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Cheap Vacations - Port Richey FL

Updated on May 13, 2016
Read about cheap vacations in Port Richey FL!
Read about cheap vacations in Port Richey FL! | Source

Cheap Vacations

My family and I just spent a week in Port Richey, Florida, for one of our semi-annual family Florida vacations. We had planned on going to the “Redneck Riviera,” but the oil leak changed that. I certainly didn't want to visit the Gulf beaches with oil present. I was trying to decide on a place for our family vacation and searched for gulf coast rentals. Amid my search for vacation homes, I remembered how much a close friend loved the Port Richey area, so I began my search for Port Richey homes on Vacation Rentals by Owner, or VRBO. I was specifically searching for waterfront rentals on Vacation Rentals by Owner. I found several Port Richey homes for rent, including several waterfront rentals. I was pretty amazed at how inexpensive most of the vacation rentals were, especially when compared to other popular Florida vaction spots. For cheap vacations, check out the Port Richey area!


Port Richey, FL

A markerPort Richey, Florida -
Port Richey, FL, USA
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Our Port Richey vacation home.
Our Port Richey vacation home.

Port Richey, FL

Luckily, among all the Port Richey rentals, I found “Sunset Bungalow.” It’s located right on the Cotee River, and it has its own private dock. It’s also just across the street from a great marina called “Sunset Marina.” The same people who own the house own and operate the marina, and with the house rental, you get the free use of a pontoon boat for eight hours. You can use all eight hours in one day or split it up into two days. Since we’re a family of fishermen, this sounded great to us, so I sent the deposit for our vacation home.

We'd never been to Port Richey before, so we weren't sure exactly what to expect. We were pleased to find out it was a slow paced, laid-back place with lots of old fashioned charm and plenty of outdoor activities we could take advantage of. The citizens were friendly, and the fresh seafood was awesome!

Okay, back to cheap vacations. How does a canal-front three-bedroom house with a private swimming pool for $700 a week sound? Or what about this one: a gulf-front condo with a club house, a boat launch, swimming pools, tennis courts, and an exercise room - for just $1600 for an entire month? See? I told you Port Richey was a great place for cheap vacations!


Waterfront rentals are great!
Waterfront rentals are great!

A great house for a family vacation!

We loved the Port Richey vacation home. It was built in the 1930s and had beautiful knotty pine paneling throughout. It wasn’t fancy, but it was clean and comfortable, and the price was right! In fact, it was about one-third of what we we've paid for gulf coast rentals on the panhandle. Downstairs were two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a breakfast room, a dining room, a living room, a reading room, and a den. A couple of the sofas made into beds, too. Upstairs was another bedroom, along with another kitchen, a sitting room, and dining area. There was also a large grassy yard for the kids to play in. The layout was perfect for my family vacation.

Sunset from our private dock.
Sunset from our private dock.

Port Richey Homes

The house is located in a quiet neighborhood of similar Port Richey homes and has little traffic. My two granddaughters took their bikes and enjoyed riding them on the side streets. There were several kids in the neighborhood, so they were in good company. This is a neighborhood of older homes, so we got a good taste of "old Florida."

The best thing about the house for the adults was the river. The Cotee River, a saltwater river, was just across the narrow street, and we had our own private fishing dock. We made friends with the captain of the shrimp boat who stopped there for refueling, and he often left us free bait shrimp. The kids caught lots of small fish from the floating dock, and we saw lots of birds nearby, too.

Sunset Marina in Port Richey.
Sunset Marina in Port Richey.

Pontoon Boat

Next to our dock was the marina, run by Kristen and Tim. They were extremely friendly and helpful, and the location of the marina was very convenient. We could buy bait, ice, snacks, and drinks by simply stepping across the lane. And when we wanted to use the pontoon boat, they had it ready and waiting for us.

Kristen went over maps with us and gave us directions to interesting sites in the Gulf of Mexico. She also made sure all the kids were properly fitted with life jackets, which the marina supplied. We rented the pontoon boat for several outings, and we had a blast. The boat was large enough for all of us, and there was a top for shade. There were also tables on deck. We packed a picnic lunch, and there was room for our fishing gear and collers, too.

Another perk of waterfront rentals.
Another perk of waterfront rentals.

Things To Do In Port Richey


There are plenty of things to do in Port Richey - and nearby. We were very near several great restaurants, and we took advantage of that! Several were right on the water, and we could visit the waterfront restaurants via the pontoon boat. Kristen told the kids about a swim park that was near the house, and they loved the pools and water slides. You and your family might also enjoy Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park, the USA Flea Market, Regal 18 Hollywood Cinema, or deep sea fishing. Of course, we also spent a lot of time on the dock – fishing, bird watching, and experiencing the glorious sunsets over the water. That’s the great thing about waterfront rentals!

Drive over to New Port Richey, and you'll find lots more to do and see: bowling, the James E. Grey Preserve, the Suncoast Theater, Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park, the Robert K. Rees Memorial Park, and Anclote Island. You might also enjoy the New Port Richey River Walk, where you can picnic, fish, walk, and jog. Of course, if you want to find lots, lots more to do, all you have to do is drive twenty-five miles to Tampa!


Tarpon Springs sponge docks.
Tarpon Springs sponge docks.
Howard Park near Tarpon Springs.
Howard Park near Tarpon Springs.
A covered picnic area at Howard Park.
A covered picnic area at Howard Park.
Playground at Howard Park.
Playground at Howard Park.

Tarpon Springs

Port Richey is in a great location. It’s close to Tarpon Springs, so we spent a day at the sponge docks and took the kids to the Tarpon Springs Aquarium. We also ate Greek food and shopped while we were in Tarpon Springs. The streets are lined with small shops and restaurants, and most have a distinct Greek flavor.

Tarpon Springs was largely settled by Greek sponge fishermen, and the town has an atmosphere much like that of a Greek fishing village. I found the history of the town fascinating. If you indulge in a Port Richey vacation, be sure to set aside a day for a visit to Tarpon Springs. It's a short drive, and it's definitely worth the trip.

Weeki Wachee
Weeki Wachee

Weeki Wachee

Port Richey is also near Weeki Wachee, and the kids had a blast there. They played in the water, slid down the slides, and saw the mermaid show. Weeki Wachee is a beautiful natural spring with cold, crystal clear water and a white sandy beach. The swimming area is open year round. There's also Buccaneer Bay, the only water park in the state of florida fed by a natural spring. Buccaneer Bay features a kiddie pool, a relaxing lazy river, and water slides.

Live shows are performed throughout the day, and the granddaughters loved seeing the mermaids swimming under water. The kids were fully convinced that they'd witnessed real mermaids. We had a devil of a time convincing them that mermaids are mythical creatures.

Weeki Wachee is easy to find. It's located where state road 50 crosses U.S. Highway 19. This place has been in business for well over fifty years, and it's been a favorite with tourists for decades. It's one of those old fashioned roadside attractions you once saw all over the Sunshine State, before they gave way to larger and more high tech giants like Disney World and Universal Studios. In 2008, Weeki Wachee became a state park.

Weeki Wachee mermaids:

Things To Do Near Port Richey

We also found a nice beach near the house that Kristen had told us about – Fred Howard Park. It’s a nice place for sunning, swimming, and fishing. The park has several covered picnic areas, hiking trails, and a playground for kids. At the beach, you can rent several different types of water toys.

Sunset Bungalow is located just off Highway 19, so there’s plenty of shopping and entertainment nearby. There were several miniature golf courses, including one that you play inside a dark warehouse-like structure.


Fred Howard Park:

Waterfront rentals enable you to catch your own crabs and fish!
Waterfront rentals enable you to catch your own crabs and fish!
Visit a private island with a secluded beach.
Visit a private island with a secluded beach.
Our own secluded beach on the private island.
Our own secluded beach on the private island.
Fun on the pontoon boat.
Fun on the pontoon boat.
Flats fishing off Port Richey.
Flats fishing off Port Richey.
Another pic of the secluded beach.
Another pic of the secluded beach.

Florida Fishing

Our vacation home in Port Richey was also very near the Gulf of Mexico. We took the pontoon boat out for three days for flats fishing and cruising. Near the mouth of the Cotee River are some amazing stilt houses, flats fishing, and a private island with a wonderful secluded beach. The grands loved playing in the sand and in the clear, shallow water, while the guys and I enjoyed some Florida fishing on the flats.

If you've never been to the Florida flats, allow me to explain. It's a saltwater area that remains shallow for a long, long way out. The bottom is mostly covered with grass, and the water is very clear. Pin fish are everywhere, and they're easy to catch and make great live bait. We caught cobia, redfish, and sharks.

Along with some great Florida fising, we also did some exploring on the pontoon boat. We checked out the Gulf stilt houses, which are pretty amazing. It's rather strange to see a house out in the middle of the flats! We also found a few small islands that were totally deserted. It was like having our own private island vacation!

We had a great family vacation, and we plan on returning to the same spot! I highly recommend Sunset Bungalow for anyone who’s looking for a fun, relaxing family vacation.

Port Richey homes
Port Richey homes
Find vacation homes online.
Find vacation homes online.

Tarpon Springs, FL

A markerTarpon Springs, Florida -
Tarpon Springs, FL, USA
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    • profile image

      Sue 2 years ago

      Hi there....thank you so much for your fantastic blog. We would love to see you back here having a wonderful time with your sweet family. Florida misses you....

    • MonkeyShine75 profile image

      Mara Alexander 2 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      I've been to Florida with my dad, and family. I love the weather there, and I wouldn't mind living in Florida.

      I live in California now, and there are places here that remind me of Florida

      I love your older Florida home. I've seen a lot of mansions there too.

      Thanks for sharing

    • mySuccess8 profile image

      mySuccess8 2 years ago

      This is definitely one great holiday destination for a fun-loving family. Thank you for sharing a vacation of tranquility and peace, with the beautiful sea, beach, island, and sunset, away from the hustle bustle of big cities. Watching the mermaid live show for the first time is something I hope to be able to do one day. Congrats on Hub of the Day!

    • DaphneDL profile image

      Daphne D. Lewis 2 years ago from Saint Albans, West Virginia

      Your Hub title caught my eye as I visited a friend in Port Richey just a few years ago. The town is definitely lovely, and we had a wonderful time. The great photos you shared are making me want to visit Florida again soon!

    • Rota profile image

      Rota 2 years ago

      Looks like a lovely vacation. Thanks for the cheap ideas for relaxing - thats always welcome.

    • linfcor profile image

      Linda F Correa 2 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      Glad you enjoyed our area. I live about 20 minutes from where you were close to the Weeki Wachee state park. Glad you enjoyed our area

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 2 years ago from Vermont

      I'm not a big fan of Florida in general, but the Atlantic side of the state appeals to me more than the Gulf coast or southern tip. Except of course the keys, which intrigue me and may entice me to visit again one day - perhaps, too, I'll venture to Port Richey. Thanks for a great review of the region and source info for rentals that won't cost my entire month's salary.

    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 2 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Hey, Teach...nice to see you, especially on the sign in page. Sitting here up to my eyeballs in snow...with another foot of it due Sunday...your hub was a real treat. Right now, any place in FL would be paradise to me. The Red Sox equipment truck left for Fort Myers yesterday...would loved to have been on it.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 2 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      You had me at mermaids, but catching your own crabs too!? Surreal! I wonder if there are oysters or clams to catch too? I'll have to go back and reread... thanks for taking us there Holle!

      Ben

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 2 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      You had me at mermaids, but catching your own crabs too!? Surreal! I wonder if there are oysters or clams to catch too? I'll have to go back and reread... thanks for taking us there Holle!

      Ben

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a beautiful experience for you and your family. I haven't used VRBO but I have searched for properties there. We wanted to stay longer in Siesta Key last February but the ones we like have already been rented. Florida is really busy in February and March. The important things is to have fun.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi,

      I love New Port Richey, I went diving there many years ago and at one time I thought about moving there.

      You have written as always a beautiful hub for anyone who wants to visit Florida. I could live on seafood alone.

      You have a wonderful Valentine's Day and I am sharing this with Twitter, and pin it on my repin board.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      If the wife and I ever return to Florida we may well have to check this out. Sounds like a fun vacation.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      My mom lived in Port Richey for many years. I spent many weekends there, never thought of it as a vacation spot, just a place to kick back with mom. Weeki Wachee was always fun to visit! :)

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

      Congrats on HOTD. Took them a while to spot it, lol, but worth the wait. If I lived closer, this sounds like a great holiday spot.

      You have to give us an update, habee. Did your family end up on the tv??

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      It's so beautiful and interesting. You have done a great job by sharing the full details with so many beautiful images of the place. Voted up and beautiful and interesting. Sharing also.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Sammy Jo, I sent you an email! My family is a hoot!

    • profile image

      Sammy Jo 6 years ago

      Hi,

      CMT is Casting Wild, Fun-Loving Redneck Families for "My Big Redneck Summer Rental!" We are casting for 1 very special, high-energy, hysterical redneck family to spend an amazing summer in a rental house with us...If your family has a HUGE PERSONALITY, Email casting@pinksneakers.net

      Hurry, we are casting fast!

      Best Wishes,

      SAMMYJOEAMESCastingAssociate

      PINKSNEAKERSPRODUCTIONS

      1000 COLOUR PLACE APOPKA FLORIDA 32703

      P: 407.464.2080 EXT 145

      F: 407.464.2081 WWW.PINKSNEAKERS.NET

      casting@pinksneakers.net

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Nancy, we had a blast in Port Richey!

    • nancy_30 profile image

      nancy_30 7 years ago from Georgia

      I love reading your vacation hubs. They are great and I love looking at the pictures. This place sounded like a place I would love to visit.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Patricia, I'm so glad you found my hub about Port Richey! We loved your town and will be back!

    • profile image

      Patricia Lilly 7 years ago

      Dear Habee

      Just saw you on your HUB about Port Richey, Florida. Thank you so much for a great description of the area I have lived in for over 30 years and have enjoyed. We are a quiet community but as you said, not far from many amenities. It was really nice to hear such nice things about my little town.

      Thanks again.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      You don't like crabs??? They're yummy!

    • Kamran100 profile image

      Kamran100 7 years ago

      WoWwwwwwwwwW..it's so nice place. and really beautiful collection of pictures. i copy this photos. love this natural beauty. extremely beautiful hub. rate up of this hup. but i just did not like "crabs"

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Bayou, we had a wonderful time in Port Richey!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Garnet. Our Port Richey vacation was very soothing!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Buckie, your comments always make me smile!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I am blessed, Daisy!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      GL, you should def consider the Port Richey area!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      You're very welcome, HH!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Chris. You'd love this place!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      No oil, 2be!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Sheila, I had to do it in small increments. lol

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you for reading, Kaie!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks a bunch, Silver!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Prasetio. Always good to see you!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      We enjoy life, Bpop!

    • bayoulady profile image

      bayoulady 7 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Girl,you had it all didn't you? Great pictures, and it sounds like the house was just fine,too.

    • GarnetBird profile image

      Gloria Siess 7 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Lovely Hub-soothing photos!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      Okay, Holle - you are SERIOUSLY ticking me off! More shots of fun in the sun? Is that fair when I'm stuck here chained to my computer? It all looks lovely - but I think that fellow in the square stood there too long - he looks like he is solid as well....brass!

      Seriously - lovely hub and lovely photos - I'm going to go have a nice long cry now!

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      What beautiful pictures! You are so lucky to be able to have these holidays with your family.

    • G L Strout profile image

      G L Strout 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      We had looked at Port Richiey as a place to go for the winter but have not been there yet. You gave us a lot to think about. Thanks. Beautiful photos!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for showing and sharing another beautiful piece of the world.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      wow... I think that's a terrific spot, and some really cool pics, too.... nice job!!!

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Looks like a beautiful vacations spot. I hope the oil has not reached there.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      Wow! You must have a lot of energy to do so much! Loved the pictures. Really liked your rental house. I can see why you'll return. It's so much fun to read about your great family vacations.

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 7 years ago

      what a beautiful vacation destination......... thank you for sharing! Kaie

    • profile image

      SilverGenes 7 years ago

      habee, this is fantastic! I'm bookmarking your hubs for future reference for vacations in the south. Awesome job!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Wow..wow...wow, I can't say anything. habee, you share something beautiful here. I really enjoy read this hub. You post amazing picture. Port Richey, Florida is really breathtaking. I agree with breakfastpop, this looks wonderful family vocation. I also find so much fun. Thank you very much. Vote this up.

      Prasetio

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Looks and sounds like a wonderful family vacation. You sure know how to have a great time.