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The 12 Best Seattle Houseboats on Airbnb & VRBO

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Love the idea of taking a vacation that includes time near the water? What about on the water? In Seattle, that’s totally possible! Seattle is home to several houseboat communities, and there are some incredible Seattle houseboats on Airbnb and other vacation rental sites!

During one of our earliest trips together, Mr. V and I booked a sailboat on Airbnb in Port Angeles (on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula) and spent the night cozied up in a small V-berth together. All these years and a wedding later, we now actually live on a houseboat – we’re moored up at a marina in Sausalito, California. So when I realized that there are people like us who are up for the adventure of staying on a boat or houseboat when they travel, I knew I could help highlight what makes a houseboat a great place to stay!

Seattle Houseboat Airbnbs Hero

So here you are: if you’re planning a trip to Seattle (where we used to live!) and want to try staying on a houseboat (like we live now!), read on. Here are the best Seattle houseboats on Airbnb and VRBO that you should definitely book for an unforgettable experience.

Note: Since originally writing this post, many of the houseboats available in Seattle have been removed from Airbnb. I have left them in this post so you can get a sense of what “good” options look like – but if there is no button, there’s no way to book them. I’ve also added a few Seattle houseboats on VRBO for more options.

In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Coast Salish, Stillaguamish, Duwamish, Muckleshoot, and Suquamish peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.

This post was originally published in November 2020, and was updated in October 2021.
Photos in this post are used courtesy of Airbnb and VRBO

1. Delightful Houseboat

While there aren’t a ton of houseboats in Seattle on Airbnb, I think this “delightful” houseboat is the best by far and truly earns that name. It’s beautifully designed and modern on the inside and has plenty of space for up to six people. (Four people on two queens and two more full-size sleeping areas.)

This houseboat is right on an end slip, so it is going to have a bit more motion than other boats further in the marina – but Lake Union doesn’t have a ton of motion or waves, so most people will probably not be bothered by it.


  • 6 guests, 2 bedrooms/1 bath
  • Starts from $99/night

2. Offbeat Houseboat

While hobbits don’t generally love the water, I think Frodo and Bilbo might make an exception for this offbeat houseboat. It’s definitely cozy and has some quirky features (like the step-in pit shower in the mid-room), but it’s a perfect getaway for a solo traveler or couple.

(The property says it can fit up to four but there’s one bed, plus a sofa and air mattress – and having those set up will make the inside really cozy!)


  • 4 guests, 1 bedroom/1 bath
  • Starts from $98/night

3. Adorable Pied-à-Terre

Snuggled in between other live-aboard houseboats, this Pied-à-Terre truly is as adorable as described. With gorgeous wood paneling throughout the interior, you might just want to cozy up inside in one of the of seating areas.

But… that’s not all! The rooftop outdoor space will lure you out to enjoy Seattle’s coveted sunny days where you can watch boats pass by on South Lake Union. It really ticks all of the boxes if you need a unique place to stay!


  • 3 guests, 1 bedroom/1 bath
  • Starts from $314/night

4. Dreamy Houseboat with Rooftop Deck

If I sold you on the rooftop deck with that last houseboat, here’s another option! This houseboat, named Radish, is nestled into its marina but has plenty of space inside and out to enjoy.

This houseboat is really efficient in how the interior space is used, making it comfortable for 2-3 people. There are also great modern touches that make it feel less nautical cliche than PNW chic. Oh, and be sure to enjoy the back deck and all the boats passing on Lake Union.

Radish is part of a series of houseboats called “The Root Vegetable Houseboats,” and some of them are even for sale if you fall in love with the experience and want to experience it all the time, like we do!


  • 3 guests, 1 bedroom/1 bath
  • Starts from $95/night

5. Relaxing & Charming Houseboat

For yet another option that’s sure to lull you off to peaceful sleep atop the small waves of Lake Union, consider this charming houseboat – another one of the Root Vegetable Houseboats you can also rent long-term or purchase if you really love it!

Inside, you’ll find gorgeous modern furniture and tons of light. The beds are lofted – one of those quirky things about many houseboats – and there’s a full-size kitchen and seating area in case you’re stuck indoors on a rainy day. If the day is nice, you can sit out on the back deck and enjoy it.


  • 6 guests, 1 bedroom/1 bath
  • Starts from $99/night

6. Iconic Paddle Wheeler Houseboat

Okay, I’m not sure a paddle wheeler can typically be considered a houseboat, but whoever redesigned this one, named Banjo, definitely made it work. Located near Gas Works Park, this houseboat is perfect for up to four guests and has plenty of space compared to some of the other options on this list.

Prep a meal in the bright, modern kitchen, hang out in the salon, or rest up in one of the two sleeping areas – whatever you choose will be accompanied with sweeping views of the Seattle skyline across Lake Union.


  • 4 guests, 2 bedrooms/1.5 baths
  • Starts from $140/night

7. Traditional Seattle Houseboat

If your idea of a houseboat is more in the “floating home” category (less like a boat, more like a house), this Airbnb is a great option. This is the only houseboat on this list in Eastlake, where you’ll see many more floating homes during your stay.

Inside, enjoy lofted ceilings, a large living area, and two big sleeping spaces. There’s also a back deck on the lower level and a rooftop deck on top. If you want somewhere to stay and see the best views in Seattle, this is a great option!


  • 4 guests, 2 bedrooms/2 baths
  • Starts from $363/night
Book on Airbnb

8. The Cabin Houseboat

Here’s another Seattle houseboat on Airbnb worth staying at; it’s the only other one besides the Banjo paddle wheeler located in Gas Works Park marina. As you can see, The Cabin is a split level with a big living space and kitchen on the lower level and a lofted sleeping area.

The Cabin is full of character and has good Seattle skyline views from the rooftop deck you access through the sleeping area. It’s perfect if you want to escape the bustle and business of Westlake houseboats but still want to try life on the water.


  • 3 guests, 1 bedroom/1 bath
  • Starts from $195/night

9. Classic Tug Boat

For something a little different, try staying on a tug boat. Yes, you can live on a tug boat – but it’s a little bit different than some of the other houseboats on this list! This Tug has a salon with plenty of seating, a cool queen bed in the V-berth (up at the front of the boat), and fun views from the captain’s deck mid-ship.

One thing: this houseboat is only available for stays of 30 days or longer at this point… so if you’re digital nomad-ing or need a change of pace for your next phase of quarantine, this is a funky option!


  • 4 guests, 1 bedroom/1 bath
  • Starts from $110/night

10. Spacious Houseboat on South Lake Union

For another boat-ish option, consider this spacious houseboat. Inn Agua is moored in Westlake and has a queen bed plus a bunk bed – making it perfect for a family. There’s a huge seating area inside, plus a rooftop seating area where you can enjoy city and water views after grilling dinner on the BBQ.


  • 4 guests, 2 bedrooms/1.5 baths
  • Starts from $245/night

11. Houseboat Dream

If you’re looking for the dreamiest place to stay on the water in Seattle, this is it. This beautiful floating home was featured on Discovery Channel’s “Ultimate Homes” and has incredible views and loads of windows – plus lots of warm lighting and art on those days when it’s grey and you don’t want to look outside.

As both a plus and minus, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy this houseboat if you choose to stay here, as there’s a 30-day minimum stay required.


  • 5 guests, 3 bedrooms/2 bath
  • Starts from $317/night

12. Unique Waterfront Rental

Named Grace, this property is a Fullerstyle houseboat with gorgeous modern interiors that might make you forget you aren’t in one of those posh new apartment towers you can see from the windows here. During your 30-day minimum stay, you’ll be part of the co-op community where this houseboat is moored, giving you a chance to live local and experience the creative, artistic style of Seattle’s waterfront communities.


  • 6 guests, 2 bedrooms/1 bath
  • Starts from $99/night

There you go – a list of the best Seattle houseboats on Airbnb and VRBO! The only question is: which one will you choose? (If you’re not sold on the houseboat thing, I also have suggestions on the (other) best places to stay in Seattle!)

Do you have any questions about these Airbnbs or what it’s like to spend the night on a houseboat? Let me know in the comments!

Help others discover this post too!

I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.


  • Tina

    Hi Valerie,

    I am interested in long term rental of a floating home – houseboat – at Portage Bay or Lake Union. Would you have any suggestions?

    Thank you,

    • Valerie

      Sorry, Tina, I don’t. You’ll have to do some research into the rental market of Seattle; this post was about short-term rentals but most of them are no longer available.

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