Welcome to the St. John's River
- Guest Blogger (Judy and Rick Armstrong)
- Destinations, Good News 'n Stuff, Things to Do, Tricks of the Trade
Welcome to the St. John's River
“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. Johns River.”
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Explore the St. John's River aboard one of our houseboats and you will experience Florida light years removed from the glitter of Disney World. A cruise upon the St. John’s is a return to original natural Florida, appearing much as it did when Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings explored the St. John’s in the early 20th century. She and Dessie Prescott traveled the river in a small motorboat and camped on the river bank at night. In a chapter of Cross Creek, she wrote about her experience.
Scenery along the river varies with the elevation. Pine flatwoods occur on the higher areas, while palm, oak hammocks, cypress swamps, and marshes variously border the river and its tributaries. Much of the land bordering the river is part of the Ocala National Forest and will never be developed. Wildlife is abundant. You will see Great Blue and Little Blue Herons as they pose among the thick clusters of moss-draped live oak and palmetto. Egrets dip for fish while Osprey and Eagles soar in the sky above you. Alligators and turtles bask in the sun on the banks. Bring your fishing equipment and fish for Crappie, Catfish, and Perch. At one time the St. John’s was locally dubbed the Bass capital of the world. It is very common to come upon deer crossing the river. Raccoons have been known to raid garbage cans on the front decks of houseboats tied up to the bank of the river at night.
Just one-half hour by houseboat south of Holly Bluff is Blue Springs State Park, which is the heart of the manatee protection area. Every winter the manatee travel to our area to winter in the warm water spring which has a constant water temperature of 72 degrees. Slow speed zones are in effect for most of the river so that the “sea cows” have time to avoid the propellers. The river features scattered pockets of civilization with small communities, fish camps, and boat docks. Many fish camps have restaurants that serve fresh Atlantic blue crab or alligator tail, delicacies not found in big city restaurants. Life is casual and laid back on the river. You do not need dress clothes so pack light.
Your river experience will not soon be forgotten. You can enjoy an uninterrupted view of the river’s timeless beauty from inside the climate-controlled cabin or outside on the outer and upper deck. Chart your own course and see tropical birds, lush foliage, and lazy alligators while the river unfolds for your enjoyment. Occasionally a pleasure boater will hurry by you and wave while you cruise on savoring the serenity afforded by your private rendezvous with unspoiled Florida. Enjoy the sunset from the loungers on the top deck while sipping your favorite beverage. Prepare savory meals on the gas charbroiler and dine under the stars. Then let the gentle movement of the river rock you to sleep in your boats comfortable cabin.
Enjoy your adventure on the legendary waters of this tropical river. Call 888-454-8825 or Request Information Online for assistance in planning or booking your trip.