Houseboating is a great way to enjoy water's soothing calm and its potential for fun. These floating hotel suites are perfect for novice boaters, too--one reason the number of people renting houseboats is increasing annually. After the five-hour pre-boarding course that rental agencies offer, even landlubbers would have trouble running the boat ashore.
As the boat leisurely traverses the lake's shoreline, you anchor in coves along the way. You can dive into the water, hike on shore, water-ski off a roundabout usually in tow and loll on the sun deck. And because houseboats sleep up to 12 comfortably, they're perfect for families vacationing together.
"There's always something new to discover among the incredible canyons of Lake Powell," says David Archibald, editor of Houseboat magazine, of Arizona and Utah's huge sandy-shored, manmade lake framed with soaring red cliffs. The richness of foliage surrounding Lake Cumberland in Kentucky makes it another favorite houseboating spot. "But the trip up the Florida Keys," says Archibald, "that's really spectacular."
Expect to spend $1,200 to $1,400 for four days on a fully equipped boat for eight to 10. Houseboat's annual renter's guide ($5) describes houseboating lakes and waterways in the United States and Canada plus rental companies to contact. Call (800) 630-0135.