Best Family Houseboat Vacations | LakeWizard

If you are looking for a new vacation idea, you should consider trying a houseboat rental in cool areas because they have plenty of activities to enjoy.

Family vacations are all about spending time together. We consider Lake Powell in Utah/Arizona and Shasta Lake in California to be the two best family houseboat vacation spots to consider. If you are looking to take an unforgettable trip with your family, these are the places to go!

While there is no place like home, the houseboats offer something different than the traditional vacation spots. Whether you're looking for some time away from work or just want something different than the typical family vacation, there are plenty of activities you can enjoy with the whole family too. This guide includes some of the best options to consider.

There are plenty of undiscovered places around the world for families to explore together on a houseboat. These amazing vacation options are scattered across the country where the weather is warm to enjoy a break away from reality.

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6 Best Family Houseboat Vacations

A family houseboat holiday is one of the best ways to spend your time together with your loved ones. Whether it is for a romantic getaway or just a simple family vacation, it provides an opportunity for quality time with each other.

There are many ways to enjoy a family holiday at the beach, but some of the best options include renting a houseboat. Houseboats offer an experience like no other, with all the comforts of home.

The best family houseboat vacation should include activities that are relaxing, educational, and fun. You can still have a great time while keeping your family healthy and active. There are plenty of ways to make the best out of your vacation time even when you're on the water.

Below are some of the best family houseboat vacation options to help you choose the next great adventure for you and your family.

1. Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona

The best time to visit Lake Powell in Utah or Arizona would be during late spring when the snow melts from the surrounding mountains. It is the second-largest man-made reservoir in the entire country too.

Lake Powell is an amazing place to take your family on vacation. It has something for everyone on the water like boating, kayaking, fishing, and swimming. You can also explore the local area with camping, scenic hikes, and amazing wildlife viewing opportunities.

This massive lake has over 2,000 miles of shoreline so there are plenty of locations to consider. It also leaves open the possibility to explore the lake even more and see the different areas along the way.

2. Shasta Lake, California

Shasta Lake is one of the best family houseboat vacation ideas you can find in California. The lake is surrounded by a large forest and has plenty of activities for families with kids to enjoy like camping, fishing, and plenty of swimming.

Shasta Lake offers a variety of ways to spend your time on this property including hiking paths through the mountains and down around the lake. Plus there are plenty of historical sites like the Shasta Caverns Dam that will be sure to impress your family members.

There is even an all-natural waterslide and plenty of old stalagmites located around this massive lake. It is one of the most beautiful natural locations with unique coves, bays, and scenery all around you.

For those who want to enjoy a place with lots of activities, Shasta Lake has some of the best to offer and this would be a perfect destination. The lake offers tons of things to do and people love coming here year after year because of how consistent the weather is.

3. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Lake of the Ozarks is one of the best family houseboat vacation ideas you can find. The natural beauty of this lake invites families to come to the Missouri waters every year with a tight-knit community too.

With a variety of boating options, it’s easy to find something perfect for your family. From private beaches and marinas to campgrounds and public boat ramps, there are plenty of places for parents and kids alike to enjoy the serenity of the lake.

This area is well-known for its size with over 1,100 miles of shoreline. You may have even heard about this location on the famous Netflix show, and everything they portray is true. Besides all of that crime of course.

There are plenty of local eats with hundreds of restaurants and other lodging necessities. Home to beautiful marinas, magical sunsets, and countless family-friendly activities, this vacation spot is perfect for anyone with kids or an adventurous spirit.

4. Lake Mead, Arizona/Utah

If you are looking for a unique houseboat vacation, Lake Mead runs through Arizona and Utah and is the perfect destination for your family.

It has lots of amenities which make it an ideal family vacation spot. It is home to boat ramps, marinas, campgrounds, swimming areas, and more. The water is safe for swimming and there are plenty of places to explore on land or by boat.

Lake Mead also features several houseboats that are available for rent during the summer months. These houseboats offer everything you need to enjoy your family time together. You can expect to find everything your family needs at these houses.

Lake Mead is the largest man-made lake in the United States and it is located within one hour from Las Vegas. There are plenty of canyons and rocky cliffs to explore in the area too.

5. St. Johns River, Florida

The St. Johns River in Florida is one of the best family houseboat vacation ideas you can find. It offers plenty of fun things to do for both adults and kids. With dozens of restaurants, parks, and nature trails, St. Johns River is an ideal destination for boat tours and river explorations.

Unlike some of the other locations listed on the west coast, the St. Johns River is much calmer and surrounded by forests and natural wildlife. It is in an area close to the Blue Springs State Park too.

You can enjoy fishing, swimming, boating, and more in this unique location. They can provide you with a boat rental at a reasonable price and have many activities for kids of all ages.

If you are looking to find some peace and quiet during your vacation then St. John's River is perfect because there are only a handful of properties on this riverbank that will give you that kind of experience during your vacation.

6. Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania

Raystown Lake is an 8,000-acre lake located in Pennsylvania. It has an abundance of things to do when you are visiting the area, which makes it a popular destination for houseboat families.

This lake provides a natural setting for a summer vacation that is perfect for houseboat family vacations. You can enjoy boating on the lake and fishing from your boat while you soak up the sun and take in some of the natural beauty of rural Pennsylvania.

However, you shouldn’t expect tons of development in the area and around the lake. But there is plenty to do in the forests with exploring the local parks and trails that run throughout the area.

There are also lots of different fishing, hiking, and lake excursions you can book for the entire family. This is a vast lake with a strong and devoted local community that makes every trip fun and unforgettable.

How To Prepare For a Family Houseboat Vacation

Houseboats are the perfect way to explore a new place. However, you need to prepare for your houseboat vacation carefully.

To take a houseboat vacation, individuals need to prepare themselves before the trip. This includes preparing all their documents, packing essentials, and plans for arrival too.

When planning a houseboat vacation, there are a few things to consider. It is important to figure out how much you should spend on your houseboat rental, what to pack for the trip, and what you should expect.

Before you start packing for your houseboat vacation, you should make sure that everything is in order. This means scheduling your activities and securing a houseboat in your desired location.

Before going on a houseboat vacation, it is always a good idea to schedule the activities that you want to do while you are at the houseboat. Whether it's a jet ski or kayak rental, scheduling your activities helps to maximize your time in the best way possible.

It also helps avoid another person from taking up one of your activities when you don't have any time for yourself. In addition to booking the activities, it is also important to secure a boat before going on a vacation so that no surprises can ruin your plans!

You can start making these plans no later than one week before you arrive. It is best to do it even sooner if possible depending on how busy the area expects to be.

Family Houseboat Vacation Tips

The family houseboat vacation is a great way to explore the world with your loved ones. It can be a great bonding experience if you go with family members who have never been on a houseboat before.

These vacations allow for a comfortable living space, an open-air experience, and a variety of activities. Here are some tips on how to host the perfect family houseboat vacation.

  • Decide what you want to do in advance and plan accordingly.
  • Find a destination with lots of activities for the whole family.
  • Everyone in your boat should be comfortable in the water—there are no exceptions!
  • Pack accordingly based on where you are headed.
  • Only use reputable houseboat rental companies.
  • Always reserve your houseboat well in advance.

While keeping these tips in mind, you should also make a list of some ideas for destinations based on what you value most. For example, if you want to go to a warm region on a lake for watersports this will narrow down your options a bit.

What Can You Do on a Family Houseboat Vacation?

On a houseboat vacation, you will enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the water and the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. Some people use houseboats as a way to escape their everyday life and reconnect with nature.

However, there are plenty of things you can do on your houseboat vacation like water sports, sunbathing, or just taking a swim on a warm day.

Water Sports

Water sports are an activity that can be enjoyed by everyone. Water sports activities are popular during houseboat vacations because it is the perfect destination for families.

This is one of the best ways to spend quality time with your family members during summer vacation, or after work on weekends. It is also easy to enjoy these water sports activities without having to rent a boat or go out of town.

There are many opportunities for you and your family members to enjoy these water activities like kayaking, jet skiing, and more.


A houseboat vacation should be the perfect getaway for families who want to relax and enjoy their time together. It is hard to find time during the weekdays due to work, so this summertime break is a perfect chance for you and your family to bond.

You should go sunbathing and bring umbrellas and sunscreen with you for a little extra safety during the hot conditions. The weather in many of the destinations in this guide gets very hot with the sun shining all day.

Go Swimming

A family houseboat holiday is just what you need after a long week of work or school. Not only does it provide an escape from the stresses of life, but it also provides hours of fun and entertainment as you spend your time swimming and enjoying the water on your moving home.

Swimming and relaxing on your houseboat can be a low-cost way to enjoy your day. It is the perfect budget-friendly vacation idea for those who want to do something different than staying at a traditional hotel or resort too.


Brian Samson

Brian Samson

I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.

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