Welcome to Chinsegut Hill Retreat’s FAQ!

Following is information you should find useful as you learn more about Chinsegut Hill Retreat, or plan your visit to Hernando County. If your question is not answered here, please contact us.

We welcome inquiries from media professionals and are available to schedule interviews and tours, and provide detailed background information and images to share with your audience.

 What is Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

Chinsegut Hill Retreat is a unique event venue in Hernando County on Florida’s Nature Coast. A historic Manor House dating to the 1840s is the centerpiece of this historic 115-acre property that offers rustic lodging, meeting space and dining facilities for weddings, reunions, getaway weekends, religious and spiritual retreats, artist retreats and corporate retreats. Chinsegut Hill Retreat is an ideal overnight location for groups of bird-watchers, cyclists, hikers and golfers who seek a casual environment in a scenic Old Florida landscape. Chinsegut Hill Retreat is located on the Brooksville Ridge, one of the highest elevations in Florida, and is an easy drive from Tampa and Orlando.

How do you pronounce Chinsegut? What is the origin of the name?

Chinsegut (Chin-SEE-gut) Hill is an Intuit Indian word that means “the spirit of things lost and regained.” The property was so-named by Raymond Robins and his sister, Elizabeth Robins, who bought the property in 1905. The original estate was established as a plantation in the 1850’s by Col. Bird Pearson, a lawyer from South Carolina.

 Who owns and operates Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

The Friends of Chinsegut Hill, Inc., is a 501C(3) nonprofit organization created in 2008 to support research and educate others on the historical, cultural and environmental importance of Chinsegut Hill and to protect and preserve the manor house, grounds and resources, which is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It recently entered into a management agreement with the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners to restore and operate the historic Chinsegut Hill Manor House and grounds.

Who plans events at Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

Whether you are seeking a location for a corporate retreat, a day-long business meeting, a reunion or a casual getaway weekend with friends, rest assured that choosing Chinsegut Hill Retreat will result in a memorable excursion on Florida’s Nature Coast. Visitors from Tampa, Orlando, Ocala and Gainesville will find Chinsegut Hill Retreat a convenient and laid-back venue for:

 Where is Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

Chinsegut Hill Retreat is in Hernando County, the heart of Florida’s Nature Coast. Hernando County is 45 minutes north of Tampa and one hour west of Orlando. Five major highways run through Hernando County: U.S. 19, U.S. 41, I-75 and the Suncoast Parkway all run north and south; State Road 50, also known as Cortez Boulevard, runs east and west and intersects all four north-south highways. U.S. 19 parallels the Gulf of Mexico coastline on the western edge of Hernando County and is a direct route from the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area. U.S. 41 runs through the heart of Hernando County and historic downtown Brooksville.

 What should I know about Hernando County history?

Hernando County was established on Feb. 27, 1843, two years before the 28th Congress of the United States approved Florida statehood. The county was named after Spanish Explorer Hernando De Soto, who led an expedition through the area in 1539.

What other activities and attractions are near Chinsegut Hill?

There are many entertainment options within a short distance of Chinsegut Hill Retreat. Championship golf courses await on The Brooksville Ridge. Antique shopping, and delicious dining are minutes away in historic Brooksville, Spring Hill, Floral City and Inverness. The world-famous Weeki Wachee mermaids perform daily in the underwater theater at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, and endangered manatees are waiting to greet visitors at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park. Some of the best equestrian trails in Florida can be accessed in the Croom Tract of the Withlacoochee State Forest, and fishing, hiking, cycling and bird-watching trails are plentiful and easily accessible from Chinsegut Hill Retreat.

How can I learn about upcoming events in Hernando County?

Visit the Hernando County Tourism Office’s website for the latest information about festivals and current events in Hernando County. Or click here for events exclusively at Chinsegut Hill Retreat.

 How do I make a reservation for an event at Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

Here is a sample agreement that details rates and policies, or you may contact the Chinsegut Hill Retreat office.

Is there overnight lodging at Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

There are seven Cottages at Chinsegut Hill Retreat. Each Cottage has four bedrooms with two twin beds each, accommodating a total of 56 guests. Each bedroom has a private bathroom and shower. Guests in each Cottage share dining and living areas and a kitchenette supplied with a refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot.

If I need to house more guests, are there other lodging options near Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

Hernando County has a variety of accommodations that will suit your needs and your budget. These listings of hotels, campgrounds and vacation rentals include details on their proximity to local attractions, amenities and which accommodations are pet-friendly.

Can I use the dining hall at Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

The dining hall is available to our guests, who may prepare food in our kitchen, bring their own prepared food, or have meals catered.

Are there restaurant and dining options near Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

Restaurants on Florida’s Nature Coast are as diverse as the people who live here. Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite after an outdoor adventure, or getting gussied-up for a special dinner, Hernando County restaurants are sure to please your palate.

What are the metropolitan areas near Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

Hernando County is the geographic center of Florida, which places it within easy driving distance of Tampa Bay and Orlando. Both those metropolitan areas have professional sports teams, world-class art museums, concert venues, major universities, and culturally diverse culinary and entertainment options.

Can I bring my pet to Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

Service dogs only are permitted at Chinsegut Hill; otherwise, it is a pet-free facility.

Is smoking allowed at Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

Chinsegut Hill is a smoke-free facility.

Where can I get a map of Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

Check out this map of the Chinsegut Hill Retreat grounds, or contact the Chinsegut Hill Retreat office. The Hernando County Tourism Bureau also has numerous maps and travel guides. Check out these interactive maps online.

What’s the weather like in Hernando County?

According to record-keepers at The Weather Channel, on average, the warmest month in Hernando County is June (92 degrees F). The average coolest month is January (42 degrees F).

What is Hernando County’s population?

The 2010 Census declared a population of 172,778 for Hernando County. Unincorporated Spring Hill and Hernando Beach are the largest Hernando County communities with a population of approximately 98,600. The City of Brooksville, the county seat, has 7,719 residents.

What is the size of Hernando County?

Hernando County is 506 square miles, including the cities of Brooksville and Weeki Wachee. Unincorporated areas include Spring Hill, Ridge Manor, Ridge Manor West, Bayport, Aripeka, Pine Island, Lake Lindsey, Masaryktown and Hernando Beach. The county stretches 37 miles from east to west to the Gulf of Mexico, and 18 miles from north to south.

 What should I know about historic Brooksville?

Brooksville is Hernando County’s monument to southern charm and hospitality. It is just 5 miles south of Chinsegut Hill Retreat. Brooksville was incorporated in 1880. Today, about 8,000 residents enjoy easy access to the historic section, which includes brick-paved streets, antique stores, cafes and restaurants, art galleries, festivals, a historic courthouse and antebellum homes. Some of the city’s oldest buildings have been painted with murals that depict historical events such as the Brooksville Raid, which is the largest Civil War reenactment in Florida. Antique shoppers and history buffs enjoy walking tours and grabbing a bite to eat at area restaurants.

 Can I enjoy birdwatching at Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

Absolutely! Chinsegut Hill Retreat is at the epicenter of bird-watching in Hernando County, which is one of the premiere bird-watching habitats on Florida’s Nature Coast. A wonderfully diverse and populous menagerie of species are recorded annually by the Audubon Society. Chinsegut Hill Retreat lies between two clusters of the Great Florida Birding Trail: The Gulf Migrants Cluster in western Hernando County, and the Green Swamp Cluster of the GFBT to the east.

 Does Hernando County have sports facilities?

Hernando County is an ideal location to host team sporting events. Well-groomed, multi-functional sports venues include baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse and football. Chinsegut Hill Retreat offers a fun, affordable overnight lodging option for coaches to their bring their teams.

Does Hernando County have a beach?

Yes. Pine Island Beach, also known as Alfred McKethan Park, is a public facility that has sugar-sand beaches kissed by shallow-water waves from the Gulf Of Mexico. The county-owned-and-operated facility has covered picnic tables, small grills, an outdoor shower, restrooms and a walk-up cafe that services food and beverages. Visitors also may rent kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards. It is about a 20-minute drive from Chinsegut Hill Retreat.

Is the Croom Motorcycle Area near Chinsegut Hill Retreat?

Yes! The Croom Motorcycle Area, a 2,600-acre site in the Withlacoochee State Forest, is only about a 15-minute drive. It is the only state-run property in Florida that caters exclusively to off-highway vehicles (OHVs) and ATVs. Trails include hardwood hammocks, scrubland and jump areas that were created from mining pits. There also are separate trails for BMX and mountain bike riders.

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