We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Need help deciding: tour vs. exploring southern end

Level Contributor
10 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Need help deciding: tour vs. exploring southern end

We're having a hard time deciding between taking the Lands and Legacies tour for the day or spending the day exploring on our own, possibly around Dungeness. We're a family of two 60-something adults and 3 grown kids in their 20s and 30s. Walking 5 or 6 miles should be ok over the course of the day, and we like to bike as well, but after reading about the island, I'm having a hard time figuring out if we will miss a lot by forgoing the tour, which sounds excellent and informative. If we do the tour, though, it seems that we will have no time to wander or spend on the beach, etc. Also, some people who have posted suggest that the southern part of the island is more beautiful and that we will only see the northern part on the tour....

Any help sorting this out will be very much appreciated!

4 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
3,996 posts
238 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Need help deciding: tour vs. exploring southern end

I can't speak about the Land and Legacies tour but we first did a walking group tour with a ranger on the southern end, which included the Dungeness ruins. It was very informative. After the tour, we explored trails on our own, walked the beaches, using the trail guide we picked up at the ranger station upon arrival. I wouldn't recommend a bike tour - the paths can be quite sandy. We are in our mid-50's and it was easy to moderate hiking.

Edited: 31 January 2018, 14:03
Fernandina Beach...
Destination Expert
for Cumberland Island
Level Contributor
252 posts
102 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Need help deciding: tour vs. exploring southern end

I would explore the southern end of Island vs. tour. I have not been on NPS tour but have been to northern end of Island several times. You will have time to explore and picnic where you want vs on a tour that everything is already decided for you. The Ice House at Dungeness dock has a museum that is very informative and you can browse at your leisure. I hope you have a great time, Cumberland is a one of a kind place.

Destination Expert
for Atlanta, Savannah
Level Contributor
18,763 posts
95 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Need help deciding: tour vs. exploring southern end

I have NOT taken the tour. I plan to the next time I go to Cumberland.

The reviews are fabulous -


I'm looking forward to seeing more of Cumberland than I've seen in the past.

Level Contributor
1,984 posts
189 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Need help deciding: tour vs. exploring southern end

I've been to the island quite a few times and have done the L and L tour. It is excellent, but you do spend a lot of time in the van. The stops include the Stafford cemetery, Plum Orchard, and the little church at the north end. You might read a little about these places and decide if you would rather do these than explore on your own. I do love walking around on the southern end with the moss-draped live oaks and the quiet beaches. The last 2 times I was there, no guided tours of Dungeness were offered because the Ranger Station was short staffed,but there are excellent materials on sale at the dock that would provide the information given in the tours. IMO, you can't lose whichever option you choose

Edited: 01 February 2018, 06:07
Reply to: Need help deciding: tour vs. exploring southern end
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Cumberland Island