Inspired homes in the West

A recycled jumbo jet, Airstream trailer, modern houseboat, and more innovative design

Life and style on a modern houseboat

See what it's like to fall asleep to the sounds of seals and run errands by kayak

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kayaking to a houseboat
Photo by Thomas J. Story

Like this? Check out more floating homes

Sausalito, CA: You can wander the docks anchoring the 300 or so floating houses at Kappas Marina and Waldo Point Harbor whenever you like. But an annual home tour (next tour Sep 25; check floatinghomes.org for more info) lets you step inside up to 20 front doors.

Seattle: More than 500 homes float on Lake Union and Portage Bay. The docks are off-limits—except for the annual tour (Sep 12; $25; seattlefloatinghomes.org), when you’re welcome to look inside about a dozen homes.

Always open? The waterways surrounding the homes. Rent a kayak at Northwest Outdoor Center (from $13 per hour; 206/281-9694).

Near Vancouver, B.C.: A paddle along the protected waterway where 125 homes are moored in Ladner, British Columbia, is a view into each owner’s whims, from Mississippi riverboat to ’70s ramshackle to ultramodern. Keep an eye out for bald eagles. Kaymaran Adventure Tours: From $63 U.S.; reservations required; 604/946-7507. Ladner Reach Marina: floatinghomes.com/mikesmarine.htm

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