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Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076
Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076

Turtle Palace - Santa Fe River

Bedrooms 1
Space 400 sq. ft.
Property type recreational vehicle
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

Cozy 28' RV, 500 foot walk from the edge of beautiful spring fed Santa Fe River

Located a short 500 feet walk (through wooded oaks and cypress) to the edge of the Santa Fe, Turtle Palace is a cozy 28' RV trailer nestled amidst oaks and cypress on the beautifully wooded private Lazy Turtle Lodge estate (10 acres) on the banks of the Santa Fe River 15 minutes from Historic High Springs. There is a kitchen with gas stove, toaster oven and microwave. Cute living area with two rocking chairs, pull out sofa and dining table for four and a queen size bed, shower and bath in the sleeping area. The pull out could accommodate a child or two. Additional guests, over two, are $25/person/night. Children under 6 are free (two children max). Turtle Palace has a large covered deck, picnic table, rocking chairs, Weber grill and Enos hammock. There is an outside hot water shower for two that is every guest favorite. A lovely 400 ft walk through the trees takes you to the river's edge and to the main Lodge, where you can float, kayak, paddle, swim, fish or sit on the dock and watch the river flow by. Time is slow and easy. There is NO Internet at the unit only down at the Lodge. All guests will be asked to sign a General Accident and Release of Liability Form at check in.

Pam Smith
Member since: 2015
Speaks: english, french, spanish, portuguese, italian
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
January 22, 2018

About Pam Smith

Pam is a retired commercial real estate broker and husband, Lance, is a retired Herff Jones executive. Having met at the University of Florida (Go Gators!), they always wanted to move back to the Gainesville area. They bought the property from good friends and next door neighbors in 2007 and built the Main Lodge as a full time dream residence in 2011. They have enjoyed entertaining friends and family and decided to open the Lazy Turtle Lodge to guests who appreciate the simplicity and beauty of Mother Nature.

Pam Smith purchased this recreational vehicle in 2007

Why Pam Smith chose Fort White

Pam and Lance had been coming to the Santa Fe to visit friends, now neighbors, since 1997 and fell in love with the natural beauty and serenity of the area. When the property became available, they decided to make it their future home. The property already had three trailers and an RV (now named Turtle Heaven, Turtle Club, Turtle Nest and Turtle Palace) which Pam and Lance began turning into sleep accommodations for their 6 kids. In 2011 they build the Lodge and moved it full time.

What makes this recreational vehicle unique

The beauty and serenity of the area provide a unique setting for both relaxation and river fun. In all seasons the river flows amidst cypress and oak hammocks and can be enjoyed in so many ways. Whether floating, tubing, kayaking, canoeing, cave diving, paddle boarding, fishing or simply sitting on the dock and watching the is slow and easy at the Lazy Turtle Lodge.


Fort White Recreational Vehicle Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • recreational vehicle
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 400 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 2:00 PM / Check-out: 12:00 PM
  • Max. occupancy: 3
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Rural
  • Village ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Sports & Activities
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • Stand Up Shower, Sink and Toilet
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 3
  • Queen Size Bed - Full Closet
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Stereo
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Onsite Services:
  • Private Chef
  • festivals
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • kayaking
  • rafting
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • swimming
  • water tubing
This is a place to enjoy nature, tranquility and river activities.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(34 traveler reviews)

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Turtle Palace - Santa Fe River
average rating of 4.970588 based on 34 reviews

Do it because you can-

  • 5 of 5

I recently spent 2 nights in the Turtle Palace and it was amazing. Pam and Lance were extremely helpful and accommodating. The Santa Fe River is beautiful and staying on this property is well worth it. Do yourself a favor and hit the water. One of the best kayaking adventures I've had to date. If you're thinking maybe I should rent this... totally do it, treat yourself! I can't wait to return.

  • Submitted: Mar 27, 2017
  • Stayed: March 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so so happy you enjoyed your stay and look forward to hosting you again soon. Thanks for the great note! Pam and Lance
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turtle palace review

  • 5 of 5

Our second visit to turtle palace-we love the Santa Fe-being in the "woods" and cook-outs with all the trimmings taken care of!! Pam and Lance are Awesome hosts-we will return.

  • Submitted: Nov 1, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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The perfect spot for a quiet, secluded get away!

  • 5 of 5

I came to Turtle Palace in dire need of a few days to unplug and rest. This place did not disappoint. If you are looking for quiet, low-key, serene seclusion, this is the place. The camper was clean and very well supplied to accommodate your stay. The bed was comfortable. The outdoor shower (there is one in the camper as well, but I didn't use it) was surprisingly great! The waterfront dock was the perfect spot to sit in the mornings, at sunset and to see the stars (I could actually see the haze of the milky way!). The onsite boat ramp made it easy to put in and take out your kayaks and canoes. Pam and Lance were right there if you needed them, but honestly, I felt like I had the place to myself. The information binder they provided has everything you could possibly need about the area and things to do, where to shop, where to eat and where to have fun. I am grateful that I found this place and definitely could see myself returning. Thanks again Pam and Lance for a wonderful stay!

  • Submitted: Oct 24, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: YOu were the “perfect” guest. Thank you for l acing all so tidy. Hope you’ll bring the whole family!
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  • 5 of 5

From the moment we turned on the street we knew this was going to be an amazing stay. The RV is comfortable, the fire pit and covered area were perfect. The private dock on the river was my favorite part with views of old Florida like no other. Plenty of deer, wild rabbits and wild turkeys every time we drove down the road. Our first time and definitely won't be our last!

  • Submitted: Aug 6, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for the lovely words. We were delighted to have you as our guests and we look forward to the next visit.
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West Valley City, Utah

Beautiful Accomodations!

  • 5 of 5

Turtle Palace was probably our best VRBO location yet. The RV is so spacious and clean. Such attention to detail in both the indoor and outdoor spaces! There is plenty of room in the inside shower for a 6'1 person, but I managed to get my husband to try the outdoor shower and he really did appreciate the experience! The grounds are lovely. We saw a lot of wildlife. Deer, turkey, birds, lizards and even an armadillo right off the porch! Do bring bug spray as you are in the woods and mosquitos are abundant. We use a natural spray (Cactus Juice brand) and with the outdoor fan and citronella candle provided had minimal bites. Due to the ton of rain on our visit we didn't manage to kayak the river, but did snorkel in Ginnie Spring park at the Devils Den Caves and had a great time. We took a trip to the Museum of Natural History in Gainesville one rainy afternoon. It is a free exhibit and worth the short drive. I would highly recommend Turtle Palace for any nature lover who plans to visit the area!

  • Submitted: Aug 6, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for your lovely review. We would love to have you come back in sunny weather. You certainly made the most of the rainy days!
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Great property right on the Santa Fe River

  • 5 of 5

This is a nice secluded location for a getaway. I stayed for a week kayaking the local area. The owners were very nice and helpful and even helped shuttle my truck to pick up my kayak one day. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a secluded getaway or wanting to explore the river by kayak.

  • Submitted: Jul 22, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for the kind review. We were delighted to have you as guests and thank you for leaving everything in such good shape. Come back soon!
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Nearest Airport
27 Miles
Gainesville Regional Airport, Gainesville, Fl.
Nearest Restaurant
7.4 Miles
Great Outdoors
Nearest Beach
98 Miles
Crescent Beach
Car: necessary

Turtle Palace is located 15 minutes from Historic High Springs' antique and craft stores and 40 minutes from the University of Florida in Gainesville on a private 10 acre estate - the Lazy Turtle Lodge. The Lazy Turtle Lodge is directly on the Santa Fe River where guests can float, tube, kayak, canoe, swim, fish, bird watch or watch the river flow by among cypress, oak hammocks and spanish moss. Wildlife includes lots of turtles, birds, otters, deer, and wild turkeys. A stress free beautiful natural setting.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $35 + Tax
Tax Rate 7.0%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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