Travel: Go With The Gang: A Southwest Houseboat

Whether tooling past Arizona’s colorful cliffs on Lake Mohave, or charting a course through 110-mile Lake Mead, this slow cruiser offers a novel way to experience the West, plus lots of sun and together-time on deck.

The pick: Grand Sierra is the largest of the fleet rented by Seven Crown Resorts, and motors at a mind-blowing maximum of 8 mph, so if you go overboard, you can swim ahead. The full-size kitchen is stocked with dishware and appliances (including two fridges, and a blender for on-deck frozen margaritas); the full-size bathroom has a handheld shower. The large upper deck is an ideal spot for viewing starry, starry nights. The boat can be rented for cruises of Lake Mead, Nevada; Lake Mohave, Arizona; or Lake Shasta, California. First-­timers receive thorough instruction on how to steer, drive and park.

Accommodations: The 56-by-15-foot boat sleeps up to 13 and even has a penthouse, but only has one and a half baths.

Rental fee: Weekly, $3,250 to $4,250, depending on the season.

How to book it: 800-752-9669;

Other options: Discovery Class Houseboats, Lake Powell, Arizona: Each 59-foot vessel sleeps up to 12 in four rooms, with canopied command bridge with wet bar; from $3,876 per week. 800-530-3406; The Stargazer, Shasta Lake Resorts, Sugarloaf, California: Sleeps 12 and has one and a half baths; carpeted deck, breakfast bar and waterslide; starting at $2,131 per week.