St John's River Houseboat Itineraries

Destinations, Things to Do

St John's River Houseboat Itineraries

The St John's River, Florida, is one of those experiences that is unlike any other; where life is casual and laid back. The river itself is unique among rivers as it is one of the very few to flow north in the world. And it's scenery is vast and varies from pine to palm, oak and cypress, to swamps and marshes. The river borders the Ocala National Forest, the shoreline of which will never be developed, so you can enjoy the natural wonders of this area for years to come.

Wildlife is abundant. Bird life includes blue herons, egrets, osprey, eagles and sandhill cranes. Keep those eyes peeled, there are also turtles and even alligators to be spotted near the shorelines. Fishing is great as well: there are crappie, catfish, perch, flounder, sea trout, and bass.

One of the most sought out destinations along the St John's is Blue Springs State Park, just 30 minutes south of Holly Bluff marina by houseboat. Here, large but gentle West Indian Manatees (aka Florida Manatees) are typically found between October and April.

Be sure to stop by any fish camps along the river. Many have restaurants that serve fresh blue crab, and even alligator tail if you're feeling adventurous.

Boundaries for Holly Bluff Houseboats:

North of Holly Bluff Marina:

  • White Hair Bridge
  • Mud Lake: Too shallow for houseboats.
  • Lake Dexter: A large, shallow lake.
  • Astor Bridge: Here you'll find overnight docking. There is also a ships store and dockside bar and grill.
  • South end of Lake George, which is the 2nd largest lake in Florida.

South of Holly Bluff Marina:

  • Hontoon State Park: 1650 acres of nature trails, Indian mounds and picnic areas. The  island was home to Timucuan Indian tribes.
  • Lake Beresford: Here there is excellent fishing and morring. If you have a small boat, visit Sunrise Fish Camp.
  • Blue Springs: Winter refuge for manatees.
  • Monroe Harbour Marina: A full service marina with hotel and cocktail lounge. *Navigation is tight; only small boats may dock here.

You'll have plenty to see while cruising at your own leisurely pace on this major river. Whether you depart from Doctors Lake marina near Jacksonville, or Holly Bluff marina near De Land, the St John's River has much to offer its visitors. Houseboat season runs all year round on the St Johns. Give us a call at 888-454-8825 to learn more or to schedule your very own experience.

"If I could have, to hold forever, one brief place and time of beauty, I think I might choose the night on that high lonely bank above the St John's River." - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings


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