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3 Best Boating Lakes in California


The opportunities for boating in the Golden State are abundant. From water skiing on Big Bear Lake to houseboating on Lake Shasta, indulge your inner wanderlust and set sail on the best boating lakes in California.

Lake Shasta

Lake Shasta gets our vote for the best houseboating lake in California. Its 370 miles of shoreline are surrounded by forested mountains and hills that meet endless blue skies. Be sure to pack your binoculars to get a close-up of bald eagles and ospreys gliding above the lake or a glimpse of black bears and deer coming out of the forest for water along the shoreline.

Houseboat rentals that sleep anywhere from 6 to 22 people are widely available. If you want to add excitement to your house boating adventure, rent watercraft and toys on Lake Shasta to liven up the party. These include speed boats, jet skis, fishing boats, wakeboards, skis, SUPs, Kayaks, and much more!

Lake Cachuma

Southern Californians looking to get away can escape to Lake Cachuma, located two hours north in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. It's worth noting that swimming and water skiing are prohibited on this lake. However, the lack of noise and commotion caused by jet skis, and speed boats creates an ideal retreat for kayak fishing enthusiasts.

The aquatic plant beds in Lake Cachuma provide game fish with a prime habitat to call home. So anglers can catch a wide variety of fish—largemouth and smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, crappie, catfish, and bluegill. You can rent boats and kayaks at the marina, and when the heat makes it tempting to jump in the water, nearby swimming pools are open during the summer.

Big Bear Lake

Vacationers from as far as Arizona and Nevada flock to Southern California's favorite place to adventure. Big Bear is a mountain town on the shores of a beautiful alpine lake. The drive there will take you from sea level to almost 7,000 feet, and depending on the snow melt, boating usually starts from April to late May. Besides fishing, skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking, tubing, and jet skiing, there are plenty of exciting activities off the water at Big Bear. Spend a day mountain biking in the San Bernardino Forest, panning for gold, or go golfing at Bear Mountain Golf Course.

The oldest marina, Pleasure Point, has been operating since 1914 and rents luxury pontoons for 8-12 people, fishing boats, pedal boats, kayaks, and paddle boards. Be sure to have some extra cash on hand. Lake Use Permits are required for all watercraft on Big Bear Lake, including SUPs, kayaks, canoes, and intertubes.

Find Recreational and Boat Storage in California

StorQuest understands that properly storing your boat between trips and seasons is the best way to protect your investment, so our convenient boat storage locations are designed to make life easier. We have plenty of space to store your water toys so you can pick up and drop off your boat and gear in one location. Check out our nationwide locations list to find where to keep your boat so it's ready when you are for that next epic adventure.

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