|Minimum Stay||7 - 28 nights|
Originally built in the 1950's, our simple beach house has just been completely renovated - new kitchen, bathrooms, furnishings - and everything to a very high standard. With three bedrooms, it can easily sleep 6, plus there is a queen-sized sofa bed, if needed, for a maximum of 8 guests. Its ideal for a single family, or for two/three couples vacationing together.
Two of the the three bedrooms - a queen, and two twins - are in the original single story house. Back in the 80’s, a third spacious en-suite bedroom - a queen - was added above the garage. Access to this bedroom is via external stairs.
We’ve added whisper quiet A/C units, and new fans. Needless to say, there is wireless internet, and two TV’s, a full laundry and new appliances.
From magnificent sunrise to awesome sunset, vacation days here will pass all too quickly.
Relax in our comfortable sun-room, overlooking the large waterfront lot, with palm trees and live oaks with spanish moss. Out in Lemon Bay there’s a regular stream of boat traffic on the Intra Coastal Waterway...
... or take a two minute stroll on our private path to the Gulf of Mexico, and miles of near-deserted sandy beaches - swim, walk, fish or collect shells to your hearts content.
Enjoy a private viewing of local wildlife - osprey and pelican patrolling the waterfront; dolphin and manatee, turtles, heron and sea-waders... or visit Manasota Key’s Stump Pass, a well preserved state park.
A short drive away, and you’re in Olde Englewood, with interesting local shops, good cafes and restaurants, a weekly Farmers Mart, and a varied program of activities throughout the year. Dearborn Street is also home to a good library, and the Lemon Bay Playhouse, Florida’s only community theatre.
We’re close to a wide array of activities - golf, deep-sea and game fishing, boat rental - including jet-skiing and sunset cruises. Plus, there’s a tennis and beach club just a few hundred yards from the house.
Further afield, the city of Sarasota is half an hour away, and well worth exploring. There is an excellent aquarium, and the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, a 13 acre horticultural paradise, with a stunning conservatory. There’s a wide range of artistic and cultural activities - including the world-class Sarasota Opera House. And plenty of specialist shops - antiques, bookstores, galleries...
For a whole day excursion, we can recommend an Eco-tour at Babcock Ranch - a glimpse of primitive Florida, with Cypress swamps and alligators. Or a trip to the Ten Thousand Islands on the edge of the Everglades National Park.
Back at home - if you aren’t dining out at one of the many local restaurants - a cool drink under the spectacular banyan tree and supper on the grill ends a perfect day.
COMMENTS FROM THE GUEST BOOK
“The house is beautiful and accommodated us perfectly. This area of Florida is wonderfully calm and peaceful.”
“Love the Bay to Gulf location. The home is perfect, with the upper condo that gave our 22 year old daughter privacy.”
“We had a great stay here, I liked that we could walk to the beach. Best place ever. I never want to leave.”
“This house is a special place…and terrific for entertaining. Two operas, a play, a tour of the Ringling Museum. But mostly we loved staying here, reading, and walking the beach. Already looking forward to coming back.”
The owners are John Ritchie, his sister Lynn and her husband Chris Potter.
John is a high school principal in Boston, MA, while Chris & Lynn - both retired - live in Hexham, England.
Chris Potter purchased this house in 1956
The property has been in the wider Ritchie family for close on 60 years - and was one of the first lots developed in the days when Manasota Key Road was a single dirt track lane, and each house had to collect its own drinking water in private cisterns!
John and Lynn have known the Key since their schooldays, and Chris, who has been heavily involved in the renovations, first visited in the mid 80's.
We think the house was built by famous Sarasota architect Paul Rudolf - its certainly in the style of his beach houses - and is one of the few remaining examples of its type.
We'd like to think Paul Rudolf would approve the renovations - and he'd certainly enjoy the modern-day comforts!
Every house on the Key is different - but this is unique. There is a wonderful sense of space about the whole lot, and the magnificent Banyan tree frames the house perfectly.
Its set a way back off the road, and is well secluded. The views over the Bay are glorious, and the private path to the Gulf beach is enchanting.
My family and I absolutely loved staying here, with the beautiful property and it's view of the bay, gorgeous banyan tree, and "secret" path to the beach! I fell in love with the house and property as soon as I saw the pictures on the listing, and everything was just as presented and lived up to my expectations. Being a first time VRBO renter, I was a bit wary, and the owner was very patient and responsive with all my questions. The house is actually equidistant to both the bay and ocean, with the property being on the bayside. It is literally just a minute's walk on the path between the two properties across the street to the beach, and truly the best of both worlds. The house is an original mid-century modern beach house that fits the setting perfectly with it's rustic charms and a wonderful sunroom where we enjoyed the view and the gentle bay breezes. The area is not heavily developed and is so much nicer than the typical tourist-y areas and condos; very peaceful and secluded, yet minutes away from restaurants and stores.
We rented a kayak for the week, and my daughter (an athlete with some kayaking experience) was able to paddle it from the rental place to the house (about 6 miles) in just under 2 hours. We took turns taking it out for shorter excursions on the bay throughout the week. I loved the natural beach, where we found many shells and a few fossilized sharks' teeth. We saw many different types of shorebirds, including sandpipers, herons, egrets, fish hawks, pelicans, and more; plus a few interesting fish. I was fascinated by the colony of Black Spiny-Tailed iguana that are there; I spotted several sunning themselves on the rocks along the beach (they are black and orange, not green) and one was by the house the morning we left.
At the owner's suggestion, we stopped by the manatee viewing center at the power plant in Tampa on our way down from the airport and saw manatee and huge tarpon, and got to pet stingray in their brand new exhibit. We tried twice to go to the Stump Pass State Park, but it was full :( I would suggest going first thing in the morning as the parking is very limited. The Lock and Key has great Boom Boom shrimp and peanut butter pie (entrees were okay), Beach Road Bistro has a small menu but the Kobe beef sliders were excellent, and Farlow's On The Water had the best steak (St. John's) I think I've ever had. Calling ahead is highly recommended.
I really didn't want to leave, and would definitely stay here again!
My family loves this property. The house has been updated in a casual style that allows one to feel totally comfortable. The plus is that it is totally private with a sloping lawn to Lemon Bay and a very short walk on a deeded path to a beach that is almost empty a good part of the time. The winding road that leads to the house feels like Florida must have felt in the sixties and fifties. The house itself, a mid-century modern home, has the advantage of the studio accommodation over the garage. This is a real plus for us since our relatives opted to use that space and we had our privacy except during meal times and times when we really wanted to get together.
Fun for kids with the resident iguana (IGY), lots of wonderful birds to see and a beach to explore. We were thrilled to see a Key Deer ( a tiny animal that is quite rare) stroll across the lawn one night. This is a place for quieter times although it is a short drive to Sarasota and its many sights. We always get library cards at the Englewood Library and we found a place that rents child supplies (highchair, toys, books, cabana) right nearby.
We all highly recommend the Ritchie Home.
This is an unusual find for Florida these days. A wonderful mid-century modern house on a large private waterfront lot on Lemon Bay just a short walk to the Gulf beach. The road meanders under cypress and oak trees to the driveway and the house. The house is so private you can't see another property from it. All the amenities -- and an updated look -- make this a relaxing home to stay in. We were there a month and made sure to take advantage of the proximity to Sarasota for plays and the opera. I also went swimming in the Gulf on a very private stretch of beach nearly every day. The separate studio over the garage was a great set up when our daughter and her family arrived with a six week old baby. We never heard a peep in our part of the complex. We loved this place and have rented it for March 2016! The owner is thoughtful and responsive although we really didn't need anything.
Wonderful house, perfect for a family getaway. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. Spotlessly clean. Attentive owner. The beach is a pleasant stroll away. It is a bit rocky, but we didn't mind. Loved looking for shark teeth! Some very nice public beaches nearby. Would definitely rent again, and would recommend this rental without hesitation. Looking forward to renting again some day!
This property suited our two couples well. Having the separate apartment over the garage enabled each couple to have some privacy as needed. The furnishings are certainly unique and the location couldn't be better. To be able to walk a few steps to an almost secluded beach is a rare opportunity . I did enjoy searching for shark's teeth. There are numerous restaurants in the area but a month isn't long enough to try them all -especially if you want to cook at home with the good kitchen and BBQ . If you want to have a peaceful vacation, this is certainly the place.
Our home is on a large secluded waterfront lot on the bayside of Manasota Key - and we have a private path to miles of near deserted beaches on the Gulf of Mexico.
Our stretch of the Key is in a conservation area - a mixture of classic beach houses and modern mansions, many with beautiful gardens, palm trees and a wonderful canopy of live oaks and spanish moss.
There is an abundance of wildlife - pelicans, osprey, grey heron, dolphin and manatee have all been seen from our property.
And yet we're only a few minutes from downtown Olde Englewood, with a wide choice of restaurants, shops, a weekly farmers market plus a good library and live theater.
The city of Sarasota is half an hour's drive away, and there's always plenty happening there. With a world class aquarium, superb botanical gardens, and its very own Opera House, there's never a shortage of outings.
|Cleaning||$150 + Tax|
|Refundable damage deposit||$500|
Rates include full cleaning service before and after vacation.
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.