experience you want. The Ritz is, of course, a quality hotel, but huge and I personally think it is not unlike any other huge resort hotel. Could be what you are looking for since you have children.

The Greyfield Inn is older and, to my mind, more gracious. We generally don't stay in big resorts/hotels when we travel and the atmosphere of Cumberland is more to our liking. Of course, again, it depends on what you are looking for in your get-away.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:59PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Oh, and are you dreaming of the beaches because you are snowed in today? ;)

I am jealous! Love, love, love snow and wish we were back up north!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:06PM
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It's just us, so the kids thing is not an issue.

Putting aside hotels, I guess I am wondering if there is a lot to do/like about Amelia Island? Maybe I should spend half our time in one place and half in another? Or is a daytrip enough to Cumberland? Or is the best part of Cumberland being able to sleep there and stay at the inn?


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:11PM
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Definitely do the beautiful and romantic inns!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:32PM
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You'd think I'd be able to remember where we stayed before getting to Cumberland Island, but I can't! I think what we did was fly into Atlanta, stay overnight somewhere - undoubtedly at some quirky place I found out about - and then drive straight across the state to the boat to Cumberland Island. (The boat in this case being one owned and operated by the Greyfield Inn for its guests.)

Meaning, I can't give you any advice about Amelia Island. All I can do is say that Christmas on Cumberland Island was magical, and the Greyfield Inn was a huge part of the whole experience. I don't know what kinds of events, dinners, etc., the Inn puts on at other times of the year, so you might want to look into that.

Whether you stay on Amelia Island all or part of the time really depends on how you like to spend your time. What kinds of things do you like to do when having quiet vacations?

Also, consider time of year. We were really lucky, and I mean really, really lucky. It just so happened that Christmas week the year we were there was unseasonably warm. Spring is probably lovely there. Late winter could be nice, although I don't know for sure. If it doesn't matter to you when you go, and if you're considering a stay at the Greyfield Inn, I think you should go ahead & call them - ask them what they think about Feb. vs. March vs. May or whenever. Just don't go in August - I know at least one of the owners is up in Martha's Vineyard at that time. Probably not even mad dogs and Englishmen could stand the heat and humidity!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 2:40PM
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I agree with Cyn. We love Amelia Island but we are not big resort/fancy hotels type people. I much prefer a bed and breakfast or small inn. We've also rented (from owner) a condo on Amelia. There is another inn on Amelia that we like - I can't think of the name - Elizabeth Pointe? I may have the name/place confused. . .


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 3:58PM
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I would spend at least one night at Greyfield Inn. Amelia is nice, but it's pretty similar to other southern resorts/beaches. Greyfield is really something special. It's literally the only commercal venture on the island. They have bikes that you can use to explore on your own and a jeep tour with a naturalist is included.

Just an FYI, if you're going to do a day trip, the ferry is from St. Mary's, GA not from Fernandina where the Greyfield ferry is.

Little Saint Simons is similar to Greyfield/Cumberland. It's a private island sanctuary with almost no development except for a luxury lodge.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 4:35PM
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Okay, so Amelia Island sounds pretty ordinary. We will just do one night in Amelia Island, for convenience.

The Greyfield Inn site say the ferry is from Fernandina?

I've looked at St Simons before, it get kind of mixed reviews...

Tina -- yes, Elizabeth's Point. The Ritz does not get as good reviews as they do.

Lynxe- we will go early June. It's the only time that makes sense for us.

thanks, all

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:09PM
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If you're day tripping/camping the ferry is in St. Mary's. It's run by the park service. If you're staying at the inn, you use Greyfield's private ferry from Fernandina.

Little St. Simons is VERY different from St. Simons!

The Cloister on Sea Island is very nice as well.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:31PM
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The Ritz on Amelia Island is nice but not spectacular. The only restaurant that stands out in the old town is Le Clos, and it was good. Quaint, housed in an old house.

Greyfield is a great place but take books of your own. When we stayed there everyone dressed for dinner, I wonder if they have kept up the tradition. If so, you might see a man in a blue seersucker summer suit, one of the world's greatest treats, IMO. :-)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:45PM
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Got it, PorknHam, thanks!

KSWL, they still do have men wear jackets. LOL, DH has a blue seersucker AND a charcoal one. Love 'em. Oh and him, too.

I'm so glad you guys mentioned Cumberland -- it's been too long since we've done anything more than an overnight away together. This is a perfect couples destination!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 7:06PM
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We stayed at the Ritz on Amelia Island 2-3 years ago. The resort itself was very nice, not over the top but the service was very good and we found it relaxing. It is true, though, that there isn't much to do. We spent an afternoon in a quaint downtown area, can't remember what it was called, and had a decent Mexican dinner at a casual spot. We went another time and had a so-so dinner at a big touristy restaurant. I had wanted to go to Amelia for years because it seemed as though I was always seeing it, and the Ritz, mentioned in travel articles and ads, but though it was pretty and the weather was great in April, I can't say that I have any desire to return. I'd prefer to go back to Captiva or Sanibel!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 8:17PM
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Great feedback, thanks. Running tally is: 1 night in Amelia Island Elizabeth Pointe, then 2 or 3 at Greyfield.

We went to North Captiva a few years ago, which I understand is very different from Captiva?. It was a few years after a hurricane and hit and it was still a bit of a disaster area ... despite assurances. It might be thoroughly rehabilitated by now. I'd like to go to Sanibel, that's the place famous for shells, yes.

PS Cyn, LOL, just a coincidence. I love snow!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 8:34PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Ha! I am picturing you looking out toward your little stone house surrounded by a wonderland of snow. You have the perfect property for that!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 8:57PM
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We actually used our stone house today. While the kids were out playing DH an and I were curled up with the Sunday paper (and a pot of hot chocolate). I have to post some photos, Im very happy with it. It's just my camera is lousy for interior photos.

I have an exterior shot under the Snow thread.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:41PM
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Cumberland is my neck of the woods. You've gotten good advice so I wasn't going to add my two cents. But then I saw in the other thread that you planned on visiting in June, which you may want to reconsider. Besides the heat and intense humidity, the bugs can be horrible. We have small biting gnats that swarm and are vicious. They aren't always around but they can make mornings and evenings miserable.

Honestly, we get so many visitors in the summer and I often wonder why they brave the 95 degree temperature, the crazy humidity and the bugs. It is much nicer here in the fall.

This post was edited by deee on Sun, Feb 10, 13 at 5:07

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 5:02AM
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Thank you so much Deee! Does it change your mind at all if it is very early June, ie the 8th? I looked it up and i think the high is 85 in June, and it was of course lower in May.

We are stuck on the date because we are leaving our kids with our nanny, and I don't want her to have to get three kids to two different schools in the morning. So we were leaving right after our two middle schoolers were done for the year, but before the elementary schooler is done. It locks in that date...

I really, really appreciate your posting! Would you still veto it for that time frame?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:32AM
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I don't want to completely dissuade you because it could be lovely. The ocean breezes could keep the bugs away and make the humidity bearaable.

I will say that 85 degrees in South Georgia with 93 percent humidity and blazing sun is very different from 85 degrees in New England. Temperatures can reach the 90's starting in early May so if you hit a stretch of 90's in June it would not be that unusual.

So much depends on your personal preferences and expectations. Before you let me scare you off, please call the Inn and ask them about the mosquitos and gnats and the humidity in June. Let us know what you decide!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:02PM
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We never go to the coast later than May. We love to go April, first couple of weeks of May or September/October. I've not experienced the gnats, etc. there but the humidity and heat will be high.

Amelia to me is more a place to relax. We love that it is not crowded (well at least the time of year we go). We're happy to spend the time on the beach, exploring the area, etc. We're avid antiquers and have found quite a few shops in the area. We usually stop at Savannah either coming or going.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:33PM
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I grew up in South Georgia and we vacationed on Jekyll Island near Cumberland for many years. And we visited Cumberland Island, of course.

Deee is giving you excellent advice about the gnats and mosquitoes. I can deal with the mosquitoes, but, like she said, the gnats are vicious. And she is right, the humidity and heat are different in South Georgia than further north. I'm okay with the heat, humidity and mosquitoes, but the gnats drive me crazy.

Cumberland Island is beautiful and I hope whenever you decide to go that you love it.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:35PM
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hmm, thank you all so much for posting, I was planning to make non refundable reservation.

I did look up the temperatures already and I am not too worried about them; we are on the CT/NY border so it is just barely new england, ie we do get some hot and humid weather. It's the insect thing that gives me pause.

I have already emailed the woman three times getting accurate room descriptions, she is going to think I am a PITA guest! Plus of course she would downplay it, right? ... i will think of how to broach it.

In the meantime, where would you go for a romantic weekend leaving from the NYC area. Up to a 3 hour flight. Not Bermuda, used to go there annually. Not anywhere in New England (we are spending 3 weeks doing NE and Maritimes in late summer).


    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:46PM
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