12 docked houseboats you can book on Airbnb, from a charming Wisconsin sailboat to the original ‘Caddyshack’ yacht

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The best houseboat Airbnbs

  • You don’t necessarily need any sailing skills to enjoy a night on the water.
  • Houseboats across the US can be rented on Airbnb and make for a truly unique stay.
  • We found Airbnb boats across the country ranging from $100 to $500 per night.

There’s nothing quite like an escape on the water – and we’re not talking about a lakeside cabin here. Sleeping on the water, courtesy of an Airbnb houseboat rental, can be a rejuvenating retreat. They also happen to make for pretty ideal socially distanced escapes, since they essentially function as your own private, moveable island in the middle of the water.

Not to mention that sleeping on a yacht or sailboat makes for a unique and bucket list-worthy stay. You can find houseboats on Airbnb across the US, from the lakes of Wisconsin to California’s bays. Best of all, no sailing skills are necessary to enjoy these escapes since they’re all docked.

Browse all of the best boats on Airbnb below, or jump to a specific section:

Here are some of the best boat Airbnbs in the US, sorted by price from low to high.

Charming sailboat in Racine, Wisconsin

Charming sailboat in Racine, Wisconsin

Book this Wisconsin boat Airbnb

Located on the expansive Lake Michigan, this Airbnb boat rental might remind you of an ocean vacation even if you’re staying relatively close to home. While the quarters are a little tight inside (you’ll be sleeping across from the kitchen sink), the space still feels plenty bright and airy. 

There’s a cute blue Smeg fridge in the kitchen/bedroom/living space, which also features a cozy (and smart) dining nook that makes the most out of the small space. The deck is beautiful on a sunny day, with plenty of seating and a handy charcuterie board set-up to take advantage of during sundowner cocktails (or as a breakfast board for morning coffee). There’s plenty to do whether you’re relaxing onboard playing cards or heading onshore to the marina for the hot tubs, heated pool, or restaurant.

Be aware there aren’t showers on board, though there is a toilet. However, the showers at the marina right nearby are easily accessible and super-clean. While the boat does sleep three, the stay is most ideal for couples.  

Fully equipped 52′ houseboat in Kemah, Texas

Fully equipped 52' Houseboat

Book this Texas boat on Airbnb

This Superhost stay takes place on a 52-foot remodeled houseboat that stays docked in a marina. Far from a party cove, the marina is incredibly peaceful: It’s located in a natural bird sanctuary so you can hear the calls of the birds from the boat’s three main decks.

The boat’s interiors are equally relaxing, featuring a marble shower, two flatscreen TVs, and a spot for evening cocktails on a deck equipped with a patio table, chairs, and shade awnings. 

There’s a private man-made “island” shared between your rental and seven others owned by the same area that acts as a barbecue and recreation spot. It includes a gas barbecue and shrimp boiler, a pergola with a ceiling fan to hang out in, and canoes and kayaks you can take out for a paddle.

Unique concrete houseboat in Sanford, Florida

Unique Concrete House Boat with no cleaning fees

Book this Florida boat Airbnb

Concrete, but make it float. It might sound surprising, but this perfectly seaworthy boat was made from concrete in Sweden in 1973, and it did two full laps around the globe before becoming the super-cool floating getaway it is now.

Decorated in slate grays, charcoals, sand, and turquoise as a calming and modern take on beachside hues, the interior of the boat proves you can really make the most out of small spaces. The boat includes cozy seating nooks, a narrow but long kitchen, a separate bedroom with a Queen-sized bed, and even a chic tiled shower in the compact bathroom. 

The surrounding marina offers a lot to do without having to go too far. Additional showers, restrooms, laundry, a diner, and a restaurant and bar with a pool are all at your fingertips. Downtown Sanford is also close by for jaunts into town.

Modern and elegant houseboat in Stuart, Florida

Modern Houseboat On the water

Book this Florida boat Airbnb

You’d be forgiven upon stepping aboard for thinking you’d walked into a cheerfully nautical apartment given the spacious and elegant accommodations. A turquoise sofa and twin armchairs are adorned with fish-print pillows, the subway-bricked kitchen offers plenty of room for late brunch prep, the sunny bathroom includes a shower, and the bedroom includes a Full-sized bed and sliding glass doors right to a deck with lounge chairs. 

The houseboat is located on a pleasant marina that’s a five-minute walk from downtown boutiques, restaurants, and all-important coffee shops. If you want to take off for some day-trip adventuring, you can hop on the provided bikes and explore the excellent beaches just six miles away. 

Historic charming boat in Gig Harbor, Washington

Historic Charming Boat in Downtown Harbor

Book this Washington boat Airbnb

If you’re looking for a vintage stay, this restored historic Airbnb is less than an hour from Seattle and offers, well, a boatload of charm. The kitchen is adorned with brass lanterns and a comfortable dining nook with a seafoam green bench and lace trim. It also has two bathrooms onboard, a rarity for boat Airbnbs, including one with brass portholes and one that’s tucked away under a folding ceiling panel.

Bedrooms are small but cozy, with white linens and portholes to keep the vibe breezy and light. The host also includes two kayaks for guests to paddle around in, and there’s a barbecue on the dock to use. 

Desert houseboat with pool in Joshua Tree, California

best boat airbnbs joshua tree

Book this Joshua Tree boat Airbnb

No, this boat isn’t on the water. Even more unusually, it’s moored in the Joshua Tree Land Yacht Club, located on dry land in the desert expanse of Joshua Tree, California. Whether actually staying on the water isn’t appealing to you or you want a unique stay but get seasick easily, consider this special desert stay.

You’ll sleep on a colorful queen bed in the bow of the boat (there are blackout blinds to fend off the bright light of the desert), and there are two chairs on the deck for enjoying a morning cup of coffee or sunset cocktails. Right outside the boat is a stargazing deck for spotting constellations and meteor showers, plus a stock tank pool for cooling off.

Though the boat is all yours for the duration of your desert voyage, an outdoor “surfboard shower,” nautical outhouse, a firepit, and kitchenette and grill are shared amenities with artists who live on-site.

Marina resort boat in Key West, Florida

True Paradise at the Marina Resort

Book this Key West boat Airbnb  

If you’re heading to the gorgeous beaches of Key West, this boat rental is a great way to experience the water and wildlife up close. Lucky guests may even spot manatees and dolphins from the deck.

If you can peel yourself away from the sunset, the interior of the boat has been restored to classic elegance and features teak furnishings, polished brass accents, and nautical blue hues. Two beds include a Queen-sized V-berth bed in the main stateroom and a half-berth bed off the main cabin.

Operated by an Airbnb Superhost, this hand-built (yes, hand-built) sailboat is docked in a five-star resort marina, and guests on the boat have access to the amenities at the Perry Hotel on shore, too. If you want to take a jaunt into town, a free shuttle takes guests from the marina to downtown Key West. 

While there’s a toilet and sink on board, showers are onshore at the marina. Similarly, there’s an in-counter fridge and Keurig, but no microwave or stove.

Soothing houseboat hotel in Douglas, Michigan

Stay on Tidy Whitey Saugatuck Douglas Houseboat

Book this Michigan boat Airbnb

This 43-foot houseboat, or “floating hotel,” as the host describes her, has everything guests need for a relaxing weekend escape. The good size bedroom offers a comfortable Queen-size bed so you won’t have to cram into any nooks on this boat. The interior is sleek and modern, with updated black cabinetry in the fully stocked kitchen and a pullout sofa.

Outside, guests have full access to marine and wharf facilities, which include grills, showers, a pool, additional bathrooms, a gazebo, and laundry. 

The original ‘Caddyshack’ yacht in Stevensville, Maryland

"Seafood"   The Original Caddyshack Movie Yacht

Book this Caddyshack yacht Airbnb

Cinephiles will appreciate the chance to stay on the actual yacht from the 1980 Bill Murray comedy “Caddyshack.” The well-maintained boat is outfitted to host a dedicated crew of fans, thanks to three bedrooms and three full bathrooms spread across the boat’s 60-foot length.

The boat offers bench seating that wraps around the deck if you’re with a group of friends or family, and the kitchen is large enough for entertaining a crowd. Of course, there’s also a nod to its cinematic history on board: You’ll be able to hear the iconic horn Rodney Dangerfield played in the movie, and there are autographed photos of Dangerfield and stills from the film.  

While the boat is rented with the understanding it’ll stay put in its berth, guests can also talk to the Superhost about chartering a cruise on the Chesapeake Bay. Fishing trips can be booked in the marina as well. 

Spacious 84′ yacht in South Pasadena, Florida

South Pasadena, Florida boat

Book this Florida yacht Airbnb

If you’re looking for a boat to hold a large family, this four-bedroom yacht makes for a spacious, elegant getaway for a vacation offshore. The interior is bright and airy, with a white-paneled ceiling, sprawling entertainment spaces, and a massive kitchen featuring up-to-date finishes and electronics make cooking for a group easy. With this kind of setup and design, it might look like a boat, but it doesn’t feel like a boat.

The staterooms and living areas are mostly white with splashes of turquoise, gold, and orange, and objets d’art glass provided colorful pops. Bathrooms are relatively large and offer plenty of countertop and storage space. Outside, there’s plenty more room to spread out along the perimeter benches, at the patio tables, or from the cozy seating area at the back of the ship. 

While the boat will stay moored during your stay, you can also book private charters with the host to take in the beautiful waters around the coast. There’s plenty to do recreation-wise right from the boat, too, including complimentary kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and fishing poles to test your angling skills.

Cozy bay boat in San Diego, California

The Slow Pocahontas; a floating vacation

Book this San Diego boat Airbnb

Forget a hotel on your next trip to San Diego. This boat is located in the city’s famous bay, making it easily accessible for those who still want to enjoy the city. This circa-1978 racing boat is decked out with a quirky retro style. Think woven blankets, a cheerful marigold stove, and colorful tropical bed linens.

If you need to get a little bit of work done while you’re away, there’s free Wi-Fi available. Once you clock out, there’s a tandem kayak included, ready and waiting for a sunset paddle around the bay. 

Restored vintage yacht in Charleston, South Carolina

Restored Vintage Hatteras Yacht

Book this Charleston boat on Airbnb

This Charleston Airbnb stay takes place on a Hatteras motor yacht restored with a heaping helping of Southern charm. While the marina is pretty peaceful, the location is also ideal for exploring downtown Charleston.

The boat features all-teak interiors and white sofas create relaxing surroundings for enjoying a book or glass of wine. Simple but inviting bedrooms are cozy and can easily sleep a family. The main bedroom has a Full bed and an ensuite, and the second bedroom offers two single beds just right for kids.

FAQs

What should I consider when staying on a boat?

While boats have a lot of charm to offer, not all of them offer a ton of space, and sometimes bedrooms (whether staterooms or berths) can be downright claustrophobic for someone who needs some square footage to stretch out in. Be sure to ask the host questions about the size of the rooms if you have concerns.

Not all boats have super-small living quarters though. Houseboats, for example, will tend to offer more room to move around in than sailboats since they’re meant for day-to-day living. Yachts for larger groups can also offer more space. 

Be aware that not all boats have full kitchens or showers on board. Be sure to read up on the amenities and what’s onboard versus nearby.

How do I find an Airbnb that’s a boat? 

Type in your initial search criteria on the site’s landing page, including number of guests, destination, and dates (or as much of that as you know). Then, click “more filters,” and scroll down to “unique stays.” You’ll find a box to check that says “boats,” and that will bring up the only boats to your results pages.

What is the Airbnb Enhanced Clean program?

The Airbnb Enhanced Clean is a program for hosts that involves learning and getting certified in strict cleaning protocols. These cover everything from wearing personal protective equipment and what cleaning supplies to use to how to clean between guests. All hosts are now required to follow a stringent cleaning plan outlined by Airbnb as part of the program. 

Is it safe to stay in an Airbnb?

The CDC has declared US travel safe for fully vaccinated individuals.

Vacation rentals are also considered safer than hotels by experts, especially completely contained stays like the boats we’ve outlined. However, it’s wise to continue to monitor guidance from the CDC and WHO, and to check state and local guidelines.

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Read the original article on Business Insider