Location: Islamorada, Florida
We arrived in Islamorada in what seemed like the middle of the night.
I’ve always found winters in Florida to be weird — it’s still warm out for the most part, but it gets dark early just like everywhere else. I was surprised when I checked my phone and found that it wasn’t even 10 PM yet. My friend and I had parked next to an outdoor restaurant filled with people eating, drinking, and laughing into the night.
We were waiting for our Airbnb host to come get us with a golf cart, because we weren’t staying in a normal home. Islamorada is in the upper Florida Keys; rather than book a room at a fancy inn or have a second stay at a hostel, we’d opted for novelty and booked a houseboat. There’s a lot of houseboat Airbnbs in the Keys; I’d always wondered what it would be like to live on one.
I was about to get my wish.
Our boat ended up being located at the far end of the marina, a short ten minute walk from where our car was parked. It was the perfect distance from everything — far enough to be somewhat private, but close enough to not be in isolation.
The end of the marina …
… and the boat we were staying on.
All of the normal amenities were there, including bathrooms, laundry, and a kitchen. Due to size limitations, everything was smaller and closer together … which stopped being a problem after I hit my head on the ceiling fan/going down the stairs for the third time each, respectively.
The Boat Tour
When entering the boat, you walk up the stairs and go in through one of the side doors into the stern: 
That room leads to the helm of the boat:
The helm leads into a living room/office area:
From here, it gets a little disorienting. I was confused the first few times I went down the stairs because there are two of them in opposite directions. One of them leads to the kitchen, and the other leads to the living quarters.
Here’s the kitchen, complete with one of those retro diner-looking table setups that I’m always a fan of:
The living quarters:
These were the doors to our bedrooms, respectively. They would slam really loudly behind us and give me a good jump scare every time.
Here’s the bedroom itself (the beds were so cute, and much comfier than I thought they were going to be).
I thought the way the washer and dryer were set up was super efficient. It looks like a little cabinet:
I didn’t get many pictures of the bathroom, but it’s your standard sink-shower-and-toilet setup.
The morning of our first full day in Islamorada, I got up and explored the outside of the boat. These were my favorite parts; the weather remained in the mid-seventies throughout the trip, and I spent a lot of time on deck.
Here’s the back deck, where I liked to sit and catch up with friends over the phone while looking at the other boats in the marina:
Exit through the stern to get to the front.
And damn, that front deck, with a plank and all:
Some other parts of the boat that I thought were cool:
When we wanted to get off the boat, it was a quick walk to the nearest restaurant:
It was cool stay on a boat for a semi-long time, and while I would do it again (perhaps with a bigger boat, too, one where I can have my own room), I don’t think I would prefer boat Airbnbs over house ones. Nevertheless, I crossed one item off my bucket list and I’d recommend it for the experience. ♚
Note: This article is part of my January 2019 One Month Project, where I will be traveling around coastal Florida and publishing an essay a day about my experiences there. I’m excited to bring you along on this adventure!