Between my full time job as a school social worker and painting at night, I had run myself ragged and needed a little weekend getaway. I recruited an old friend I had met working on a horse farm, a fellow horse lover, and planned a weekend in Cumberland Island and Savannah. Here, the Kennedys wed, the wild ponies wander, and the moss seems to soak up the sunlight and hold on to it, drenching the ancient oaks in an ethereal glow.
See the ethereal glow??
For me, the ponies were the stars of the show. You can get very close to them, but if you get close enough to touch, they'll squeal and start turning their hindquarters to you - an equine signal that you're about to get kicked. Hard. These ponies have a combination of many breeds, mostly those owned by the Carnegies who eventually set them free.
Cumberland Island used to be a playground of the rich and well automobiled. There was a row of these old cars, rusting in the elements. They must have once been so grand.
There are two ways to spend the night on Cumberland Island. You can either camp (we tried to do that, but it was fully booked) or you can stay at Greyfield Inn. We also had wanted to rent bikes when on the island, but when we got there, all the bikes had been rented (The ranger claimed that this is a rare occurrence). To make sure you get a bike, you may want to bring your own. Bikes are not allowed on the ferry, but there are private charter companies that will bring your bike over. Also, be sure to bring bug spray with deet. Even if the mosquitoes aren't biting, spray your feet to keep ticks off!
The Greyfield Inn, which has appeared on many of the travel industry's best-of-the-best lists, including those of Condé Nast, Travel & Leisure, and National Geographic. Built in 1900 by the Carnegies for their daughter, it is still run by descendants of the original family.
We stayed the first night in St. Mary's, caught the 9 am ferry to Cumberland Island, spent the day there, then spent the second night in Savannah. We stayed in The Thunderbird Inn, which is one of the few budget accommodations in the historical district of Savannah. Actually, it's more on the periphery of the historic area, but it was within walking distance and didn't break my starving artist budget. It was clean, quiet, updated, and served as a restful place to sleep, if nothing more.