|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
The Villa is not a modern house on a bland housing development. When the owners decided to buy a retirement home in Florida some years ago, they carried out an exhaustive examination of alternatives in central Florida and the more southerly Gulf Coast but finally they purchased this waterfront property on the Nature Coast in beautiful Crystal River.
Real Estate agents say that the three most important aspects which affect house pricing are location, location and location, if this is the case then this villa must be almost priceless.
North Palm Springs Terrace is a row of individually designed properties backing onto a natural spring. The woodland to the front of the houses and on the other side of the waterway is zoned to protect it from development hence all the properties are very private with only neighbours on either side. The loudest noise you hear is likely to be birdsong from the wooded areas.
The waterway is tidal (the Gulf of Mexico is only 7 miles away down the Crystal River) but is always navigable for pleasure craft.
The water is fresh since it is fed by the spring and there is prolific fish life present. Bass, needle fish, mullet catfish even trout are present. The fish life provides an ideal environment for birds and various diving birds are constantly searching for food (indeed the owners love to watch the egrets and heron stalking, the kingfishers diving all whilst they are drinking the first coffee of the day).
In addition to the extensive accommodation the villa has a screen room which runs the full length of the back of the house. This overlooks the waterway and allows a perfect view of the waterway activity. An electric grill has been installed in the screen room to allow 'out-door' cooking even in inclement weather.
Turtles are very often seen and the manatee visit, normally when the tide is coming in. On occasion dolphins come to feed on the high tide.
Attached to the screen room is a fully screened pool, to cool off at the end of the day. The pool is separated from the screen room by a lockable door for safety of young children. Pool heating is available at an extra cost for the few days in the year when heating is necessary in Florida (please note pool heating is not available for November to February stays).
Between the villa and the pool is a patio area with BBQ. This is a super sun trap for sun worshippers and two sun loungers are provided.
A sea wall with moorings runs the full length of the property and is even equipped with a boat slip, boats of all sizes can be rented at several places (the nearest being Plantation Inn).
A large canoe and two kayaks are provided for the use of guests so they can fully experience the magnificent surroundings.
Around 300 feet away the waterway joins the magnificent Kings Bay. This is also fresh water fed by large natural springs. The water temperature is stable throughout the year at around 72 degrees due to the springs. This explains the fact that Crystal River is home to the largest number of manatee in the US, since as soon as the water temperature in the Gulf starts to fall the manatee head for Kings Bay.
Manatee viewing trips are available, as are guided snorkelling or scuba trips, however there are so many manatee in the Bay during the season that they can be seen from bridges, boats or even our yard. Swimming with the manatee is increasing in popularity and during the winter months there are several areas that can not be entered to protect the gentle giants. Crystal River is the only place in America where it is legal to swim with the manatee.
The fishing in the area is spectacular. Trout, snapper and redfish are abundant in the Bay and inshore, whilst off-shore grouper, tarpon and even shark are available. There are many professional guides who specialise in fishing trips.
Boats can be hired from several places in Crystal River but if you decide to bring your own then there is a free communal ramp at Pete’s Pier with additional free ramps on Fort Island Trail, our dock is big enough for boats up to about 22 feet. There is ample room for temporary trailer storage in front of the villa. Please note that we only allow one boat per party, additional boats are only allowed with our written permission.
The furnishings have been selected, not as the minimum acceptable for rentals, but to the owners exacting standards for their own use.
The home has been extensively redecorated. All new furniture has been installed at the same time including the living room, family room, dining area, all three bedrooms and screen room.
New screens have been installed over the pool and screen room and the window screens have been renewed.
The air-conditioning has been completely renewed and a new pool heater installed.
The villa has been equipped with a WiFi network connected via the cable network. Bring your laptop and stay in touch.
The nearest major airport is Tampa International which is around 70 minutes away but the Orlando Airports are only a little further.
If the local attractions of the Nature Coast are insufficient, Disney, Universal Studios and the other theme parks in Orlando are only 90 minutes away and Busch Gardens in Tampa is even closer, around 75 minutes via the Suncoast Parkway.
Peter is a retired Mining Engineer. After some years managing coalmines he moved into the equipment supply industry and spent the rest of his career selling mining equipment throughout the world.
Ann is also retired. After a spell in the Royal Navy she concentrated on raising our family. Once the boys left home she went to University and obtained her BA, she then went on to obtain her Masters.
Peter Beavan purchased this house in 1997
Some years before retiring we started looking for somewhere to spend the Winter months. We were lucky to find Crystal River while on a golfing holiday in Florida. We fell in love with the area which we think is unique.
We were even luckier to find our Villa which has a fabulous setting in a quiet private area at the south end of Kingss Bay but is still close to shops and restaurants.
Having wintered in Crystal River for 7 years our views have not changed.
We arrived to find a well maintained and very clean home. The facilities were excellent, just like being at home.
They were exactly as described and very comfortable. We have travelled extensively around the USA and Canada and always stay in private homes. This has been our best experience so far. Every thing you could want and more beside. The florida room and the pool were just great and sometimes we had to drag ourselves away as we so absorbed with the wildlife.
Within minutes of arrival and whilst looking around we watched an osprey fly past, catch a fish and perch opposite to eat it. It was then disturbed by a red shouldered hawk. How great is that. We also saw racoons, otters, manatee, shoals of fish and lots more birds.
The neighbours were fab and helped us with our attempts to fish of the sea wall. They caught some awesome fish. We hired a boat for two days and tootled around Kings bay, saw great wildlife here too. Went swimming with the manatees with Captain Mike, an experience not to forget, boating down the to the springs in the early morning with the mist on the river, it was a very special day and one we will all remember .We saw lots of manantees too.
We visited the Homassa Wild life park, which has greatly improved since we came a few years ago, a good day out. We also went to Rainbow Springs and Cedar key, two other super excursions. Driving down to the beach to watch the beautiful sunsets was also another great pastime, as was watching the dolphins in the bay. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Our Dream and would love to return sometime in the near future.
JW, Oldham, UK
We have a large family and this was very spacious well stocked, and maintained villa. The kids enjoyed the pool, our youngest son learned to swim in it (it is 3-5 ft. deep). The kids enjoyed fishing off the sea wall (they used hot dogs for bait and caught catfish in the evenings). The neighborhood is very quiet we enjoyed taking walks, the area is beautiful. We saw a dolphin in the canal one morning as we were sitting in the Florida room. The only complaint that we had was that my husband thought that the bed in the master bedroom was too firm. Something that surprised us, was that even though we paid through Home-Away our credit card company charged us a foreign transaction fee of over $40 because the owner has an account set up out of country. Knowing what we know now we would definitely stay at "Our Dream Villa" again. Things that we enjoyed in Crystal River were Three Sisters Springs, the Beach at the end of Fort Island Rd.. If you like Greek food go to "Olive Tree" (South of 44 W on HWY 19 about 2 miles away). We are looking forward to our next visit to Crystal River.
My husband and I just finished a week's stay at Peter's Dream Villa, joined by our 20-yr-old daughter. The house is right on a canal across from a nature reserve and just a short walk or paddle to King's Bay. My daughter was kayaking every day with one of the two provided kayaks -- just 10-15 minutes to Kings Springs, but she preferred a 45-minute kayak up to Hunter Springs where she could beach the kayak and then swim with the manatees using a wet suit we rented from a nearby outfitter. She saw 10 manatees, 1 dolphin, turtles, pelicans, lost of cranes. We also went to Homosassa Springs Wildlife Refuge just 15 minutes down the highway, and to the boardwalk at 3 Sisters Springs which is ground zero for manatee watching and just 5 minutes away. The neighborhood is quiet and safe and offers a nice walk with great views. So overall a perfect location on the Nature Coast.
The house is spacious, well-equipped and comfortable. The screened in Florida room allows a view on the canal to watch the wildlife go by. It was too cold to use the pool but I could tell it would be a great assert in warmer weather.
Kitchen has just about anything that you could want in terms of equipment and we appreciated the stock of some basic essentials (tea, flour, oil, sugar...). Publix Market just 10 minutes up the road had very good produce.
We also ate out a number of times in the area, particularly enjoying Grannies for breakfast and Vintage on Fifth for our last night's special dinner (make sure to call for a reservation!). Their she-crab soup is to die for.
Excellent location. We kept our boat there the whole week for easy access. The marine and wildlife sightings were amazing, saw lots of dolphins in the canal and out in the bay, occasional manatee sighting while snorkeling the springs and even a group of stingrays out in the gulf. The villa was so well stocked! Beds very comfortable. Only recommendation would be nice to have a fan on back area to enjoy more during the summer months. Definitely would go back!
We spent a lovely week at the villa and it was pretty much as described. Fantastic location with loads of bird and wildlife. we saw two manatee on the very first day feeding on the vegetation on the seawall of the property, they were close enough to touch. One also returned later in the week. The villa itself was lovely with everything we needed. We spent much of our time in the Florida room just sitting watching the fish jump and the humming birds visiting the bush just outside. One thing that would have made that even better would have been if there was a fan in the Florida room as the temperatures in the afternoons of the week we were there were in the mid 90's! It was only a short paddle in the canoes to the open water of Kings Bay, another fantastic way to spend time. We did try fishing from the sea wall outside the villa but to no avail unfortunately, despite large fish jumping out of the water next to where the hook was! The only other thing that would have been nice would have been a seat of some sort outside on the dockside so that we could have sat outside the Florida room. Otherwise a fantastic place that we would visit again.
I stayed at this wonderful villa with my husband and four girls ages 9 - 18 years old.
The house is gorgeous! You have everything that you would need there. The kitchen was stocked with everything you could think of from dishes, can opener to coffee pot & then some!
I loved that they had fishing poles and tackle box. We did SOO much fishing. Had fun catching tons of catfish!
The kids had a blast in the kayak's and the canoe. Got so much use out of them. One morning we kayaked to three Sisters Springs. It was sooo worth the effort. Beautiful doesn't even to begin to describe it!
We also went tubing down Crystal River, that was fun and only $10.00 per person. We rented a Pontoon boat for a day...now that was a blast!
Another activity that I would recommend, its a bit of a drive (almost two hours) near Tampa. It is called Honey Moon Island Beach. Google it. So worth it! You would think you are at a tropical Island!
Oh, also every night we saw our friendly gator swim by. The kids named him Sharpie. And so much other wild life.
THANK YOU, for letting us enjoy the comforts of your beautiful home. It was truly memorable vacation for everybody!
I have a feeling we may be back next year!!
Our family of 6 enjoys a trip or two to Crystal River every summer, in search of the famous scallop! This year I waited too long too book our usual rental house, so we needed to find a replacement. You never what you will get, if things will look like they do in the photos. We well more then thrilled to walk into "Our Dream" last week, it was much nicer then the photos. The carpet was fresh, upholstery very clean, beds very clean, great water pressure, great air conditioning, nice pool and plenty of room under the screen for outside relaxing. The slip was great for our 26' boat, we made several trips out into the bay and out into the gulf, the canal was great. I never thought of the kayaks as a real draw since we bring our own boat, boy was I wrong. The kids and I had races all week long and really enjoyed exploring in them! Even the neighbors are great, giving my boys tips on what to fish off the sea wall with. Thanks for a great get-away!!
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event|
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay
|Refundable damage deposit||$200.00|
Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (USD) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.