Every bucket list should include a house boat vacation on Rainy Lake! There is nothing quite like the experience and variety of things that can be enjoyed from the comfort and mobility of a houseboat. House boats can accommodate from 2-12 guests and can be outfitted with kayaks, canoes , water slides and other amenities based on what you want to experience while on a 3,4 or 7 day cruise. Experiences are endless and include everything from fishing, bird and nature watching, hiking, swimming, sunbathing or just relaxing with a book while being gently rocked by the lake's waves.
What are you waiting for?
Houseboat Trip Packing List
A houseboat trip on Rainy Lake combines the best of both worlds: the comforts of home with the adventure of a wilderness vacation. Both of the area’s two houseboat rental companies* – Rainy Lake Houseboats and Northernaire Houseboats, provide amenities to ensure your trips is both comfortable and safe. That said, there are some items from home you’ll be happy to have with you.
Safety is a serious matter on Rainy Lake, and someone at your rental company will walk you through everything you need to know about operating the vessel.
In the Kitchen
One of the most-appreciated conveniences of a houseboat is the kitchen, which has options that allow you to create anything from gourmet meals to cold cereal with milk.
Your houseboat is designed for maximum fun with decks and swim platforms – some models have slides and hot tubs!
Because Mother Nature doesn’t receive every memo about which days should be full of nothing but clear skies and endless sunshine, it’s a good idea to pack for a rainy day…just in case.
You’ll find beds with pillows and blankets on your houseboat, but it’s nice to have personal items from home.
If, when you are checking in and loading your houseboat, you realize you have forgotten something, let your rental company know. They usually have extra supplies, and a trip to International Falls’ stores is a short car-ride.
*Check with the company you are renting through to ensure your boat model has the items listed here.
Is there anything else you would pack? Let us know in the comments down below!
The Most Comfortable Way to Explore: Family Houseboating on Rainy Lake
While sleeping under the stars or in a leaky tent may appeal to some, others prefer their nature experiences to include more creature comforts. Think full-size refrigerator vs. a half-dozen coolers full of melting ice, a bathroom with shower vs. open-air ranger pot, or a queen-size mattress vs. a musty sleeping bag. For these Rainy Lake visitors, houseboat vacations provide the opportunity to explore the area’s natural beauty without forgoing the comforts of home. With kitchens and bedrooms, open-air porches – even bathrooms and showers! – houseboats allow entire families to explore the lake and its endless miles of shoreline together.
There are two options for houseboating on Rainy Lake: Rainy Lake Houseboats and Northernaire Houseboats, both of which boast a full fleet of vessels in varying sizes that come with a host of amenities like screen porches and grills, and add-ons like slides and top-deck hot tubs. Like your own home, houseboats are accessible and comfortable for all ages. Kids love jumping off the back of the boat into the sparkling water, while grandparents enjoy drinking a cup of coffee in the morning while gazing at the expansive scenery.
A houseboat vacation offers something for everyone. Whether you spend the day fishing, swimming, playing on the beach, or hiking the trails, your boat is the home base everyone returns to for family meals, games and long-lasting memories. There are about 50 designated houseboat camping sites* located throughout Voyageurs National Park on Rainy Lake, and most include fire pits, bear lockers, and picnic tables, along with unparalleled immersion into the Boreal wilderness. Make a campfire to roast s’mores, then hop into cozy beds. Challenge family members to card games on the picnic table, then dash inside your houseboat in case of a rain shower. Spend the day in the sunshine knowing a cold beverage awaits in the refrigerator.
Whether your family vacation time falls in the spring-time or late-summer, choosing to take a houseboat trip is a sure way to ensure fun --- and comfort – for everyone.
*Permit reservations are required for houseboats within Voyageurs National Park May 1 – October 31 and can be obtained at recreation.gov. You can also find step-by-step instructions on how to make houseboat reservations online, or call 1-877-444-6777.