Last month my family and I went on a houseboat trip to Lake Powell for our summer vacation and this heat wave San Diego is experiencing has me longing to float in those cool lake waters again, so I thought I would re-cap our trip.
Growing up as a kid my family and I went on a few houseboat trips for our summer vacations, and they were the most fun trips and I have the best memories to this day. We were fortunate, thanks to my parent’s generosity to be able to take the whole clan so they could experience the fun for themselves.
We chose Lake Powell for this trip, as the majority of us had never been there with the exception of my brother and sister-in-law for their honeymoon. Lake Powell starts in northern Arizona and extends into southern Utah and is part of the Colorado River in Glen Canyon National Recreation area. Fun fact: the lake is 186 miles long and has almost 2,000 miles of shoreline – longer than the entire west coast of the United States!
The drive to Wahweap Marina (where we pick up the houseboat) from San Diego takes approximately 10 hours. Since we had a baby with us (my 11 month old niece) and needed to do some major grocery shopping we chose to drive 8 hours to St. George, Utah and spend the night there.
We stayed at a lovely boutique hotel, aptly named The Inn on the Cliff as it was high up on a cliff overlooking the quaint city of St. George with views of Utah’s beautiful scenery. We had dinner at their restaurant as well and we were all pleasantly surprised as our meals were delicious. I highly recommend this property, the staff was very friendly, the rooms were clean and modern and very nicely decorated.
In the morning after breakfast we headed to CostCo to do the majority of our grocery shopping.
*Tip #1: We planned all our meals ahead of time and made our shopping list based on that. This saved us a lot of time wandering the aisles of Costco.
*Tip #2: The CostCo in St. George, UT does NOT sell any alcohol (#doh).
After loading up at CostCo, we were back on the road for the 2 hour drive to Wahweap Marina just outside of Page, Arizona. Once in Page, we picked up the two wave runners we rented and did the rest of our grocery shopping at the local Wal-Mart. In hindsight, I think we probably could have skipped shopping at CostCo. in St. George, Utah and do all of our shopping at the local grocery store in Page, AZ as we had a lot of food left over.
*Tip #3: If you are going to rent waverunners, do it at a company in Page, AZ as the cost is almost half of what the marina charges.
Later that evening we loaded all of our stuff onto the houseboat. 10 people and a baby have A LOT OF STUFF. This alone took about 2 hours.
*Tip #4: For an additional fee, the marina will let you “pre-board” your houseboat. We reserved our boat beginning on Wednesday, but paid the fee to load it and sleep on it the night before. Then in the morning, all we had to do was wait for the marina staff to go over everything with us regarding the boat and take off!
We rented the 62’ Journey houseboat and for 10 people and a baby, it was just enough space. It had four staterooms but we still needed to utilize the dining room table that made into a bed and the living room couch that made into a bed. My Dad chose to forgo any bed and instead slept on the upper deck outside!
I won’t bore you with a breakdown of all 7 days on the houseboat, but needless to say there was a lot of fishing, wave riding, wake boarding, inner tubing, paddle boarding, hiking and good old-fashioned floating going on. Here are just a few pics from our trip.
The scenery is awe-inspiring and the sheer beauty of the sculpted sandstone as it sprouts from the lake is simply gorgeous. Our days were spent waking with the sun, eating meals as a family, lots of time on and in the water, relaxing in our own secluded, private beaches and wondering what time it was (inside joke – since you vacillate between Arizona and Utah, no one knew what the hell time it was, not that it mattered!)
If you’re looking for a fun and unique family vacation, I can’t say enough about houseboat trips. Our kids are ages 6, 16 and 21 and all three of them had a great time! We agreed 7 days may have been a day (or two) too long and the marina does offer 5 and 6 day trips. You’re forced to unplug (did I mention there is virtually no cell service) and relax, yet there are a ton of activities you can do if you want.
Thanks Mom & Dad for an amazing and unforgettable vacation. My summer bucket list is now complete!