Lake Powell in Utah, with its 1,960 miles of shoreline, sandy beaches, red-rock canyons, and proximity to the Grand Canyon, is heaven for houseboaters—especially if you seek out your own secluded cove. Far-flung clans gather here in the summer for floating reunions, no boating experience necessary. Lake Powell is located within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area; rentals are available at four marinas through Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas (www.lakepowell.com; 800/528-6154), a National Park Service concessionaire. Bundle up and pay off-season rates from fall to spring. A Christmas adrift, anyone?
Also consider the following four houseboating hubs, all ideal for families:
Lake Roosevelt in Washington; see www.lakeroosevelt.com, or call 800/635-7585.
Shasta Lake in Northern California; see www.shastalake.net, or call 800/959-3359.
The Thousand Islands in upstate New York; see www.thousandislands.com, or call Remar Rentals at 315/686-3579.
Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota; see www.rainylakehouseboats.com, or call 800/554-9188.
For a listing of houseboat rentals in this country and Canada, see www.houseboat.net. Warning: It may inspire you to float your boat further afield. The site covers worldwide locales. You can even rent a houseboat in Kerala, India.