Whether you’re planning a vacation with family or friends, hoping to get away for the weekend or looking for long-term summer rentals, houseboats are a memorable place to stay. These unique vacation home rentals offer an ideal base for adventures both on the water and on the shore – no matter if you heed the call of the country’s shimmering lakes, winding rivers, or sun-soaked coasts. Need a little inspiration? Read on to discover some of the hottest spots for houseboat vacations in the USA.

Houseboat rentals in Florida

While you’d be forgiven for thinking of theme parks at the first mention of Florida, there’s more to the Sunshine State than white-knuckle rides and larger-than-life characters. There are more than 1,300 miles of gorgeous coastline strewn with white-sand beaches and idyllic islets for starters, not to mention oodles of meandering rivers where cruising comes easy. But with countless places to explore, where do you start? Top destinations for houseboating in Florida include the palm-fringed Florida Keys and steamy, Latin-inspired Miami. Then there’s Sanibel Island in the sun-drenched Gulf of Mexico – the perfect spot to watch flamingos by day and starry skies by night.

Houseboat rentals in Wisconsin

If you’re looking for a good reason to enjoy a houseboat vacation in Wisconsin, the Badger State offers a pretty impressive one. It’s the Mississippi River, of course – a 250-mile stretch of Old Blue winding its way past chalky limestone bluffs, sandbar archipelagos, and pretty river towns on the state’s western border. You can rent houseboats from the likes of La Crosse and the Great River Harbor near Alma, many of these floating vacation home rentals perfect for families and large groups – and often coming complete with luxury extras like hot tubs, water slides, and patio decks with gas grills and wet bars.

Houseboat rentals in Virginia

Tucked between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Coast, Virginia serves up plenty of reasons to enjoy a houseboating vacation in the Old Dominion. First up is the Blue Ridge Mountain’s Smith Mountain Lake with its more than 30 square miles of shimmering surface water, great bass fishing, and 500 miles of pristine shoreline – the latter playing host to the postcard-perfect beach belonging to Smith Mountain Lake State Park. If you prefer your surroundings a little less rugged, head instead for the James River. Houseboats here are often permanently moored but still offer a much-needed break from the norm.

Houseboat rentals in Michigan

With shorelines along lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Superior, Michigan offers no shortage of places to stay on the water. Perhaps less well known in the Great Lakes State, though not a smidgen less stunning, are the likes of Crooked and Torch lakes. These smaller spots are ideal for first-time boaters, though Crooked Lake connects to Lake Huron via a lock system should you feel the urge to explore a little further afield. About 60 miles south, Torch Lake is another popular destination for vacations in Northern Michigan, coming complete with turquoise waters, unforgettable scenery, and houseboats of all sizes.

Houseboat rentals in Missouri

Houseboat vacations in Missouri are almost always best spent discovering the Ozarks, a good place to start being Table Rock Lake near the Arkansas border. This sprawling reservoir lake, formed by the damming of the White River in the 1950s, counts 800 miles of shoreline, exceptional diving conditions, and easy access to the hip tourist town of Branson among its many highlights. Further north, the Lake of the Ozarks gained notoriety in the Netflix drama “The Ozarks” but has plenty more to shout about, not least the dozens of friendly bars that line its shoreline, and plenty of adventure both on and off the water.

Houseboat rentals in Boston

While houseboat vacations are an ideal opportunity to get off grid for a while, you don’t always need to venture into the wilderness to enjoy a break on the water. Boston is the perfect example of that, Massachusetts’ capital boasting a dazzling parade of houseboats that put guests within strolling distance of the city’s vibrant downtown and must-visit attractions like the New England Aquarium and Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. Houseboat rentals in Boston Harbor are often at the luxurious end of the market and perfect for an unforgettable weekend getaway with friends.