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
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44-800-085-3815
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44-800-085-3815

Turtle Palace - Santa Fe River

Bedrooms 1
Property type Recreational Vehicle
Minimum Stay 2 nights
Popular Features
  • Internet
  • Washing Machine
  • non smoking only
  • Air Conditioning
  • Barbecue
  • children welcome


About the property

Cozy 28' Cardinal RV, 400 feet from the beautiful spring fed Santa Fe River

Set back 400 ft from the Santa Fe River, Turtle Palace is a cozy 28' RV trailer nestled amidst oaks and cypress on the beautifully wooded private Lazy Turtle Lodge estate (10 acres) on the banks of the Santa Fe River 15 minutes from Historic High Springs. There is a kitchen with gas stove, toaster oven and microwave. Cute living area with two rocking chairs, pull out sofa and dining table for four and a queen size bed, shower and bath in the sleeping area. The pull out could accommodate a child or two. Additional guests, over two, are $25/person/night. Children under 6 are free (two children max). Turtle Palace has a large covered deck, picnic table, rocking chairs, Weber grill and Enos hammock. There is an outside hot water shower for two that is every guest favorite. A lovely 400 ft walk through the trees takes you to the river's edge and to the main Lodge, where you can float, kayak, paddle, swim, fish or sit on the dock and watch the river flow by. Time is slow and easy. There is NO Internet at the unit only down at the Lodge. All guests will be asked to sign a General Accident and Release of Liability Form at check in.

Pam Smith
Member since: 2015
Speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
17 March, 2017

About Pam Smith

Pam is a retired commercial real estate broker and husband, Lance, is a retired Herff Jones executive. Having met at the University of Florida (Go Gators!), they always wanted to move back to the Gainesville area. They bought the property from good friends and next door neighbors in 2007 and built the Main Lodge as a full time dream residence in 2011. They have enjoyed entertaining friends and family and decided to open the Lazy Turtle Lodge to guests who appreciate the simplicity and beauty of Mother Nature.

Pam Smith purchased this recreational vehicle in 2007

Why Pam Smith chose Florida

Pam and Lance had been coming to the Santa Fe to visit friends, now neighbors, since 1997 and fell in love with the natural beauty and serenity of the area. When the property became available, they decided to make it their future home. The property already had three trailers and an RV (now named Turtle Heaven, Turtle Club, Turtle Nest and Turtle Palace) which Pam and Lance began turning into sleep accommodations for their 6 kids. In 2011 they build the Lodge and moved it full time.

What makes this recreational vehicle unique

The beauty and serenity of the area provide a unique setting for both relaxation and river fun. In all seasons the river flows amidst cypress and oak hammocks and can be enjoyed in so many ways. Whether floating, tubing, kayaking, canoeing, cave diving, paddle boarding, fishing or simply sitting on the dock and watching the is slow and easy at the Lazy Turtle Lodge.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday recreational vehicle in Fort White, USA

Property Type:
  • Recreational Vehicle
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 400 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy 3
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • rural
  • village ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Sports & Activities
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • Stand Up Shower, Sink and Toilet
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 3
  • Queen Size Bed - Full Closet
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Stereo
  • Terrace ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Onsite Services:
  • Private Chef
  • festivals
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • bird watching
  • Boating
  • eco tourism
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • Kayaking
  • rafting
  • diving
  • Snorkeling/Diving
  • swimming
  • water tubing
This is a place to enjoy nature, tranquility and river activities.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(21 traveller reviews)

Turtle Palace - Santa Fe River
average rating of 5.0 based on 21 reviews
Laurens, SC

Turtle Palace Revisited

  • 5 of 5

I recently stayed at the Turtle Palace for the second time. As expected, the visit, the facilities, and the host's services were outstanding. Each visit to the Santa Fe area has been fantastic and the Turtle Palace has been a great base of operations. I fully intend to make future visits to the area and the Turtle Palace. Thank you Pam and Lance for providing such wonderful facilities.

  • Review Submitted: Mar 16, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Likewise, we have great guests and you are certainly among them! Until soon. Pam and Lance.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
Laurens, SC

Turtle Palace- Heaven on Earth

  • 5 of 5

We just returned home from a great 4 days of kayaking, resting, and thoroughly enjoying the "great life" at The Turtle Palace. We kayaked from the 441 bridge to River Rise and back downstream to Hwy 27 bridge. The 2nd day was spent boating the Ichetucknee River, where we saw manatees, to the Santa Fe and the Hwy 129 bridge. After this awesome trip we relaxed on the dock following a nice hot outdoors shower (in February no less). The 3rd day, we kayaked from Hwy 27 bridge to Rum Island Park and stopped en route at Poe Springs Park and Lily Springs. That afternoon, we hiked to the sink at O'Leno State Park. Thursday morning we hiked at River Rise Park to the Rise. Jim already plans to revisit in two weeks. Pam and Lance do a tremendous job in making your trip a remarkable journey.

  • Review Submitted: Feb 11, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Great Stay

  • 5 of 5

Me and a friend shared the RV at Turtle Palace for a quick girl trip. We had a great time! We kayaked down the river and checked out all the springs. Truly a memorable time! The house was well stocked with everything you could possibly need! Fire wood is free, but bring your own bag if it looks like rain. The grill is super nice and easy to use. The covered porch area is huge and has tons of seating. They stocked extra towels, linens, and pillows. The queen bedroom is cozy and the bed 5 star hotel comfortable! This RV is nestled in the woods behind the main house less than a quarter mile from the water. If you are not a woodsy camping kind of person you may not be able to appreciate this place fully, but will still be very comfortable. The view from the dock at night or a cold morning is amazing enough to please anyone! We ate at The Great Outdoors restaurant in High Springs and it was fantastic! They had a great band and the food was terrific, I was truly impressed for the area. I have camped at Ginnie Springs with family and friends for years and wanted to avoid the loud crazy college kids this go round, but noticed as we passed that Ginnie was relatively empty, as was Blue Springs. It was probably exam week and we stayed during the week, so that was probably why. I was super excited about this because we were able to get great photos of the springs when the water and area were undisturbed and the water clarity was better than usual even in the river areas. Pam and Lance were extremely friendly and right there if we needed anything, but kept their distance as not to disturb us. Great stay all the way around! I recommend this place to anyone, but this is ideal for quiet adults and small families wanting to join a group who is camping in the area but do not want to rough it!

  • Review Submitted: Dec 17, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Dec 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0
Washington DC

Great space with an amazing deck!

  • 5 of 5

Great base camp for tubing and kayaking on the Santa Fe River. I was pleasantly surprise by the size and the amenities within Turtle Palace. It's much larger inside than I expected, having never been in an RV before. I stayed there with a friend over a weekend, and we were both delighted by the amenities inside and out. The deck is wonderful, and the outdoor fire pit was prepped and ready for us when we arrived. Turtle Palace was very clean. The owners are kind and fun to talk to. There is a binder inside with all the info you need on local food and river activity rentals.

Perfect location. Close drive to town for dinner and ice cream. Close to a great swimming spot.

I definitely recommend Turtle Palace. I'll be back!

  • Review Submitted: Oct 7, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

So relaxing!

  • 5 of 5

This place was so quaint and quiet. Nestled in some trees, and steps from Santa Fe River, this provided a much needed relaxed atmosphere for my husband and I to unwind while celebrating our 3rd anniversary. The RV had everything we needed and the outdoor shower was amazing! Wildlife abounds. A float down the river to rum island springs is a must! We'll be back. 😊

  • Review Submitted: Sep 8, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Quaint and charming

  • 5 of 5

I've never reviewed anything ever but felt compelled to do so. I would start off by saying this is definitely not the Hilton but if you've made it this far you're probably looking for something different. Just the great clean little place to stay out in the woods off the beaten path deer in the yard. It almost feels like visiting relatives and staying in the mother in law Suite, Pam and Lance are around and available but certainly not intrusive. My daughter who first cried when she heard about the outdoor shower and it up being the one that loved it the most. I really can't say enough good things about the location the atmosphere and the vibe the whole experience is great I'm already thinking about when I can come back

  • Review Submitted: Aug 22, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for your review. So glad your daughter ended up enjoying her stay. Come see us again soon.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0


Nearest Airport
27 Miles
Gainesville Regional Airport, Gainesville, Fl.
Nearest Restaurant
7.4 Miles
Great Outdoors
Nearest Beach
98 Miles
Crescent Beach
Car: necessary

Turtle Palace is located 15 minutes from Historic High Springs' antique and craft stores and 40 minutes from the University of Florida in Gainesville on a private 10 acre estate - the Lazy Turtle Lodge. The Lazy Turtle Lodge is directly on the Santa Fe River where guests can float, tube, kayak, canoe, swim, fish, bird watch or watch the river flow by among cypress, oak hammocks and spanish moss. Wildlife includes lots of turtles, birds, otters, deer, and wild turkeys. A stress free beautiful natural setting.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday recreational vehicle in Fort White, USA

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £21 per night, per additional guest

Additional pricing information

Cleaning Fee £28 + Tax
Tax Rate 7.0%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 7 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing

Partner Offers

Portable wifi hotspot

You might like these similar properties