Houseboating can be a fun, socially distanced way to get out with your family this fall!
With all the water around us, you won’t be surprised to know you’ve got options from the Puget Sound to the lakes of Eastern Washington. Whether you want a solo getaway or a place to host your friends, we’ve got you covered.
Where to Go
In Eastern Washington, you’ll find Lake Roosevelt Adventures in the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area between Grand Coulee Dam and Northport. A variety of houseboats are available for rent with varying capacities and amenities, such as slides and hot tubs. The staff will show you how to operate it. You don’t need a special license.
On Lake Billy Chinook in Jefferson County, Oregon, you’ll find more houseboats for rent. Options sleep 6 to 14 people and have sun decks, kitchen, and a barbecue. Explore the steep cliffs and vertical walls that guard the 4,000-acre lake.
Docked in a houseboat community on Lake Union in Seattle, you’ll find the Classic Chris Craft Dream Boat that sleeps 4. Enjoy all the excitement of the city and lake life including watching seaplanes take off, kayaks float by, and birds enjoy a dip. It’s also an easy trip to downtown Seattle, Gasworks Park and more.
You’ll find another classic Seattle houseboat closer to Ballard and Fremont where you can walk, kayak or bike to everything. This barge-style houseboat has a fireplace and sundeck for watching stunning sunsets.
Gig Harbor Getaway
If you prefer to get out of the city, you’ll find a deluxe 3-bedroom houseboat that sleeps up to 12 in Gig Harbor. It’s equipped with a fireplace, hot tub and a slide. The boat doesn’t leave the marina, but there’s plenty of fun to be had right there. It’s also walking distance to shops and restaurants.
Sailboat in La Conner
In La Conner, Washington, you could be rocked to sleep by the gentle waves in the Armadillo, a sailboat getaway. Captain Mike will even take you for a sail where you’re likely to see blue herons, eagles, seals, porpoise, and occasionally orcas.
Tips for a Fun Getaway
When to go
When you houseboat, you don’t even have to worry about the weather too much, because the boat will protect you from the elements. A couple of years ago, I took a group of friends on a houseboat. It poured rain for two nights, but we made the best of it, because we bonded over board games and delicious food.
What to bring
Take note of what your houseboat offers you and be sure to pack extra towels, spices for cooking and warm clothes—it gets chilly on the water. My friends and I were also glad to have a portable speaker.
Plan your meals!
First, look to see what kinds of cooking appliances are available to you on the boat. Then, plan your meals according to those tools available (you can always bring your own appliances with you as well). Ask to see if your boat supplies you with things such as cooking oil and spices. If they don’t, include those on your shopping list. In addition to meal ingredient prep, don’t forget snacks, dessert and drinks! For us, good food made the experience that much more pleasurable. Here was our menu, you can use it for ideas!
Dinners: soup, pasta bar, tacos
Breakfasts: bagels, oats, pancakes
Lunches: leftovers, sandwiches, more breakfast, bbq
Snacks: chips and guac, cookies, crackers and cheese
Insider tip: I just made a big pot of soup at home the night before leaving, so I wouldn’t have to cook as much on the boat. For the pasta bar, I just bought noodles and various types of canned sauces. As for the tacos, I brought along taco shells, beans, fajita veggies and guacamole.
I hope you are able to get out this fall and go houseboating. It is such a beautiful time of the year to get out and enjoy a lake with all of the fall colors. I know I had a lot of fun when I went, and I am sure that you will too!
Seattle houseboat community image by mcdc