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