The metropolitan city of Seattle has plenty of attractions and famous things for visitors - from Space Needle Tower to museums, parks, and Pike Place Market. The city has also had a long history of logging and shipbuilding. Houseboats were originally intended to house loggers who worked by the water. Over time, they were also adopted by wealthier residents for their summer homes. Many of these historic houseboats have been lovingly preserved and this list sets out some options open for rental. If you’re looking for unique vacation rentals, check out one of the city’s historic hotels or any of these amazing Airbnb houseboats in and around Seattle.
Houseboats and boat rentals in Seattle
Why rent a houseboat in Seattle?
With over 500 houseboats floating on Seattle’s water, this unique stay has been part of the city’s history for nearly a century. Here are the top reasons to stay in a houseboat when you’re visiting the Emerald City.
- Scenic waterfront views: There's no better place to enjoy Seattle's stunning skyline than a houseboat.
- Romantic vibes: Enjoy the cozy and intimate setting with your partner.
- Stay close to attractions: Enjoy prime location from a houseboat as many are moored Lake Union or Lake Washington that provide easy access to the major attractions.
- Waterfront dining: Savor Seattle's delicious seafood from your personal waterfront dining space. Get your dinner from a nearby restaurant or take advantage of the houseboat's small but equipped kitchens.
- Water activities: Engage in water activities, like fishing and paddling, easily from your houseboat.
- Unique experience: Opt for this unconventional accommodation to enhance your experience amid a cozy and nautical atmosphere.
- Photo ops: Last, but not the least, houseboats will definitely provide excellent photo opportunities to make your trip (and the gram) more memorable.
Dotted around Seattle are various houseboats and boats that you can check out for unique stays. Technically, these rentals aren’t “houseboats” in the true sense; most of them are floating homes that cannot be driven around the waters.
Because some city regulations have prohibited short-term stays on these rentals, these accommodations make perfect choices for longer and extended holidays afloat on Seattle’s waters.
Meanwhile, for short-term stays, keep scrolling to discover the best houseboat and boat rentals in nearby areas listed further below.
If you want to experience Seattle in a new way, then you should try staying in this houseboat for a short while. Located on Lake Union in the heart of the city, this rental promises you that you’ll get an experience you will never forget.
Firstly, this rental is extremely cozy — there’s a living room area, an open lofted bed for sleeping, a small yet well-stocked kitchen, and an outdoor area where you can sit and admire the view of the city and the lake. Secondly, you’ll be close to South Lake Union and downtown Seattle, allowing you to explore the city whenever you want.
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway with your significant other, this place is a perfect choice as well since it can accommodate up to two people.
Allegra may only be 38 feet (11.58 meters) in size, but it boasts so many amenities. For starters, you’ll be able to find a large protected cockpit on deck, which allows you to enjoy the view, and when you go downstairs, you’ll see a generous salon with a galley and a private forward cabin that can sleep two people.
If you’re feeling adventurous, this sailboat can also take you to nearby areas that you can explore, such as Poulsbo, Winslow in Eagle Harbor, Kingston, Langley, and Blake Island. Indeed, your experience staying in Allegra will be one you won’t forget.
Top guest reviewsRead more reviews
Host:bill was an extremely gracious hostthat is if you ever leave the calm cozy sailboat bill the host was so accommodating and gracious
If you have ever paddled or boated across Lake Union, you must have noticed Banjo. Get 360-degree views from the roof of this iconic boat or enjoy its totally renovated interiors. The roof is perfect for sunbathing or grilling, while the interiors offer modern-day charm with an updated kitchen, high-speed internet, and a clean bath. Cafes and restaurants are close by, in case you want to ditch cooking for a day during your month-long stay.
Feel the gentle waves of the Lake Washington Ship Canal from this one-bedroom houseboat for up to two people. This home features a queen-sized foam mattress and smart TV for your comfort. The back deck has a grill if you wish to enjoy a nice meal by the water. The living room has a wood stove if you feel like curling up with a good book. The kitchen is also equipped for easy meal preparation
This lovely home is near several restaurants, shops, and attractions like Fremont Sunday Street Market.
Top guest reviewsthe marina is clean and privateRead more reviews
Host:libby is a great host
Another houseboat that guarantees a pleasant stay in Seattle, this historic tugboat dates back to 1927. Providing one bedroom and one bathroom, the houseboat is excellent for couples or solo travelers. The main room comes with a TV and ample storage space. Walk to the main salon and you can find an L-shaped couch that guarantees relaxation. Doors on each side of the salon lead to an outdoor area, a large kitchen, and a back deck. Enjoy a barbecue fiesta on the deck, which features a barbecue grill and a dining table for al-fresco dining.
Top guest reviewsthe couch and bed are both super comfy and the kitchen is well appointedgreat kitchen bath and sleeping quartersthe internet works great apple tv was a wonderful luxuryvery comfortable sleeping space and the shower was greatwe tried portage bay café for breakfast and asadero mexican restaurant both in ballard which were quite amazingsafety and cleanliness issuestugboat sally is clean and well appointedeverything was clean and comfortable and incredibly charmingeverything was clean & in order at check-init was immaculate -- sparkling clean
Host:the hosts are highly organized and responsiveowners were very helpful and accommodatingbig thank you to the hosts who made sally part of our storymichael and kelley were great hostsmike and kelley are very communicative and helpfulRead more reviewsthe location is excellentthe location is fabplenty of good restaurants close bygreat shops and restaurants close by or a short drive away5 min walking distance and you are at a great brewery (urban family)
Enjoy views of the water and peaceful mornings away from the noise of downtown when you book this 45-ft (13.7-m) sailboat with super friendly and accommodating hosts. Once you arrive, you will be welcomed by the hosts and their friendly guard dog and will be briefed and shown around. The sailboat has a bedroom that’s suitable for two guests. It also features a galley where you can prepare coffee. Nice shops and restaurants are just a mile (1.6 kilometers) away from where the boat is docked.
Top guest reviewswe had a comfortable sleep and they whipped up coffee and bagels for us in the morning (spoiled)the room was so fun and unique
Host:they were wonderful hostsstan was an excellent host and made us feel right at homestan was an amazing host and the sailboat is absolutely beautifulthey are very friendly and knowledgeable about seattlethey were very friendly and attentive to our needsRead more reviewsamazing location and a very unique place to stayits definitely a beautiful and peaceful locationthe walk to golden gardens is very nice in the evening to watch the sunsetthe marina is next to a beautiful park and very near to restaurants grocery and wonderful mainstreet shopsthe view is gorgeous and is within walking distance to a nice beach and some great seafood
In Seattle, romantic houseboat rentals are not easy to come by. But this listing will surely interest those traveling as a couple. With eggshell yellow wallets and a navy blue trim, this houseboat makes a charming sight. The inside is clean and modern, with a cheerful natural wood finish and a customized bamboo flooring. With one large double bed, it’s perfect for two guests. Your host has also recently installed insulation to ensure guests stay warm and comfortable even in the chilly winters. The wide-screen television is also equipped with Netflix and Amazon Prime and a surround sound speaker. Location wise, the houseboat is located on Lake Union and using your host’s kayak, you’ll have a fantastic time paddling over the lake and visiting the parks and restaurants nearby.
Nearby rentals on Friday Harbor
This small yet charming seaport is the gateway to the San Juan Islands. Though it’s only a few hours from Seattle, it will make you feel worlds away! This spot is commonly reached via ferry from Seattle. If you plan on going whale watching or kayaking, consider these rentals.
Stay in a cozy bed and breakfast–but this time, on the water! Enjoy accommodation in the Forward Stateroom, a suite of rooms on a 60-ft (18.3-m) boat docked on Friday Harbor. The space is perfect for two guests, but is quite roomy with a salon and a private bathroom. It is a walking distance to Washington State Ferries as well as several shops. After a night of peaceful slumber (no need to worry about motion sickness as the boat is quite steady), catch the spectacular sunrise with a cup of coffee on the deck.
Top guest reviewswonderful views comfortable accommodations made an old sea going marine have a deja vu moment or twobreakfast on the deck is very special as wellthe captains quarters are magical and extremely comfortableand the breakfast too good to be true thanks laurabreakfast in the morning on the boat deck was beautifulthe hot tub is clean and relaxingthe rooms are clean comfortable and beautiful with thoughtfully chosen period antiques
Host:laura was a great host and hearing the story behind the boat was a highlightthe boat was so full of character and laura was an amazing hostcharming orcas island b&b with wonderful hosts and delicious breakfaststhis boat is truly one-of-a-kind and your hosts are gracious friendly and as welcoming as they comebest bnb experience yet laura is a super host very hospitableRead more reviewsarea is very safe and this is close to so many shops and dining optionsthe location is divine for sitting on the deck and enjoying a glass of wine at sunsetit's super close to the ferry has great access to restaurants and bars and the views are soothingfantastic place exquisite boat great breakfast couldn't be betterwhat a lovely place to spend a night and what great hosts
Don’t miss a once-in-a-lifetime experience on Zephyr Northwest, a unique research vessel and passenger boat helmed by experienced mariners Ron and Ashley. There is berthing for 10 adults on board, so you can bring along the whole family for a fun adventure filled with cruising along protected shores, wildlife encounters, and hiking. You can also go kayaking, crabbing, and whale watching. Note that children below 12 and pets are not permitted. Guests are free to use the galley, but homecooked meals are also provided. Be sure to let the owners know about your preferred pick-up and drop-off points between Hood Canal and Friday Harbor.
Top guest reviewsthe zephyr is a beauty inside and out the beds comfy and the bathrooms roomy for a boatRead more reviews
Host:the ship is wonderful and the hosts ashley and captain ron are experts at what they are doing
Nearby rentals across the bay
A cruise across Elliot Bay to see the astonishing sight of Seattle’s skyline is an opportunity you can’t miss. Barely an hour from Seattle via ferry, several places across the bay also offer houseboat rentals you can check out.
Are you looking for the perfect romantic destination for you and your significant other? If so, then you might want to consider this charming one-bedroom houseboat docked at Westbay Marina.
Just recently remodeled, this boat features a large bedroom, an open living area on the main floor, and an outdoor deck space upstairs. You can also find a modern kitchen equipped with the necessary tools and materials, a tiled shower, and an RV-type toilet. All in all, this houseboat is exceedingly charming and cozy, and you’ll definitely have a relaxing time here with your partner.
To make things better, there’s also free parking in the marina parking lot. So, if you’re bringing a car with you, you can rest assured that it’s parked somewhere safe.
Top guest reviews
Host:host really friendly and helpfulit is clear the owners love this boat and i too fell in love with itthe neighborhood was safe and everyone we met was kind and open to saying helloRead more reviewsi was looking for a random place to just get away and be able to work in peace
This cottage-style houseboat in Brinnon is a perfect hideaway for two to three guests (plus a well-behaved dog for a small fee). Quaint and well-equipped, the houseboat features an open layout that makes it feel extra spacious. There’s a queen-sized bed, a sofa bed, a U-shaped kitchen, an enclosed bathroom with a shower, and a patio with two teak chairs that makes a great place to enjoy sunsets over a glass of wine. Guests also get access to some of the marina’s facilities, including kayak and standup paddle board rentals. The owners are very welcoming - they only ask that the houseboat be kept neat throughout your stay.
Top guest reviewswe also really enjoyed eating breakfast and playing cards/games out in the deck in the morningsthe houseboat was so cozy and relaxingthe perfect weekend getaway we loved our cozy little houseboat and spending evenings on the back porchso comfortable and relaxing we didn’t really want to leave itthe housboat was clean and cozybeautiful quiet and clean place to stayit was super clean well maintained and well appointedeverything was clean and tidy and we were very comfortablea very clean and cozy little cabin on the water
Host:host is very responsivefriendly service good food large servingsthe owner is friendly and responsiveand very helpful staff at the marinalynne is an amazing host with quick responses to resolve issues if anyRead more reviewsamazing location for weekend getawayvery relaxing location near dosewallips state parkit was the perfect unique place to stay and the location phenomenalexceptional across the board cute relaxing beautiful location right near the best clamming evergreat location for local hikes of all abilities
Cozy and lowkey, this little bungalow-type houseboat makes a perfect relaxing weekend retreat. Docked at Pleasant Harbor Marina, it has an open layout with one bed, one bathroom, a kitchenette, and an electric fireplace. An ante room with bunk beds makes this houseboat an excellent choice for small families. Note that internet can be a tad slow in this area, so you’re better off making use of the large TV and DVD player for movie nights. It also runs on only 30 amps of power so multiple appliance use should be kept to a minimum. It’s a great opportunity for a semi-off-grid getaway, though! Relax out on the deck or take your dog (note: houseboat has a small pet fee) for a walk along the marina.
Top guest reviewsthe perfect amount of space with a great little kitchenit was so cozy and had all the comforts of homeit was very comfortable and surrounded by a beautiful serene mariana and so many opportunities for day hikesthe houseboat is so cozy and comfortablethe house boat was even more adorable than we had expected with beautiful sky lights and cozy furnishingsthe space was clean and relaxingthe houseboat itself was clean cute and cozysuper clean had everything ya neededthe houseboat was very clean and well furnished and thoughtfully arrangedit's a lovely boathouse clean and cozy
Host:the owner made everything very easylynne is an awesome hostfriendly people at the marinahost was excellent super communicative and helpfulso good for dinner and a beer i recommend the nearby geoduck the staff were really niceRead more reviewsthe location in brinnon is greatbeautiful location quiet and relaxingwonderful hiking options close bypeaceful comfortable stay and a great location for our foraging expeditionclose to hiking and other fun activities
Fondly known as True, this remarkable 1965 Pearson Countess ketch promises a classic sailboat experience. Anchored at Eagle Harbor, True will have you dreaming of the high seas while staying in absolute comfort. With three berths, it can sleep up to five people. While a light breakfast is included in your stay, there is also a fully equipped kitchen as well. You can lounge in the cockpit or on the deck. Note that a two-hour sunset sail is required to book True at a separate fee. With the iconic scenery of Bainbridge Island as your backdrop, we’re certain you’ll look forward to it!
Top guest reviewsit was the perfect one night getaway the beds breakfast and bean bags aboard deck were awesomeoh yes the mattress was much more comfortable than i expected to find on a boatthe ship has beautiful wood dinning and seating areas with a functional kitchenRead more reviews
Host:ben was the perfect hostthey were amazing hosts extremely accommodating and helpfulben was an amazing host and captainben was the perfect host we had such an amazing experience sailing and staying aboardben was a great and very responsive to questions via text before and during our stay
Nearby rental north of Seattle
North of Seattle are various island gems that are accessible via a short ferry ride or drive. Check out Anacortes, a friendly community on Fidalgo Island, among other interesting Puget Sound destinations.
LYLA is a 53-foot (16.15-meter) custom boat that was constructed in 1968, and it cruised the waters of the Puget Sound and beyond every summer, spanning from the year it was built to 2020. Now, this yacht is used as a houseboat for people looking for the perfect maritime getaway.
LYLA will provide you with an experience that’s unlike any other. It’s furnished like a high-class hotel suite — with quartz countertops and stunning woodwork throughout the place. There are also two bedrooms, a salon, and a mid-ship equipped with a wine fridge. Above deck, you’ll find a lounge area where you can use the available barbeque grill while enjoying the sweeping views of the harbor. This yacht even has kayaks, so if you want to try kayaking, you can easily do so.
Since LYLA can accommodate up to five guests, this is perfect for families going on vacation.
Top guest reviewsthis was the getaway we needed it the view is gorgeous and the place is cozy and cleanvery comfortable and updated with newit was super warm and cozy quiet and exactly what we needed for a local staycationit feels so cozy and charming as soon as you step insidethe place was very clean and presented very nicelyserene sparkling clean walk to everythinga great spot super clean and as described in listingwe had a fabulous time everything was beautiful and so cleanwhat a fun and unique weekend getaway the boat was very clean and beautifully restored
Host:the hosts were great as wellthe hosts are really nice and easy to communicate withgreat hosts including desiree thank you for the attention to detailRead more reviewseverything was perfect the location is in a good locationwe enjoyed walking to the local shops and that it was so close to everythingso many great shops & restaurants within walking distancegreat location in gig harbor to walk to restaurants shops distillery brewery etcsuch a cute place communication was great too
Check out this cozy floating accommodation if you’re looking to have a relaxing vacation in Gig Harbor. You can go fishing straight from the deck and grill everything you catch. Have a relaxing stroll and enjoy the historic sites and restaurants in the nearby town. Hop on a kayak and explore the beautiful surroundings.
The 39-foot yacht has everything you need to make your stay as comfy as possible. It comes with two stylish and cozy cabins that can sleep up to four guests in total comfort. The living room and kitchen are fully furnished with nice amenities like WiFi, TV, fridge, microwave, dishwasher, stove, and more.
Top guest reviewswe were here with our 2 school-aged children and all felt like we had plenty of roomthe heaters work very wellthe kitchen is small but definitely usable for cookingthe beds were very comfortablethe bed was perfect size to rekindle our lovethe yatch was clean and comfortablevery clean and everything in perfect working orderit was clean inviting and well stockedit was clean well appointed and everything worked wellit was such a cozy stay everything was very clean and the beds were very comfortable
Host:the hosts were responsive and helpfulthe hosts were great at communicatingthe hosts are very responsive and took care of everythingbrad was super friendly showing us the kayaks and sharing his enthusiasm for yachtswhen we got there the hosts had a bottle wine & music playing it was wonderfulRead more reviewsthe location was fantastic and we could walk everywherethis yacht was perfectly located with restaurants/breweries within walking distanceunique place to stay would recommendamazing location for a staycation during work from home/ covid daysan amazing and unique place to stay
This gorgeous 36-ft (11-m) yacht is moored at Anacortes, and its location gives guests the best of both worlds! It’s just a block away from downtown and close to hiking and biking trails. Whale watching is accessible from the marina, while you can admire amazing views of Puget Sound right from the deck. It features two cabins, two bathrooms, and a large TV with a selection of shows and movies if you’d rather spend some time indoors. Else, a cozy spot awaits on deck - all you need is some good company.
Top guest reviewsit was comfortable and all the amenities you need are availablethe marina has comfortable amenities and felt extremely safethe beds are cozy and the back deck is great to sit onwe used the fans provided when necessary which was helpfulthe beds were more comfortable and more spacious than i expectedand very cleanvery clean cozy and in a beautiful areathe place was pretty clean and the kitchen was nicely stockedthe boat was clean and quite cozyhis yacht is clean and the pictures are just as you will find
Host:host was very nicethe hosts were very responsive and provided hospitable touches throughoutsamantha the co-host was available and responsivethe host had some very thoughtful touches knowing it was our honeymoonjames is very helpful and knows the area very wellRead more reviewsgreat location for walkingright on the water great location for shopping and dinningthe location is wonderful and easy to walk or drive to everything in anacortespros; wonderful location in marina next to trails and a short walk to historic downtowndelightful bit of romance close to cute downtown
Nearby rentals south of Seattle
Vashon Island, one of the best places to visit in Washington is not as well-known as other destinations on the Puget Sound, but there’s no shortage of activities that can be enjoyed here, from kayaking to saltwater swimming. It makes a convenient secluded getaway, being only 20 minutes’ ferry ride from Seattle.
When you need to get away from it all, you might want to consider this quaint houseboat for a tranquil getaway. Be soothed by the steady waters underneath you as you stay on this one-bedroom houseboat that’s great for two guests. You’re sure to get refreshed by the idyllic scenery of Vashon Island, disrupted only by passing boats and stirring marine life. It’s only a short ferry ride from Tacoma or Seattle.
Top guest reviewsoutstanding views and very comfortable staythe views are amazing from all the roomscozy warmth and a wonderful viewthis vashon houseboat is very cozy and comfortablebeautiful views warm fireplace and all the kitchen necessities for a wonderful getawaysuper clean and quick communicationit was clean and comfortablethe houseboat was very quiet and cleanthe place was clean and well equippedthe boathouse was very clean and well kept
Host:staff was nice and welcomingthe host who checked us in was fantastichosts where very friendlygreat place and accommodating hosthosts were immediately available to answer any questions we had and the check in instructions were very clearRead more reviewsfun location and comfy placeamazing location in a quiet marinabeautiful house and perfect locationthe location is amazing and so relaxingwonderful location we will be back thanks scotty and lisa
Nearby waterfront home in Kirkland
If you love modern homes and want to stay near the water, this home is your best bet. Featuring heated floors and huge glass walls looking out onto the lake, this unit offers a serene getaway for couples or solo travelers. You’ll find lots of ways to spend your time here, including a TV and Wi-Fi indoors and a private lake-level deck outdoors. The deck isn’t fenced, so you and your partner can spend hours admiring the waters while relaxing on the two Adirondack chairs. You can even bring your own boat to use on the lake and park it in the dock. Do note, however, that you’ll be sharing the dock with the hosts.
When you’ve had your fill of the view, head back inside to prepare a meal in the kitchen with granite countertops and steel appliances.
Top guest reviewsvery comfortable classy and quality furnishingswifi good for wfh/remoteplenty of space and beautiful kitchen and living spacesspace was clean and moderngreat modern and clean placeincredibly relaxing clean and modernwe really appreciated the extra cleanlinessthe floor ia well decorated clean and very well maintained
Host:wonderful hosts with everything we neededthe host was awesome with communicating before our tripbeth and bruce and wonderful hosts and their home so comfortablebruce and beth are welcoming hosts who also allow their guests their own privacybruce and beth are fantastic hostsRead more reviewsthe location was greatbeautiful airbnb ideal location on the waterlocation is convenient to downtown kirkland and walkable to a very nice parkbeautiful location would recommend to anyone especially in the summer timegreat location very nice people
Discover Seattle from the water
Seattle offers plenty of activities and attractions for all kinds of travelers, including amazing things to do alone or fun ways to spend time with your kids. With their varied shapes and sizes and one of a kind designs, Seattle’s houseboats receive plenty of attention. If you’re curious about living on one of these floating boats, do try out one of the rentals on this list. If you enjoyed this article, share it with your friends on Facebook and save it to Pinterest for future reference!
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