Canoe vs. Kayak: Differences and Advantages

Outside of the knowing that they’re used for recreational boating on the water, many people don’t know the differences between a kayak and a canoe. The truth is that each offers purpose-built advantages depending on a person’s needs and boating style, so let’s take a closer look at each of these boat styles.

Kayaks and CanoesDesign

When it comes to what sets kayaks apart from canoes, the simplest place to start is with how they are designed. Canoes are open on the top from stem to stern, and can have one to three seats in them. This allows more space for gear and supplies and allows paddlers and passengers to either sit or kneel while they’re out on the water. Kayaks, on the other hand, are enclosed and have a small opening in the middle where the rider slides in. Kayaks are paddled from a seated position with their feet facing forward while they paddle.

Paddles

Speaking of paddles, those used for a kayak are different than the ones used for a canoe. For a kayak, seeing that it only holds one rider, the paddle is double sided. This allows a person to paddle with alternating port and starboard strokes stay straight on course and maintain control of the kayak. As for canoes, the paddles used for them are a singular paddle, but multiple paddles are used – one by the person at the bow and the second by the paddler at stern. So whereas the kayak depends on one rider to steer, paddling a canoe is a team effort.

Deciding Which Is Best For You

Now in terms of which one is best suited for you, it ultimately depends on what you are trying to do while on the water. If you’re looking to fly through the water at a good pace and explore your surroundings by yourself, then a kayak is likely to be a better option for you. Their design allows them to move faster in the water and that will be perfect if you’re looking to move at your own pace.

Canoes, on the other hand, are perfectly suited for couples, families or groups as they fit more people. Unlike kayaks, their designs don’t allow them to move through the water as fast, but if you’re looking to spend time with people or carry a lot of gear, you probably don’t want to rush it either.

Suwannee River Rendezvous offers canoe and kayak rentals for anyone staying with us, so no matter how you’re looking to travel on the water, we’ve got you covered. Rentals are available by the hour or per day, allowing you to choose the option that’s best for your planned time paddling. Guests also receive life jackets and paddles, and group rates and special trip packages are available. For more information or to book a stay with us, call us today at 386-294-2510!

Get Away from the Winter Chill in Florida

log cabin 25

Now that winter is pretty much here across most of the country, that means cold temperatures, ice and snow are here to stay for a while as well. If you aren’t a fan of any of those and are looking for a temporary escape, the Suwannee River Rendezvous has plenty of space available.

Our rooms are perfect for anyone looking to get away to enjoy some warmth and wilderness but without having to give up the comforts lost when RVing or tent camping. Our rooms offer a full range of amenities including satellite TV, fridge, microwave, coffee pot and air conditioning if you need to cool down from the warm Florida weather.

The Lodge Rooms are located above the main lodge and office and offer a great view of the river. They also include a private patio, so at the end of a long day out enjoying everything the Suwannee River as to offer, you can go back and enjoy some peace and quiet. This privacy is a perfect for anyone who may live in a cold city and needs some separation from the cold and the hustle bustle of a busy city.

If you’re bringing your family along for your wintery escape, then one of our log cabin rentals might be just what you’re looking for. Each cabin sleeps six and has all the amenities to help make an extended stay for a larger family more comfortable, including a lofted sleeping space that kids are sure to love.

For anglers, winter can mean the end of fishing season, but if you stay in one of our river rooms, you will have easy access to the river – and may be able to fish right from your room! Depending on the level of the river, guests have fished right from their private patios before. These rooms offer a great view as well, even if you don’t like to fish, and can accommodate up to six guests.

For more information on our rooms or to book your wintry escape, call Suwannee River Rendezvous today at 386-294-2510!

Cast Your Lines in Suwannee River

There are few activities in life as fulfilling or relaxing as enjoying some quality fishing, and if you can do it in such a beautiful place as Suwannee River then that is even better!

Here at Suwannee River Rendezvous, anglers can enjoy some of fun in the sun right alongside this famous river as you try to catch some of the most sought-after fish in the area. There is plenty of great fishing to be had with Suwannee bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, blue gill, sunfish and more up for grabs within the river’s waters.

Fishing is a splendid way to bond with your loved ones or just get away from it all and spend some time soaking in the glory of nature as you let your worries slip away. It is also a chance for the little ones to experience a connection with nature that they just can’t get in the real world. But don’t take our word for it – check out our gallery of fishing fun featuring adventurers of all ages!

Fishing on Suwannee RiverNo License? No Problem!

As with all forms of hunting, some restrictions and regulations must be met. When fishing here in Florida, a fishing license is required – most of the time, anyway, as the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission offers a few days each year for license-free fishing. The free freshwater days are the first Saturday and Sunday in April and the second Saturday and Sunday in June, so if you’re thinking of making a trip from out of state on those dates, make sure to bring your poles and fish without needing a license. Don’t forget: Fishing restrictions still apply on those dates, so be sure to review the state rules on catch and size limits.

Nothing Beats Fishing at Suwannee River Rendezvous

In the end, it is important to remember that fishing at the Rendezvous is really all about fun, relaxation and the love of the sport. Our property is rich in its history and is the perfect place for people around the country to come to have their own little fishing adventure and relaxing respite in Floridian paradise.

Plan your fishing and camping trip at Suwannee River Rendezvous today. Learn more or book your stay by calling us at 386-294-2510.

Camping and Children: Lessons for Life from Tenting

Camping is a fantastic activity for any young child. There is so much to learn and discover in the wonder of nature, removed from the noise and distractions of society for a little while. It is relaxing to just unplug from the hustle and bustle of life, but that doesn’t mean that your children can’t also learn something while spending time camping. Beyond just developing and growing your son or daughter’s appreciation for the wilderness, kids can learn a few important things about life from taking a camping trip.

Camping SiteBasic Camp Setup

The first thing that your child can learn is how to set up a campsite upon arrival. This involves many different steps, from identifying the best place to set up a tent, to clearing a tent location from stick and rocks, how to set a tent up and more. They can also help with other setup tasks, like putting up tarps for shade or rain protection, as well as gathering firewood and kindling. This will set your child up for success for your next camping trip and any trips they may take with friends or other family members in the future.

Break Out of the Routine

As previously mentioned, it is often wonderful to take a break from your busy schedule and do something a bit different. Camping allows you to take part in unplanned activities each day without having to worry about meetings or what time it is. Activities like fishing, canoeing or hiking are fantastic ways to snap out of the norm and experience something new, and can even introduce children to a new favorite hobby or pastime.

Get In Touch With Nature

Fishing and hiking are great ways to gain an appreciation for nature. Catching then reeling in your first fish is an experience unlike any other. The feeling of that fish in your hand after you’ve reeled it in is something you never forget, and can introduce a child to a lifetime love for the sport. Hiking is another fun outdoor option, and gives you and your child a chance to see nature you wouldn’t normally see in your backyard. Seeing wild animals in their native habitat is a serene experience and can make your child appreciate the world around them that much more.

How to Build a Fire

Building a fire is an essential skill for anyone. When you grow up, you might need to light a fire in a fireplace or create a small fire during a tailgate or while on another camping trip. Your child’s first camping trip is the perfect time for them to learn how to start a fire from scratch. It’s a lifelong skill that your son or daughter can carry with them for the rest of their life.

It’s still camping season here in Florida, so there’s ample time to book a weekend camping trip for you and your family! Suwannee River Rendezvous has many primitive campsites available as well as sites that offer electric and water connections for those who don’t want to full rough it. Our affordable rates mean that your camping trip won’t break the bank, either. Book your camping trip today or learn more about our campsites by calling 386-294-2510.

Help Keep Suwannee Clean

The Suwannee River The Suwannee River offers plenty of excellent sights and fun activities. Unfortunately, it does become dirty as debris and trash from careless campers, drivers and others finds their way into it. That’s why we here at Suwannee River Rendezvous hold an event to help clean it up.

The sixth annual Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup will take place Oct. 29, 2016, and offers a great opportunity for volunteers to join together to clean up the river that gives us so much. The event begins at 9 a.m. and all volunteers are encouraged to come help us and others from the community and area to clean the Suwannee River. The more people who come to help, the more we will be able to accomplish together!

Last year’s cleanup was a huge success, with Suwannee River Rendezvous staff and volunteers able to remove more than 700 pounds of trash from the river. For anyone interested in heading out on the river to help clean up, boats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Shuttles will also be provided at no charge for volunteers to get from location to location throughout the cleanup.

Once the cleanup is done, there will be a Costume or Not Dance Party for all volunteers to enjoy as a reward for their hard work throughout the day. The event will feature food and drinks and music by the band Salt Water Cowboys.

Guests can also plan a stay at Suwannee River Rendezvous and enjoy our lodgings for the weekend. With space for families, single volunteers or groups, there’s no shortage of comfortable accommodations to rest after a long day helping to keep the Suwannee River Basin clean.

Suwannee River Rendezvous in Mayo, Florida, offering camping, fishing and kayaking and more for the whole family can enjoy. The Suwannee River is a beautiful body of water and it is truly something to behold when you stay with us. For more information on the Great Suwannee River Basin Cleanup or to book your stay, call us today at 386-294-2510!

No Camper? No Problem! Log Cabin Rentals and More!

There is no better time than now to plan an escape from the upcoming cold weather by booking the perfect outdoor vacation in sunny Florida. The perfect vacation site, Suwannee River Rendezvous, offers fun-filled adventures for the entire family.

If you love the idea of an outdoor vacation, but don’t like traditional camping, don’t worry – the list of camping alternatives is endless. Here are few ways you can enjoy all the best parts of camping without “going camping” at Suwannee River Rendezvous.

A-Frame House

Our A-Frame House can accommodate a large family or group of friends. It will also make you feel like you haven’t left home, equipped with a full kitchen with dishes, pots and pans, a dining room, central heat and air conditioning to keep you comfortable year round, plus satellite TV. The A-frame also has to full bathrooms, fully furnished bedrooms with linens and a large screened-in porch to relax and enjoy the weather during your stay.

Motel Room

Our motel rooms along Suwannee River offer a clean and affordable alternative to camping, as well. Each motel room is equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, satellite TV, AC and heat. Rooms also each have a private bathroom, and double beds, queen beds or a king bed option are available.

Chalet HouseChalet Cabin

There is no better way to feel at home while exploring the great outdoors than by renting the beautiful Chalet Cabin. This 1,200-square-foot cabin features both master and guest bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fireplaces for the colder months, plus a full kitchen and large screened-in front porch.

Log Cabin

Our log cabins are also a great option. Each cabin can sleep up to six people thanks to a large bedroom, loft area and a sleeper sofa. They also feature heat and air conditioning, a private bathroom, satellite TV and a small kitchen with linens, a cook top, refrigerator, pots and pans and more.

Tree House

The Tree House is a private home featuring a large covered back patio that’s perfect for the family to share nightly marshmallow roasts. It boasts three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and can accommodate up to 10 people with plenty of parking for all.

Other camper alternatives include our river rooms, lodge rooms, the Spring House and our lodge suite – a massive room that sleeps six. For more information on any of our lodging options, prices or to book your perfect outdoor getaway, call Suwannee River Rendezvous today at 386-294-2510.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding on the Suwannee River

Stand up paddle boarding (or “SUP) is one of the world’s fastest-growing water sports, and the Sunshine State is a top-ranked place to paddle. The state of Florida has an abundance of amazing paddle boarding spots, and one of them is right here on our very own Suwannee River!

So why is the relatively new sport of paddle boarding catching on like wildfire? There are several reasons, and in this article we’ll take a look at a few of them.

Reason #1: It’s easy.
Stand up paddle boarding is a sport that is very beginner-friendly. There really isn’t much of a learning curve, and literally anyone can be up and paddling in no time at all.

Reason #2: It’s for all ages.
Paddlers of all ages are enjoying this wonderful sport. It’s a low-impact activity that is safe and can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Reason #3: It’s a great way to meet new people.
SUP is a social sport, and there are an abundance of local paddling meetups that you can attend. Most paddle boarding enthusiasts are laid-back and friendly, and it won’t take long for you to make plenty of new paddling friends.

Reason #4: It’s dog-friendly.
Many paddle boarders enjoy bringing their dogs along when they go out on the water. It’s a great way to get your pup out of the house, and most dogs absolutely love coming along for the ride!

Reason #5: It’s healthy.
Stand up paddle boarding is a great way to get into shape, and it’s an excellent activity for increasing strength and overall conditioning. Whether your goal is muscle toning, weight loss, or simply some tranquil time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life — SUP is something that will have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being.

As you can see, stand up paddle boarding is a sport that has a lot going for it. It’s something that anyone can enjoy, and can have a very positive impact on your social, mental, and physical well-being. If you haven’t already tried paddle boarding, we encourage you to give it a shot!

If you want to learn more, our friends at InflatableBoarder.com have a free guide about Florida paddle boarding that we would recommend checking out. It covers the top spots in the state for paddle boarding, and even lists the Suwannee River as one of them! They also have a lot of inflatable SUP reviews published on their website, if you’re interested in buying a board of your own.

Happy paddling!

Plan a Hunting or Fishing Trip at Suwannee River

The beginning of hunting season is a holiday in many parts of the country, and here in Florida there are many great seasons to consider when it comes to opportunities to hunt and fish.

For example, this past year at Suwannee River Rendezvous, we had had a great season of hog hunting, with guests coming from all across the country – and of course from throughout Florida – to enjoy a successful season of hunting wild hogs. If you’re looking for a different hunting experience this year, come join us down at the resort to take part in this fantastic sport.

There are also trapping seasons, archery seasons and small game seasons so that you can hunt a wide variety of wild birds and small animals or test your marksmanship with a bow. Learn more about the full range of regulations and hunting season dates from this Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission brochure for the Mallory Swamp area.

Fishing in FloridaIf you’d rather fish, the Suwannee River is perfect for that, too. We have fishermen come back with big catches nearly every day, ranging from bass to catfish to sturgeon. In fact, we have some sturgeons that weigh in at more than 200 pounds, though you can’t keep them. They do, however, make for a great photo and an even better story that you can tell by the campfire.

Located in Mayo, Florida, about halfway between Jacksonville and Tallahassee, Suwannee River Rendezvous serves as a getaway for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Some of our guests love the outdoors so much, they’ll drive their RVs to the resort and spend their days exploring the Florida wilderness or stalking wild hogs while enjoying nights at the campground beneath the stars.

Before you plan your next hunting or fishing trip, think about planning your stay at Suwannee River Rendezvous. We have hunting and fishing opportunities all around the region, not to mention other activities on the river, such as kayaking and canoeing, that can make for a fun trip for the whole family. Our weather is great all year round, so make your next hunting vacation one with us. Learn more or make your reservations today by calling 386-294-2510.

The History of Convict Spring

More than a hundred years ago, the serene site of Convict Spring looked mighty different, and not just because there were no cars, no planes overhead, no cellphones and certainly no TVs.
Instead, right here at the Suwannee River Rendezvous, if you were taking in the sights, there’s a very high probability you were working on a chain gang.

Convict SpringBack in the early 1900s, our spring was used by Lafayette County’s incarceration system, notes Florida Caves. Their prisoners worked on road construction projects – often called chain gangs – and when it was too late or too far to get the inmates back to the county jail, they would spend the night at remote camps scattered throughout the county, and Convict Springs was one of those remote camps.

It’s hard to imagine grizzled criminals gathered around campfires, the light reflecting in the spring, but history doesn’t lie. Every once in a while, someone will turn up an artifact of one kind or another that further confirms the property’s colorful past.

Convict Spring sits atop a fascinating underwater cave system as well, one we’re certain the convicts didn’t spend any time exploring. This particular cave system is a dangerous one, with a restricted entrance and the need for a side-mounted style of diving through extremely narrow passages, notes Cave Survey in its assessment of the spring.

In 2001, Dell Moats, John Moseley, Michael Poucher and Bill Rennaker swam through Convict Spring Cave to take a full survey. They captured extraordinary video footage showing the beautiful yet dangerous conditions inside the cave. We have DVD footage of their excursion, and in the lodge.

We invite you to come enjoy the spring – from the surface, of course – for swimming during the sultry summertime at Suwannee River Rendezvous. In the evening, over the sound of crickets and frogs, you might just hear the faint rhythm of a chain gang.

Convict Spring is just one of the many amenities and conveniences that makes our resort and campground such a popular destination for visitors from all across the country. To plan your trip, call us today at 386-294-2510.