Discover the best houseboat rentals in California

Looking for a vacation that’s as individual as you are? A houseboat vacation is the perfect choice – and California is the perfect destination. From north to south, America’s Golden State boasts plenty of must-see lakes and bays, many serving up an idyllic setting for California houseboat vacations. Rentals come in a range of styles, so whether you’re looking for a multi-tiered party boat, a cozy number for two, or a California boat rental with space for the family, houseboats equal happiness for your whole gang.

Skipping the waves in Sausalito

A short hop across the Bay from San Francisco, Sausalito has long since been known for its whimsical houseboat enclaves. The lifestyle here kicked off thanks to shipbuilding activities during World War II, though it was the swinging 60s and hipster 70s that really put Sausalito on the map. Today, the community attracts day trippers galore, each one eager to explore the area’s enchanting shops, studios, and galleries. Those who want to stay a while find that Sausalito houseboats offer an unforgettable base for a Bay Area getaway.

Summer stays on Shasta Lake

It’s not unusual to hear California’s largest reservoir described as the houseboat capital of the California Delta, if not the world. And with 30,000 acres of crystal blue water, almost 400 miles of pristine shoreline, and unspoiled views of the soaring Mt. Shasta, it’s not difficult to understand why. From simple budget-friendly numbers to altogether more luxurious affairs, summer houseboat rentals are ever popular – though attractions like Shasta Dam and the 250-million-year-old Lake Shasta Caverns make Shasta Lake houseboat rentals a year-round option.

Cast a line at Trinity Lake

A 2-hour drive from Lake Shasta, Trinity Lake offers yet another idyllic setting for a houseboat vacation in Northern California. It’s a lake that’s best known for its fishing prowess, both bass and trout fishing boasting a world-class reputation here, though the appeal of this California houseboat hot spot by no means ends there. Skiing and boarding are readily available on the lake’s smooth surface, while the white-water fun of the Wild & Scenic Trinity River, at its most adrenaline pumping between Lewiston and Pigeon Point, is on the cards nearby.

Escape to Lake Berryessa

About half way between Santa Rosa and Sacramento, Lake Berryessa is Napa County’s largest lake, not to mention one of the state’s largest bodies of fresh water. All that space makes it an enduring pick for California houseboat rentals – and one that’s perfect for everyone from loved-up couples to fun-loving families. Swimming, fishing, and paddle sports like canoeing and kayaking are popular activities, and if you don’t mind switching to dry land for a while, so are hiking and cycling around the lake’s 165 miles of shoreline.

Living it up at Lake Tahoe

North America’s largest alpine lake sits right on the border of California and Nevada. It’s a prime spot that has long since found favor with houseboat aficionados. Just like its selection of houseboat rentals, Lake Tahoe activities come in countless flavors, making it the sort of place where you can cruise past the Nordic-style Vikingsholm mansion in the morning and hike a little of the Tahoe Rim Trail in the afternoon. In between, there are few better places to enjoy a leisurely lunch than on the deck of your very own floating hotel.

SoCal appeal in San Diego

While there’s a ton of houseboat rentals in Northern California, those that pepper the area’s southern neighbor shouldn’t be overlooked – not least those houseboats in San Diego Bay. Most San Diego houseboats are upmarket numbers that sit just south of the city’s international airport, a convenient setting also placing you just minutes from the delights of the vibrant downtown area. You’ll also be close to just about as many gorgeous beaches as you could want, as well as all the fun of Sea World and the iconic San Diego Zoo.