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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-829-7076
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-829-7076

Waterfront home with manatees and mermaids, too!

Bedrooms 3
Space 2,268 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 4 nights


About the property

3 bedroom, 2 bathroom waterfront near Gulf of Mexico

Our waterfront home is the perfect place for friends and family to unwind. You can catch freshwater AND saltwater fish and crabs right off the 75’ dock, or relax inside the screened patio while you watch the manatees play! We are located on a peaceful canal just minutes from the majestic, crystal clear Weeki Wachee River that leads directly into the Gulf of Mexico. Bring your boat, canoe, kayak or paddleboard, or just rent them nearby to experience the wildlife and beauty of Florida’s Nature Coast. The kids will also want to visit the waterpark, the white sand beach, and the world-famous LIVE MERMAID SHOW only minutes away. At the end of the day you can cook your own catch or dine at one of many great local restaurants.

Friends Retreat is a modern, 3-bedroom fully furnished home in a quiet neighborhood surrounded by Florida’s untouched wilderness. The split floor plan can easily accommodate 6 adults. Amenities include: cable flatscreen televisions in all bedrooms, living room and family room; fully equipped kitchen complete with appliances, pots/pans, utensils, dishes; linens and towels; reclining leather sofa and loveseat in family room; wi-fi; telephone; washer and dryer. Shopping and restaurants are just down the road. NO TRAFFIC JAMS! Minimum stay is one week, but you will want to stay longer!

More Details

Joy Suldo
Member since: 2013
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
February 21, 2018

About Joy Suldo

We are two retired couples who have been friends for years. We have vacationed together all over Florida and the states. Currently, one couple lives in Georgia and we live in Kissimmee, Florida. My husband & I are retired Florida teachers, and the other couple retired from Disney World.

Joy Suldo purchased this house in 2012

Why Joy Suldo chose Weeki Wachee Gardens

We have boated on Florida's beautiful gulf coast for the last 40 years to catch fish, crabs and scallops. We chose this property when we retired because of it's many freshwater and saltwater activities. It has become the perfect second home.

What makes this house unique

We fell in love with this home because it is on a peaceful canal off the pristeen Weeki Wachee River, and we can boat from our dock to the Gulf. The area is filled with manatees, and surrounded by state parks and untouched scenery. We catch freshwater fish such as bass and bluegill, as well as saltwater species such as snapper, redfish, sheepshead, trout, mullet and crabs RIGHT OFF OUR DOCK. Larger fish and scallops are minutes away in the Gulf. Swimming and boating options are unbelievable - kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing, and tubing are perfect for the river, and our 17' motorboat easily navigates the river to the Gulf. The dock is 75 feet along the length of the property and fits two boats with enough room left for the kayaks.


Weeki Wachee Gardens House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2268 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM / Check-out: Noon
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Waterfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 MASTER - toilet , tub , shower , Double sink, shower, large garden tub, private toilet
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , Nice size bathroom between bedrooms 2 & 3
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - Master - 1 king , Flat screen tv, walk-in closet, palm trees/beach decor.
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , Flat screen tv, boating theme, mermaid lamps
    Bedroom 3 - 2 twin/ single , Flatscreen tv, closet, relaxing seashell & beach decor
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • limited accessibility ...
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • playground
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • miniature golf
  • outlet shopping
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • pier fishing
  • rafting
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • wind-surfing
A large FAMILY ROOM adjoins the kitchen, with a sliding glass door leading to a balcony overlooking the dock. Family room has large wall maps to help navigate the coastline, and another large wall hanging that identifies all the local fish species. Leather power reclining sofa and loveseat add to your comfort as you watch tv, Netflix, YouTube or use other apps on the 'Smart' TV. Newly installed wood flooring blends beautifully with the beach decor.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(13 traveler reviews)

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Waterfront home with manatees and mermaids, too!
average rating of 4.923077 based on 13 reviews

Comfortable and homey.

  • 5 of 5

A lovely home with all the comforts of home. The location in Weeki Wachi ; right on the canal and in a local neighborhood provided a great get away for us. It was very quiet and off the beaten path.The owners are wonderful people and were quick to respond to any question or concern. They made everything easy for us.

  • Submitted: Feb 4, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Definitely recommend this place

  • 5 of 5

This home was in great condition and very clean. Loved how it was decorated. Loved the screened in patio. My husband loved fishing out back. The owner of this home was very nice and welcoming to us. Definitely recommend any wanting a good get away to rent this home.

  • Submitted: Jan 2, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beautiful place!! Everything it says it is and more!!! Would highly recommend to anyone.

  • 5 of 5

I wanted to thank Joy and her husband. This place is awesome!! It is everything plus more as stated. The river is beautiful! We had such an awesome time boating, scalloping , canoeing and kayaking and relaxing. I would recommend this place to everyone. We will definitely come back!! Thank you again . 😊�

  • Submitted: Aug 13, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Susan, thanks for the kind words! We were so excited that your group enjoyed the water activities as much as we do. We are happy you got to experience scalloping in the Gulf as well as the fresh water activities right from the back yard. We look forward to your return visit, next year we are planning to have a BIG NEW DOCK for boats and kayaks. You were a GREAT GUEST that we highly recommend to other hosts!
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Bowman, Georgia

Clean and very well maintained.

  • 4 of 5

This home is situated in a nice quiet neighborhood. Everyone around their was happy to help or just have a leisure chat with. The home was very clean and well maintained. All amenities you could ask for. A short scenic trip to town to just grab extras isn't that far either. Best sunsets were right down the road at Bay Port, pretty good fishing there too. Only bad part is, they haven't fixed the fishing dock. The once in a lifetime happened when we were there, it wasn't only seeing the graceful manatees, but there was a surprise of Dolphins that showed up in the canal and made the news. Really neat, never know what you might see. This isn't far from my home town of Polk County and have visited this area many times when growing up. It still brings a smile to me to know that most of the area hasn't changed much on the Marshes and Rivers. Now that we live out of state. It was a warm welcome to bring my family back for a vacation after being gone for almost 20 years. The owners were very pleasant to talk to and very helpful in making sure we had everything we needed. They even checked up on us a few times to make sure things were good and everyone was comfortable. If anyone gets a chance and you want to get away, do some fishing and crabbing, but also want a nice place to put your feet up and just relax on the dock, then give Joy and Dave a shout. I just want to Thank them again for such a homecoming warm welcome they gave us.

Thanks Again

Sheppard / Hodges

  • Submitted: Jul 16, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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A Great Week

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I really enjoyed staying at Friend's Retreat. The house was very nice and very clean and nicely decorated. It was a peaceful setting on the canal, a good place to sit and relax. We saw a gulf sunset at Bayport Park. We had lunch with the manatees at Linda Petersen Park several days, just sitting on the bank in our lawn chairs eating a sandwich while about 15 to 30 manatees gathered in Jenkins Creek. We did some hiking at Weekiwachee Preserve to the south of us. We watched the mermaid show at Weeki Wachee Springs. All in all, a very enjoyable week that went by too fast.

  • Submitted: Feb 6, 2017
  • Stayed: January 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for your kind words, we are so happy that you enjoyed your stay. Please come back again!
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Totally DIFFERENT vacation spot for us and we LOVED it!!!

  • 5 of 5

The LYNCH family had an excellent vacation! The owner Joy was such a pleasure to work with & we met David on the way out (very nice couple)! Joy made sure we were all set up in her beautiful and SUPER clean home located right there on the canal. This was a different Floridian vacation for us and a nice break from Disney! This was much like a family reunion as there were 20 of us all coming together for the week from different locations and all renting along the canal. My cousins brought their boats and we were out everyday enjoying the river, cooling off in the springs and then out to the Gulf! So much to do and my kids were introduced to a bunch of activities they had never done. Kayaking, tubing, scalloping, crabbing, fishing and surprisingly daily doses of the beautiful manatees right there beside your boat or kayak! Pretty darn amazing! Then there were days that you could choose to do nothing and take a nice nap on the dock overlooking the canal, open a book on the porch swing and chillax or hit up Pine Island Beach and bask in the sunshine! That was the beauty of this vacation & we did it all! I cannot say enough of nice things about their home and how spacious, clean and unbelievably accommodating it was! My only complaint is that we didn't spend much time there because my other family's rentals were located side by side on the other side of Weeki Wachee (approx. 5 min. away by car) and that's where we spent almost all of our time! It was just convenient since they had the boats, kayaks, tubes, floats, fishing gear, etc. We cooked and grilled every night together and ate together as one big family! Mid-week my

8 yr. old son turned to us and said "this is the best vacation ever!" I thought to myself, my job is done :-) We will definitely be back and maybe next time we can rent all together in Joy's neighborhood so we can be back in her beautiful home!!! I highly recommend this rental to anyone looking for a spacious, super-clean, well-kept & affordable home!

It was a pleasure meeting you Joy and David and your home & hospitality is a 5-star rating with our family!!!

P.S. Thank you for the VINO!!! ;-)

  • Submitted: Aug 5, 2016
  • Stayed: July 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I'm so happy that you enjoyed such a special family vacation from our home base! Your review absolutely captured the myriad of natural activities the Weeki Wachee River area has to offer, which is exactly why we love it, too! For future planning, two or our neighbors rent similar canal homes , so please let us know if you plan another family reunion and I'll put you in touch with them. That way you can be right next to the sandbar where the floating ice cream concession "stand" is, the kids (and adults) will love it!! Thanks again, Joy & David
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Nearest Airport
50 Miles
Brooksville 15 miles or Tampa International
Nearest Barpub
1 Miles
Upper Deck
Nearest Motorway
20 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
La Bella Napoli
Nearest Beach
1 Miles
Rogers Park, Pine Island Beach
Car: recommended

Must see the world-famous mermaid show at Weeki Wachee Springs, also home of Buccaneer Bay, Florida's only spring fed waterpark. Admission includes a jungle boat ride! Also must experience the 5-mile canoe/kayak run from Weeki Wachee Springs to the Gulf, with return transportation provided back to the Springs. Pine Island Beach is a beautiful white sand public beach and park, also a must-see. All these places are only 5 minutes away! RIGHT IN THE BACK YARD, must see the endless manatees that congregate in the Weeki Wachee River, especially at Hospital Hole, entryway to a 150-foot deep dive right in the middle of the river.




Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $200
Cleaning Fee $125
Tax Rate 11.5%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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