This is it, Folks! See the stories in the Coastal Living, Jacksonville magazine & Gainesville magazines here! Come vacation in a treasure of Summer Haven history. This 110-year-old cottage is located 50 steps from the Atlantic Ocean. Five bedrooms, a great room with fireplace, two bathrooms - one with an original claw-footed tub - large family kitchen, pantry, laundry, dining porch, and wrap-around porch.
Send your thanks back in time. Your stay at The Lodge, a 19th-century beach cottage near gorgeous St. Augustine, promises a historic and redefining simplicity. A few days here means renewed sense of ‘the important things in life’, chock-full of familial magic. Tucked on a sleepy cul de sac next to the Atlantic Ocean, The Lodge and its older sister The Hut are elegant and understated reminders of a far-away time.
An area known as Summer Haven was recommended to stressed Pennsylvania banking baron, Thomas Mellon, for its restorative powers. Construction on first The Hut and then The Lodge began in the 1880s, at a time when Chester Arthur was president and Mark Twain was busy finishing his Adventures of Huck Finn. This is seriously good quality time, where simple, beautiful touches - candle light and ocean breezes - complete the set.
A house with this much history begs for a multi-generational vacation where the stories come out - as family folklore enjoys another airing. Take the time on this holiday to hear the stories you’d never otherwise have a chance to hear. Reconnect with grown cousins or childhood friends - covering more ground than you ever would in a hasty holiday card.
Whip up beloved family meals - packing your grandmother’s handwritten recipes for a birthday cake made from scratch. Snap dozens of photos as Grandpa teaches the next generation to fish. Try this more genuine of magic kingdoms for real family bonding, in surrounds so idyllic they look like a movie set. Adirondack chairs wait on the wrap-around porch, where palm trees dot the view of stone breakers just beyond. Liberal touches of antiquity, such as the front porch’s restored pew bench, leave room to wonder what the walls would say - if they could talk. A private dock is charming and ramshackle, perhaps Huck-Finn-comes-to-Florida (Dock is to shallow water due to sand bars.)
Up to ten guests can comfortably stretch out over 1,200 square feet. Five double occupancy bedrooms, four queen beds, and two bunks share two bathrooms. An equipped kitchen, dining porch and a living area each honor the old with family heirloom accessories and new, comfy furniture appropriate to the period.
The house boasts recent refurbishment across every inch - yet maintains all original features. Solid pine floors and old glass windows. A claw-footed porcelain bathtub and a pyramid roof for extra air circulation. Instead of closets, enjoy simple wall hooks to keep your clothing organized - and relish in a vacation that requires only a parade of shorts, t-shirts, bathing suit and towel (repeat).
For modern conveniences, enjoy phones and cable TV. If you’d rather do without, they can stay easily tucked out of sight.
Past guests love the inclusive aspect their vacations can take, thanks to the home’s single-story plan. Older relatives who struggle with mobility will enjoy a property that has everything to hand. The ocean, just 100 feet away, can be seen, heard - and tasted- from within The Lodge itself.
Note: Summer Haven is constantly changing with nature. The Summer Haven river behind the house is largely a sand dune and can many times provide beach access. Due to Tropical Storm Faye erosion at the front, there is now an area of large boulders blocking the beach access points. Although you can walk in between these boulders to access the beach like the locals that live nearby, the nearest easy beach access is approximately 1 mile north of Fort Matanzas National Park. It has (free) paved parking and provides beach access via a meandering boardwalk. Please Note: Due to local construction, you may have an obstructed view of the beach.
Please Note: There is construction currently happening next door. You may hear noise from the construction during your stay.