When the Wild West was at its wildest and Queen Victoria ruled far and wide, a wealthy man from the north bought a quiet corner of Florida coast as his humble holiday retreat. Simple both in name and design, The Hut would become the man's family vacation spot for generations to come. Chosen for its natural surrounds and beachside serenity, this historic property promises your family just what Thomas Mellon enjoyed in the 1880s: ideal quality time, the good life, no distractions. <br/><br/>Few American families can boast an ancestral home dating to 1892, least of all one just steps from the beach in easy view of dolphins and whales... and sea turtles. This makes The Hut - and the chance to call it your own for any length vacation - such an amazing treat. Mellon's great-great-grandson, with a recall to shame any average family man, knows exactly which ancestor added what to The Hut. (Thank his grandparents for the fireplace, with the stones taken from the family beach). <br/><br/>This little away-from-it-all is cute and cosy. It's a lovely place for even your mother-in-law should you rent The Hut in tandem with the larger Lodge next door. Three bedrooms comprise two queen beds and a kids' room with two twins. All guests share a bathroom and a galley kitchen is available - though you'll likely gravitate to barbecues and beach picnics. Even the pickiest kids will love eating fish they helped to catch. <br/><br/>Both sunrise and sunset are on offer to those with stamina, with all range of options available in between morning coffee and evening gin and tonic. This is ambiance with a capital A. Kids will go crazy to see porpoises just off shore and the handsome landscaping is a haven for creative spirits - write your novel, try your hand at painting or just finish a well-thumbed book, topped off with a good nap. Even chores take on a new light while at The Hut. Laundry facilities are open-air, the washing machine is outside and clothes dry in no time on the line - 'going green' has never had a better view. <br/><br/>This isn't the 'drag-them-to-Florida-and-count-down-to-Disney-World' vacation. Nor does it cater to 21st century kids hiding inside with video games. Instead, try endless board games by hurricane lamp and fresh seafood barbecued nightly. Books and beach walks - turn off Facebook and recall the things that count. <br/><br/>Built for a cool, comfortable and quiet existence - this home boasts original treats from way-back-when before air conditioning. Mellon's descendants opted recently to leave the original pine wood floor as is, rather than deleting generations of scuffs and paint marks. Such floor-to-ceiling history is easy to revel in. <br/><br/>Recent updates provide modern convenience (air conditioning and cable TV), to be indulged or ignored as you fancy. Whether renting just The Hut or The Lodge as well, both properties make an other-worldly retreat where families gather to forget the stress of modern life. This year, vacation together and enjoy the good life. Where recent times have caused people to simplify and quieten - for the planet, our wallets and our sanity - The Hut is the happy answer.<br/><br/>Note: Summer Haven is constantly changing with nature. The SummerHaven river behind the house is largely a sand dune and can many times provide beach access. Due to Tropical Storm Faye erosion at the front, there is now an area of large boulders blocking the beach access points. Although you can walk in between these boulders to access the beach like the locals that live near by, the nearest easy beach access is approximately 1 mile north at Fort Mantanzas National Park. It has (free) paved parking and provides beach access via a meandering boardwalk through the park.
Additional amenities include: biking, boating, beach, fishing, washer / dryer.Read more
Left on 08/20/2012 for a stay in August 2012 | Jeanine S.
The hut was a great vacation for us. The location of the hut is amazing. The beach was never crowded - and very alive with sea and bird life. It is easiest to access the beach a couple of doors down - but it is easy to walk back to the rental if you need anything. We sat up on the overlook in the am and you look right across the street to the ocean. Street is a dead-end and not busy either. The hut is a bit more 'rustic' than we thought but was very liveable - has good water pressure etc... Also has a shower outside so you can wash the sand off. Very quiet neighborhood. We had a great time.
winter time stay at the hut
Left on 01/08/2012 for a stay in December 2011 |
Overall we enjoyed our stay.Even with 6 people and 3 dogs it was large enough.Night time temps went into the low 40's. The large propane heater did not work, The small elec. heaters gave off very little heat. The fireplace was nice but all the heat from that went up the chimney, so we froze at night. The wifi went out 3 days before we left, with a notice from comcast that the bill had not been paid. The beautiful inlet shown in the picture behind the house no longer exists due to a hurricane. It's just sand all the way across the inlet, and the pier is a jumbled mess. I'am sure it's probably very beautiful in the summer,but it's not set up for winter.We did enjoy the location but access to the beach is down a rock wall. The area overall is very beautiful.
Thanksgiving at the Beach
Left on 11/28/2011 for a stay in November 2011 |
The Hut is a wonderfully rustic cabin/cottage set between two other old cottages in Summer Haven. The grounds are natural rather than artifically maintained so we saw rabbits and gopher tortoises in their native surroundings in the yard along with painted daisies and palmetto palms. The coquina pathways, fireplace and pillars add a wonderful touch - I think it's against the law now to harvest coquina stone for construction! Beautiful charming place. As with most old houses, the bathroom could use a major update but everything worked fine and there was plenty of hot water!
THE VERY BEST PLACE
Left on 11/28/2011 for a stay in November 2011 |
We had the best time while staying at the hut. The beach was amazing, as was the way the ocean pools as the tide changes. Such serenity. The house is so charming and very private. The look-out was so lovely to go up to and have our morning coffee. The staff came immediately when we called for a little more cleaning upon our arrival, and they were so nice. The couple of issues we had were that they only supplied two washcloths (we had to go buy more). Plenty of towels though! The grill did not work (we found out after we purchased food for grilling), nor did the gas heater(only was really cold one night, however). The roof leaked badly in a couple of places during a heavy rain one morning(it needs to be repaired to stop any more damage). We still loved the historic charm and would come back again. I hope someday that the river can flow behind the house again, but if it does not, it is still fantastic. What a great place to visit prior to our long Michigan winter ahead. Hope to come back soon!
Such an adorable cottage!!
Left on 11/01/2011 for a stay in October 2011 |
When we first arrived at the 'Hut' we were somewhat disappointed that we were so far away from Historic St. Augustine (20+ minutes), but we quickly fell in love with the house and location. We saw shooting stars at night and dolphins in the morning while sitting on the roof-deck, and enjoyed our multiple walks on the beach everyday. If you like seashells this is a great spot! The beach is very accessible during low-tide. I do want to be clear, if you want the Four Seasons, this is not it. But we wanted a charming house with character, and we got it and more. My only complaint is there were no hangers for our clothes, it would have been nice to be able to hang up everything we had packed that had gotten wrinkled on the trip. Overall, we loved the Hut, and will definitely be returning!
Relaxing stay At St Augustine
Left on 09/11/2011 for a stay in September 2011 |
Great location. Access to beach it not what picture shows because of a huge storm but you can walk to end of road(100ft) or walk out over the dock where the river used to be. Our dog loved huge area of sand there. Top deck was awesome.
Signal Moutain, TN
GREAT OLD FASHIONED BEACH EXPERIENCE
Left on 07/18/2011 for a stay in June 2011 | Marianne J.
I've never enjoyed a beach vacation more-The Hut is secluded, private with a beautiful beach within a few steps! It's been a long time since I've stayed at a beach house that truly has a personality and a history. Staying at the hut offered me and my daughter a unique beach vacation with a quaintness that is hard to beat! The fact that there are no stainless steel appliances does not make any difference. It has everything you need to enjoy a real beach vacation! It's rustic but it's really fun! We plan to return.
Ups and Downs
Left on 01/14/2011 for a stay in December 2010 | Dennis B.
We picked this cottage because of it's oldness and history, so we expected an older place. When we arrived there was no propane to heat the place, if the weather is cold you need one or even two heating sources.
History on the Beach
Left on 09/20/2010 for a stay in August 2010 | James W.
What a wonderful place for a family vacation - the Hut and the Lodge. A real feeling for the history of old Florida. After the Nor'easter two years ago, the river is different each year, and every day during our stay. We'll be back again next year.
The Hut, Summer Haven, FL
Left on 07/05/2010 for a stay in June 2010 | Philip E.
The Hut was generally in reasonable physical shape considering its 130+-year age. One window aC unit needs replacement because it cools very little, and the living, dining, and kitchen areas are uncomfortable during the day. Glass kitchen door needs insulation around the glass edges.
Historic Charm, Stunning Views and Dogs Too!
Left on 04/06/2010 for a stay in March 2010 |
If you are looking for historic charm and glorious views rather than lux amenities, The Hut is the place for you. We spent a glorious spring week there with our dogs, romping on the beach, enjoying cocktails in the tower looking at the amazing view, and relaxing in the sun on the back porch, watching the egrets and pelicans in the Matanzas River.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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