Florida Unspoiled - the St Johns River Experience

Posted On
Nov 4, 2022

Florida Unspoiled - the St Johns River Experience

Now taking reservations for 2023!


Life is casual and laid back on the St. Johns River in the heart of Florida. Time to slow down and enjoy the leisurely pace along the various scenes of cypress swamps, marshes, palms, and moss-draped oak, peppered with crystal blue springs, and pockets of civilization.  

From the Holly Bluff Marina, you can travel up to 30 miles north to Silver Glen Springs, and 20 miles south to the Lake Monroe Bridge. With surrounding lakes and adjoining rivers, there is lots to explore on your houseboat. It's one of the few places you can houseboat year-round!

Blue Spring State Park, 6 miles south of the marina, is one of the largest winter gathering sites for West Indian Manatees (aka Florida Manatees) from October-March. These gentle giants can be seen from the spring overlooks and from your houseboat's front deck along the river as they feed on aquatic vegetation.

The spring’s crystal clear, 73 degree water can be enjoyed by swimmers, snorkelers, and certified scuba divers from April-October.

Ocala National Forest – Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area, 30 miles north of the marina, the largest of the St Johns River Chain of Lakes and one of the most popular areas to visit on the river.

Local wildlife includes alligators, turtles, exotic birds (heron, egret, osprey, eagles, kingfisher, and ibis), owls, frogs, among others.

Fishing is great on the River: largemouth and striped bass, perch, bluegill, and shad are plentiful. Florida is also one of the top 10 states for crappie fishing, and this is one of the best places to catch them. The best months for crappie fishing are January, February, April, and November.


Some areas are not accessible by houseboat because of shallow water or other hazards. Always check with marina staff if you have somewhere specific in mind.

Restaurants: there are several eateries scattered along the river, but only one is accessible by houseboat; most are more easily accessed by fishing boat or pontoon. You’ll need to call each marina for docking instructions.

  • Swamp House Riverfront Grill at Highbanks Marina – good food, drinks and live music. Houseboats can dock after 5pm at the gas dock, not in a marina slip.


Plan your trip early, these houseboats fill up fairly quickly. Call us at 888-454-8825 or fill out our Online Contact Form and one of our agents will reach out soon.

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