By Debbie Hall

Explore, play, dine and sleep in Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Forever Resorts Bridge ViewFriends and families love to vacation together and it is all about the experience. One of best staycations outside of Las Vegas includes a river raft adventure, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, jet skiing and swimming while staying and playing on a houseboat.

Black Canyon River Adventures begins at the base of Hoover Dam in Boulder City, Nev. A leisurely motor-assisted raft with a guide, the excursion allows guests to enjoy and learn about the history, desert wildlife and beauty in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. The full-day trip covers 12 miles of the Colorado River and culminates at Willow Beach Marina on Lake Mohave in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Willow Beach Harbor is located approximately 45 minutes from Las Vegas and is the culmination point for Forever Resorts’ Black Canyon River Adventure flat-water rafting trips as well as its Colorado River Exploration Tour. Here is the perfect opportunity to explore Colorado River’s 235 miles of shoreline along with hiking, boating and fishing. There are power boat rentals, canoe and kayak rentals, a fishing pier and boat launch ramp. For those who really love the great outdoors, camp sites for both tent and recreational vehicles are available.

Forever Resorts Lake ViewFor those who want a different outdoor experience, Callville Bay Resort and Marina in Lake Mead is a perfect place for house boating. Forever Houseboats offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity for multi-generational families, groups of friends, or small corporate and incentive travelers to immerse themselves in the outdoors—all while enjoying all the comforts of a floating home on the water. Houseboats have dozens of amenities including private staterooms, waterslide, front deck barbecue grill and spacious, climate-controlled living areas. Some houseboat models also offer satellite TV and top-deck hot tubs. Forever Resorts, which builds and operates rental houseboats, is an environmentally conscious company and its vessels are constructed using energy efficient and recycled materials and are equipped with Safe-CO generators reducing carbon monoxide emissions by more than 99 percent.

Activities while staying on the houseboat include swimming, diving and fishing. Personal watercraft is available for rentals and for there are ample opportunities to explore coves and hike sandy beaches

Forever Resorts RaftingAnother place is Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina inside the Lake Mead National Recreation Area on the shoreline of Lake Mohave. The pristine desert lake has a 237-mile shoreline and is 67 miles long, backed by Davis Dam on the Colorado River. The new marina offers long-term and overnight slip rentals for boats or rentals of a houseboat, power boat, Jet Ski, canoe or kayak.

The marina itself is historic as the first and only floating building project in the world to receive GOLD LEED certification. The floating eco-friendly structure features sustainable modular construction and state-of-the-art energy-efficient and environmentally responsible materials and fixtures. Decking is made of a composite of rice hulls and recycled plastic and the exterior stucco is made of recycled tires. The marina is full service offering supplies and other supplies and services.

Just outside of Las Vegas is the chance to create memories of a lifetime on the water. For more information, visit