Renting a houseboat is a unique experience that doesn’t have to be saved for the summertime. One spring, my husband and I booked a stay on a houseboat that was docked on the Anacostia River when we couldn’t find an affordable place to stay in D.C. We also rented a floating tiki hut in Key West one winter, which was a much more affordable way to stay on the water (quite literally) than a waterfront hotel. Both make for an awesome couples’ retreat. Staying on a houseboat is a lot like staying in a camper, while a floating home can require a little more work, such as using a generator.
You don’t have to be able to drive a boat to stay on one. Most houseboat vacation rentals are stationary, so all you have to do is sunbathe, fish, stargaze, and catch the sunrise or sunset over the water.
Below, we’ve curated the highest-rated houseboat vacation rentals in some of the best places to embark upon such an adventure: California, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
California Houseboat Vacation Rentals
Just 15 minutes from San Francisco, Sausalito offers plenty of fantastic houseboat rentals, but The RMS Sage is one of the most gorgeous in the arts community. This Northern California stay offers easy access to the Muir Woods, the beach, and wine country. Take in superb sunsets and spectacular sunrises from the sundecks. Gazing at the moon and stars through the skylight is nothing short of magical. Book the RMS Sage for an extraordinary getaway on the water!
Speaking of San Francisco, houseboats are one of the most affordable stays in the Bay Area. Named after one of the most popular and lively tourist resorts on the island of Corfu, Sidari welcomes you with blissful sunlight streaming through its windows, exuding a slight African tropical flare in its décor. Step onto the new front deck for afternoon tea or champagne cocktails amid the lush garden for added privacy. Inside, the open floor plan features a glistening white kitchen with modern rattan chairs and a bar area. Enjoy sweeping views of deep water and a glimpse of San Francisco from the charming living room with a corner fireplace. The back deck offers breathtaking bay views where you can savor your meals or soak up the sun on the loveseat.
With a private boat dock hosting kayaks and bicycles, explore the waterways and nearby restaurants. Embrace the enchantment of Sausalito’s vibrant community and mesmerizing birdwatching. Sidari offers an unforgettable floating home experience where you’ll never want to leave this idyllic oasis.
Florida Houseboat Vacation Rentals
Experience the beauty of Home A Wave, a fully furnished houseboat with a large top deck bedroom and stunning sunset views! This floating home offers 1.5 baths, a well-equipped galley with modern amenities, and a utility room with a washer and dryer. Witness breathtaking sunsets from the spacious top deck. Don’t miss the chance to book this enchanting houseboat for a memorable vacation!
There’s no shortage of restaurants, bars, historical attractions, and beach rentals in Pensacola. Seaclusion, a charming houseboat located in Seville Harbour Marina on Pensacola Bay, offers the ultimate floating getaway. This two-bedroom, one-bathroom houseboat comfortably accommodates four people and offers a fully equipped kitchen with full-size appliances. Relax on the front porch as dolphins and manta rays swim right up to the boat!
Local attractions, festivals, restaurants, art galleries, and shopping can all be found within walking distance. Enjoy easy access to intercostal waterways, downtown, and the Florida Panhandle’s famous pristine white beaches. Beautiful Pensacola Beach is just a short drive away. If you bring a watercraft, dockage is available, and there’s trailer parking nearby. An onsite restaurant at the marina is super convenient for a quick meal.
Moored on Sarasota Bay, the Floating Oasis is a dreamy all-season houseboat. Take the dinghy to access the boat, which has A/C, a shower, and electricity thanks to solar panels and a generator. While essential amenities are provided, the power supply is limited. Enjoy sunset views from the balcony’s full-size bed and lounge chairs. Sunbath and stargaze from the turfed top deck. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Sarasota Bay while keeping an eye out for dolphins and manatees!
Experience the unique charm of Joe’s Floating Home on South Hutchinson Island! Located in Causeway Cove Marina, this one-of-a-kind houseboat offers an unforgettable getaway. Swim in the emerald waters of the Treasure Coast and explore downtown Ft. Pierce’s vibrant scene with shopping, restaurants, live entertainment, and microbreweries. Joe’s Floating House provides all the comforts of a real home, including a full kitchen, two bedrooms, two baths, and a washer and dryer. Enjoy stargazing from the deck while grilling your favorite meal.
With access to the Wet Whistle deck and bar, as well as jetski, boat, and kayak rentals, the possibilities for adventure are endless. Free transportation through the city’s Freebee service adds to the convenience. This remarkable floating home can be your romantic retreat or accommodate up to six guests for an unforgettable stay. Plus, the owner provides two free paddle boards for guests to enjoy! Don’t miss out on this extraordinary experience at Causeway Cove Marina. Book now for an extraordinary houseboat vacation!
Maryland Houseboat Vacation Rentals
Discover the perfect oasis to relax, reconnect, and explore Annapolis! Located just a few miles from downtown, this brand-new, well-appointed, and permanently docked houseboat offers a truly unique and exclusive stay. Dine al fresco or just relax with a beverage on the rooftop deck. Guests get access to a lovely community pool as well as a private fire pit by the dock.
Floating in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, FLOHOM 1 | Bay Escape offers unparalleled experiences and convenient access to on-the-water and waterfront activities, as well as popular Baltimore attractions. Watch magical sunrises and sunsets from the deck of this luxurious houseboat. Offering a taste of the Charm City’s rich culture, history, and diverse culinary scene, the vibrant neighborhoods of Federal Hill and Inner Harbor are just steps away.
Welcome aboard Cass-N-Reel, a luxurious 432-square-foot houseboat located in Kent Island’s picturesque narrows. Take in views of the Chesapeake Bay from a lounge chair on the houseboat’s covered rear-facing deck. Several waterfront bars and restaurants offer a taste of the eastern shore’s delights within walking distance. This houseboat makes for a great base for exploring the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Annapolis, Washington D.C., St. Michaels, and Ocean City.
North Carolina Houseboat Vacation Rental
Discover a unique vacation rental community floating atop the Cape Fear River — Riverwalk Villas at The Cove. With gentle river rocking and peaceful sunset views, your stay promises to be refreshing and restorative, leaving you eager to return. The dockside community offers the perfect blend of adventure, luxury, and relaxation. Enjoy spacious open-concept living areas, a well-equipped kitchen, and comfortable bedrooms. The large patio with an outdoor bar offers a favorite spot for morning coffee, afternoon reading, or evening spirits.
Downtown Wilmington’s attractions, shops, restaurants, live music, and events are just steps from this houseboat vacation rental’s location in Port City Marina. Explore the historic downtown, Wrightsville Beach, and more within a short drive.
Tennessee Houseboat Vacation Rental
Nestled in Volunteer Landing Marina, this restored 1984 50-foot Jamestowner houseboat is just a short walk from downtown Knoxville and scenic Volunteer Landing. Golf carts are provided for transporting your belongings. Furry friends are welcome with prior approval and a fee. Quiet hours are observed from 10 p.m.–7 a.m., ensuring a peaceful atmosphere for all marina patrons.
Embrace the privilege of staying in this family-oriented facility, making memories that will last a lifetime. Book now for an unforgettable getaway on the water in captivating East Tennessee!
Texas Houseboat Vacation Rental
Experience the enchanting Casa Ocaso, a cozy 42-foot Gibson houseboat on Lake Travis. Take in the famous Hill Country sunsets from the boat’s rooftop deck area and enjoy paddle boarding or napping to the soothing waves. Although the boat must stay docked at the marina, guests can swim off the private swim deck.
Wisconsin Houseboat Vacation Rental
Door County Houseboat Rentals has a one-of-a-kind lodging experience awaiting you on the edge of Sturgeon Bay. Discover Pier Relaxn’, a newly constructed floating cottage nestled in the serene bay canal of beautiful Door County, Wisconsin. Enjoy the stunning sunrises and sunsets from the spacious upper deck.
Guests get access to the Community Center with its heated saltwater pool, clubhouse, pickleball court, and pavilion area with gas grills and an open-air fire pit. Experience the tranquil Sturgeon Bay shoreline from the water by renting a run-about boat, kayak, or stand-up paddle board. With all the comforts of home and a host of amenities, Pier Relaxn’ promises an unforgettable vacation in Door County.
Whether you’re in pursuit of relaxation or adventure, these houseboat vacation rentals offer a refreshing getaway that promises to leave you with cherished memories of the water.