Low-Country Living

Cumberland Harbour is a natural paradise.

Docks and decks at Cumberland Harbour look out on the Intracoastal, giving you livingroom views of migrating birds and boats.

Docks and decks at Cumberland Harbour look out on the Intracoastal, giving you livingroom views of migrating birds and boats.

The St. Marys River, the tidal boundary waters separating Florida from Georgia, is salt marsh country, offering stunningly beautiful vistas across thousands of acres of untouched marsh grasses, marbled with massive stands of pines and live oaks and filigreed with serpentine creeks. Whenever I bring a boat northward and cross the St. Marys River, time seems to stand still. A wide variety of marine life and a healthy local fishery combine to make this a desirable destination for yachtsmen. Redfish, trout, flounder and tarpon are abundant inshore, with a full range of deep water species just a short run offshore. Most weekends you'll find local residents relaxing on the uncrowded inlet beaches.

The deep waters of the St. Marys River inlet to the east are bounded by Amelia Island and its attractions to the south and by the unspoiled Cumberland Island National Seashore to the north, followed in turn by Georgia's renowned St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons Island, Sea Island and Jekyll Island (see "Billionaires Row", January 2006). Jacksonville is a mere 40 miles south, Savannah 115 miles to the north, and yet the way of life here is more closely associated with the historic homes and traditional waterfront of the quaint town of St. Marys just a few miles inland to the west.

Situated alongside the deep waters of Point Peter Creek, Cumberland Harbour is a community set amidst 1,000 acres of forests overlooking extensive salt marsh flats that adjoin the Intracoastal Waterway. The planned amenities include three community docks for fishing or mooring, as well as the recently completed Club at Cumberland Harbour that will offer a Spring House for gatherings and weddings, spa services, an aquatics center, tennis courts and a fitness center. A club yacht for Cumberland Island explorations, sea kayaks and canoes for exploring nearby waterways and access to fishing guides and lessons will all be available to residents.

Builders will offer several different styles of three- and four-bedroom homes with architectural themes distilled from the history of the Low Country-expansive porches, gabled rooflines, traditional materials in modern applications-for those who want to build a dream home. Depending on the location you prefer, homesites range from $175,000 to over $1 million. Yacht Club Estates, the newest phase, includes 33 homesites beginning at $300,000 that are located within walking distance of the Cumberland Harbour Marina, a deepwater facility that will have wet slips and dry storage for a wide variety of yachts large and small. In the Park Place phase, 43 luxury residences built by Bishop Homes and Hiluard Kitchens from an extensive portfolio of designs will be offered at prices beginning at $500,000.

Homesites looking out across a wide sweep of salt marsh and the Intracoastal Waterway to the unspoiled, protected shores of Cumberland Island National Seashore will have a strong attraction for those who prize unobstructed natural views, a coastal palette of colors that change with the seasons and a seemingly endless panorama of bird life. Because of the site's appeal, Home and Garden Television (HGTV) selected Cumberland Harbour as the site for one of its Dream Homes-a $1.2 million, custom-designed, fully furnished 3,000-square-foot residence with Victorian and nautical styling.

With its easy ocean access, miles of pristine marshes and barrier island beaches within the protected confines of the Intracoastal Waterway, on-site amenities and major metropolitan attractions within moderate driving distance, Cumberland Harbour seems a good place to drop anchor-for a month or a lifetime.

Contact: Cumberland Harbour, (888) 231-5263; www.cumberlandharbour.com