20 Cheap Summer Vacations In the USA

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Discover the top 20 affordable summer vacations in the USA. From serene beaches to breathtaking national parks, this comprehensive guide will help you plan the perfect budget-friendly getaway for an unforgettable summer.


Summer is the perfect time to embark on a memorable vacation, creating lasting memories with loved ones. However, planning a getaway that doesn’t break the bank can be challenging. Fear not! In this article, we’ll delve into the top 20 cheap summer vacations in the USA, offering you a wealth of travel ideas to fit any budget. From picturesque beaches and captivating cities to awe-inspiring national parks, these destinations promise a fantastic experience without burning a hole in your pocket.

1. Mesmerizing Myrtle Beach, SC

Experience the Charms of Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a gem on the southeastern coast, renowned for its stunning shoreline, bustling boardwalk, and lively atmosphere. It offers an array of budget-friendly accommodations and activities, making it a perfect destination for families, couples, or solo travelers.

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2. Enchanting Gatlinburg, TN

Explore the Wonders of Gatlinburg

Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, welcomes nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. With numerous affordable cabin rentals and access to hiking trails, Gatlinburg offers a budget-friendly escape into nature’s embrace.

3. Captivating Cape Cod, MA

Indulge in the Beauty of Cape Cod

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Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is a dreamy summer destination with its picturesque coastal towns, lighthouses, and pristine beaches. Despite its luxurious reputation, there are plenty of affordable lodging options and free attractions to explore.

4. Amazing Asheville, NC

Discover the Artsy Vibes of Asheville

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Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina, exudes a vibrant arts scene, breathtaking views, and a welcoming community. Enjoy budget-friendly accommodations and explore the unique boutiques, art galleries, and historic landmarks.

5. Breathtaking Big Sur, CA

Experience the Majesty of Big Sur

For nature lovers seeking a budget-friendly escape, Big Sur, California, offers unparalleled beauty along the Pacific Coast. Hike through the majestic redwoods and camp under the stars, immersing yourself in nature’s wonders.

6. Quaint Sedona, AZ

Embrace the Tranquility of Sedona

Sedona, Arizona, is a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation. With its stunning red rock formations and spiritual energy, Sedona offers a range of affordable accommodations and outdoor activities for a serene summer retreat.

7. Charming Charleston, SC

Explore the Elegance of Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina, boasts a rich history and charming Southern hospitality. Stroll through cobblestone streets, visit historic sites, and savor delicious Lowcountry cuisine, all without breaking the bank.

8. Scenic Lake Tahoe, CA/NV

Immerse Yourself in Lake Tahoe’s Beauty

Straddling California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe entices travelers with its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking mountain scenery. Enjoy affordable cabin rentals and explore hiking trails, beaches, and ski resorts depending on the season.

9. Delightful Door County, WI

Experience the Charms of Door County

Located on Wisconsin’s peninsula, Door County offers a serene escape with its quaint villages, scenic waterfronts, and charming bed-and-breakfasts. Enjoy affordable outdoor activities and explore the maritime history.

10. Lively New Orleans, LA

Celebrate Life in New Orleans

Known for its vibrant music, rich cultural heritage, and delectable cuisine, New Orleans, Louisiana, is a fantastic budget-friendly destination. Wander through the French Quarter, listen to jazz music, and savor delicious beignets.

11. Serene Shenandoah Valley, VA

Reconnect with Nature in Shenandoah Valley

Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, is a paradise for nature lovers, offering budget-friendly camping grounds and picturesque hiking trails. Marvel at the stunning waterfalls and overlooks in Shenandoah National Park.

12. Picturesque Outer Banks, NC

Escape to the Beauty of the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks, North Carolina, boasts pristine beaches, charming lighthouses, and fascinating history. Opt for budget-friendly vacation rentals and indulge in the local seafood delicacies.

13. Majestic Yellowstone National Park, WY

Explore the Wonders of Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, is a natural wonderland teeming with geysers, hot springs, and wildlife. Camping in the park or nearby areas provides an affordable way to experience this majestic destination.

14. Alluring Portland, OR

Discover the Quirky Vibes of Portland

Portland, Oregon, is renowned for its alternative culture, craft breweries, and thriving food scene. Explore the city’s numerous parks, gardens, and free attractions, embracing the laid-back Pacific Northwest lifestyle.

15. Picturesque Lake Placid, NY

Experience the Charm of Lake Placid

Lake Placid, New York, offers a delightful summer retreat with its picturesque lake and surrounding mountains. Enjoy budget-friendly lodging options and indulge in outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and fishing.

16. Historic Philadelphia, PA

Step Back in Time in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a history lover’s dream, boasting iconic landmarks such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Many museums and historical sites offer free admission or budget-friendly rates.

17. Idyllic Mackinac Island, MI

Transport Yourself to Mackinac Island’s Tranquility

Mackinac Island, Michigan, is a captivating destination with its horse-drawn carriages, Victorian architecture, and stunning lake views. Stay at cozy bed-and-breakfasts and explore the island’s natural beauty.

18. Fascinating Santa Fe, NM

Immerse Yourself in Santa Fe’s Culture

Santa Fe, New Mexico, is known for its adobe buildings, art galleries, and southwestern cuisine. Discover the city’s rich heritage and affordable cultural attractions.

19. Stunning Acadia National Park, ME

Embrace Nature’s Beauty in Acadia

Acadia National Park, Maine, offers awe-inspiring coastal landscapes, rocky shores, and abundant wildlife. Camping within the park allows you to experience its beauty on a budget.

20. Sunny San Diego, CA

Enjoy the Vibrant Vibe of San Diego

San Diego, California, offers a perfect blend of stunning beaches, cultural attractions, and a laid-back atmosphere. Explore free or low-cost activities like visiting Balboa Park and the famous San Diego Zoo.


  1. Q: How can I find budget-friendly accommodations for my summer vacation?
    • A: Look for affordable lodging options such as hostels, budget hotels, vacation rentals, or camping grounds near your desired destination.
  2. Q: What are some free or low-cost activities to enjoy during summer vacations?
    • A: Many cities offer free outdoor concerts, festivals, hiking trails, beach days, and exploring local parks and museums.
  3. Q: How can I save money on food while traveling?
    • A: Opt for grocery shopping and preparing meals instead of dining out regularly. Explore local eateries and food trucks for budget-friendly options.
  4. Q: Are there any national parks that offer free admission during the summer?
    • A: Yes, some national parks offer free admission on certain days throughout the summer. Check the National Park Service website for specific dates.
  5. Q: Can I find affordable transportation options for my summer vacation?
    • A: Yes, consider using public transportation, carpooling, or booking flights and accommodations in advance to secure lower prices.
  6. Q: What are some off-the-beaten-path destinations that are budget-friendly?
    • A: Look for lesser-known destinations, state parks, and small towns that offer unique experiences without the crowds and high costs.


With this comprehensive guide to the top 20 cheap summer vacations in the USA, you’re now equipped to plan an unforgettable getaway without breaking your budget. From coastal escapes and mountain retreats to vibrant cities and national parks, there’s a perfect destination to suit every traveler’s preferences. Embrace the wonders of summer and embark on a memorable adventure that will leave you with cherished memories for years to come.

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