As the morning sun breaks through the darkness of night we realize that we have discovered a boating paradise. This is the kind of place you dream about: great restaurants with fresh seafood, dockside bars with live music, a freshwater spring where you can raft up, outstanding fishing and scalloping, not to mention a beautiful house on a private island that overlooks both the Gulf of Mexico and the Homosassa River.
The first weekend in May we trailered our boat down to the small town of Homosassa, a destination that has been on our bucket list since we created Florida By Water. We had two main objectives: to experience the local flair and beauty of this Nature Coast community, and to stay at Tarpon Key Lodge.
Tarpon Key Lodge is a beautiful three bedroom, two bath private home located on Shell Island; a 30 minute boat ride from the Riverhaven Marina. What makes this home unique is that it’s the only house on an eight-acre island, located where the Homosassa River and the Gulf of Mexico meet. The accommodations sleep eight, and include amenities such as kayaks, a fish freezer, commercial icemaker, modern kitchen, Internet and cable, and amazing sunsets viewable from the massive deck that wraps around the entire house. The home, which is only accessible by boat, has a private dock equipped with a shelter and a fish cleaning station. The entire property is beautifully landscaped and you will see wildlife everywhere. Panoramic views provide an incredible reminder of the uniqueness of this destination. During regular season, the island can be yours for only $300 per night with a three-night minimum stay. Costs go up during scallop season.