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Paradise! Hershey, Riverfront/Mountain View, Kayaks, Motor Boat, Amish

Bedrooms 5
Space 2,200 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


About the property

5 Bedrooms, sleeps 13, 2 baths, sunroom, deck, dock, 4 kayaks provided

The perfect vacation getaway awaits you in our waterfront home. It’s near all the attractions of central Pennsylvania, yet it feels so far away from the crowds. We are located just one half mile off Highway 322/22, within a 30-minute drive to Hershey and under an hour to Ski Roundtop (40 minutes), Gettysburg or the Dutch country. You enter your own private acre where Mother Nature beckons you through the stunning views of the many windows. Launch from your own private dock to a kayak adventure among the islands with the bald eagles and wild life that await, or soak in the beauty of the natural surroundings from the serenity of the porch swing on the riverbank. A 16-foot double wide jon boat with 9.9 hp motor is also available for an extra fee.

Unique Authentic Amish Experience

When we vacation with our family, we like to experience the local culture in addition to visiting tourist attractions in the area. We want to offer this opportunity to our guests as well. If you are interested in experiencing an authentic Amish meal, I can put my guests in touch with Lena, a widowed Amish grandmother who serves meals to guests in her home on the family farm. Her grandchildren help her to serve the meals as needed. The food is delicious, you have a choice of menus, and you will find that it is far more authentic than eating at the tourist restaurants in the Amish region.

Our family has many special memories of get-togethers at the river house, and we enjoy sharing it with others. We have several kayaks (including a double kayak so an adult can take a small child out), a canoe, a few inner tubes, and we provide basic fishing gear. You can wade or swim in the river right behind the house, and in summer the water level is usually pretty low, so kids can wade along the bank and spend hours catching minnows and other critters. You can take swimmers upstream in the boat and let them float back to the house on inner tubes.

There is a private dock for your use and a porch swing down by the river, as well as a fire pit down on the river bank where you can roast marshmallows and hot dogs.

Numerous hiking trails are nearby, including the Appalachian Trail a 10-minute drive away, and there's a rails-to-trails biking/hiking trail with 18 miles of wilderness trail with no roads, yet it is level and easy for children to navigate. With just a five-minute drive, you can take a three mile walk around Wildwood Lake.

The property sits along the historic Pennsylvania canal system, and our lane was the original towpath where mules pulled barges along the canal. To get to the house from State Road 322, you drive 1/2 mile down the lane with some paved and some unpaved sections, but easily passable in all seasons.

The house itself is over 100 years old, and it has random width solid Pennsylvania white oak floors in the kitchen, spacious living/dining area and in the sunroom. The rest of the house has oak flooring, tile, or carpeting (master bedroom only.) We have done two major additions to the original structure. The kitchen is not an eat-in, but it is well equipped with a ceramic top stove, refrigerator with ice maker, a KitchenAid dishwasher, microwave, upgraded small electrics (toaster, pancake griddle, blender, waffle maker, coffee grinder, Keurig, regular coffeemaker, etc.), and all the dishes and cooking utensils you might want. I find it to be more than adequate for my needs, and guests often comment on how well-furnished and handy it is, just steps from the spacious dining table that accommodates a large family or group of friends. What really takes your breath away is the view of the river as you walk into the living room and look through the columned opening through the sunroom to the river. The deck is shaded by towering trees in summer and we have a dining table and a Weber Genesis grill with a side burner on the deck. Down by the river (in all seasons except winter) is a porch swing to sit and watch the river flow, a fire ring, and a few chairs and benches.

The story behind the house is that we bought it as our vacation home in 1993, and it is only a thirty-minute drive from our primary residence. We wanted something near enough that we could use it often. As it turned out, my husband's mother who lived in Alabama was widowed and wanted to live near us. She moved into the river house and lived there for the rest of her life, enjoying watching her visiting grandchildren play on the river bank. When our children grew up and Grandmother passed away, we decided to try renting this home to travelers.

My husband Dave and I are not absentee landlords. We live in the area, and, in fact, we are often found in the small guest house on the lot next door to the river house. If you need anything, want advice about area attractions or directions, or if something should break down, you will be able to reach us directly without any trouble. I teach at HACC, the local community college, and Dave retired this year. We are excited about sharing our home that holds so many memories for us.

The arrangement of the bedrooms is as follows:

First Floor

Master – one queen bed

Second bedroom – one queen bed and one (very comfortable!) futon that can make a full-size bed

Third bedroom – one full size bed

Attic Bedrooms

(Since this is a 100-year-old attic converted into bedrooms, the attic steps are a little steeper and more narrow than those you would find in a contemporary home, and the ceiling follows along the roofline. The fifth, smallest bedroom is access through the large fourth bedroom. Both attic bedrooms have skylights.)

Fourth Bedroom – one queen bed, one twin bed (It also has a sitting area with a couch, chair, and TV.)

Fifth Bedroom – one full size bed, one twin bed


We mostly book through HomeAway or VRBO (or other affiliated websites) because it’s very safe and secure for our guests. Payment is either by credit card or e-check (electronic bank transfer.) If you choose credit, HomeAway charges a 3% fee, which is deducted from your security deposit refund. E-check is free. Due to insurance regulations, we rent only to those over the age of 25. For smokers, we ask that you smoke outside only and properly dispose of cigarette butts.

Cancellation policy - if guests have to cancel, we will do our best to re-rent the dates at the same rate. If we are successful, we refund your payment in full. If not, we do not refund. We recommend that our guests consider travel insurance.

If the river house is already booked for the dates you want, please check my other listing on HomeAway, #221868. It is not on the waterfront, but has 6 bedrooms, 3 full and 2 half baths, a large back yard with a privacy fence, in-ground pool, screened dining gazebo, and outdoor kitchen and bath. The pricing is similar to the river house. The homes are different, but both are very nice.

My husband Dave and I would be happy to host you at either of our homes!

More Details

Member since: 2008
Premier Partner

This VRBO partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 23, 2018

About Janice

My husband Dave is a Pennsylvanian, and I met him in 1982 when I came from Florida to work with the teenagers at his church for a summer. We married the next year, and have two children who are now grown. Dave is a Princeton University and Southern Seminary grad, and is the retired executive director of our state convention. I am a graduate of Jacksonville University and now have a career I am passionate about teaching students at our local community college. We both hope to retire in a few years and do more traveling, using HomeAway and VRBO to find our accommodations, of course!

Our daughter Lauren is a surgical Physician's Assistant in Alabama, and a graduate of Princeton and Emory Universities. She is an accomplished violinist and enjoys competing in triathlons. Recently she became a kidney donor. Jonathan is a Business graduate of The College of New Jersey where he was a Bonner Scholar and swim team member. After working very successfully in business for a couple of years after graduation, he has taken a year off to travel abroad extensively.

Janice purchased this house in 1992

Why Janice chose Dauphin

My husband David and I purchased this home when our two children were small so that we could have a place to get away as a family on the weekends. The appeal of this property was that it felt remote with the natural surroundings, including the river, mountains and lots of wildlife, and yet it is so convenient to Harrisburg and Hershey and all the amenities of civilization. Our primary home is located just a 30 minute drive away.


Dauphin House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 2200 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 13
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets considered ...
  • Non smoking only ...
  • Parking for six vehicles; additional parking at carpool lot under one mile from house. No loud speakers outside that might disturb neighbors.
  • Refund is given for cancellation only if the same dates can be rented to someone else at the same price. We recommend travel insurance.
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Spa
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Broadband Access
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Shampoo
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • Blender
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Grill
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Lobster Pot
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 12 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , jetted tub , washer/dryer, hardwood floors, tile bath
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , Tile floor and tile shower, large granite vanity
  • We also offer an outdoor shower with hot and cold water for your convenience after a day on the river.
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 13
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 3 - 1 double
    Bedroom 5 - 1 double , 1 twin/ single
    Bedroom 4 - 1 queen , 1 twin/ single , sitting area with couch, chair, TV, DVD
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , 1 sleep sofa /futon , Very comfortable futon sleeps 2 (equivalent of a double bed)
  • The first floor master bedroom is luxurious and extra large with expansive windows on two walls overlooking the river and mountains, a TV, CD player with music library and sitting area. Its beautiful bath has hardwood floors, washer and dryer, and a tiled, jetted tub for relaxing in your private spa after a fun-filled day. The second first floor bedroom has a queen size bed, and an extremely comfortable futon that makes a double bed as large and comfortable as a bed. The third first floor bedroom has a full size bed. Each bedroom is uniquely decorated and attractive. The second floor is a finished attic with an oversize bedroom and sitting area with TV and DVD. It has a queen and a twin bed and sloping ceiling following the roof line. The smaller second attic bedroom is accessed through the first bedroom. It has a full bed and a twin. Both have skylights and the chimney is exposed.
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Music Library
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • VCR
  • Video Games ...
  • Video Library
  • Barbecue
  • Binoculars
  • Boat ...
  • Boat Dock
  • Boat with Paddles
  • Canoe
  • Deck / Patio
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Motorboat
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Ski & Snowboard ...
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • Wood Deck
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • jetted tub ...
  • autumn foliage
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • synagogues
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • pier fishing
  • rafting
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • skiing
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • snowboarding
  • spelunking
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water tubing
Monthly and long term rentals available September - April. Contact owner for availability and rates.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(116 traveler reviews)

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Paradise! Hershey, Riverfront/Mountain View, Kayaks, Motor Boat, Amish
average rating of 4.9051723 based on 116 reviews

Wonderful weekend getaway!

  • 5 of 5

We had a wonderful weekend getaway at this property! The house was very comfortable and well stocked with everything that we could have possibly needed. Despite a major wind storm coming through the area on the night before and day of our arrival, everything went smoothly and seamlessly. Janice (and her housekeeper Rue) made sure that everything was in place and that we had points of contact in case we needed anything. The house is super easy access to the PA Farm Show Complex - almost zero traffic, less than 10 minutes. I highly recommend this home and this property owner. We plan to make this an annual outing. Five stars!

  • Submitted: Mar 5, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Warm welcome to Pennsylvania!

  • 5 of 5

We were greeted with a wonderful warm welcome as we stepped out of our car at our rental home after a long 7 hour drive by owners Dave and Janice. The home is as listed on HomeAway. It is a 100 year old home with all the necessary updates. The sunroom on the back side of the house was a wonderful place to sit, relax and enjoy the beautiful river and all of the wildlife. Dave made sure our bird feeders were full of seed so we could enjoy the beautiful birds! Kitchen was very well stocked with everything you would need. Beds clean and comfortable. Linens provided were good quality. During our stay we did have some snow and ice, Dave and Janice were right there to shovel and clear the ice so we would all be safe. Honestly, they could not have been any better as owners. They let us know to tell them if there was anything at all we needed to make our stay more comfortable. We stayed with 10 adults.

The house had plenty of space for all to unwind. The only negative thing that happened was we are New England Patriots Fans and we had to watch the SuperBowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in PA!! I would recommend this rental without any hesitation!


  • Submitted: Feb 14, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Harrisburg, PA, USA

This is a beautifully-situated and gracefully comfortable home right on the Susquehanna River.

  • 5 of 5

Janice and David have thought of just about everything you could need. The home is well-kept, clean and has very spacious indoor living areas, which we appreciated because we stayed during cold and snowy weather. The temperatures in the house were just right. The kitchen was well-stocked, with plenty of dishes and flatware to go around. Janice thoughtfully provided a Christmas tree, which helped infuse the spirit of the season into our large family gathering. The bird-watching was an added bonus! And we managed to park six vehicles there at the height of our visit. We were all quite pleased with the property and Janice’s attentiveness as a host, and would gladly rent again! Thanks, Janice!

  • Submitted: Jan 4, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Pleasantville, NY


  • 5 of 5

Janice & Dave were wonderful hosts - they took the time to show us around & were very kind & attentive to any questions or needs that we had! Their home is absolutely beautiful, and was more than enough space for our group of 8 adults & 2 kids. We hope to return during warmer weather so we can fully enjoy the river! Definitely would recommend staying here.

  • Submitted: Nov 19, 2017
  • Stayed: November 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Beautiful house! Wonderful owners!

  • 5 of 5

We had a girls' getaway and the location was perfect. It was November and chilly so we enjoyed the beautiful view of the river from inside our favorite room - the sunporch. The kitchen had plenty of dishes, coffee and filters and ingredients for a'mores which, unfortunately we didn't get a chance to use.

Janice came over to meet us the first night and showed us everything we needed to know and answered any questions we had. When we had trouble getting the DVD player started Dave came over right away and got us set up. They were excellent hosts and we all enjoyed getting to know them.

  • Submitted: Nov 11, 2017
  • Stayed: November 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Wonderful family getaway

  • 5 of 5

Our family had a delightful getaway at this beautiful property. The owners helped ensure our comfort during our stay. Dave took our kids on a fun, educational boat ride that was enjoyed by all. We are looking forward to staying here again!

  • Submitted: Oct 30, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Car: recommended

Close by are Hershey Park, Chocolate World, the Amish Dutch Country of Lancaster County, Gettysburg Battlefield and Cyclorama, and in Harrisburg the Civil War Museum, Harsco Science Center and Imax Theater, Lake Tobias Wildlife Park with its safari tour, and the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Arena. Try your luck at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, or visit local wineries and craft breweries. When you get home from a long day, enjoy birding, fishing for rainbow trout and small mouth bass, and kayaking and tubing the lazy Susquehanna in your back yard. Hike the Appalachian Trail or bike or hike an eighteen mile rails to trails loop that is the largest roadless tract of land in Pennsylvania, both within a short drive of the house.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning $160 + Tax
Refundable damage deposit $500
Tax Rate 11.0%

If payment is made by CREDIT CARD - a HomeAway service charge of 3% will be deducted from the refundable damage deposit. There is NO extra fee if payment is made by e-check.
HomeAway adds a Service Fee to each booking that you will see in the rate quote.
Due to insurance regulations, we rent only to those over the age of 25.
Security deposit returned within one week of checkout if there is no damage.
Rates are subject to change until bookings are final.
All reservations are final. If guests cancel, I will attempt to re-rent the property for the same dates at the same rate. If successful, payment will be refunded less 10% of the rental amount. If unsuccessful, no refund will be extended. We recommend travel insurance.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • Canceled bookings will not receive a refund

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