HomeAway uses cookies to improve your site experience. Learn more. By continuing, you consent to our use of cookies.
HomeAway uses cookies to improve your site experience. Learn more. By continuing, you consent to our use of cookies.
Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled Family icon
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992

WATERFRONT • Kayaks Included • Peaceful Location • Manatee • Scalloping •Fishing

Bedrooms 2
Space 1,000 sq ft
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

Riverfront and Lakefront

Unique and beautiful, Riverlake Cottage is located on 2 acres of wooded property with a private lake on one side of the house and on the other is the Halls River, a pristine spring fed river which flows into the Homosassa River.

Centrally located, the cottage is only one mile from town for shopping, and is minutes away from two of the state's most popular nature parks, the world famous Three Sisters Springs Refuge and Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park. It is only an hour's drive to some of Florida's best theme parks, zoo, museums and attractions!


Quality Kayaks available for Guest Use.

Incredible Fishing and a Nature Lover's Paradise

Floating Dock & Sitting Area by River

Amazing Sunsets

Your own private 1/2 acre lake in the backyard. (Great fishing in both the river and the lake!)

Spacious screened porch overlooking private lake. Mentioned in many reviews as a "favorite destination"

Fountain & Floating Dock on Private Lake

Large Lakeside Fire Pit

New (2018) Weber Gas BBQ Grill

Wi-Fi to keep you connected during your stay

55" Internet enabled (Smart) TV - Unlimited Free Netflix Movies, Pandora's extensive Music Library and more.

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. All of the nature photos on this page were taken either in the yard or from a kayak, most only a few feet from the cottage shoreline. We also included pictures sent to us by guests who wanted to share their adventures at Riverlake Cottage with you.

Amazing, breathtaking, and captivating moments and memories await you at Riverlake Cottage in Homosassa Florida.

Please feel free to call us at 352-601-6785 if you have any questions.

Your hosts,

Gary and Joanne

More Details

Gary and Joanne Bartell
Member since: 2013
Speaks English
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
14 May, 2018

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 Springs

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.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Homosassa Springs in Citrus County

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 1000 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 16:00
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • Max. adults: 4
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events allowed ...
  • Pets considered ...
  • Non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Lake View
  • Lakefront
  • rural
  • Water View
  • Waterfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom - Toilet , Bath (no shower) , Shower Enclosure
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Master Bedroom - 1 Large Double Bed , California Queen with 3" gel foam topper for extra comfort
    Second Bedroom - 1 Large Double Bed , Captivating view of lake and fountain from bedroom window.
  • ***Third Bedroom: There is a small bedroom/den connected to the Master Bedroom (see listing pictures for photographs of the room). There is a pocket door between the rooms. This 3rd bedroom/den is a quiet and cozy space mentioned in many of the reviews as a treasured space. Recent comment include: "The little den next to the Master Bedroom was a nice, welcomed surprise that my eight year old loved as he made it his own little space" - "The small bedroom next to the master bedroom was perfect for our little ones" - and "the extra room was a perfect place to escape from my husband's snoring!" ***All beds have mattress covers. ***All beddings, including bed spreads, comforters, duvet covers, and pillow shams, are freshly laundered prior to guest arrival.
  • Books ...
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • water parks
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • bird watching
  • Boating
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • Horseshoes
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • Shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • Kayaking
  • pier fishing
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • diving
  • snorkelling
  • Snorkeling/Diving
  • caving
  • surf fishing
  • swimming
  • water tubing
Please visit our website for more photos and information: www.suncoastkeys.com. Thank you!


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(79 traveller reviews)

92% Complete
5% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
2% Complete
WATERFRONT • Kayaks Included • Peaceful Location • Manatee • Scalloping •Fishing
average rating of 4.848101 based on 79 reviews

Finally, our dream vacation destination.

  • 5 of 5

My family and I have been coming to Crystal River to vacation since 2003 and have always stayed at vacation homes/resorts on Kings Bay. Kings Bay the last few years has gotten to congested for us so we decided to head a further bit south and stumbled upon this gem of a Cottage. First off, even before our arrival, Gary & Joanne (cottage owners) had us feeling like family and we're so blessed to have crossed paths with our new friends. When we walked in the cottage for the first time, candles were lit, Christmas music was playing, the décor was so scenic and history filled the rooms. We could have spent our entire stay on the cottage property and still had an amazing time. Pond right behind the cottage with fountain that had me sleeping like a baby with the splashing noise in the background and an outstanding nature like trail leading to the river access and kayaks. Our first morning was spent kayaking the Halls River which was the best paddling I've done in my 56 years of life with endless wildlife and breath taking views. Our second day was spent with the next hidden gem we stumbled across! My daughter found a note from a previous guest raving about their experience with a local river tour company so we called them up and that's where the adventure began! River Adventure Tours, owned by Joanne and Gary's son (Jr) took us inshore fishing where we caught more fish than what I read about in the magazines! While fishing, JR caught on that we were history nerds and the last few hours of the day, he took us to multiple historic locations, Indian burial grounds and on the way in, we got to play with a whole pack of Bottle Noise Dolphins!!! It was absolutely incredible. I thought I knew much about the area seeing we've been coming here for 14 years but turns out, that wasn't true. I learned and saw more this one time than the past 14 times.

We ate at 4 new restaurants we've never been to before.

Seafood Seller- OUTSTANDING*****

Wild Sassa Food Truck- GREAT****

Margarita Grill- GREAT****

Green House Bistro- FAIR**

Gary & Joanne, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you... looking forward to next year!

  • Review Submitted: 16-Dec-2017
  • Date of Stay: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you very much for the review. We appreciate all the details you took the time to write about -- it will definitely help future guests. The cottage is truly a very special place and you definitely captured that in your review! We are adding Dazzy Vance photos as we find them and recently found a fossil right where guests launch kayaks that the Gulfcoast Archeological Research Institute said was "several million years old". The fossil is now on a shelf at the cottage for guests to see. Thank you again for your kind words. Look forward to seeing you next year. -Gary and Joanne
Did you find this review helpful?
3 0

Perfect location!

  • 5 of 5

We loved the cottage and everything about our trip. The property owners are awesome! The kayaks we're so much fun. They even had baby and adult emus, tons of.ducks and chickens, and pigs on their property within walking distance of the cottage.

  • Review Submitted: 27-Apr-2018
  • Date of Stay: April 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Perfect getaway

  • 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. The cottage was very relaxing. Kayaking the river was easy and beautiful.

  • Review Submitted: 19-Apr-2018
  • Date of Stay: April 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

The Perfect Getaway!

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I were looking for a place to refresh and recharge, we couldn't have asked for a better setting. We found "Peace and Tranquility" in this hidden little gem. No matter were you stepped outside there was something special in every view. Inside was very clean, cozy and had an inviting and homey feel about it candles were lit awaiting our arrival. You could even sit on the bed in the Master bedroom and watch the sunset. Kayaking down the river and to the adjacent springs was breathtaking. Mullet were jumping everywhere, we saw manatees and never expected Emu's Lol. Just down the road we went to Faith Haven Tree top adventure and had another great time, Zip lining and working our way through Tree aerial courses. I cant say enough wonderful things about this vacation place. Joanne and Gary the owners they were so accommodating and shared all kinds of great information and go to places in the area. We Enjoyed every Moment! Look forward to going back again. We are grateful for such a wonderful time at your cottage and for the great memories. Thank you again Joanne and Gary for making this opportunity possible .

Patricia & Ed

  • Review Submitted: 13-Apr-2018
  • Date of Stay: April 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

This Cottage is the Perfect Vacation Getaway

  • 5 of 5

We found ourselves in a jam right before Christmas when our family had to abruptly leave the place we were staying at due to a major water pipe break. Just when we thought our Christmas vacation was ruined we found Riverlake Cottage and the owners Gary and Joanne Bartell. It turned out to be the Best. Vacation. Ever! Gary and Joanne were wonderful. They squeezed us in between two other reservations but you never would have known it. The cottage was immaculate and as so many others said in their reviews the personal touches made us feel at home the moment we walked in the door. The river the cottage is located on is breathtakingly beautiful! The kayaks provided with the cottage are the best quality kayaks we have ever used at any vacation rental anywhere - and we've been renting vacation homes for over 20 years! There was a group of manatees right out in front of the cottage and one came right up to our kayaks and rolled over for a belly rub! We saw so many waterbirds too. We were in wildlife heaven when a flock of white pelican flew overhead and landed in the river not 100 feet away from where we were giving the manatee the belly rub. We were so impressed with the Bartells and the cottage that my husband took a leap of faith and booked a fishing trip with their son, Captain Gary. I say this because my husband has been fishing since he could walk and in the 24 years we've been married he's never hired a fishing guide. When he and our son came back from the fishing trip they couldn't stop smiling and talking about what a great time they had. We highly recommend both this vacation rental and Captain Gary with River Adventure Tours. Thank you so much Gary and Joanne for saving our Christmas vacation and sharing your slice of heaven with us - and thank you Captain Gary for providing a memory my husband and son will treasure forever.

  • Review Submitted: 01-Feb-2018
  • Date of Stay: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0


  • 5 of 5

We went for New Year's Eve and this house is so quaint and well done! We loved our time here and would come back and stay again!

  • Review Submitted: 02-Jan-2018
  • Date of Stay: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0


Explore Old Homosassa with the #1 most visited state park in Florida, the Homosassa Springs ...
Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Tampa International Airport (TPA)
Lowry Park
Lowry Park is a 5-Star Zoo.
Busch Gardens
Walt Disney World Resort
It doesn't matter how old we get, Walt Disney World is truly the Magic Kingdom and will alwa...
SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld is a great day trip for lovers of marine life.
Seagrass Resort
Riverside Crab House
Crackers Bar & Grill
Pecks Old Port Cove
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park
Publix Super Market at Springs Plaza
Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
Nearest Airport
70 Miles
Tampa or Orlando International Airport
Nearest Golf
10 Miles
World Famous Black Diamond Ranch & World Woods
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Marguerita Grill, Seafood Seller, Riverside Crab
Nearest Beach
9 Miles
Fort Island Gulf Beach and Pine Island Beach Park
Car: recommended


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!


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday cottage in Homosassa Springs, USA

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Scallop Season
29 Jun 2018 - 24 Sep 2018
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £8 per night, per additional guest
Scallop Season 2019
28 Jun 2019 - 24 Sep 2019
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £8 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £8 per night, per additional guest

Additional pricing information

Pet Fee £67.01 + Tax

1) We do not charge a cleaning fee. Cottage is to be left in the same clean condition as the time of check-in. BBQ grill, oven, stove top, dishes, counter tops etc must all be cleaned if used. Owner responsible for laundering towels and linens.
2) Guest may opt for cleaning service. Please inquire for rates.
3) Pets: Must read and agree to pet policy prior to making reservation.
4) Security deposit may be required for pet guests and reservations of more than 2 guests.
5) Rates are based on 2 guests; add $10.00 per night, per additional guest.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
Ask Owner a Question

You might like these similar holiday rentals