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Tiny Cabin on a Fishing Pier

At the end of a pier in the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Florida rests a tiny cabin that’s perfect for small house living. What likely originally started as a boat shed over 50 years ago was converted into a small house, also decades ago. Eventually, regulations tightened so that houses such as this dock house were no longer allowed. However, this particular house was made an exception to that rule.

The dock leads directly to the house, which looks charmingly aged on the outside but is shockingly modern and well-preserved within. Opening the door leads you directly into the hallway, which takes you to the open living and dining area. A relaxing ambiance is provided not just by the simple, open layout of that particular room, but by the views of the river and skyline—which are unbelievably breathtaking during dawn or twilight.

This house also includes a bedroom with an attached bathroom. The bathroom has a claw-foot bathtub and a pedestal sink. There is also a powder room for visitors, and a washer or dryer.

Tiny Cabin on a Fishing Pier/Dock

Hillsborough River Exterior 1

Images © Joe Giannotti

River Deck House Exterior River House Deck 2 River Deck House Deck 4 River Dock House Deck River House Deck 3 River Deck House Interior 2 River Deck House Interior Small House on the Dock Bathroom 2 Small House on the Dock Bedroom Small House on the Dock Bedroom 2 Small House on the Dock Bathroom River Deck House Interior 3 River Deck House Interior 3 River Deck House Interior 4 River Deck House Interior 5 River Deck House Interior 6

Images © Joe Giannotti

This beautiful home is available to rent for a weekend (or longer) for $125 a night on Airbnb.

Learn More: http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5051331


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Sabrena is a writer and blogger from Los Angeles, California and Tiny House Talk is excited to have her as part of the team to help us share more inspiring tiny homes and simple living stories with you.
{ 58 comments… add one }
  • scott ogan
    June 29, 2015, 4:06 pm

    It is best to check with your local authorities and your State DNR as the lake or ocean bed may be owned by the state, and a lease would be needed for building a home on the submerged lands. I am a retired Natural Resource Manager with the State of Alaska. There also may be other zoning, water access and other issues that need to be researched.

    • Rev
      July 15, 2016, 9:04 pm

      scott ogan,
      You may need a refresher on The Law. Although Alaskans may have a different system, in most of these united states of America, Americans own public property. We occasionally hire bureaucrats to manage our properties.

      The bureaucrats don’t own anything other than military bases and post offices!

  • Nanny M.
    June 29, 2015, 4:26 pm

    Wow! Prettiest fishing cabin I’ve seen.

  • Empress Lockness
    June 29, 2015, 4:26 pm

    This is gorgeous!

  • Cahow
    June 29, 2015, 5:03 pm

    Who wants to FISH at this cabin?! I’d be calling up for Delivery and be kickin’ back enjoying a fine glass of hard cider with my honey. 😀

    • Marsha Cowan
      July 14, 2015, 9:50 am

      I know, right!?

    • jerry
      July 18, 2017, 2:49 pm

      I wouldn’t be fishing there. It’d likely the last really polluted part of Tampa Bay which mostly is excellent.
      But 100 yrs of pollution and they dammed the river upstream and gets almost no freshwater flow to flush it out.
      Now I live on the east middle of the bay where it is now very clean with fish jumping in the boat last time, a 3lb mullet!!
      Likely a shark was chasing it.
      But lots on the hook too.
      As not commercial fishing in fresh water the fish are so thick it is hard to get past the small ones to get a big one.
      But excellent fishing but like most all fish now you can only eat 1-2x/wk because of mercury poisoning from coal. Though that is true around the world, now just here.

  • Rue
    June 29, 2015, 5:15 pm

    Wow. The outside looks like it’s still a boat shack, as old or older than the dock itself – but the interior is lovely! Night and day. The owners did a great job with this one.

    This is just about the perfect size – almost the same as the ideal small/tiny home that’s slowly coalescing in my head. Pity there’s no information on square footage on the AirBnb page. It’s also a bit tricky to figure out the exact layout from the photos.

    Still – what a great little place!

  • JOHN
    June 29, 2015, 5:49 pm

    Nice and simple. This cabin has all you need and right on the water too boot.

  • gale
    June 29, 2015, 6:06 pm

    What a lovely home. Being on the water would be a dream come true. Everything is so light and airy.

    • jerry
      July 18, 2017, 8:22 pm

      You can buy a nice sail/houseboat for $2k-6K without all the costs, hassle and you can have 1,000s of even better views at little cost.
      If even a small hurricane sits or slowly move just north of Tampa Bay that hose will be filled with water from the surge.

  • Richard H.
    June 29, 2015, 6:55 pm

    Naturally the government would want to completely restrict people from building such a place. After all… this is exactly what a lot of people would like… and the government wouldn’t allow it unless the person wanting it is very rich and willing to pay big bucks to the city government.

  • Mary Corbett
    June 29, 2015, 7:09 pm

    This is gorgeous, inviting, spacius and comfortable looking. I’d move in there in a heartbeat!

  • jenny
    June 29, 2015, 8:45 pm

    dont care… for me no ug big city back there… Wo ug… yep….. im not good at pretending in what i see. No thanks… but somewhere else mhmmmm.

    • Cahow
      June 30, 2015, 10:48 am

      Say what????

      • Dick
        July 14, 2016, 5:48 pm

        I agree, Cahow. I used to teach college business and one of my big issues was students who just cannot write a coherent sentence. Not to mention spelling, grammar, usage, etc. So I echo your comment: Say WHAT???

  • Patricia Schneider
    June 29, 2015, 8:50 pm

    This I love! It is beautiful inside, and I appreciate that it’s all on one level. The bedroom is gorgeous, as is the kitchen/dining/living area with normal sized furniture. I even like that the tub is not stuck back in a corner bathroom. This arrangement feels more fun and spacious. I have never lived near the water before, but I think I would enjoy it. Overall this is a lovely home.

  • Comet
    June 29, 2015, 9:09 pm

    I call DIBS on this one—–

  • SaturdaySportsman
    June 29, 2015, 10:25 pm


  • Dean
    June 30, 2015, 1:25 am

    Beautiful home!
    Did we ever figure out the square footage on this place?

  • Varenikje
    June 30, 2015, 1:48 am

    Is it just me, or are the posts all in one page now? If so, thanks for the change, Alex!

    • Alex
      June 30, 2015, 5:40 am

      Yes! All comments are back in one page now. You’re welcome I’m glad it’s better for you that way 😀

    • Cahow
      June 30, 2015, 10:47 am

      You’re the BEST, Alex!!!! Many many thanks for bringing back the old format for easy reading. 😀

      • wiz
        July 18, 2017, 5:26 pm

        DITTO! I stopped reading after the first page on that multi-page format. Too difficult to keep going to the next page. Thank you for bringing this back!

  • Karen R
    July 1, 2015, 3:04 pm

    Oh, yeah!

  • David C
    July 14, 2015, 9:13 am

    I was visiting some friends of mine, sitting on their yacht at a marina on the St. John’s River near Jax FL, enjoying the view. Then, my friend got his shotgun out and BAM, shot the poisonous snake swimming by. UGH… glad I don’t live on a river in FL! Nice place though…

  • Liz
    July 14, 2015, 9:49 am

    Boy, if I could be in that cabin, I sure would. What a great place. I can only imagine how restful it would be on the water!!

  • Sally Schrock
    July 14, 2015, 11:20 am

    This has MY name on it!! *Swoon*

  • Al
    August 30, 2015, 8:01 pm

    These types of homes are called fish camps
    and are allowed all over in Lousiana along waterways and lakes in some places , though those on public waterway have to pay a small annual lease fee. Some of them are rented out weekly or monthly as vacation places , usually there is pier access to front and a boat dock in rear .

  • rhawk
    February 19, 2016, 7:24 pm

    Way too nice to be a fishing cabin. Needs to be much more rustic, while maintaining all the amenities. Also needs a shotgun by back door for snakes. Just saying……

    • Rev
      July 15, 2016, 9:26 pm

      Seconded on those shotguns. Snakes. And bureaucrats exceeding the jurisdiction we allow them.

  • Barbara
    February 19, 2016, 11:16 pm

    I’d be making the kitchen much larger, then it would be called perfection for me. I can’t get close enough to water! I hope the toilet isn’t flushing into the river……..eek!

  • Marcy
    February 20, 2016, 1:37 pm

    I don’t know if this would work for me full-time, but if they ever want me to come house sit for a few days, a few weeks, or a few months, I would be happy, happy.

  • Anilda
    February 20, 2016, 3:00 pm

    Perfect little house!! All the comforts of home and permanent vacation spot.I live it!!

  • Jane
    July 14, 2016, 5:08 pm

    All right!! This may be perfection!

  • two crows
    July 14, 2016, 5:08 pm

    I live in St. Pete – just down the road from Tampa. We need to get busy and relax those regulations they tightened some decades ago. Whose bright idea was it to tighten them in the first place? Realtors, of course. Larger, more expensive homes, make for higher realty fees.
    St. Petersburg prides itself on being green. Obviously a place to start. So let’s do it!
    Directly across the street from me is a 500 sq ft home. It’s a start.

    OK, to stay on thread: This is a lovely home. Living so close – maybe I’ll just have to book a couple of days there? Of course, coming home would be hard.

  • two crows
    July 14, 2016, 5:13 pm

    Oh, one more comment: I could do without the hallway. That’s just wasted space – and who wants that in a tiny house?

  • Richard Herrington
    July 14, 2016, 5:45 pm

    Naturally the government restricts anyone from building such a house on the water. In the “Land of the Free”… you can’t even fart any more with out getting “Big Brother’s” permission… plus buying a permit, a license, pay outlandish fees & then taxed to the hilt. Zoning & government regulations have completely destroyed much of America.

  • Dick
    July 14, 2016, 5:52 pm

    Two Crows, I have to disagree with you on the hallway issue. I can see your point about wasted space, but about fifteen years ago, we lived in a ranch house in Springfield, Missouri, which had a long, narrow living room. The LR ended up being the hallway between bedrooms and kitchen. Not good. The hallway may–does–take up space, but it eliminates the need to traipse through, say, the LR to get to the bedrooms.

    Beautiful, beautiful house. And (I hope!) no snakes…

    • Donna
      June 28, 2017, 6:02 pm

      That is soooo funny! That is exactly what appeals to me the most about living on/in the water. Family lives in the Orlando area and the snakes are horrific — American Brown snakes, mocassins, etc. Almost every day we had to deal with that. So I have made a deal when I’m on my boat — I stay out of the water, and they stay out of my boat. Hopefully this little house would operate the same way. It’s beautiful. I’d love to live there. There are some like that on the lake in Clermont, FL, but they belong to each house across the street from the lake. They too are grandfathered in. Can’t build another one. Can’t rezone to separate them from the main house. Government …. grrrrrr

  • Saturday Sportsman
    July 14, 2016, 6:23 pm


  • Sara
    July 14, 2016, 6:49 pm

    I would LOVE to get my hands on building blueprint to construct our own!

  • Anne
    January 19, 2017, 11:41 pm

    Snakes have their place–they eat the mice and rats that would be climbing up the pilings to get into this place, which by the way, is lovely and definitely more my style than the 150 sq. ft. yard sheds with lofts and buckets under the toilet. Ugh.
    Great place! I love it, and snakes are not an issue for me.

    • Natalie
      January 20, 2017, 9:42 am

      Eek! I don’t like snakes, but I do like this house 🙂

  • Patricia Chang
    January 20, 2017, 3:42 am

    Great rental. Very attractive inside and wonderful area outside. Glad they didn’t tear it down and left it for people to enjoy.

    • Natalie
      January 20, 2017, 9:21 am

      Me too 🙂

    January 20, 2017, 6:09 am

    Not a bad little B%B… This is one time I wouldn’t mind spending a $125.00 a night for this little shack on a dock… All you need now is a bottle of rum and a fishing pole….!

    • Natalie
      January 20, 2017, 9:20 am

      Haha that sounds like an adventure!

    • Eric
      July 3, 2017, 6:24 am

      Fishing Poles? Ain’t that discriminatory? What about fishing Swedes, Russians, Lithuanians…. oh, wait… ; )

  • Linda Tracy
    January 21, 2017, 7:54 pm

    Oh Yea!!!!

  • jm
    January 22, 2017, 3:29 am

    Where I live many agencies have been trying for years to clean up the environmental mess in the river left by people without regard for anyone except themselves–and their wallet. You remember the “good old days” before any regulations. And who pays for the cleanup–well the taxpayers, of course.
    Mush easier and cheaper to keep them from polluting in the first place.

  • Joe
    June 29, 2017, 9:10 am

    What a great place!

    July 3, 2017, 6:52 am

    I at one time was living on an barrier island in Florida’s treasure coast area, it was paradise, a real Xanadu.. We were hit with several hurricanes during my self exiled ten year on this beautiful island, and in my opinion needed nothing more to keep such status mind you…! Well that is all in past now, as after the hurricanes they decided to make some renovations.. Now I have nothing against renovations, but the rents there have become 3 x’s higher now that there has been these upgrades… So no one can afford to live there any more.. But if I could find this little cabin on the end of a pier some where the rents are affordable, I would move there in as I said, a Miami moment in time….

  • Otessa Regina Compton
    July 18, 2017, 4:20 pm


  • Michael
    July 18, 2017, 7:16 pm

    Stunning – love it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Adina Hirschmann
    July 19, 2017, 1:20 am

    Not bad for a short-term summer rental. I don’t think the owner intended it for ful-time living—otherwise, there would be a monthly lease or mortgage involved. Besides, it’s Air B’n B.

  • sandra L brown
    March 7, 2018, 11:56 pm

    Is there any more free cabins give away .we just lost a sister from rare illness and we are devastated .we want a quiet life .cheap as possible .didnt know if there was something available .here in fl .where there is some work for carpenters or painters too.god bless

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