December 13, 2023
Unique Stays in Clay County
For those in search of unique, overnight accommodations, Clay County offers a variety of out-of-the-ordinary spots to call home for a night or two during your getaway.
From quiet, quaint spots in Keystone Heights to nightlife right outside your door, you’ve got options here in Northeast Florida. Choose from a night on a boat, a treehouse under the stars, or even a glamorous night overlooking the St. Johns River.
Let’s take a look at some of the unique accommodations available here in Clay County!
It’s a Boatiful Life
Get ready to spend the night on the shores of Doctors Lake in a lovely houseboat that is now a luxury vacation rental. Known as ‘It’s a Boatiful Life’, this houseboat is easily accessible off of Highway 17 at the Doctors Lake Marina, the houseboat is just a short walk from the onsite Sunset Tiki Bar.
This stationery houseboat features a fully equipped kitchen, a washer and a dryer, a queen sleeper sofa, two, twin beds in the loft and a queen bed in the master bedroom. Vaulted ceilings and surrounding window views help make this property feel large and open with views of the water just outside.
Sleep Under the Stars
Dating back to 1933, Green Cove Springs’ Camp Chowenwaw County Park was once Florida’s first Girl Scout Camp. Today, the public park offers 150 acres, a swimming pool, numerous trails for exploring and pristine conditions for overnight camping too. From one of the many onsite cabins to a night in one of the nine treehouses that sleep four people, families can sleep under the stars at this historic campground.
Other popular spots for overnight and rustic camping in Clay County include Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park in Keystone Heights, home to 2,000 acres with 5.44 miles of trails along the Florida National Scenic Trail. As a full-facility campground with 73 campsites, overnight accommodations are available for RVs, tents, and cabin rentals.
At nearly 24,000 acres, Jennings State Forest located just outside of Oakleaf is open daily during daylight hours for visitors interested in hiking, bicycling, canoeing, and horseback riding throughout the land. There are three hiking trails ranging from 1.7 miles to 5-mile loops taking visitors along area waterways and primitive areas in the forest. Overnight camping and primitive campsites are available at the Hammock Campground.
Stay in an Esteemed Mansion
When it comes to historic destinations, Club Continental is a true gem that you don’t want to miss. This beautiful estate, once known as the Palmolive Estate, was built as a winter escape in the 1880s by B.J. Johnson, the owner of Palmolive Soap Company.
Today, Club Continental is a luxurious retreat that includes a fine dining restaurant, 22 guest rooms, seven tennis courts, and three swimming pools. What’s more, the property is host to a rich history of riverfront parties and social events that took place in the 1920s.
Now carefully maintained and restored, the Club Continental’s pristine lawns, 300-year-old live oaks, magnolia trees, and formal gardens are a testament to its deep history.
The estate offers 22 guest rooms, seven of which are located within the main mansion. All rooms come with a private bath, cable TV, and free Wi-Fi, as well as a complimentary continental breakfast each morning. Guests also have access to the estate’s tennis courts and three swimming pools.
But what really sets this place apart is the stunning St. Johns River views that can be enjoyed from many of the rooms. The main mansion’s rooms offer views of the river, and some rooms even have balconies.
The Continental Suite is the most luxurious room with a king-size bed, hardwood floors, and French doors that open to a private deck overlooking the gardens, pool, and river.
The River Suites are also a great option with private balconies overlooking the St. Johns River.
Escape to The Treehouse on Black Creek
Bring your boat to the 30-acre oasis along Black Creek known as The Treehouse in Middleburg. This vacation rental offers peaceful views of the woods and sightings of deer, turkeys and other native Florida creatures.
With access to Black Creek, this home is a fisherman’s delight and offers direct access to the waterways for small boats, kayaks and canoes. For those with larger boats, the home is a short drive from Middleburg’s Main Street Boat Ramp. After a day of fishing, enjoy the home’s ‘man cave’ with a great seating area, TV with antenna, a barbecue grill, refrigerator/freezer, cornhole, dart board and canoes.
Upstairs, the home features an open concept living area with full kitchen, stainless steel appliances – including dishwasher; dining area for four along with bar counter seating. The open living area with Queen sleeper sofa, two recliners and a cozy King size Corda-Roy Bean Bag that also opens into a King mattress.
Your Room At The Inn
The Inn at Palmetto is a charming and historic Inn located in the heart of Keystone Heights, Florida.
Built in 1925, the Inn offers guests a unique opportunity to experience Old Florida at its finest. With its convenient downtown location, you can enjoy all the small-town charm Keystone Heights has to offer, including the park, library, and nearby Keystone Beach.
The Inn at Palmetto was originally built as a winter home for Leona Clark Caughey, an artist who worked for the Keystone View Company. Although Leona never occupied the house, her sister Maude and her family moved in and made it their happy home.
Today, the Inn has been beautifully restored and offers guests a comfortable and cozy stay with modern amenities.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a place to stay while exploring the nearby attractions, the Inn at Palmetto is a great choice. With its rich history, charming ambiance, and convenient location, it’s no wonder guests return year after year. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime.
For The Glamper In You
Are you someone who loves the idea of camping but find it to be too much work?
Under the Stars Glamping Adventures is a glamping service with a mission: make your outdoor experience unforgettable and effortless. The founders of Under the Stars are avid campers who understand the joy and challenges that come with camping outdoors.
From backyard campouts to wedding night accommodations, Under the Stars Glamping Adventures offer everything you need to glamp in style, including rugs, beds, indoor and outdoor lighting, and beautiful decor that will make your camping experience unforgettable.
They take care of the details so you can focus on making memories without worrying about clean up. Under the Stars believes in the importance of spending quality time with family and friends. They want to make it easier for you to enjoy the great outdoors and create lasting memories. So, whether you’re planning a romantic date night under the stars or a family camping trip, Under the Stars is a great glamping option for you.
Ready to explore more about Clay County, Florida?
Pack your bags and get ready for a vacation that stands out from all the rest. We invite you to experience a side of Clay County that allows you to experience your surroundings and enjoy a great night’s sleep too!