WATERFRONT • Kayaks Included • MANATEE • Incredible Fishing • NATURE at its best
Gary and Joanne Bartell
- English, Danish
About Gary and Joanne Bartell
We'd like to introduce ourselves. We are Gary and Joanne Bartell. We moved to Homosassa in 1988 to raise our family and quickly got involved with local politics to help shape the future of our community. Gary served as a County Commissioner from 1990 to 2010 and was chairman of the Tourist Development Council for 14 years. Joanne was a founding board member of the Nature Coast Envirothon, a high school environmental education and scholarship program. We both enjoyed spending countless hours over the years educating the youth of the community about the rare and precious natural resources found in this area. Our vision has always been to protect and preserve these amazing natural resources for generations to come.
Gary and Joanne Bartell purchased this Cottage in 2012
Why Gary and Joanne Bartell chose Homosassa
The Riverlake Cottage property was originally owned by Dazzy Vance, the Hall of Fame major league baseball player (1915 - 1935) who once told a New York Times reporter that all he wanted to do in life is 'to play baseball and fish in Homosassa'. In 1995 we had the opportunity to purchase part of Vance's original land holdings but the Lakefront property was tied up in an estate until November 2012 when a for sale sign appeared on the front lawn - we bought it that same day. With only 10 private property owners along the entire Halls River, Riverlake Cottage is our opportunity to share a rare piece of Old Florida with you.
What makes this Cottage unique
The Halls River is a rare piece of Old Florida. Largely undeveloped, the river is a birder's paradise, a fisherman's delight, and a photographer's dream. Blue Crab, Turtles, Bass, Redfish, Snook, Trout, Ladyfish, Mullet, Bream, Sunfish, and various other species of fish can all be seen swimming about in the Halls River. In the sky above you will find Bald Eagles, Green Herons, White Pelicans, Wood Storks, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills and many more species of fabulous waterbirds. Along the river you may find dolphin chasing mullet, experience a manatee nursing a newborn calf, or take delight in watching an ever playful family of river otter. Along the shore you will enjoy the antics of a family of emus and a flock of Welsh Harlequin ducks that free range along the shoreline and swim in the river. Most days the morning sunrises and evening sunsets are aglow with brilliant colors that will take your breath away. For the adventurous, night time kayaking reveals brilliant stars and planets above - and - with a flashlight shone on the water the surface appears as a sheet of glass and you can see fish, turtles, and other creatures underwater as if you are watching them through a window. Amazing, breathtaking, and captivating moments and memories await you at Riverlake Cottage in Homosassa Florida.
We love weddings! Contact us for details.
Smoking outdoors only.
Pet friendly. Please ask about our pet policy.
Of course we love kids!
Minimum age of primary renter:25
Max guests:6 (sleeps up to 4 adults)
100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date. 50% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
We had a great and relaxing visit! Beautiful area! Gary and Joanne are great hosts, and their thoughtful attention to details was very nice!
It was a great way to unplug for a few days!!
It was only11/2 hrs. away so it was easy for my husband with stage 4 cancer to sit in the car up there and he enjoyed sitting outside for awhile looking at the water.
beautiful place near the water
We had a great stay, beautiful surroundings, the house was very well equipped. Joanne was really friendly and caring.
This Hidden Paradise is a Perfect Vacation Getaway
Our stay at the cottage was fantastic. It was very clean, comfortably furnished, and equipped with everything we could possibly need and more. We had lots of privacy, yet were close to many things including Homosassa Springs and Crystal River 3 Sisters Springs. Joanne and Gary were wonderful hosts and answered our endless questions and gave us wonderful recommendations for things to do and places to eat. This was our first time in the Homosassa/Crystal River area. We were concerned about the cottage and local area having enough to entertain our 6, 10 and 14 year old kids for a week stay (their last trip was Disney World and Animal Kingdom), but it did not disappoint and the kids said they loved it just as much as the theme parks! The cottage provided tons of entertainment, wildlife viewing, kayaking, lizard catching, butterfly & firefly watching, and swimming. We got to see manatee in the river right off of the river by the cottage and even swam with them in Homosassa Springs (we went snorkeling with River Adventure Tours, the guide recommended by Gary and Joanne, and they were great with the kids and us too). We also saw many beautiful birds, very large fish, turtles, river otters, emu, and even a bobcat walking along the shoreline while we were kayaking.
This was one of the most memorable, cost effective, relaxing family vacations we have taken in a very long time.
We highly recommend Riverlake Cottage and will definitely be booking another stay.
Old Florida Paddling Paradise
Everything about our stay was perfect. The cabin is decorated beautifully, and was very clean and comfortable with wonderful memorabilia and books about the area. The Halls river is great for novice and experienced paddlers alike. The canal and area in front of the cabin are private and protected from waves and wind for easy boat entry. There are hardly any people or boats around to laugh at you if you fall in the water either which is great. :) Whether paddleboarding or kayaking you will get to see Old Florida (totally different paddling experience that the other more populated rivers in the area). The hosts Gary and Joanne were so warm and welcoming, even offering to pick us up farther down river if the weather got bad. Our day started with coffee on the dock watching an otter and heron and ended with wine on the dock after a day on the water, and a firefly display. What more can I say, I would definitely stay again!
The process to rent the property was so easy! Joanne and Gary answered my million questions multiple times and my family enjoyed our getaway so much! The location of the property was perfect to disconnect and enjoy nature! We saw all the animals we wanted and more. I highly highly recommend this location if you love fishing, nature and kayaking.
EXPLORE the unspoiled shores of the Halls River and the Homosassa River in the kayaks provided for guest use.
SWIM WITH THE MANATEE - Watch, get up-close, and swim with the 'Gentle Giants' Did you know that Citrus County is the only place in the United States where you can legally swim with the manatee in the wild?
WORLD CLASS FISHING opportunities for over 20+ different fish species year round. Redfish, Speckled Trout, Shark, Grouper, Tarpon, Tripletail, Cobia, Spanish Mackerel, Flounder, Pompano, Sheepshead, Mangrove Snapper, and Bonita are just a few of the species of fish that offer anglers unique fishing opportunities.
We highly recommend RIVER ADVENTURE TOURS (833-468-8687) for Fishing Charters, Manatee Swims, Manatee Tours, Scallop Trips, Backwater Tours, Eco Tours and Airboat Adventures.
TRAVEL BY WATER OR CAR TO THESE LOCAL RESTAURANTS: Marguerita Grill, Margarita Breeze, Seafood Seller, Gator Cove, Seagrass Waterfront Restaurant, Marker 7 Tiki Bar, Riverside Crab House, Yardarm Lounge, Monkey Bar, The Shed at MacRae's, Old Mill Tavern, and the Freezer Tiki Bar ('The Freezer').
DOCK YOUR BOAT IN OLD HOMOSASSA AND WALK TO: The Historic Sugar Mill Ruins, the Old Mill House Gallery and Printing Museum, and quaint art shops and galleries in the art district.
Or drive a few minutes up the road and spend the day at the World Famous Three Sisters Springs Refuge in Crystal River or Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park - Florida's #1 State Wildlife Park!