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Summer Vacations With Unique Accommodations: From Treehouses to Houseboats

A high-angle shot of three blue and white boats moored on a tranquil lake, showcasing their sleek design and serene surroundings.

Summer Vacations With Unique Accommodations: From Treehouses to Houseboats

Unique accommodations offer a refreshing twist to summer vacations. Imagine waking up in a treehouse, nestled among leafy branches, or drifting to sleep on a serene houseboat. These extraordinary stays are becoming increasingly popular, offering more than a place to sleep. They provide immersive experiences that traditional hotels cannot match. Let’s explore the charm and allure of unique accommodations for your next summer getaway.



Treehouses capture the essence of childhood wonder and adventure. These elevated abodes offer a unique blend of nostalgia and modern luxury. Imagine waking up to the sound of birdsong high in the treetops. Treehouses today come with all the amenities you can desire, from plush beds to Wi-Fi. Locations like Costa Rica, Thailand, and the United States provide stunning backdrops for these arboreal retreats. A treehouse stay is not just about the accommodation; it’s about reconnecting with nature and enjoying breathtaking views from above.



Yurts have been used for centuries by nomadic tribes in Central Asia. These circular tents offer a unique blend of ancient tradition and modern comfort. With sturdy wooden frames and insulated fabric walls, yurts provide a cozy yet spacious environment. Many yurts now include electricity, heating, and private bathrooms. Popular destinations for yurt stays include Mongolia, the Pacific Northwest, and the Alps. Staying in a yurt allows you to experience the outdoors while enjoying a comfortable and unique lodging option.



Houseboats offer an unparalleled experience of living on water. These floating homes combine the serenity of aquatic life with the comforts of modern living. Equipped with kitchens, bathrooms, and sleeping quarters, houseboats provide all the essentials for a relaxing stay. Top destinations for houseboat vacations include Amsterdam, Kerala, and the Mississippi River. While on a houseboat, you can enjoy fishing, swimming, and exploring nearby waterscapes. The gentle rocking of the boat and the sound of water create a calming and unforgettable experience.

Airstreams and Vintage Trailers

Airstreams and vintage trailers offer a nostalgic journey back in time. These retro vehicles have been updated with modern amenities to provide a unique vacation experience. With cozy sleeping areas, compact kitchens, and stylish decor, these trailers offer all the comforts of home. Popular locations for trailer stays include California, New Zealand, and the U.K. Staying in a vintage trailer allows you to explore the open road and enjoy quirky, fun-filled activities. Whether parked at a beachside or secluded forest, these trailers provide a memorable and distinctive lodging option.


Lighthouses offer a unique and historic lodging experience. Once essential for guiding ships, these iconic structures have been transformed into cozy accommodations. Lighthouses provide stunning coastal views and a sense of solitude and peace. Destinations like Maine, Scotland, and Australia are known for their beautiful lighthouse stays. Guests can enjoy whale watching, exploring coastal trails, and learning about maritime history. Staying in a lighthouse offers a unique perspective on coastal life and provides a tranquil retreat.

Each type of unique accommodation offers its own set of experiences and charms. From the treetop views of a treehouse to the serene waters of a houseboat, these stays promise unforgettable summer vacations. Whether you seek adventure, tranquility, or a touch of nostalgia, a unique lodging option is perfect for you. Explore these extraordinary accommodations for a summer vacation that stands out.

Five houseboats of various styles docked along a tranquil lake's lush, green shores.

Unique Accommodations Near Crab Island

Crab Island, near Destin, Florida, is renowned for its vibrant waters and bustling summer activities. While traditional accommodations are plentiful, renting a houseboat or pontoon can transform your stay into a unique experience.


Life on the Water Near Crab Island

Houseboats offer an unparalleled way to experience the serene beauty of the waters around Crab Island. These floating homes have all your modern comforts, including fully functional kitchens, cozy sleeping quarters, and bathrooms. Imagine waking up to the gentle rocking of the boat and the sound of water lapping against the hull.

Houseboat rentals are available near Fort Walton Beach, Key West, and the Florida Keys. These boats provide a perfect base for exploring the waterways, fishing, swimming, and enjoying picturesque sunsets. Comfort and adventure make houseboats popular for families, couples, and friends looking to make the most of their summer vacation​.

Exploring Crab Island via Pontoon Rentals

Pontoon boats are another fantastic option for exploring Crab Island and its surrounding areas. Pontoon rentals offer flexibility and ease of navigation, making them ideal for a day of fun on the water. These boats are perfect for hosting small gatherings, sunbathing, or enjoying a leisurely cruise.

Renting a pontoon allows you to fully experience the vibrant atmosphere of Crab Island, where you can anchor and join the floating festivities, swim, or snorkel in the clear waters. Many rental services around Destin and Fort Walton Beach offer pontoons with additional amenities such as shaded areas, onboard grills, and Bluetooth sound systems, enhancing your day on the water.​

Combining a houseboat stay with pontoon rentals provides a seamless blend of relaxation and adventure. Spend your nights in the cozy comfort of a houseboat and your days exploring the lively waters of Crab Island on a pontoon. This combination promises a unique and unforgettable summer vacation, offering the tranquility of life on the water and the excitement of one of Florida’s most popular destinations.


Local Attractions and Activities in Crab Island

Crab Island and its surroundings offer an array of attractions and activities that cater to all interests. Adventurers can indulge in water sports like paddleboarding, jet skiing, and snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters. For a more laid-back experience, nearby Henderson Beach State Park provides pristine white sand beaches and nature trails ideal for hiking and bird-watching. Destin Harbor is a hub of activity with its bustling boardwalk, local eateries serving fresh seafood and unique shops. Visitors can also embark on dolphin-watching cruises or fishing charters, ensuring a fun-filled itinerary for everyone.

A family in swimsuits and visors enjoying a summer vacation, boating on a beautiful green lake.

Tips for Choosing the Right Accommodation

Suitable accommodation can make or break your vacation experience at Crab Island. Houseboats and pontoons each offer unique advantages, and your choice should align with your needs and preferences. Consider these factors carefully to ensure a memorable and enjoyable stay.


Group Size

Your group size is crucial when deciding between a houseboat and a pontoon. Houseboats are ideal for larger groups or families, offering multiple sleeping areas and ample space for everyone. They provide a home-like environment on the water, perfect for extended stays. In contrast, pontoons are better suited for smaller groups and are typically used for day trips rather than overnight accommodations.


Budget is another important consideration. Houseboat rentals generally involve higher costs due to their size and amenities, including full kitchens and bathrooms. However, the extra cost can be worthwhile for their comfort and convenience, especially for more extended vacations. Pontoons are more budget-friendly, particularly for short-term use, making them an excellent option for those exploring Crab Island without breaking the bank.

Intended Activities

Your intended activities should also influence your decision. Houseboats are perfect for those who want to relax and enjoy the water at a leisurely pace, with the option to cook meals and spend the night on board. They offer the convenience of a floating home, allowing you to experience life on the water thoroughly. Conversely, Pontoons are more suited for active days of exploring, swimming, and socializing, with easy access to various parts of Crab Island and the surrounding waters.

Checklist for First-Time Houseboat or Pontoon Boat Renters

Familiarizing yourself with the basics of operating a houseboat or pontoon is essential for a smooth experience. That includes understanding navigation, docking procedures, and emergency protocols. Getting a briefing from the rental company and even a short training session is advisable. Knowing these basics will give you confidence and ensure your safety on the water.


Packing Essentials

Another critical step is packing essential supplies. Bring enough food and water for your stay, toiletries, and a well-stocked first aid kit. Remember weather-appropriate clothing, as temperatures can vary significantly between day and night. Having all the necessary supplies will help you avoid unnecessary trips to the shore and enjoy your time on the water.

Check the Safety Equipment

Ensuring your houseboat is equipped with safety equipment is non-negotiable. Check that there are enough life jackets for everyone on board and that they are in good condition. Fire extinguishers, emergency signals, and first aid kits should be readily available and functional. This equipment is crucial for handling emergencies and ensuring everyone’s safety.

Observe the Safety Guidelines

Safety guidelines for staying on a houseboat or using a pontoon start with wearing life jackets. Always wear life jackets, especially when on deck or swimming, to ensure your safety in case of an unexpected fall into the water. Make sure the life jackets are U.S. Coast Guard-approved and fit correctly. Regularly check their condition and ensure they are easily accessible to all passengers.

Monitor Weather Conditions

Monitoring weather conditions is another critical safety measure. Keep a close watch on weather forecasts and avoid navigating in poor weather, as sudden storms can be dangerous on the water. A weather radio or app can help you stay updated on changing conditions. Being proactive about the weather ensures you can take shelter or return to shore before conditions worsen.

Be Aware of the Local Regulations

Lastly, be aware of local boating regulations. These can include speed limits, no-wake zones, and specific rules for operating houseboats in the area. Understanding these regulations helps you avoid fines and manage your boat safely and responsibly. Being well-prepared and informed will make your houseboat rental a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Choosing suitable accommodation requires careful consideration of your group size, budget, and planned activities. You can ensure a comfortable and memorable stay by evaluating these factors and preparing thoroughly. Whether you opt for a houseboat or a pontoon, the right choice will enhance your experience at Crab Island.

Dive into unique summer adventures at Crab Island! Check out our Happy’s Crab Island Watersports blog for insider tips and exciting houseboat and pontoon rental options.

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