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Rent a Floating Hotel

Do you wish that the stresses in your life would simply float away? It’s time to let your worries go drift! Try vacationing on a houseboat — a floating hotel where waterfront views are guaranteed. Splash into refreshing water from the on-deck slide, dive off the back-end swim platform, or toss your fishing line into the sea for the catch-of-the-day. Watch wildlife scamper on the shore during the early morning or evening hours and stargaze at night without the interference of bright city lights. The possibilities are endless as you set sail toward ‘destination relaxation’ along with family and friends.

Does a houseboat vacation sound too good to be true? Well, houseboating can be an ideal outdoor adventure for family reunions or a couple’s retreat. In fact, multiple boats can be tethered together to create a feeling of community without over-crowding. Whether you cruise for a weekend or an extended journey, there’s a houseboat and a waterway to suit your needs, thanks to ideal features on modern vessels such as spacious floor plans, entertainment, kitchen conveniences, and spectacular slumber arrangements.

Two-thirds of the nation’s states have at least one lake that is suitable for houseboating. Boat rentals are available shore to shore from Alaska to Florida, California to New York, and dozens of blue water spots in between. The best way to see the true beauty of any body of water is to spend time aboard a houseboat, allowing you to do as much (or as little) as desired.

Contemporary houseboats generally sleep 6 to 12 people and are well equipped with all the amenities you expect in a vacation accommodation, including central air and heat, full baths, ample storage room (more than a typical cruise ship cabin), clothes dryer, fully furnished kitchen, multiple televisions, hot tubs, and outdoor lounge furniture. Factor in onsite fishing opportunities, gas grills to cook your catch, and swim platforms and houseboats quickly add up to a bargain deal! Of course, rates vary according to location, vessel size, and time of year. For example, you can enjoy a 73 x 21 foot houseboat at Grider Hill Dock on Lake Cumberland in southeastern Kentucky that sleeps 12 for four nights for $1,995. Summer rates are higher but affordable.

In this time of increased security concerns, houseboat vacations make a lot of sense. You can be away from the city, on your own, and totally happy on your all-inclusive floating resort. You may also have the opportunity to go ashore to spots that are only accessible by water and create unique experiences for the family to wonder and explore nature. Although living on the water is most popular during summer months, houseboats are available all year round on lakes in the southern United States. It’s best to book rentals at least six months in advance to guarantee your desired size, style, and houseboat requirements. Houseboats are even available as vacation timeshares!

At least two areas claim to be the ‘Houseboat Capital of the World.’ Shasta Lake near Redding, California, explains how the title is earned with its 370 miles of shoreline, deep azure water surrounded by breathtaking mountains, and spectacular natural scenery. Eleven commercial marinas offer houseboat rentals in the region. Whereas, Lake Cumberland boasts having the most houseboat manufacturers and more private coves than any other lake in the world ─ all of which accommodate houseboats. Each suitable lake across the county, of course, has various special features. For example, Lake Amistad near the Texas-Mexico border is a great place for water skiing, scuba diving, and snorkeling because of its crystal-clear waters; plus, there are over 400 Indian archeological sites to explore along the shoreline. Other geographically diverse favorites among houseboaters include: Lake Lanier in Georgia, Lake Ouachita in Arkansas, Lake Powell in Utah (sometimes called the king of houseboating), Lake Mead in Nevada, Lake Havasu in Arizona, and Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.

You can even set sail close to home in Florida! Miller’s Marina began offering houseboats 28 years ago on the Suwannee River, where it flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Home to prehistoric manatees and Gulf sturgeon, the Suwannee passes through miles of thick and ancient magnolia, pine, and cypress forest. Historic sites illuminate Florida’s Amerindian, Confederate, and early resort past ─ a great place to explore from the comfort and convenience of a houseboat.

If desired, pick up the pace with Florida-based rentals on the St. John’s River, in the Everglades, or along the warm waters of Florida’s coastline. Venture out to Sanibel and Captiva Islands just off the shore of Fort Meyers or meander through the coral reefs of the Florida Keys. Wherever you decide to boat, you’ll enjoy both, the freedom to explore and some of the best fishing anywhere, at whatever pace you choose. Learn more at HouseBoating.org.

FLORIDA HOUSEBOAT RENTALS

 

Flamingo Lodge Marina 

  • Access to the Everglades wilderness
  • (800) 600-3813

Holiday Cruise Yacht Charters 

  • Hop islands along Florida’s Southwest Coast
  • (866) 703-8232

Miller’s Marina 

  • Explore the Suwannee River
  • (800) 458-2628
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