Poets & Writers Retreat
with the charm of centuries ago
History of Garst House
Garst House is open for guests to stay and create "your masterpiece" in a charming, inspiring “Old Florida” two-story, five bedroom home built in 1913, and owned by the Garst family and descendants since 1925. Start, continue, or complete your writing project in the privacy of your own room—or on the grounds, or the front veranda. You will feel as though you are living over a century ago, in the Florida winter sunshine (unlike no other), or when the occasional rain pours down and pounds on the tin roof while Florida breezes flow through the many tall unique windows, wide hallway and extra doorways. Summers in Florida are hot, but it is the best time of year for the beach, with water like bathwater.
Each furnished private room comes with A/C, heating, high-speed internet, a writing desk, and a comfy bed. We have a varied and eclectic library of books, both obscure and popular fiction, religion and health. We hope to add an "autographed copy" of your book to it ! There is a wide front veranda with outside tables and chairs ready for writing inspirations with a cup of coffee, tea, or your beverage of choice. A green space of 2.5 acres—with gardens, flowers, paths, birds, squirrels, butterflies, chickens, and the occasional wild rabbit—are there for private walks and inspiration. Tall oak trees drip with Spanish moss; among other trees, including the tallest tree in the neighborhood, our “monkey puzzle” tree (or Araucaria araucana), with a circumference at its base of about 5 feet—which towers proudly in the front yard at well over 100 feet high—unique also because of the longevity of the species, described as a "living fossil."
When you need a break from writing, you are only minutes from area beaches (the white, soft powdered sugar sand and sea shells unique to Florida), shopping, restaurants, night life, Myakka State Park, Bradenton and Sarasota art galleries, and other attractions. Siesta Key Beach (16 miles from the Garst House front door) has been rated the Number 1 Beach in America (in 2017), and google searches currently rate the beach 4.8 out of 5.0.
A Continental breakfast is included with your stay. Or, feel free to use the community kitchen along with, gratis, fresh eggs from our hen house. Tea and coffee (also gratis) are always readily available. Guests have their own refrigerator, and there is an on-site washer and dryer.
For an additional fee, you are welcome to share an evening meal with your hosts, Lynn (an editor) and C.C. Carter (a poet, songwriter, and pretty good southern cook) in the dining room, on the patio, or in the privacy of your own room. We try to accommodate special dietary needs, whenever possible.
There are two large common baths—one with a deep claw foot tub, and the other with an extra large walk-in shower.
The house is shared with three resident cats and a small "watch dog." Two of the cats rarely venture past their rooms upstairs, and the other one wanders about, but not in the guest rooms, unless invited.
Garst House is now open year round, and four writer / poet rooms may be available in any given period. The most clement weather in Florida is at the end of October and in the month of April. Summers are hot, as mentioned, but the guest rooms have A/C, and there are fans throughout the rest of the house. If you enjoy the beach (in our opinion, the best beaches in the world), the water temperature is perfect during the summer.
For best results with your creative endeavors, a minimum thirty-day residency is recommended. Contact Chris or Lynn at 941-245-1530, or visit the Contact Page of this Garst House website (www.GarstHouse.com).
We look forward to hearing from you, and helping you accomplish your creative goals!
Patio dining at local river in Palmetto
Visit next town over, Palmetto, for riverside dining. Then cross the bridge back to Bradenton to enjoy Bradenton's Village of the Arts.
Why Choose Garst House
Feel as though you are living over a century ago. A quiet green space, yet conveniently located near award winning beaches, shopping, sightseeing, restaurants, art galleries. Nearby Sarasota, St. Pete and Tampa.
Easy To Book
Contact Chris or Lynn at 941.245.1530 to discuss your needs. A quiet accommodation to complete your writing project. Or venue for small meetings and intimate weddings. Also available as a unique film location.
Clean and Safe
And handicap friendly.
Rooms upon availability. Either singularly, or booked as the two-room Fitzgerald Suite, plus the private Molly Bloom room on the upper story.
Chris and Lynn
Lynn, Third Generation Garst
Husband of Granddaughter