Best Houseboat Rentals

Holiday Harbor is the best houseboat rental on Lake Shasta

Couple having a trip on a house boat


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It’s hard to imagine anything more idyllic than living right on the water, and modern houseboats are built to let you do so in style. In this round-up of the best houseboat rentals, we take a look at the preferred companies operating in some of the best houseboating destinations in the country.

Whether you’re planning a wild party on Lake Havasu or a quiet family retreat on Crane Lake, we’ve chosen the best houseboat rental companies that stand out for their well-maintained, thoughtfully outfitted vessels and excellent customer service.

The Rundown

Our Top Picks

01 of 08

Best on Lake Shasta: Holiday Harbor

Holiday Harbor

Holiday Harbor

Why We Chose It: We chose Holiday Harbor as our top pick for Lake Shasta because of its wide variety of houseboats and generous off-season discounts.

Pros
  • Seven different houseboats to choose from

  • Reduced rates during the off season

  • Full-service marina with toy rentals and general store

Cons
  • Not possible to rent a houseboat for just one night

  • Linens and other essentials are not provided

  • Summer rental rates are doubly expensive

California’s Lake Shasta claims to be the Houseboat Capital of the World, and with rewarding fishing and more than 360 miles of mountainous shoreline to explore, the title may well be justified. Our top choice for Lake Shasta houseboat rentals is Holiday Harbor, a company that receives outstanding reviews from past customers for service and quality. Holiday Harbor has seven houseboat models to choose from, ranging from the six-sleeper Diplomat to the 16-sleeper Empress. 

All options have a galley, at least one bathroom, and a deck-mounted barbecue grill. Some models have a waterslide fixed to the roof; while other toys (think kayaks, SUP boards, and inner tubes) can be rented from Holiday Harbor. All houseboats have a two or three-night minimum stay, with peak season prices ranging from about $1,137 to $2,892. Off-season and Value Weeks rentals are considerably cheaper.

02 of 08

Best on Lake Powell: Antelope Point Marina

Antelope Point Marina

Antelope Point Marina

Why We Chose It: We chose Antelope Point Marina for its well-appointed houseboats that come with every amenity needed for a fun-filled Lake Powell vacation.

Pros
  • Eight houseboat models to choose from

  • All models include a waterslide and barbecue

  • Essentials including linens and crockery are provided

Cons
  • Pricing is not immediately visible online

  • Some models have a seven-day minimum rental period

  • Pets incur a fee of $100 each

A man-made reservoir on the Arizona-Utah border, Lake Powell is as famous for its houseboating opportunities as it is for its breathtaking red rock scenery. Popular rental company Antelope Point Marina invites visitors to embrace the lifestyle with eight different houseboats to choose from. These range from the 50-foot, six-sleeper Forever to the 75-foot, 12-sleeper XTreme, with all boats including a full kitchen, barbecue, and waterslide. 

More luxurious models also come with DirecTV and a wet bar, while minimum rental periods range from two to seven days depending on your dates and chosen model. And although prices can only be viewed by entering your specific vacation dates, discounts for longer rentals apply throughout the year. American Heroes receive an additional $200 discount. Pay extra for trip cancellation protection or to take possession of your houseboat the evening before your vacation starts.

03 of 08

Best on Lake Cumberland: Conley Bottom Resort

Conley Bottom Resort

Conley Bottom Resort

Why We Chose It: Conley Bottom Resort stood out as the top houseboat rental company on Lake Cumberland for its friendly, family-oriented atmosphere and well-maintained vessels.

Pros
  • Many reviews praising customer service

  • All houseboat models include a waterslide and party top

  • Great discounts offered outside peak season

Cons
  • Just three houseboat models to choose from

  • Towels and linens are not provided

  • Limited flexibility in terms of rental start and end dates

The ninth-largest lake in the United States, Kentucky’s Lake Cumberland is a recreation hotspot and another contender for the title of Houseboat Capital of the World. To decide for yourself whether it really is the ultimate houseboating destination, rent a floating home from Conley Bottom Resort. This friendly, accessible marina offers three houseboat sizes to choose from: the eight-sleeper Family Cruiser, the 10-sleeper Deluxe Voyager, and the 12-sleeper Luxury Liner. 

All houseboats include central heat and air, a galley, a swim platform, a waterslide, and a flybridge with a party top. Rental periods are somewhat inflexible, however, with just three options to choose from (Friday to Monday, Monday to Friday, or full weeks starting from either Monday or Friday). Peak season rates for a full-week rental range from about $2,980 for the Family Cruiser to roughly $6,450 for the Luxury Liner. Book outside peak season for considerable discounts.

04 of 08

Best on Crane Lake: Voyagaire Lodge & Houseboats

Voyagaire

Voyagaire

Why We Chose It: We chose Voyagaire Lodge & Houseboats because it has the best selection of models on Crane Lake.

Pros
  • Wide choice of houseboats to suit all group sizes

  • Rental periods may start on any day of the week

  • Pets are allowed on all houseboats except the Voyagaire

Cons
  • All houseboats have a three-night minimum

  • Prices exclude compulsory houseboat permit

  • Fuel is not included in the rental rate

Set on the edge of Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota, Crane Lake is the ideal houseboating destination for those in search of unspoiled wilderness. Voyagaire Lodge & Houseboats has been providing the biggest selection of houseboat rentals on the lake for more than 50 years and has earned an excellent reputation in that time. The company has five houseboat models to choose from. 

The smallest is the 36-foot Suncruiser, perfect for a small family or a couple on a romantic getaway. The largest is the 55-foot Voyagaire, with four private staterooms and sleeping space for up to 12 people. This houseboat represents the last word in luxury, with an open living area, a waterslide, and an eight-person hot tub. Houseboats can be rented daily or weekly, with weekly rates ranging from about $1,925 to $7,015. Discounts are available in early and late summer.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Best on Lake Havasu: Lake Havasu Houseboats

Lake Havasu Houseboats

Lake Havasu Houseboats

Why We Chose It: Lake Havasu Houseboats earns top place for its impressive selection of ultra-luxurious houseboat models and its accessible marina.

Pros
  • Five luxury houseboat models to choose from

  • Most models have a built-in hot tub

  • Discounted rates available for extended and off-season bookings

Cons
  • Smallest houseboat sleeps 10 people

  • Rental deposit doubles during Spring Break

  • Minimum rental period is three days

With 400 miles of coastline, 60 miles of navigable waterways, and a reputation as one of Arizona’s best Spring Break venues, Lake Havasu is a popular houseboating destination for families and partygoers alike. Lake Havasu Houseboats operates from a convenient marina with drive-up access and has five luxury houseboat models to choose from. These range in size from the 60-foot Deluxe to the 85-foot Odyssey, with the latter sleeping up to 12 people.

All options are equipped with an entertainment center, waterslide, wet bar, and commercial barbecue; and all but the Deluxe model have their own hot tub. Rentals are expensive, especially in summer, when fees for a two-night stay cost between roughly $3,395 and $5,695, depending on the model you choose. However, daily rates decrease the longer you stay and discounts are available during the off-season. Early boarding on the night before departure is an optional extra.

06 of 08

Best on Lake Billy Chinook: Cove Palisades Resort

Cove Palisades Resort

Cove Palisades Resort

Why We Chose It: We chose Cove Palisades Resort as the best rental company on Lake Billy Chinook because of its immaculately kept selection of luxury houseboats and effusive customer reviews.

Pros
  • Both houseboat models have a waterslide and hot tub

  • Water toys are also available to rent from the marina

  • Rates are significantly lower in non-peak season

Cons
  • Just two houseboat models to choose from

  • Both models must be rented for at least three nights

  • Fees do not include a compulsory environmental fee

Flanked by dramatic cliffs on either side, Lake Billy Chinook offers a totally unique houseboating backdrop in central Oregon. Cove Palisades Resort rents a wide variety of different vessels for exploring the lake, including houseboats. There are two to choose from: the Palisades and the Cove. Both are luxuriously appointed 15-sleeper houseboats with an entertainment center, a hot tub, a waterslide, and an outdoor barbecue. 

The main difference between them is that the Palisades takes luxury to the next level with an air-conditioned penthouse on the flying bridge. Both boats have a three-night minimum rental period regardless of the time of year. Rates for a three-night stay in peak season are about $4,350 (plus tax) for the Palisades and roughly $3,675 for the Cove. Expect a discount of more than approximately $1,000 for the same rental period during the off-season.

07 of 08

Best on Lake Roosevelt: Lake Roosevelt Adventures

Lake Roosevelt Adventures

Lake Roosevelt Adventures

Why We Chose It: Lake Roosevelt Adventures is because it offers a range of different houseboats to suit every group size and budget.

Pros
  • Five different houseboat models to choose from

  • One, the Constitution Class, is the only triple-decker on the lake

  • All models have a waterslide

Cons
  • Only the three most expensive boats have hot tubs

  • All boats have a three-night minimum rental period

  • The Constitution Class has a four-night minimum rental

Located within a national recreation area and full of sought-after fish species (including white sturgeon, sockeye salmon, and rainbow trout), Lake Roosevelt is the ultimate houseboating destination in Washington state. Lake Roosevelt Adventures gives you the key to all the lake has to offer with five different houseboat models available for rent. These range from the 35-foot, six-sleeper Explorer Class, to the triple-decker, 14-sleeper Constitution Class. 

The latter offers the most luxurious houseboat experience on the lake, with a full kitchen, five staterooms, an electric fireplace, and central air-conditioning. All models have a waterslide, while the more expensive ones include a hot tub, as well. Peak season rates for a three-night stay start from about $1,945 while the low season equivalent is roughly $1,345. All boats have a three-night minimum except the Constitution Class, which can only be rented for four nights or longer.

08 of 08

Best on Lake Lanier: Lake Lanier Luxury Houseboat & Yacht Rentals

Lake Lanier Luxury Houseboat & Yacht Rentals

Lake Lanier Luxury Houseboat & Yacht Rentals

Why We Chose It: We chose Lake Lanier Luxury Houseboat & Yacht Rentals because of its unparalleled party boat offerings and many satisfied user reviews.

Pros
  • Luxury houseboats equipped for landmark celebrations

  • Rental rates include the services of a captain and crew

  • Four models to choose from including the largest on the lake

Cons
  • No option for unchartered overnight stays

  • Smallest houseboat is 70 feet long

  • Pricing is not immediately visible online

Nominated by readers of Houseboat Magazine as one of the top 10 houseboating lakes in America, Georgia’s Lake Lanier has several houseboat rental companies to choose from. Lake Lanier Luxury Houseboat & Yacht Rentals specializes in staffed and skippered houseboat charters for unforgettable events. So, instead of sleeping onboard for a private vacation, you can rent the luxury houseboat of your dreams for your birthday, anniversary, or wedding celebration. 

There are four houseboats to choose from: the L3 (the smallest with a maximum capacity of 45 people), the Sensation (an 80-foot vessel with a top sundeck that doubles as a dance floor), the Stardust (a 90-foot, double-decker boat with three fire pits on the fully enclosed upper deck), and the Fantasy (the biggest houseboat on Lake Lanier at 105 feet). Rates depend on your dates and number of guests but can be obtained using the website’s detailed inquiry form.

Final Verdict

Houseboat rental companies tend to focus on a specific lake, so the question of which is the best depends entirely on where you plan on boating. If you're looking for a West Coast jaunt, Lake Shasta in California, Lake Roosevelt in Washington State or Lake Billy Chinook in Oregon will be your best bets. If you're planning a trip to the south, Lake Lanier is your best bet. Looking to head to the Midwest? Crane Lake is your best option. Should a trip to Arizona be your desire? Lake Havasu and Lake Powell should be your go-to destinations. Keep in mind, what you choose will depend on your budget, how many people are coming with you, and what amenities you're looking for in your houseboat.

Compare the Best Houseboat Rentals

Company Locations Rental Periods Houseboat Capacity Cost Amenities
Holiday Harbor Best on Lake Shasta O’Brien, CA Daily or weekly, with 2 or 3-night minimum depending on model 6 to 16 people depending on model From $573 for two nights All with bathroom, galley, gas barbecue, and covered sundeck; some with waterslide
Antelope Point Marina Best on Lake Powell Page, AZ 3 to 7 days 6 to 12 people depending on model Depends on model, dates, and rental period All with full kitchen, barbecue, waterslide
Conley Bottom Resort  Best on Lake Cumberland Monticello, KY Friday to Monday, Monday to Friday, or full week from Monday or Friday  8 to 12 people depending on model From $1,180 for Friday to Monday or Monday to Friday rentals All with galley, barbecue, waterslide
Voyagaire Lodge & Houseboats Best on Crane Lake Crane Lake, MN Minimum three nights 4 to 12 people depending on model From $350 daily All with kitchen and sundeck; some with waterslide and/or hot tub
Lake Havasu Houseboats Best on Lake Havasu Lake Havasu City, AZ 3 to 7 days 10 to 12 people depending on model From $3,395 for two nights (summer rate; winter not available) All with entertainment center, waterslide, wet bar, and barbecue, some with hot tub
Cove Palisades Resort Best on Lake Billy Chinook Culver, OR 3 or 6 nights 15 people From $2,550 plus tax for two nights All with galley, entertainment center, hot tub, wet bar, and waterslide
Lake Roosevelt Adventures Best on Lake Roosevelt Davenport, WA Three-night minimum, except for Constitution Class which has a four-night minimum 6 to 14 people depending on model From $1,345 for three nights All with entertainment center, full bathroom, and waterslide; some with hot tub and/or electric fireplace
Lake Lanier Luxury Houseboat & Yacht Rentals Best on Lake Lanier Buford, GA Customizable 45+ people Depends on model, dates, and rental period All with party deck, full kitchen, entertainment center, and mood lighting; some with fire pit and waterslide

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Houseboat Rentals Work?

Houseboat rentals give you the chance to live aboard your own houseboat for a pre-determined period of time. Most are operated independently, but some companies give you the option of hiring a skipper and crew. 

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Houseboat?

The cost of renting a houseboat varies hugely depending on the company you choose, the houseboat model, your rental period, and the season. For the cheapest rates, enquire about off-season and value week rentals. 

How Long Can You Rent a Houseboat For?

Most houseboat rental companies have a minimum rental period (usually two or three nights). Online booking options typically go up to seven nights, although you may be able to rent for longer if you contact the company directly. 

Can Anyone Rent a Houseboat?

Rental requirements differ from one company to the next, but most require the renter to be at least 21 years of age. You must have a credit card for your rental and security deposit, and in some states, renters are also required to pass a free boater safety test

What Is It Like to Stay in a Houseboat Rental?

A houseboat rental gives you the chance to experience life on the water. Depending on the location you choose, it can either be a relaxing return to unspoiled nature, or an exciting opportunity for water-based fun with family and friends. 

How We Chose the Best Houseboat Rentals

We first read multiple houseboating publications to determine the best houseboating destinations in the United States and picked locations that would represent the widest geographic spectrum. Next, we researched the available rental companies for each location and compared them on several points including the variety of houseboat models offered, peak and low season rates, and customer reviews. Several of the companies we considered, including Bridge Bay Resort on Lake Shasta and Lake Billy Chinook Houseboats, were eliminated because their customer reviews were either subpar or not numerous enough.

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