The Best Floating Inns
Schooner Woodwind, Annapolis, Maryland
In sailing-mad Annapolis, it just seems natural to stay aboard a sailboat. The 74-foot Woodwind, a two-masted schooner, has offered boat-and-breakfast lodging since it was built in 1993. Unfortunately, guests can spend the night only on Saturdays, and only May through September. On the bright side, the package includes a two-hour sunset sail and a Continental breakfast served on deck; 410-263-8619 or schoonerwoodwind.com.
InnChanter, Hotsprings Cove, British Columbia
Off British Columbia's Vancouver Island rests the surprisingly elegant InnChanter, an 86-foot, 1920s-vintage wooden workboat lovingly converted into a six-room bed-and-breakfast inn. In the salon, polished paneling reflects the glow of a fire in the fireplace. Guest rooms are small but comfortable; 250-670-1149 or innchanter.com.
Dockside Boat and Bed, Long Beach, California
Dockside guests get to sample the vagabond life aboard an oceangoing motor yacht. The half-dozen vessels available (when not at sea) reflect the distinctive tastes and travels of their owners. It's fun to learn about the boats' wanderings from the books and other clues left aboard; 562-436-3111 or boatandbed.com. Nearby looms the regal Queen Mary, the 1930s ocean liner that also offers overnight accommodations. But we suggest taking in the ship's faded glory via a tour or a visit to the still-chic Observation Bar; 562-435-3511 or queenmary.com.
Key West Sailing Adventure, Key West, Florida
This experience comes closest to actually owning a sailing yacht―either a 44-foot Morgan or a 37-foot O'Day. Overnight guests can control their own itineraries by adding crewed sailing trips. The location in the heart of Key West means plenty of land-based entertainment choices as well; 305-295-2631 or keywestsailingadventure.com.
Newport Belle Bed & Breakfast, South Beach, Oregon
The Belle, a functional sternwheel riverboat, was built in 1993 specifically as a bed-and-breakfast. So it provides more space than most boats and lots of windows for gazing at the lovely Yaquina Bay Bridge and the marina―plus real bathrooms with showers. Polished woodwork, comfortable seating, and a nostalgic woodstove combine to make the second-deck Salon a wonderful refuge; 800-348-1922 or newportbelle.com.
Sea Suites, Saugatuck, Michigan
Every boat owner wants the same thing: a bigger boat. Sally Coder and Pete Morrison have progressed from a 24-foot pontoon vessel to a 38-foot cruiser to the Sea Suites, a 105-foot, custom houseboat that docks at this artsy town on Lake Michigan. Four large staterooms feature private baths, air-conditioning, TVs, even ceiling fans. The open top deck invites lounging in the hot tub; 269-426-0381 or seasuites.com.
Southern Comfort, Charleston, South Carolina
A classic 61-foot Hatteras motor yacht, Southern Comfort dates from 1985, the last year Hatteras made interiors entirely of wood. Owners Ellie and Chris McIntire daringly play off the warm luster of the teak and mahogany with boldly patterned fabrics and bright colors. Amenities include air-conditioning, private baths for each of four staterooms, and an espresso machine. Southern comfort, indeed; 704-650-2620 or motoryachtsoutherncomfort.com.