10 Best Budget Vacations for Summer
Budget Travelers know it's possible to have an AMAZING summer vacation in the U.S. without breaking the bank! Here, we've rounded up the best in beaches, national parks, mountains, and big-city blowouts—all for under $150/night!
Stay: Comfort Inn Downtown is located in the heart of this welcoming coastal town with easy access to Morro Rock and other sites; you'll get a complimentary breakfast that goes well beyond typical free fare, including eggs, waffles, and other hot favorites (590 Morro Ave., Morro Bay, Calif., comfortinn.com, from $106).
If you don't want to have to decide between great museums and relaxing mountain hikes, book a week in western Massachusetts, where you can revel in both. Explore one of the U.S.'s largest collections of modern art at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams; see the comprehensive collection at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown; and step back into 19th-century New England by crossing the border into Bennington, Vt., for the Grandma Moses collection at the Bennington Museum and Grandma Moses Schoolhouse.
Stay: Holiday Inn Berkshires is in North Adams, Mass., centrally located for dividing your day among art, theater, and nature; there's an on-site restaurant and indoor pool (40 Main St., North Adams, Mass., holidayinn.com, from $119).
Michigan's lakeshores aren't exactly under the radar—Midwesterners have long regarded locales like the Upper Peninsula and Mackinac Island as the best places for a family vacation. But they remain underrated among travelers from farther away and if you're still on the fence about where to spend a week before school starts, head for Mackinaw City, a half-hour ferry ride from Mackinac Island's Victorian homes and stunning state park.
Stay: Days Inn and Suites Mackinaw City Bridgeview Lodge includes complimentary Daybreak continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a pool, and puts you near Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and local shopping (206 N. Nicolet St., Mackinaw City, Mich., daysinn.com, from $88).
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
The mountains, the ocean, the pine-scented air! You may have thought a trip to Acadia National Park was off-limits by this time of year. But this popular, well-booked area is still a possibility if you're willing to book lodging a short drive away. Acadia is for travelers who like their seaside a little rough around the edges, with cliffs, trails, and surprisingly empty beaches.
Stay: Ramada Ellsworth is 18 miles from Bar Harbor, walking distance from an L.L. Bean outlet, and offers a pool, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary continental breakfast (215 High St., Ellsworth, Maine, ramada.com, from $129).
If you've been putting off a trip to theme-park paradise, summer offers some nice discounts on hotel rates. Sure, it's hot down here in summer, but paying less than $75 a night to stay near Universal Studios Florida, SeaWorld Orlando, and Walt Disney World will take the sting out of some of the park admission, which can top $90 a day for adults.
Stay: Wyndham Orlando Resort is less than 20 minutes from the major parks, includes three restaurants, three pools, a health club, and even an on-site ice cream parlor (8001 International Dr., Orlando, Fla., wyndham, com, from $67).