STAYS at the Florida Springs | Your Guide to the BEST Rentals

Ever get excited to explore one of Florida’s treasured springs but worried a one-day visit is not enough? Check out some of these immersive and stunning stays you can book to be near the springs.

Near Ichetucknee Springs 

(and the many others located on the Santa Fe River)


1. Sweet Bay River Camp

A warm, inviting cabin where you can wake up in the morning and feel like a Disney princess with deer and other animals frolicking about the property. The house has one bedroom, located up in the loft area with a queen size bed. And downstairs there is a full-sized bed with a twin bed trundle/extension. A full bathroom located on the first level and…wait for it…an outdoor shower! Perfect for rinsing off after a fun day on the water or to feel like you are truly camping, showering beneath the stars. A beautiful wooden porch encircles the house, and you are surrounded by the calm green serenity of a nature preserve. 


For amenities, there is a hammock to enjoy on the porch, a firepit with chairs, and benches for sitting around enjoying beverages and laughter. There is a boat ramp to access the river about ½ mile away, nature trails on the property, and a gas grill for some good cookin’. 


And the best news yet! This gem is only four miles from Itchetucknee Spring State Park, where you paddle, tube, swim, dive, and stroll the trails. Read our blog article about this state park to learn more and plan your outing. 

 For more information about Sweetbay River Camp, click HERE

 


2. Good Life River House

Is another great stay near Itcheucknee Springs, located in the town of High Springs, right on the Santa Fe River. There are 3 huge spacious bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The master bathroom has a double sink vanity and a tub perfect for soaking in after a long day of chilling on the water. A large sliding glass door opens from the kitchen, connecting you directly to nature and the extensive patio. The Rec Room is perfect for storing any dive equipment or other fun adventure toys you might have brought. It also has a dart board for some game time. The backyard is spacious, with a charcoal grill, picnic table, and fire pit. And don’t forget your furry friend because pets are welcome!


Just on the other side of the fence is a boat ramp that will take you directly onto the Santa Fe River. It is noted that the ramp is for small vessels only. 


The North Entrance to Ichetucknee Springs is about 20 minutes from this stay. A reminder that swimming at the two spring heads and trails are located at the North Entrance. Tubing and paddling adventures check in at the South Entrance, which is about 15 minutes from the North Entrance. 


Also nearby on the Santa Fe River is Gilchrist Blue Springs. Book a tour with Get Up and Go Kayaking Gilchrist Blue to explore the unreal blue water of this spring and maybe even spot some secret ones. Passport holders can use their voucher to receive a discount when booking. You also have Poe Springs and Ginnie Springs along the Santa Fe. There are more than enough springs to explore and plenty of spring fun to be had. 

For more information about The Good Life River House, click HERE

 

 

Near Weeki Wachee Springs

 

1. Funky Flamingo River Cottage

This vibrant cottage is located just off the very trendy and mermaid-approved Weeki Wachee River. This quirky Florida cottage has two bedrooms. One room with a single bed and bunk bed (crib if needed), and the second has a king-size bed. The screened-in lanai/porch with a hammock, firepit, and picnic table are the true heart and soul of this stay. Perfect for gathering after a day out on the water. There are kayaks, paddles, and a floating island for making fun memories on the water. There is a kayak stabilizer, which makes launching easy and effortless. Additional beach chairs and toys can be found in the storage bin. This stay is perfect for warm summer days, soaking up the sunshine on the refreshing, magical waters. Or, in the cooler fall/winter months, spend time with the cousin to the iconic mermaid, the manatee. 


Enjoy the local eatery Upper Deck Cafe, near Roger’s Park, only 5 minutes away from this stay. Hint: this restaurant prefers cash, but if you only have a card, that is fine, but there will be a service charge added. This is a true local watering hole and a great place to take in the views of the Weeki Wachee River. 

 

For more information about The Funky Flamingo River Cottage, click HERE

 

Near Rainbow Springs 

1. Rainbow River Bungalows

There are 22 bungalows in this little quaint river community. It ranges from 1:1 to 2:2. Each bungalow is uniquely decorated and has a porch perfect for enjoying songbird-filled mornings and tranquil warm nights. All the bungalows share a large green lawn common area with a fire pit, grills, several hammocks, and activities like life-size chess. This stay is dog-friendly and offers places to walk your pup.


The bungalows are only 10 minutes from Rainbow Springs State Park, where you can swim in the head spring, enjoy a picnic on rolling green lawns, and wander past manmade waterfalls. Read our blog post to learn more about the activities to do and what to see at Rainbow Springs. 


Down the road and river is KP Hole, another launch site for floating and paddling down Rainbow River. If you are a guest at Rainbow River Bungalows, you will receive lanyards with passes for Free Boat Ramp entry at KP Hole. 

If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind immersive Florida river experience, book a tour with Ecoventure Tours. Their clear kayaks and paddleboards allow you to surround yourself with views of the crystal-clear waters of Rainbow River while also learning fun historical facts and where you can find a hidden rope swing. Passport holders receive a discount by using the voucher when booking their tour.


Whether you need to refuel after a day on the river or playing around in the head spring, local restaurant Swampy’s Bar & Grille offers delicious food and lovely views. Keep your eyes peeled for a local family of otters! 


If you want to explore some other springs nearby, Three Sister Springs is only 17 miles away from your stay, home to many manatees. And 22 miles away is the historic Devil’s Den, where you can snorkel and even scuba dive in this unique cave-like spring. 

 

For more information about The Rainbow River Bungalows, click HERE

 

2. Dream River House

 

Also near Rainbow Springs, this house is a true dream for a large family or a spring adventure with all your friends. It comfortably sleeps 16 people, with bedrooms upstairs and downstairs. The upstairs bedrooms have access to sliding glass doors that open onto an expansive balcony. The kitchen and living room have more than enough space to accommodate a large party. And the massive circular dining table has a Lazy Susan, perfect for passing around delicious dips and treats.


The house makes your dream of living on the river a reality. The backyard is right on the iconic and gorgeous Rainbow River. Want to play on the river but don’t have the gear? Don’t worry, this stay has got you! It comes with paddleboards, canoes, life jackets, and floats. 


This stay proudly boasts having private island waterfront vibes and it most certainly does!

For more information about The Dream River House, click HERE


Near Seven Sister Springs and the Chasshowitizka River

1. Seven Sisters Campground

 

This campground has several places to stay, with cabins that can hold up to 4 or 6 people. The River Rat Flat is the largest, accommodating up to 12 guests! The cabins include a kitchen and bathrooms, and amenities such as Wi-Fi and board games with a fire pit and picnic table in your backyard.

The campground also offers 23 spacious RV sites with full hookups right near the water and are pet friendly!

You have a third option to stay at the historic Chasshowitzka Hotel. Built in 1910, this historic B&B will transport you to old Florida. Take in the views of Spanish moss-covered trees, enjoying an Arnold Palmer while sitting in a rocking chair on the veranda. Amenities at the hotel include Wi-Fi and a free continental breakfast. 

All guests receive 20% off kayak and paddleboard rentals, and you can launch right from the campground. For those bringing a boat, the campground has a covered boat slip. Make sure to reserve your space ahead of time. Iconic places to check out on the river are, of course, Seven Sister Springs, where you can swim through underwater limestone tunnels. There is also “The Crack,” which is unique because, amid all the freshwater, saltwater rises out of it. Read our blog post to learn more!

Other attractions to check out nearby are Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, which has all kinds of animals to see, like Lu, the famous hippo, and native Florida panthers. Note: if you have a state park pass, this is one of the few you will need to pay to enter. View the monkeys of Monkey Island near the Florida Cracker Monkey Bar. Weeki Wachee Springs is only 20 minutes down the road. From July to September, it is scalloping season, so book a tour and get yourself some freshly caught savory scallops from the Gulf. 

In this true slice of old Florida, for some grub, check out Florida Cracker Monkey Bar at the Florida Cracker Riverside Resort. And just across the river is Crumps Landing. While Florida Cracker offers old southern vibes with its décor and menu items, Crumps is terrifically tiki but on the river. Hang out on their beach, chill in a cabana, or explore the pirate ship playground. 

 

For more information about The River Rat Flat, click HERE


So extend your fun when visiting these Florida springs, and book a stay that will transport you into wild, beautiful Florida. 


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