Kevin Garrett

The ins and outs of living in St. Marys

Setting: St. Marys sits amid the salt marshes of southeastGeorgia, about 40 miles south of Brunswick and 30 miles north ofJacksonville, Florida.

Attractions: The St. Marys River is perfect for kayaking,boating, fishing, and crabbing. Cumberland Island NationalSeashore, a 45-minute ferry ride away, has 16 miles of sandy beachand the First African Baptist Church, site of John F. Kennedy Jr.'swedding to Carolyn Bessette. The Howard Gilman Memorial Park is aprime spot for manatee sightings, outdoor concerts, and weddings.Jacksonville International Airport is 40 minutes away.

Drawbacks: Temperatures can surpass 90 degrees in thesummer. Sand gnats and mosquitoes may be bothersome. Large shoppingmalls and movie theaters are a 45-minute drive away inJacksonville. Jobs are scarce due to the absence of a big,industrial employer.

Housing: The average price of a three-bedroom house is$150,000 to $200,000. Marsh-view homes can be found for $400,000 to$2.5 million. Houses in Osprey Cove, a planned community, cost from$300,000 to more than $1 million. Northern Camden County is the hotspot for new developments. Home prices in Marsh Arbors, a downtowncondo community, range from $375,000 to more than $1 million.

Your next-door neighbors: World War II veterans, youngfamilies, museum volunteers, fishermen, retirees, shrimpers,boutique owners, schoolteachers, community college students,antiques dealers, and lawyers.

How you'd spend your free time: Cruising around in a golfcart, exploring the boutiques on Osborne Street, teeing off at theOsprey Cove Golf Course, practicing for the annual kingfish fishingtournament.

(published January/February 2007)

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