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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.+ More