The 7 Best Waterfront Rentals on Airbnb That Are Literally on the Water (i.e., Floating)

From a historic Dutch ship to a houseboat named James Franco

Best Waterfront Rentals on Airbnb

Summer is essentially one massive, Mad Max-ian race to water. We’ll sit on freeways for four hours so we can sit on lakes and beaches for twelve, and we do it as often as possible before the leaves start to change.

Soak up enough sunshine, though, and it’s too easy to accept one’s fate in dollars and minutes spent. That’s how folks end up heading to the same watering hole for decades. There’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes a little vacation reassessment can prove revelatory. So today, we propose a wacky alternative: go ahead and stay at a houseboat this summer.

Airbnb’s really been pushing it on the filters lately (caves are now listed on the site), and it commands a surprising supply of floating cabins and studios across the globe. We like a long weekend at one for a few reasons:

  • The instantaneous water access, sans beachfront prices. You can fish while you have your morning coffee, drink on deck under the stars, and leave to walk/swim to a nearby beach whenever you like.
  • They’re easy to “drop in” on. Maintaining a houseboat is hard work. It requires constant inspections, marina fees, docking fees, and damage repair (especially in an age with stronger storms). Renting one through Airbnb means you get to enjoy the benefits without stressing the tough stuff.
  • They’re funky and will give you a good dinner party story. No shame in doing something for the photo.

With that in mind, we scoured the world for some worthy listings and came up with seven, plus a middle-of-nowhere bonus. Take note: the houseboat capital is in Amsterdam, and we’ve got a Dutch ship here. But if it doesn’t float your boat (c’mon!) you can find literally dozes of other options here. We’ve also got a tugboat in Seattle. A rounded cabin in Florida. And our personal favorite — a sleazepad in Rockaway called “The James Franco,” which looks exactly as you hope it does.

Tugboat Sally

Stella Rask
Amsterdam, Netherlands

The James Franco
Rockaway, NYC

Beograd, Serbia

The Salty Seahorse
Key Largo, Florida

Houseboat Myrtle
Knysna, South Africa

Toue Cabaneé
Chaumont-sur-Loire, France

Plus, a very difficult-to-reach bonus …

Nemo Room
Palawan, Philippines


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