Savor a stay at Sandcastle in the Sun, directly on the gulf front and a private beach. Walk only a few feet and you are in the water.
When making that final turn down the street to the cottage and the view of the gulf draws closer, you know your dream has become a reality. Passing each home, on the private road, brings you closer to the realization, as you arrive at the Sandcastle in the Sun, should you drive any further, you would be in the gulf. You know that everything you have read and heard about from others, regarding Sandcastle in the Sun was true. Right then, your family and you begin to fall in love with the gulf front cottage. Even after over 20 years, we still love that feeling we get as we pull up to the cottage; knowing the comfort and views awaiting us from the inside, as well as, all the places outside in which to relax in the afternoon gulf breezes, the wildlife trying to hide from us, and the breathtaking sunsets which leave lasting imprints on our memories.
When we check that our guests have arrived safely and are finding everything they need, we hear how amazed they are with all the extras we have provided in the cottage to make them feel like it is their home.
Nestled on a private, secluded island, that is reachable by car, the Sandcastle in the Sun on Pine Island is your perfect spot to relax on the beach or take off for a day of adventure. Activities of all kinds await you. Kayaks are for rent at the Kayak Shack or at Weeki Wachee Springs, where you may also want to spend the day with the mermaids. Charter a fishing tour or a scuba diving adventure for a day you will not forget. Cafes, local seafood/steak restaurants, or the well-known restaurants are only a short drive from the cottage. Grocery stores and shopping centers are also only a few minute's drive off the island.
Sandcastle in the Sun is part of the environmentally-protected Nature Coast. The variety of wildlife you may be able to see is limitless. They like to hide and will scurry, crawl, swim, or fly away if spooked. Use one of the several pairs of binoculars we have to find them. Hopefully, you will have the chance to get a close look at our families of dolphins swimming south in the morning and back north in the evening. Many times we have had dolphins only a few feet from our main deck looking for food. Search for yourself, get pictures of, and count how many of nature's creatures try their best to sneak past you.
What else makes the Sandcastle in the Sun so uniquely special?
Staying in a 2 Bedroom/ 3 Bath cottage directly on the gulf with its own 100 foot private beach. It is only a hundred feet from the Pine Island Public Beach, which has a playground, cafe, volleyball court, and lots of sandy beach.
To fully enjoy your private beach, we have two kayaks, coolers, lounge chairs, beach towels, sunscreen lotion, and a beach umbrella available to you; as well as, swimmies, children's beach chairs, and beach toys for the little ones with you.
The cottage sleeps six. The queen bed in the master bedroom has a new cooling bead gel foam topper; it is like sleeping on a cloud. There is an attached bathroom with shower off the master bedroom. A cable flatscreen HDTV is available in the bedroom.
The second bedroom has a daybed with a trundle bed underneath. When the trundle is pulled out and opened, it can be slid next to the daybed to create a king-size bed. Both beds have new cooling bead gel foam toppers. There is a sliding door leading from the second bedroom to the deck walkway.
Both bedrooms and, even the queen-size sofa bed has a new cooling bead gel foam topper and heavenly views of the gulf. Waking to the sounds of the tide coming in or going out, the gulf calling to you, or the birds chirping a good morning will have you ready to fill another day with moments to add to your scrapbook of memories.
The kitchen is fully equipped with:
Serving for 8 dishes, utensils, glasses, and cups
Complete set of cookware
Complete set of bakeware
Ceramic top range/oven
George Foreman Grill
Electric Can Opener
7 cu.ft. Deep Freezer Chest in laundry center
3 TVs - (2 flatscreen HDTVs - one large screen, one smaller screen in master bedroom)
DVD with an adult DVD library and a children's DVD library
Stereo CD and CD library
Fax machine/copier/scanner with ink replacement and paper provided.
Apple Laptop Computer
Phone System with answering machine Your own private line and unlimited long distance
High speed wi-fi Internet
Complete bedding, blankets, and comforters for all beds, including the queen sofa sleeper.
Full sets of towels for each bath
Hair dryer in all baths
Full-size shampoo, body wash, toothbrushes, and paste are in the bathrooms for your use. (Less you have to pack)
Extra sets of towels and linens for guests
Individual air conditioners in each room
Ceiling fans in each room
Full-size ironing board and steamer iron.
Set of notebooks with complete instructions for the electronic equipment, kitchen appliances, things to do in the area, restaurants available, where things are located, fitness center
2 PlayStation Portable Electronic units with several games to choose from for your pre-teens and teens or, even you
3 sets of binoculars
Casual reading material
Two kayaks with all required safety equipment
Washer and dryer in the building
Home Fitness Center downstairs
3 deck levels including a swim deck
Large furnished, covered patio
New gas grill
Tabletop Electric BBQ grill and equipment
Indoor/Outdoor Free-standing BBQ grill and equipment
Barbecue conversation table set
Outside shower to rinse off
Two hammocks which hold 2 adults each
Amenities for the Children
Child-size deck chairs
Child-size sand chairs
Smaller beach towels
Playground in the park about 100 feet away
Children's DVD Library
Amenities for your Little One
Playard with padded mattress for naps and sleeping
Linens and blankets
Baby wipes, shampoo, and wash
Changing Pad and Covers
Diaper Pail and bags
3 Booster Chairs
Swimmie boat for 6 month - 2 year
Hooded Bath Towels
We have first aid kits and other necessities for unexpected accidents.
Boat dock for smaller boats (like fishing boats, etc) only a couple of blocks away. Owner will provide you with required parking tag to use the private island dock.
Boat dock and large fishing pier at Bayport Park (within 5 minutes). Many locals like to wade out into the gulf to do some fly fishing or walk to one of the bridges (about .5 miles walk) and fish off the bridge.
Discounts available for 1-month stays or longer. The longer the stay, the greater the discount.
Electricity and utilities are included in the rate.
No deposit required.
If any questions or concerns come up after arriving, we have a local assistant who is more than happy to answer any questions or come out to help. You are also given the owner's private numbers should you need to ask anything.
We make every effort not to set up back to back bookings. We have found that leaving a minimum of 1-2 days between guests allows our cleaning service time enough to prepare the cottage to the high standards we expect regarding the outward appearance and inside cleanliness of the Sandcastle in the Sun. Each of our guests is special and deserves to arrive to well-groomed grounds and a freshly cleaned cottage with everything they may want or need available to them. We like to add little touches to make our guests feel at home upon arrival. These little touches leave our guests wanting to stay even longer.
Within the past few months that the Sandcastle has been open, we have been privileged to host many different kinds of getaways. Anniversary celebrations, women's retreats, family vacations, intimate beach weddings and honeymoons, last chance get-togethers before the children go their separate ways with work or marriage, families from different parts of the country gathering for reunions, international guests, and grandparents wanting to spend some special time with their grandchildren.
Gary and Becky both lived most of their early years in the north and knew upon graduation, Florida was calling their names. Little knowing, thanks to some mutual friends who knew we were meant for each, one fateful evening we would mysteriously be at an open house for an exercise group, become good friends, and, eventually, marry. We have lived all our married life in this beautiful gulf front home - spending many nights snuggled in one of the hammocks watching the moon or shooting stars move so quickly across the sky, or in the swing watching the sun paint us a new picture every night, or catching the first stars of the night to wish upon.
Being retired now, we look forward to each new addition (with each new guest's stay) to the new chapter in our Book of Sandcastle Memories. By sharing our cottage with you, we feel the joy of opening our cottage to others.
At the Sandcastle in the Sun, we have had so many chances to add to our scrapbook of lifelong memories, build our marriage, and watch our three little ones (well, not so little anymore) grow up in a safe, peaceful area.
We knew the time had come, now that our children have grown, to share our blessing with others. With their encouragement, knowing how many other children and adults will get to experience a relaxing, memorable vacation, like they grew up with; we spent most of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 completely remodeling everything inside and outside. It became our desire to offer everything possible to make this your piece of paradise for this vacation and the others to come as you return for more of that feeling you get while staying on the gulf front, enjoying your private piece of beach, and all the extras that are just there for your enjoyment.
With the vast amount of amenities we offer at our cottage, not only is your stay more enjoyable, even packing for the stay begins the excitement and relaxation of your stay. (We include full-size bottles of everything from shampoo, body wash, and toothpaste to toothbrushes, sunscreen, plenty of beach towels and beach accessories). We even supply baby wipes, playard with mattress, folding stroller, new pacifiers, toddler booster chairs, bibs, toys for all ages, and so much more to make a vacation with even the youngest of children a joy. You will even find kayaks and a new gas grill.
We feel the excitement, ourselves, as our guests begin their visit, knowing the special, lifelong memories created while staying at the 'Sandcastle in the Sun' they will add to their own scrapbook of life. Once again, quoting one of our guests, 'It is the perfect place to fall in love all over again.' Many family reunions, first vacations with little ones, last vacations with older ones (their children are reaching the ages where soon they will be venturing out to begin new lives), vow renewals, anniversary celebrations, and even small beach weddings and honeymoons have already been enjoyed at the cottage. Guests from all over the United States and so many other countries have enjoyed life at the Sandcastle.
The days bring the unforgettable chances to see families of dolphins (many times with 2 young ones) swimming by or even hearing the dolphin's blowhole a few feet from the deck. We always enjoy watching the great variety of feathered, crawling, and swimming friends who feel safe enough to drop in for a visit.
These are just a handful of moments which will leave lasting imprints in your own book of life's memorable moments. Hearing the squeals of laughter from your loved ones, watching them forget about the rest of the world for a short time while just enjoying being together, and making new discoveries leaves a feeling of complete peace and contentment.
How does a person begin to describe the unique benefits available to you when you can walk a few feet from your door and be on your own beach? Some of the most difficult decisions you will face will be where should you spend your day - in one of the three hammocks (two are hung to stretch out on right at the edge of the beach), in one of the sand chairs or loungers feeling the tide lapping at your toes, in the garden swing, in one of the many chairs with matching footrests and trays, on the covered extra large patio, the swim deck, or the third extra large hammock in the back part of the side yard (if you wanted more privacy), or snuggled up inside where there is a different view from every room. In fact, a different view of the gulf, island, and sunsets are always available no matter where you are on the Sandcastle in the Sun. Make sure to have a camera in hand for photos that will have friends envious of all the things you had the chance to do.
As much as you will love the privacy of your own beach, you have an added bonus. The Sandcastle in the Sun is only a few hundred feet from one of Hernando County's top attractions - Pine Island Beach Park. A short walk along the beach and you are in the park where you can enjoy some of the best food around at Willy's Tropical Breeze Cafe, (people come from miles to enjoy his dishes, especially at sunset, and people watch, play volleyball, or have fun on the playground - all free for you as our guests (except Willy's food, of course).
The islanders are like family and love to be able to expand their family by welcoming new friends. They will also completely respect your desire for some alone time.
Never knowing what wildlife you will be treated to witness - heron, egrets, bald eagles, osprey, a playful otter at the first turn onto the island, crabs of all varieties, birds of all kinds, sandhill cranes, peacocks, dolphin, or baby sea turtles just having hatched making their way towards the gulf.
'Sandcastle in the Sun' can be found on a relaxing, secluded island that can be reached by car. Pine Island is your perfect spot to take off for a day of adventure. Activities of all kinds await you. Explore the island in the two kayaks at the cottage; or rent kayaks to go down the Weeki Wachee River at The Kayak Shack, where many guests have had the thrill of manatees swimming with them or Paddling Adventures in the Weeki Wachee Springs Park (10% discount brochures are available at the cottage). You may decide to spend the day there with the mermaids, taking a riverboat ride, or trying out the slides at Buccaneer Bay Swim Park. Chartering a fishing tour or a scuba diving adventure will provide a day's adventure you will not soon forget.
Less than 100 feet from your cottage is Pine Island Beach, the only beach in Hernando County. It has a playground, volleyball area, and Willy's Tropical Cafe, where the food tastes so good people come from miles away to enjoy watching the sun set as they eat.
Feel like 'swimming with' the manatees? Enjoy the day at Homossassa Springs about 45 minutes north. Many times on one of your kayak trips from Weeki Wachee Springs, you will find yourself coming up on a pod of manatees, the gentle giants, floating along waiting for a friendly kayaker to pass by.
Tampa, about an hour drive from the cottage, offers many choices: Busch Gardens, Lowry Park Zoo, Adventure Island, the Florida Aquarium, Ybor City (an area with a Cuban flavor), or even a Broadway show.
Want to sneak off a little further? You can be at Sea World, Disney World, or Universal Studios in about 2 hours. Watch in awe as Cirque du Soleil performs La Nouba at Disney World. Get caught up in the excitement of the Blue Man Group at Universal Studios. These are just a few of the attractions Orlando offers. At the end of the day, just a couple of hours later, you are back home snuggling up in your overstuffed, swivel, rocking recliners with your favorite beverage.
Take a day to go South on Highway 19 to Tarpon Springs. Watch how the Greek villagers live, pick up some homemade crafts, and be sure to stop in one of their restaurants or cafes and try some of the authentic food. If you are an art lover, drive a little further south to the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. It has the second largest gallery of Salvador Dali's art; the largest is in Europe.
As you can tell, there is never a lack of things to do here in the county or close by. The difficult part is deciding which to do first. Bowling, golfing, charter fishing, scuba diving, miniature golfing, exploring nature, or taking in a movie are all available to you within 15- 20 minutes. Basketball, tennis, volleyball, shuffleboard, and even the YMCA pool are just a short drive away from your Sandcastle.
We have several pair of binoculars in the cottage. Our protected Nature Coast will catch you by surprise so many times with beautiful egrets, cranes, a variety of other water birds coming to visit on the decks on the lawn, seagulls who will more than gladly snatch something tasty out of your hands, osprey or bald eagles gliding past, crabs of all kinds and sizes, little fish who will do their best to escape your snatching them up, and so many more creatures hiding. Many have asked about alligators and sharks; they are NOT the creatures you will see at the Sandcastle. Don't miss seeing the dolphins swimming by in the morning and back home in the evening. If you look around, you will be able to catch a peek at so many of nature's creatures trying to sneak past you. You'll be amazed!! We even have peacocks that wander the island and an otter that loves to play in the water as you turn onto the island.
Hungry? There are a few local restaurants, within 1-3 miles, that serve great seafood, steaks, etc. Willy's Tropical Beach Café in Pine Island Beach Park, Bayport Inn on the corner turning down Pine Island Drive (offer specials and all-you-can-eats), and BeckyJack's Café open certain days with dishes you won't soon forget. We also have the restaurants you may be more familiar with like Applebees, Chili's, Outback Steakhouse, RubyTuesday, Olive Garden, and more. A collection of menus and other brochures are kept at the cottage for your chance to take a relaxing look at some of the restaurants and activities in the area.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event||Minimum Stay|
Summer - May 1 to Aug. 31
May 1 - Aug 31
Fall - Sept. 1 to Nov. 30
Sep 1 - Nov 30
Winter/Spring - 12/01 to 4/30
Dec 1 - Apr 30
My Standard Rate
|Cleaning Fee||$100.00 + Tax|
|Property Damage Protection||$69.00|
|$69 Property Damage Protection
$100 Cleaning Fee, any length stay
Rates are subject to change without notice until reservation confirmed.
DISCOUNTED RATES AVAILABLE FOR STAYS OF 1 MONTH OR MORE DURING ALL SEASONS & INCLUDES FREE WEEKLY LIGHT HOUSEKEEPING. OTHER DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE FOR MILITARY/1ST RESPONDERS. CONTACT HOME OWNER.
NO PETS, NO SMOKING, NO EXCEPTIONS!
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay. Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (USD) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.