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Houseboating offers an exotic means of exploring the wonders of North America, and according to MSN, this means of travel can be surprisingly affordable—often costing less than $1,000 a month for ownership. Whether you own for year-round boating or choose to rent for a leisurely family-friendly getaway, North America offers a variety of exciting destinations for boating enthusiast. Here are the top three to explore.

Ontario, Canada: Hudson Bay and Lake Superior

Photo by Balcer via Wikimedia Commons

At first glance, Ontario might not seem like the most obvious houseboating destination, but the Canadian province offers several excellent boating opportunities dotting the coast of the Hudson Bay and Lake Superior. These bodies of water echo the vast feel of the ocean, while also offering great views of Ontario’s unique woodland scenery. Because of the occasionally volatile nature of Lake Superior, it’s important that anyone boating there maintains a thorough understanding of essential houseboat operations. Prior to stepping aboard, make sure you have taken the proper boater exams from BoaterExam.com, for example, and are familiar with the boating regulations specific to Ontario.

Florida’s IntraCoastal Waterway

Photo by Robert DeMeo via Wikimedia Commons

If you have time to spare for a longer houseboat vacation, you’ll want to consider navigating the Intracoastal Waterway. This 3,000 mile waterway runs along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, providing a safe alternative to the dangers typically encountered while boating on the open sea. Of course, few vacationers possess the time required to travel along the full length of the Intracoastal Waterway, which is why many choose to focus on the portion found along Florida’s coast. This condensed option offers access to both the Atlantic and the Gulf Coast, while also allowing boaters to enjoy sweeping views of Florida’s beaches and swamps. The state’s department of tourism recommends vigilantly watching for such potential hazards as bridges and deep waters, as both of these can create significant risks for distracted boaters.

New York’s Lake Champlain and Adirondack Park

Photo by Travisleehardin via Wikimedia Commons

Houseboat Magazine recommends Lake Champlain as the boating destination of choice for anyone on the hunt for a relaxed family vacation. Straddling Vermont, New York and Quebec, the expansive inland lake offers plenty of opportunities for mainland exploration to suit all ages. The section of the lake falling within the borders of New York is particularly beautiful, as much of it is part of the state’s famous Adirondack Park. Adirondack Park is the largest park and National Historic Area in the contiguous United States. It continuously draws in and enchants visitors with its intersection of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains, according to the official Adirondack Park Agency. While you’re there, enjoy a leisurely boating excursion along Lake Champlain’s coast, then enjoy some time on land while hiking in the great Adirondacks.

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