No matter if you’re considering a trip to Key West or looking for houseboat rentals in other areas of the state, staying on a houseboat in Florida is one of the best experiences in The Sunshine State. A long weekend or a month-long trip – or anywhere in between – makes this an exciting opportunity for you to have some fun while afloat.
But if you read on, you’ll find that available houseboats for rent in Florida are not all the same. If you’re planning a trip to Florida and considering being rocked to sleep by the waves, there are a few things to remember to ensure the best overall excursion possible.
Best Florida Houseboat Rentals
Regardless of whether you’re after a houseboat for rent monthly or just a few days, these are some of the top-quality options out there. You may love some of these so much that you may be wondering if you can live in a houseboat in Key West permanently!
1. Fort Lauderdale – La Dolce Vita Houseboat Condo
A two-bedroom condo on the water, there is a lot of space at La Dolce Vita Houseboat in Fort Lauderdale. The fabulous patio, deck area, and comfortable kitchen make this a fantastic option.
It’s a 40-foot boat with about 1120 square feet of space. A comfortable queen bed, TV, bathroom, and shower are in each of the two private staterooms.
There’s room for up to four people. As one of the best houseboats, it has a spacious and modern design, perfect for guests who want more modern amenities.
2. Sarasota – This Floating Home
A trip to Sarasota should include a stay on this Floating Home. A top-rated houseboat, it is a bit smaller with a one-bedroom design but has an upper deck that’s spacious and sleeps up to three people.
It also includes free WiFi and air conditioning, along with some impressive views. It’s super close to all of the amenities in Sarasota but offers ample privacy for residents.
3. Florida Keys – Aqua Lodges at Hurricane Hole Marina
For many looking for an option in the Florida Keys, the Aqua Lodges at Hurricane Hole Marina are the best. This Florida Keys Outpost location gives you everything you want, including boats with modern amenities and beautiful views.
This location is just over four miles from Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. The property has free WiFi, free parking, a bar and restaurant, and a terrace with fantastic views. It’s an excellent overall option for today’s first-time users of Key West houseboat rentals.
4. Lake Monroe – The Floating Cottage
For those looking to explore Lake Monroe, this Floating Cottage is an excellent and unique experience – especially if you’re not quite ready to commit to full houseboatdom. It’s a one-bedroom, one-bathroom location that sleeps up to four people.
There’s an outdoor pool, outdoor space, and restaurant nearby, but what makes this sweet little home on the water unique is that it looks just like a small cottage with all the amenities you can expect from a houseboat rental. It’s in the marina and easy to get to for a houseboat.
5. St. Augustine – This Houseboat Retreat in Downtown St. Augustine
If you and the gang are considering becoming boat owners or want a houseboat rental that’s much larger for your group, this Houseboat Retreat in Downtown St. Augustine is a solid choice.
This is a family-friendly houseboat, 40 feet long, and just five minutes from St. George Street on the waterfront. It’s possible to see dolphins right outside the window in the morning when it is in the dock. It offers a lot of features, including free WiFi, a patio area at the front, back, and on top of the boat, and room for up to six people with three living areas to spread out across.
The sunset in the evening makes this one of the best vessels for those who want to enjoy the beauty that St. Augustine presents.
6. Tavernier – This Fully Remodeled House Boat
If you are looking for a houseboat that is closer to the Keys, check out this luxury on-the-water option. It’s located in Tavernier, Florida, just a matter of a few minutes from the Florida Keys Dive Center and Founders Park. It offers two bedrooms and one bathroom with room for up to four people.
Paradise awaits in this luxury, well-appointed houseboat in a beautiful resort near the Lower Keys. Though additional terms and conditions apply to these properties, there are a lot of fantastic amenities nearby to enjoy.
See Related: Best Islands in Florida to Visit
7. Apalachicola – This Apalachicola Houseboat with Spectacular Views
This houseboat with spectacular views is one of the best options for those looking for something beautiful on the river. This is a beautiful resort with one of the easiest-to-navigate marinas.
You can cruise down the river to all the facilities nearby or just sit on the screened-in front porch as you watch the other boats move through the area. Nearby, you’ll find plenty to do in town, including fishing in the bay, kayaking, beautiful parks, and a garden to explore.
8. Pensacola – Seaclusion at Seville Harbor
Seaclusion at Seville Harbor is the perfect slice of paradise in Pensacola. This two-bedroom, one-bathroom houseboat is super cute and offers a spacious kitchen with full-size appliances. With sleeping room for four people and fantastic front porch views of the sea, this location is exceptional.
You can bring along your own watercraft, like a kayak or jet ski, spend some time in nearby Bartram Park and Seville Square, or take advantage of the marina’s numerous amenities, including the BathMat and Grill Deck.
See Related: Best Resorts in Key West, Florida
9. Key West – A 50ft Yacht in a Beautiful Resort
This five-bedroom, five-bathroom, 50-foot yacht in Key West has to be one of the most luxurious houseboat rental options for people interested in something special. Bring along your pet, spend some time in the pool, and enjoy a fantastic view from just about every space. The boat sleeps ten and can be chartered with a captain.
Set aside time for some time sailing the ocean, cooking meals in the fully furnished kitchen, and even hire a professional chef for your trip. This boat is located at the Perry Hotel and Marina on Stock Island. Choose to stay for a few nights, enjoy multiple excursions, and even enjoy the hotel for a few more nights if you like.
10. Miami – This 60ft Yacht
While your typical yacht is not a houseboat, this one is massive and provides all of the amenities that a houseboat does with the elegance of a yacht. Located in Miami, the 60-foot Yacht in Miami has four bedrooms and two bathrooms with room for up to six people.
Boats like this have modern amenities, including everything from barbecue grills to the ability to get out to the sea with ease – and this one has access to a jet ski too! If you and your guests want to explore the best this area offers and desire luxury with it, check out the availability of this option.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Miami, Florida
11. Orange Park – Magnificent Sunsets
This houseboat in Orange Park, Florida, is a two-story, condo-like houseboat that’s right on the waterfront, docked at the local marina. With room for up to six people in two bedrooms and a large outdoor space for relaxing and catching that fantastic sunset, this could easily be one of your favorite places to stay.
How to Choose Houseboat Rentals
As you check out all of the Key West houseboat rentals here along with those in Miami or close to the state’s rivers and lakes, you may wonder how on Earth to decide which is best. Here are a few things to think about when renting houseboats and comparing the available properties to find the very best.
Consider the Type of Trip You Plan to Have
The key is to think about what you want from your houseboat vacation. Do you plan to stay at the dock? If so, choose a location with beautiful views at night and things like resort facilities that you desire, like an outdoor pool or fine dining.
Sometimes, you’ll want a houseboat because you want to explore a bit. In that case, you may want to ensure you have access and the ability to navigate your home on the water.
See Related: Best Beach Resorts In Florida
Not only do you want a houseboat rental that is big enough for your family or party, but you also need something that is going to be easy enough for you to navigate, especially if you plan to leave the marina.
Look at available properties carefully. Most will provide insight into the amount of living space and room, along with the external dimensions of the vessel. Sometimes, you can charter a boat with a captain and even a crew to help, although this can get a little spendy
Costs Matter Too
Most people booking a houseboat also want to be able to find the best prices. There are a few things to keep in mind:
- Booking last minute may help you get a significantly discounted stay, but don’t count on it. During peak tourism seasons, they’re pretty rare.
- Where the houseboat is located matters if you choose an option in a beautiful resort. For example, you can expect to spend a bit more money than if you choose one that’s a bit more remote.
- You may be able to choose a houseboat with a reduced rate if you book for a longer stay. A month-long stay could mean a significant discount for a stay in paradise for you and your loved one.
Prices range widely throughout the year and based on which area of the state you decide to stay in. The best thing to do is to determine where you want to stay and then be as flexible as possible in booking throughout the year.
Do you have a specific part of Florida you want to visit? Places like Miami and the Florida Keys are very popular and, therefore, more expensive. But you’re more likely to get a better deal in places like Pensacola.
My hot tip? Book early! Just because a houseboat is available now does not mean it will be available in the coming months.
Consider the Amenities You Need
When booking your trip, you will want to consider the amenities that are important to you. Here are some factors to consider beyond price and availability:
- Do you need separate bedrooms for you and your guests, or can you share bunk beds and pull-out couches?
- Are you looking for a beautiful resort in the heart of a touristy area so you can do some land activities like seeing museums, shopping, and enjoying the restaurants nearby?
- Do you want free WiFi, air conditioning, and washers and dryers on the boat?
- Do you need parking for your car?
Make a list of the must-have features you need. Then, you can start the process of comparing a few options.
Can you live permanently on a houseboat?
You certainly can! The key is to find a location you love, a boat that meets your needs, and keep her well maintained.
How much does it cost to rent a houseboat in the Florida Keys?
The cost to rent a houseboat typically depends on the size, time of year, and availability in the area. Typically, you can book a per-night rate or a longer stay.
How much does it cost to live on a houseboat in Key West?
If you’re thinking about living here long term, there are plenty of things to consider, including the cost of the marina, dock, and land purchase (if you decide to do so), along with the overall cost of living, which is higher here than in other areas.