Towards the north end of the Gulf of Mexico lies the little town of Steinhatchee, FL. Because it is off the beaten path, it makes a great place for a romantic weekend in Florida. Alternatively, if you like nature, there are local parks to explore. On the other hand, if you prefer the water you can charter a boat and go scallop diving.
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Steinhatchee Landing, a Romantic Retreat
Looking for an out of the way getaway, then this is for you. Stay at the Steinhatchee Landing Resort. Of course, there are several different size cottages to choose from. Because we came for a romantic weekend, my husband and I chose one of the honeymoon cottages. It was a cozy one room cottage with a kitchenette. However, the bathroom had a large Jacuzzi tub that comfortably fit the two of us.
Additionally the cottage had three patios. Out front we were able to sit and drink our morning coffee while watching birds and butterflies. Then, out back was a gas grill where we cooked up our dinner. Although there was a table there, we chose to eat away from the Florida bugs by retreating to the screened patio.
The resort itself has winding trails, farm animals, and of course a pool. If you have a boat you can rent a space at the dock, and then glide up and down the Steinhatchee River.
The cottages are nestled in a wooded area surrounded by boardwalks. While exploring these paths you will find hidden gazebos, swings built for two, and a little bridge where you can look for fish. Upon leaving the boardwalk to explore the roads through the resort you will find a small chapel, a koi pond, and a garden. Likewise, take in all the unique cabins and cottages. Outside of one cottage there is a sign boasting that George Bush often vacationed there.
Visit the animals. There is a small petting zoo with goats, chickens, and ducks.
Take a steam together in the sauna. Then enjoy floating in the bubbles of the indoor Jacuzzi. Surprisingly, it is so large you can swim in it! When you get too hot, head outdoors to cool off in the pool. Additionally, soak up some sun on the patio.
Not far from the resort lies Steinhatchee Falls. Numerous trails provide the setting for bicycling, hiking, horseback riding, and nature watching. We chose to picnic while listening to the running water. Interestingly enough, the falls are very small, so don’t go there expecting Niagara.
Nearby is the River Haven Marina where you can charter a boat to go scallop diving. Captain Steve Kroll shared his knowledge of the local fishing industry with us and taught us how to dive for scallops. Scallop diving is basically snorkeling, but you have a net bag to place the scallops in once you grab them. Captain Kroll explained where the scallops hide and demonstrated how to catch them with us in the water. You have to grab them quickly or they scoot away! If you haven’t gone snorkeling before, I recommend that you practice that first to make the scallop diving more enjoyable.
There’s nothing like fresh scallops
You can pay to have your scallops shucked for you at the marina if you don’t know how to do it yourself. There was a long wait for our scallops, so we bought a six pack from the marina store and drank one on the patio while waiting. After a while, Captain Kroll offered to bring our scallops to us at the resort when they were ready. We cooked them up for dinner that night with a little butter. They melted in our mouths.
Scallop season runs from July through mid September, but you can fish year round. If you charter a boat you don’t need to get a fishing license. Also, remember that Steinhatchee is off the beaten path, so make sure to pick up groceries and other necessities before you arrive.
For more romantic ideas read here.
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Donna Emperador is a travel and food blogger and copywriter. Donna believes in learning about different cultures while sharing good food and cocktails. She has lived in South Florida for over 20 years and enjoys spending time exploring the road to find unique places to share with readers. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.