Affordable Houseboat Rentals: Our 99th Anniversary Deal!


The upcoming year is shaping up to be one of the most exciting ever at Rainy Lake Houseboats. We will be celebrating our 99th anniversary – that’s right, we’ve been around for almost a century! Over the years, we’ve developed quite the positive reputation around these parts, and we want to thank you for your business with a special offer. From June 17th to July 15th we will be providing a 10% discount to anyone who schedules a seven-day houseboat rental. The memories you will make on Rainy Lake are priceless, but saving a little bit of cash never hurt anyone. We’re offering this lower rate as both a thank you to our customers and as a celebration of our storied history.

Humble Beginnings

The Rainy Lake Houseboats story began with $1,000 and four barrels of whiskey – which is exactly how much our great grandfather Bob Williams paid to purchase the Kettle Falls Hotel in 1918. Under his supervision, the hotel thrived for decades and became a magnet for those looking for a genuine north woods experience.

Grandpa Bob Passed away in June of 1956. Our Grandpa Charlie Williams and Grandma Blanche Williams took over the operation and ownership of Kettle Falls Hotel for the next twenty years.  During 1977 Charlie and Blanche Williams decided to sell The Kettle Falls Hotel to the National Park Service. Bill and June Williams Dougherty moved west and started operating Rainy Lake Houseboats.

Continued Hospitality

Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, people from the rest of Minnesota and even out-of-state visitors headed north to see what made Rainy Lake such a unique Minnesota destination. Voyageurs National Park was established in 1971, and this ensured that wildlife would thrive for the decades to come. Our parents, Bill and June Dougherty, began the business with just four houseboats, but they became known for their friendly and personable approach to vacation rentals. When you said the name Dougherty in these parts, it meant service seven days a week.

Modern Day Rainy Lake

Today people still visit Rainy Lake for the same reasons they did when our family started the business – pristine views, soothing waters, and unbeatable fishing. Nowadays, my brother Tom and I (Bill) operate the company and live at Rainy Lake year round. We have never forgotten the importance of our most cherished asset: our customers. Our family has built its legacy by treating every houseboat guest with respect and graciousness. We are passionate about showing you the beauty of Voyageurs National Park from the best vantage point you’ll find.

Rainy Lake Houseboats will continue to provide the same excellent service well into the future. We are going on 99 years, but the houseboat experience feels as invigorating as ever. We want to show you what has made our company stand the test of time with an offer too good to pass up. Be sure to take advantage of 10% off a weeklong houseboat vacation early next summer to see what all the fuss is about!