Where To Rent A Houseboat | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • Houseboat rentals offer tranquility and adventure, with amenities to fit any preference.
  • Rental location is key, but check all with unique opportunities to explore and enjoy.
  • Houseboats come in various sizes, providing a tailored vacation experience.

Discover the best destinations for renting a houseboat as you immerse in a unique aquatic lifestyle while exploring the joys of houseboat living.

The best places to rent a houseboat are Lake Powell, Shasta Lake, Lake Cumberland, Lake Roosevelt, Lake Billy Chinook, Voyageurs National Park, Lake Mead, Erie Canal, Everglades National Park, St. Johns River, and Crane Lake.

As a seasoned traveler who's lived the houseboat lifestyle across the globe, I can assure you it's an unparalleled experience. There's nothing quite like the freedom and tranquility of living on the water. In my journey, I've gathered insider tips and insights to help you find the perfect houseboat for your adventure.

Table of contents


Where to Rent a Houseboat

Embarking on a houseboat vacation offers a unique escape packed with the serenity of quiet lakes or the adventure of winding rivers. Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat or an action-packed getaway, there's a houseboat rental to match. The right location with the perfect blend of amenities can transform your vacation into an unforgettable experience on the water.

From the breathtaking clear waters of Lake Powell to the tranquil shores of Voyageurs National Park, each destination provides a distinct backdrop for your houseboat adventure. Houseboating allows you to explore miles of shoreline at your own pace, offering easy access to hidden coves and picturesque beaches.

Here is a comparative table of the features of the destinations for renting a houseboat.

Destination Scenic Highlights Fishing Water Sports Nearby Attractions
Lake Powell Canyons, clear waters Bass, bluegill Skiing, kayaking Antelope Canyon
Shasta Lake Mountain views, coves Trout, bass Boating, skiing Shasta-Trinity Forest
Lake Cumberland Wooded shores Bass, trout Tubing, skiing Daniel Boone Forest
Lake Roosevelt Wildlife, forests Walleye, trout Canoeing, boating Fort Spokane
Lake Billy Chinook Canyon landscapes Trout, salmon Paddle boarding Smith Rock State Park
Voyageurs Park Northern lights, nature Walleye, pike Canoeing, kayaking Boundary Waters
Lake Mead Desert landscapes Striped bass, sunfish Skiing, scuba diving Las Vegas, Hoover Dam
Erie Canal Historic towns Bass, pike Leisure boating Upstate New York towns
Everglades Park Subtropical ecosystem Bass, tarpon Airboat tours Miami
St. Johns River Diverse wildlife Bass Wildlife tours Orlando attractions
Crane Lake Forested shorelines Pike, bass Canoeing Superior National Forest

1. Lake Powell, Arizona/Utah

Lake Powell
Lake Powell

A reservoir on the Colorado River straddling Arizona and Utah, Lake Powell is famous for its stunningly clear waters, deeply carved banks, and over 2,000 miles of shoreline, perfect for houseboat vacations.

List of amenities you'll enjoy:

  • Marinas with full services
  • Water sports facilities (water skiing, jet skiing)
  • Scenic canyons and clear waters ideal for fishing and exploring
  • Hiking trails around the lake

2. Shasta Lake, California

Shasta Lake
Shasta Lake

Nestled in the northern part of California, Shasta Lake is known for its scenic beauty. It’s a popular spot for houseboat rentals, offering easy access to fishing and water sports.

List of amenities you'll enjoy:

  • Numerous coves and beaches for private anchoring
  • Fishing opportunities for trout and bass
  • Access to water sports and marinas
  • Scenic views of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest

3. Lake Cumberland, Kentucky

Lake Cumberland
Lake Cumberland

Known as the houseboat capital of the world, Lake Cumberland, Kentucky, boasts over 1,200 miles of shoreline and is a favorite for those seeking a houseboat vacation amidst tranquil waters.

List of amenities you'll enjoy:

  • Largest man-made lakes with extensive shorelines
  • Family-friendly amenities and activities
  • Great fishing spots for bass and trout
  • Proximity to Daniel Boone National Forest for hiking

4. Lake Roosevelt, Washington

Lake Roosevelt
Lake Roosevelt

Stretching about 150 miles in Washington State, Lake Roosevelt offers a serene houseboat experience with its forested shoreline and abundant wildlife.

List of amenities you'll enjoy:

  • Year-round fishing opportunities
  • Wildlife viewing and bird watching
  • Access to historical sites and cultural landmarks
  • Numerous recreational activities including boating and hiking

5. Lake Billy Chinook, Oregon

Lake Billy Chinook
Lake Billy Chinook

Located in Central Oregon, Lake Billy Chinook is noted for its unique setting where the Deschutes, Crooked, and Metolius rivers meet, providing an exceptional houseboat rental destination.

List of amenities you'll enjoy:

  • Unique geological formations and deep-carved banks
  • Excellent fishing for trout and other species
  • Easy access to the Deschutes and Metolius Rivers
  • Proximity to scenic hiking trails

6. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Voyageurs National Park
Voyageurs National Park

This national park in Northern Minnesota offers a unique houseboat experience amidst its waterways and forested terrain, allowing visitors to explore remote areas only accessible by boat.

List of amenities you'll enjoy:

  • Access to remote waterways and unspoiled nature
  • Opportunities for wildlife viewing and birdwatching
  • Fishing in the pristine waters of northern Minnesota
  • Hiking trails and historical sites within the park

7. Lake Mead, Nevada/Arizona

Lake Mead
Lake Mead

Near Las Vegas, Lake Mead is one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States, offering a variety of houseboat rentals for an unforgettable aquatic vacation.

List of amenities you'll enjoy:

  • Proximity to Hoover Dam and Las Vegas
  • Ideal for water sports and leisure activities
  • Abundant fishing opportunities
  • Scenic views and clear waters for swimming

8. Erie Canal, New York

Erie Canal
Erie Canal

The historic Erie Canal provides a unique houseboat experience, combining scenic beauty with a taste of history as you navigate through New York State.

List of amenities you'll enjoy:

  • Unique historical and cultural experience
  • Access to charming canal-side towns and communities
  • Fishing and leisure boating opportunities
  • Bike paths and walking trails along the canal

9. Everglades National Park, Florida

Offering a completely different ecosystem, the Everglades in Florida is perfect for those looking to rent a houseboat and explore a vast network of wetlands and wildlife.

List of amenities you'll enjoy:

  • Unique wildlife viewing in a subtropical setting
  • Fishing in the rich waters of the Everglades
  • Access to various water trails and mangrove tunnels
  • Proximity to Miami and other urban amenities

10. St. Johns River, Florida

Flowing through Florida, the St. Johns River is ideal for houseboat vacations, boasting a calm flow and rich biodiversity, ideal for fishing and nature exploration.

List of amenities you'll enjoy:

  • Calm waters ideal for leisure boating and fishing
  • Rich biodiversity, perfect for nature enthusiasts
  • Access to historic sites along the river
  • Proximity to the beaches and attractions of Florida

11. Crane Lake, Minnesota

Crane Lake
Crane Lake

Located near Voyageurs National Park, Crane Lake is a gateway to a vast aquatic network, perfect for houseboat rentals and exploring the wilderness of Northern Minnesota.

List of amenities you'll enjoy:

  • Gateway to extensive waterways and wilderness exploration
  • Fishing in the clear, northern lakes
  • Access to hiking and wildlife viewing
  • Proximity to Superior National Forest and Voyageurs National Park

Daily Life and Challenges of Living on a Houseboat

Living on a houseboat blends the charm of aquatic serenity with practical challenges, creating a unique daily life that balances the joy of water-bound living with the realities of compact space management and weather adaptability.

Morning Routines on a Houseboat

Waking up to the gentle sway of water, the morning on a houseboat starts with the unique tranquility of aquatic life. Residents often enjoy coffee on the deck, basking in the early sun while enjoying serene water views.

Managing Utilities and Space

Space and resource management is key. Compact living means ingenious space solutions and careful use of water and electricity, often relying on sustainable practices like solar panels and water conservation techniques.

Weather and Environmental Considerations

Weather greatly influences houseboat living. From securing the boat during storms to adjusting to the humidity and sun, residents become adept at adapting to and respecting their natural surroundings.

Community and Social Life on the Water

Houseboat communities are tight-knit, with a shared love for the water. Social gatherings, communal decks, and shared marina facilities foster a unique sense of community and mutual support.

Overcoming Challenges of Houseboat Living

Despite its charm, houseboat living comes with challenges like limited privacy, motion sickness for some, and constant maintenance. But for many, these are small trade-offs for the joy of living on the water.