5 Misconceptions about Kings Bay

Every duty station has a reputation, this we know. Groton is “rotten” and Norfolk has bad traffic and crime. Bangor is dark and depressing.

So, you just got orders to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. You might be feeling anxious because it seems whenever this duty station is brought up, the majority of spouses speak about it in a negative light. I want to encourage you to experience it for yourself before making any assumptions. To get you started, be sure to check out our “Ultimate Guide to Kings Bay.”

We thought it might be helpful to ask spouses about the misconceptions about Kings Bay. My family has been living here for the past six months, and here’s a few to keep in mind:

It is isolating.

Honestly, this all depends on where you choose to live!  Although most people in the region live closer to Jacksonville, several communities between Jacksonville and Kings Bay provide plenty of company.  If you live on the Florida side there are areas like Yulee and Fernandina Beach which are rapidly expanding! If you live there, expect to be in newer neighborhoods with access to shopping, the beach, an AMC movie theatre, and more.

There aren’t any good schools.

Actually, the public schools have an excellent reputation around here! If public school isn’t your thing though, in the state of Florida the Step Up for Students program provides scholarships for Active Duty families. Some of the reputable schools in the area include Camden County Schools, Nassau County School District Schools, Amelia Island Montessori School, Fernandina Beach Christian Academy, St. Michael’s, and more!

There’s nothing to do.

This is simply not true!  The MWR Kings Bay does an excellent job of constructing periodic events throughout the year to bring together the community.  There are fishing derbies, movie premiers, and more (such as the upcoming trunk-or-treat on October 14th)! Downtown St Mary’s features a lovely park, but there’s plenty to explore.  Amelia Island, FL is less than an hour away and has lovely beaches, shops, and restaurants. The Fernandina Beach and Yulee area has tons of shopping.

Jacksonville which is about an hour away is home to tons of entertainment. You can go to an NFL game and see the Jaguars play. There’s also Jacksonville’s baseball team–The Jumbo Shrimp-their games are so much fun and very family-friendly. The area also includes access to St. Augustine, Daytona, Cape Canaveral, Orlando… Tampa to some extent… Savannah, GA… Destin, FL… the possibilities are endless!

For outdoor inspiration, see our blog posts on camping on Cumberland Island, experiencing wild manatees and more. Check out our previous articles about trips to Disney World, Universal Studios and Kennedy Space Center to name a few.

It’s one of the worst bases.

The MWR here is very active and has tons of things going on. Activities on base include a bowling alley, a golf club, The Crab, a Teen program, a Youth Center, Intramural sports, an Aquatics Complex, an Unmanned Fitness Center, Kings Bay University (which includes self-improvement classes), Navy Lakesight Allatoona and more.

It’s the armpit of the Navy.

Yes, it can be hot and sweaty like an armpit here, however, I personally believe there are worse places to be.  The summer activities here are the best.  There are tons of swimming, biking, and beach opportunities.  Southern hospitality rings true here, the locals here are very kind and businesses everywhere offer military discounts.  It is also a very family-friendly area with tons of things to do for kids.

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