ADVERTISEMENT

10 Affordable Alternatives to This Summer’s Top Destinations

By The Budget Travel editors
May 22, 2019
Venetian scen in Las Vegas
Mb2006/Dreamstime
A new TripAdvisor study reveals this summer's most popular summer destinations and alternatives where great hotel rates abound.

Summer is approaching at a rapid clip, which means vacation-planning is in full force. And when it comes to booking hotels, flights, and the rest, value-hunting is the name of the game. According to TripAdvisor’s newly released 2019 Summer Vacation Value Report, you can score excellent hotel deals in the most popular destinations in the U.S. But those serious about saving will appreciate the study’s key finding: alternative options to the summer’s hotspots.

The Most Popular Destinations from Coast to Coast

The top picks will come as no surprise: Orlando, Las Vegas, and Myrtle Beach nabbed the highest three spots, followed by Maui, New York City, Key West, and New Orleans. Ocean City, San Diego and Virginia Beach finished off the list. The destinations were determined by a survey of more than 3,500 travelers, conducted in May. According to a TripAdvisor spokesperson, 92% of members are planning summer trips, up 12 percent from last year.

Broadly speaking, the survey revealed that 48 percent of U.S. travelers this summer will vacation as a couple and 37 percent will travel as a family. The average length of a trip is one week.

Appealing Alternatives

According to the survey, straying just a little—but not too much—off the crowded paths can save you up to 38 percent on hotel prices. Orlando, the number-one summer destination, has hotel rooms averaging about $216 per night, but prices in Kissimmee, located about 23 miles south, clock in around $137. Las Vegas, which boasts some of America’s lowest hotel rates at an average of $167, is bested by Reno, where rooms can be had for about $144. Myrtle Beach prices hover around $250 while rooms in Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina’s Outer Banks are a cool $200. Thinking about Maui? Try Oahu instead, where seasonal hotel prices are about $200 lower than the Hawaiian hotspot’s $533. And if New York City has your heart but your wallet calls the shots, check out Philly, where prices average $258, a great deal compared to NYC’s $329.

To round out the list, Key Largo is cited as the alternative to Key West, Miami is a good second-choice to New Orleans; Nags Head, North Carolina, should be your go-to if Ocean City rates are too high; hotel prices in Mammoth Lakes top San Diego's; and Williamsburg, Virginia is more affordable in the summertime than Virginia Beach.

For travel inspiration, know-how, deals, and more, sign up for Budget Travel's free e-newsletter.

Keep reading
Budget Travel Lists

6 Cool Pedestrian Bridges You Should Walk Across

Gatlinburg’s SkyBridge, which opened today, is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the U.S., spanning 680 feet over a valley in the Great Smoky Mountains. An impressive feat indeed, but it's not the first of its ilk—from coast to coast, the United States is full of show-stopping structures just waiting to be explored. Offering epic views of manmade skylines and natural wonders alike, here are six awesome American bridges perfect for a stroll. 1. Skylift Bridge: Gatlinburg, Tennessee (Courtesy SkyLift Park) At the top of Crockett Mountain, on the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, SkyLift Park (gatlinburgskylift.com) is home to that brand-new record-breaking suspension bridge. At its highest point, it's 140 feet off the ground, but you don’t have to make the climb on your own. Take the chairlift, an iconic Gatlinburg attraction dating to 1954, and get off at the top, where you can hang out on the deck to nurse a pint, snap the perfect selfie, and oh yes, conquer the bridge. The walking path is five feet wide, so you shouldn’t have to worry about navigating the right-of-way in tight environs (when in doubt, single file!), but don’t look down if you’re squeamish—especially in the middle, where glass panels let you see past your toes and straight into the depths below. Tickets, $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, $15 for kids ages 4-11, ages 3 and under free. The lift is accessible for passengers who are able to stand up to load on and off, and wheelchairs can be rented for free at the top, but the bridge itself is not wheelchair accessible. 2. Navajo Bridge: Glen Canyon, Arizona and Utah (Amelia Takacs/Dreamstime) The first direct route between Utah and Arizona, the Navajo Bridge (nps.gov/glca) opened to cars in 1929, and for nearly 70 years, drivers on highway 89A took that route to cross the Colorado River. But the area’s transportation needs eventually overwhelmed the historic structure, and its 18-foot-wide road became too much for the heavier cars and trucks of the late 20th century. Construction began on a new bridge that would run parallel to the old one, and upon its completion in 1995, the original bridge was opened to foot traffic. Today, the steel-and-concrete trestle looms 467 feet above the river, with a visitors center and a bookstore on the west side. On the Navajo Nation side to the east, Native American craftspeople set up shop, and the Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center offers outdoor exhibits and self-guided walks across the bridge.Park entry, $30 per car or $15 per person on foot or bike. The historic bridge is wheelchair accessible. 3. BP Pedestrian Bridge: Chicago (F11photo/Dreamstime) The BP Pedestrian Bridge (millenniumparkfoundation.org), Frank Gehry’s first and, to date, only bridge, can be found in downtown Chicago, where it wends its way over Columbus Drive, connecting Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park over lane upon lane of urban traffic. Completed in 2004, the undulating overpass is covered with the famed architect’s signature sculptural stainless-steel panels and spans nearly two-tenths of a mile, providing both skyline and park views along the way. It’s also a companion piece to Gehry’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion—though the outdoor amphitheater has an impressive aerial sound system, the bridge contributes to the experience, serving as an acoustic barrier for free performances and festivals of all stripes.Free. The bridge is accessible, with gently sloping wheelchair-friendly ramps at each entrance. 4. Tilikum Crossing: Portland, Oregon (Vitpho/Dreamstime) With a Native American name symbolic of connection and friendship that nods to the region’s early people, Portland’s Tilikum Crossing (trimet.org/tilikum) opened in 2015, becoming the area's first new bridge across the Willamette River in 40-plus years. Roughly 1,700 feet long and utilizing more than three miles of cable, the cable-stayed bridge has lanes for buses and trains and separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians—no cars allowed—with a design takes its cues from the surrounding landscape. The sloping angle of the top cable mimics the slope of Mt. Hood in the distance, while the 180-foot-tall towers at the bridge's center have angled tops that blend with the tree line. Taking it to the next level, aesthetic lighting works in direct synthesis with the environment: LED lights on the cables and towers change color based on the flow of the river, with the water’s temperature affecting the shifting hues and its speed setting the pace for the colors' movement across the bridge. Free. The bridge is wheelchair-accessible, with extra-wide pullouts around the towers where visitors can pause to take in the views. 5. Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge: Omaha, Nebraska, and Council Bluffs, Iowa (Courtesy VisitOmaha.com) At 3,000 feet, including its landings, the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge (visitomaha.com/bob) is the longest footbridge connecting two states, stretching over the Missouri River between Omaha, Nebraska, and Council Bluffs, Iowa. Since its official opening in 2008, the walkway has become so integral to the communities it links that it’s taken on a life of its own: Named for the former Nebraska governor and state senator who championed the project, it’s now known simply as Bob, an anthropomorphic structure with an active social-media presence and a few thousand followers. The cable-stayed bridge features 210-foot LED-lit pylons and a curving pathway that echoes the winding river beneath, hovering 60 feet above the Missouri at its midway point and connecting to 150 miles of nature trails and family-friendly public spaces on either side. Free. The bridge is wheelchair accessible and ADA-compliant. 6. Walkway Over the Hudson: Poughkeepsie, New York (Liz Van Steenburgh/Dreamstime) Opened in 1889 as the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge and transformed into a pedestrian trail in 2009, New York’s Walkway Over the Hudson (walkway.org) is a state park with a storied history. Originally introduced as an industrial line, the bridge was transporting passengers between major east coast cities within a year of its debut; during World War II, it was painted black to prevent against attacks, and in 1974 its tracks were destroyed by a fire likely sparked by a train’s brakes. Today, some half a million people travel the 1.28-mile footpath from Poughkeepsie to the town of Lloyd in Ulster County, soaking up gorgeous, 360-degree views of the Catskills and the Hudson Highlands from 212 feet above the river. For even more natural splendor, the linear park connects with two rail-trail networks, the Hudson Valley and the Dutchess, to offer 18 miles of walking and cycling in verdant environs.Free, except during special events. Both entrances are wheelchair accessible and ADA-compliant, and a 21-story glass elevator operates seasonally on the Poughkeepsie side. For travel inspiration, know-how, deals, and more, sign up for Budget Travel's free e-newsletter.

Budget Travel Lists

50 Best BBQ Restaurants in the U.S.

When our friends at Foursquare published their 50 top-ranked barbecue restaurants in the U.S. earlier this year, it got us thinking: Is there a better reason to explore America’s interstates, main streets, and backroads than authentic, smoky barbecue? Whether your appetite runs toward traditional brisket, ribs, and pulled pork, or toward cool new cultural fusions such as Asian-spiced chicken wings and BBQ-stuffed tacos, these 50 joints are enough to keep any gourmand busy for months or even years. Why We Love BBQ "One of the most exciting things about barbecue is that the best stuff is found in what might appear to be the unlikeliest of places," says Budget Travel’s senior editor Liza Weisstuch. When Liza ate at the original outpost of the famous Joe's Kansas City Barbecue, which is No. 1 on Foursquare’s ranked list and located in a gas station rest stop, she was surprised how many locals advised her to get there no later than 10AM, an hour before opening. She was even more surprised to find that when she got there—at 10AM, sharp—there were already more than 40 hungry people queued up outside. "The line of excited 'cue-lovers aside, the place had all the trappings of a roadside pit stop. Well, 'pit stop' indeed. The pit masters here crank out some of the most tender, swoon-worthy meats, worthy not only of the time spent on line, but a pilgrimage any carnivore should consider." Multicultural Riffs on BBQ Tradition As much as we love the BBQ traditions exemplified by joints such as Joe’s, we also love how the cuisine has evolved to include a variety of cultural influences, and one tasty example is right here in Budget Travel’s New York City backyard. “Hometown Bar-B-Que [No. 12 on Foursquare’s list] is, hands down, my favorite barbecue in New York City,” says Budget Travel associate editor Maya Stanton. “The brisket's fat-to-lean ratio is on point, so the meat basically melts in your mouth, and the smoky flavor is just out of this world. They also have these Vietnamese wings that seem overpriced until you get them—they’re the whole wing, not separated into individual flats/drumsticks, and pretty much perfect. The menu has a bunch of other fusiony options too, like jerk ribs, pulled-pork tacos, and lamb belly banh mi, so it’s a great place to try something outside of the usual regional styles.” Talk to Us: How Many of These 50 BBQ Joints Have You Tried? We’d love to hear how many of Foursquare’s top 50 BBQ joints you’ve tried so far—or tell us about your favorite BBQ that didn't make the (admittedly subjective) list: Post a comment below or share your best most alluring BBQ photos on Instagram, tagged #mybudgettravel. From down-home BBQ hot spots like Texas and Missouri to some surprises (one of the top 50 is all the way up in Vermont), these restaurants boast fantastic food and a more than a few wacky names (e.g., No. 11 is John Mull’s Meats & Road Kill, in Las Vegas; No. 46 is Meat U Anywhere, in Grapevine, TX). Where Will You Eat Next? Here, Foursquare's top 50 BBQ joints across the U.S.: Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Cue (Kansas City, MO) Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue (Tyler, TX) Eli’s BBQ (Cincinnati, OH) Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q (Atlanta, GA) Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (Rochester, NY) The Salt Lick (Driftwood, TX) Bogart’s Smokehouse (St. Louis, MO) Smoque BBQ (Chicago, IL) Q39 (Kansas City, MO) The Joint (New Orleans, LA) John Mull’s Meats & Road Kill Grill (Las Vegas, NV) Hometown Bar-B-Que (Brooklyn, NY) Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q (Austin, TX) Pappy’s Smokehouse (St. Louis, MO) Mighty Quinn’s BBQ (New York, NY) Central BBQ (Memphis, TN) Burn Co. BBQ (Tulsa, OK) Community Q BBQ (Decatur, GA) Smokin Pig BBQ (Pendleton, SC) Fette Sau (Brooklyn, NY) RayRay’s Hog Pit (Columbus, (OH) Green Street Smoked Meats (Chicago, IL) Little Miss BBQ (Phoenix, AZ) Heirloom Market BBQ (Atlanta, GA) Fat Matt’s Rib Shack (Atlanta, GA) Prohibition Pig (Waterbury, VT) Franklin Barbecue (Austin, TX) Chaps Pit Beef (Baltimore, MD) Saw’s BBQ (Homewood, AL) Slows Bar-B-Q (Detroit, MI) Andy Nelson’s Southern Pit Barbecue (Cockeysville, MD) Sweet P’s Barbeque & Soul House (Knoxbille, TN) Lockhart Smokehouse (Dallas, TX) La Barbecue Cuisine Texicana JR’s Barbeque (Culver City, CA) Pecan Lodge (Dallas, TX) Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse (Philadelphia) Freedmen’s (Austin, TX) Jethro’s BBQ (Des Moines, IA) Hard Eight BBQ (Coppell, TX) Southern Soul Barbeque (St. Simons Island, GA) Ace Biscuit & Barbecue (Charlottesville, VA) Alamo BBQ (Richmond, VA) 12 Bones Smokehouse (Asheville, NC) Aptos St. BBQ (Aptos, CA) Meat U Anywhere BBQ (Grapevine, TX) Midwood Smokehouse (Charlotte, NC) Phil’s BBQ (San Diego, CA) Hutchins BBQ & Brill (McKinney, TX) Blue Ribbon BBQ (Arlington, MA)

Budget Travel Lists

6 Things to Do in Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff Castle, a medieval wonder, sits right in the city center, its presence a reminder of this rejuvenated town's rich history. In Victorian times, Cardiff was a coal capital of the world until the industry fell off, taking the city down with it. But in the last two decades, major projects have been unveiled, like a sleek government building and a modern performing-arts center, both of which contributed to the rejuvenation of Cardiff Bay. The Welsh capital is a mere 150 miles from London, easy to get to by train or bus and surrounded by bucolic country villages. Here are a few things to do—and see and eat and drink—in this revitalized urban destination. 1. Explore Cardiff Castle (Stelios Kyriakides/Dreamstime) “I hope you like history, because I have 2000 years of it,” the guide said as he commenced a tour of Cardiff Castle (cardiffcastle.com). Indeed, the 11th-century castle, which was gifted to the city after World War II, is a living encyclopedia of Welsh history and architectural marvels. A tour is recommended so you can get a detailed explanation of the Roman ruins, the castle’s large structures, the ornate interior-design details, and the influential families that occupied its quarters over the centuries. Your ticket entitles you to an audio device for a self-guided tour of the castle grounds, including the keep. (You can climb a narrow, winding stairway to the top for sweeping city views). And make sure to visit the long underground tunnels: they served as a bomb shelter during WWII, and today, the stone walls are adorned with wartime-era posters and Churchill’s speeches are piped in on speakers. Also make time for the military museum in the basement of the welcome center, which chronicles three centuries of Welsh military history. 2. Walk Cardiff Bay The very first thing to do when you get to the city is not read a guidebook or ask your concierge where to go. Head straight Mermaid Quay, the rejuvenated stretch of Cardiff Bay, for a crash course in the history of the town. The port was one of the biggest in the world at the turn of the 20th century, thanks to the region’s huge coal reserves. Today it’s a destination anchored by the Millennium Arts Centre (wmc.org.uk), a sleek building that hosts opera, symphonies, and theatrical productions, and the Senedd (assemblywales.org/visiting/senedd), home to the National Assembly since it opened in 2004. There's also Pierhead (pierhead.org), the port's old office building that now houses an exhibit about Welsh democracy. Along the water, check out a display that explains the port's role in the city’s economy. Then take a stroll along the waterside paved path to see the church where native son Roald Dahl was christened, as well as an adorable alligator sculpture that pays tribute to the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author. From there, follow the crescent-shaped course just over two miles, across a short dam, to Penarth, a quaint town with shops, cafés, and casual eateries, or head back to the main area for a tour of the Senedd, coffee in the lobby of the Millennium Centre followed by a show, if you plan it right, and a twirl on the iconic waterside carousel. 3. Snack on Welsh Cakes (Liza Weisstuch) Italy has gelato, France has macaroons, and Tokyo has bubble tea. When it comes to sweets in this coastal capital, it’s all about Welsh cakes, a cross between a biscuit and a cake. You can sample an amazing variety of them around the city. At Fabulous Welsh Cakes (fabulouswelshcakes.co.uk), located in a shopping arcade a stone’s throw from Cardiff Castle, the staff prepares the cakes on a griddle visible through the window. They make over 50 flavors, which rotate regularly. At Victorian-style Pettigrew Tea Rooms (pettigrew-tearooms.com), you can have a more classic experience and order tea with your snack. Vegan options are available at Wild Thing (wildthingcardiff.com), an airy new eatery focused on meat- and dairy-free fare. And at the historic Cardiff Market, watch a small team of bakers in a compact kitchen make many flavors from start to finish, then taste them fresh from the oven. Just don't ask for jam. "You don't need anything on them, luv," the baker will tell you with a smile. 4. Raise a Glass to Beer Once upon a time, classic British pubs were your only option here. Today, however, craft beer is all the rage, and hip, lively bars serving lots of it are located just a few short blocks away from one another in the compact city center. Beelzebub (craftydevilbrewing.co.uk), which serves made-in-Cardiff Crafty Devil Brewing Company’s ales, is an airy pub with a long mahogany bar and outdoor seating that opened last year as a result of a crowd-funding effort. Get there early if the local rugby team is playing and even earlier if they’re playing at Principality Stadium, the nearby sports arena that’s home to the national rugby union team, as tables fill up fast. And don’t miss Tiny Rebel (tinyrebel.co.uk), a popular late-night haunt adorned with colorful murals. All the beers on tap are made at the brewery, about 13 miles north. 5. Shop Around Cardiff is a city of glass-covered arcades, many of which have been standing since Victorian times. There are plenty of familiar shops and souvenir depots occupying the storefronts here, as well as high-end retailers specializing in distinctly British products like tweed and wool clothing. But stay attentive while wandering through the sheltered cobblestone streets, and you’ll be rewarded by an assortment of small shops that capture Cardiff’s indie spirit, including Spillers (spillersrecords.com), which dates back to 1894, making it the oldest record store in the world. The Castle Emporium (thecastleemporium.co.uk) is a spacious old warehouse with a collection of distinctly local businesses, like Head Above the Waves (hatw.co.uk), the retail arm of a nonprofit that raises awareness—and money—to promote mental health in the music industry. The hats, shirts, and other merchandise are emblazoned with positive-reinforcement messages. The Sho Gallery (thesho.co.uk) sells what co-owner Dan Hardstaff describes as “bits and bobs,” like locally made greetings cards, jewelry, and art as well as novelty stationery items and home goods. All the framed artwork is for sale. If you need a skateboard, tattoo, or haircut, you can check that off your list at the Emporium, too. 6. Day-trip to Hay-on-Wye (S Richardson/Dreamstime) The countryside throughout the United Kingdom is dotted with villages that are typically described as charming and picturesque. Few, arguably, have the wow factor of Hay-on-Wye (hay-on-wye.co.uk), a small hamlet (population 1,500) about 60 miles north of Cardiff known as the Book Capital of the World. Some 250,000 literature fanatics flock here each spring for the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts, described by President Bill Clinton as the "Woodstock of the Mind" when he attended in 2001. The festival offers a packed schedule of talks, readings, and panel discussion with blockbuster writers, but bookworms make the pilgrimage-worthy journey here year-round because of the bookstores—nearly 30 at last count, all of them jam-packed, many of them featuring comfy couches and reading spaces, and most of them selling valuable antique volumes. There are themed shops, like ones that specialize in mystery or music, As well as antique stores, pubs, a market with local food and provisions, and a cheery modern general store called The Old Electric Shop, which sells charming home goods, handmade soaps, locally crafted wool hats and clothing, creative children’s gifts, and even more.

Budget Travel Lists

Music Lovers: 8 Hotels That Rock

These days, there’s a hotel out there playing your song. Whether your musical appetite skews along the lines of jazz, country, or good ole rock 'n' roll, you can find a property that combines comfort with creativity. Many highlight music memorabilia in the common areas and guest rooms, others offer fun features such as in-room record players, music lending libraries, and even a community radio station broadcast from the lobby. From coast to coast, each of these hotels has something special to offer any music lover. 1. Hotel Max: Seattle, Washington For anyone who's creatively inclined, a stay at Hotel Max, located six blocks from Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle, will really strike a chord. The first thing you see upon walking into the lobby is a signed bass guitar, the prototype of the one designed by Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic. On the fifth floor, the hotel partnered with Seattle’s most influential indie label, Sub Pop Records, to design 19 guest rooms, each equipped with turntables and a selection of curated vinyl, courtesy of the record label. Images by photographer Charles Peterson, who documented Seattle’s music scene during the late '80s and '90s, adorn rooms and hallways on this floor. But guests throughout the property can get a taste of Seattle’s grunge attitude with the hotel’s cheeky hoodie-style bathrobes. 2. Hotel Saint Cecilia: Austin, Texas (Nick Simonite) Named after the ancient Roman patron saint of musicians, Hotel Saint Cecilia draws inspiration from 1960s- and 1970s-era musicians and writers. It’s also a favorite spot for musicians to stay—the Foo Fighters recorded here and even named an album after the property. Each of the 14 rooms and suites are dedicated to a famous musician or artist, and guests are invited to borrow from the hotel's lending library of vintage LPs to play on the turntables in their room. Book lovers, meanwhile, can indulge in the collection of rock biographies and poetry anthologies. And for musicians, there's a concierge program that includes guitar loans in partnership with Gibson and private vintage-vinyl shopping services, courtesy of local music store Breakaway Records. 3. The Elizabeth Hotel: Fort Collins, Colorado (Courtesy The Elizabeth Hotel) From the artwork to the amenities, the Elizabeth Hotel incorporates a musical touch into seemingly everything. The hotel's lending library is stocked primarily with stringed instruments, but keyboards, amps, and accessories are also available for in-room jam sessions. Or borrow vinyl from the house collection of hundreds of records and create a personal soundtrack for your stay. For those seeking a more impressive experience, stay in the Music Suite, which features a classic baby grand piano as the centerpiece of a room decked out with music-themed art and decor. 4. The Evelyn Hotel: New York, New York The Evelyn Hotel in New York’s NoMad neighborhood dates back to 1905, when it first opened as Hotel Broztell. It’s since been re-christened in honor of Evelyn Nesbit, the famed 20th-century actress and model, and her influence can be found throughout the property. The hotel’s 159 Art Nouveau-influenced guest rooms pay homage to the style of the Jazz Age heyday with nods to nearby Tin Pan Alley, the once-scrappy street that inspired early jazz musicians' snappy sound. Signs of the hotel’s musical past are subtle but stylish—you’ll find touches like gramophones that connect to your smartphone, chandeliers mimicking the shape of a trombone, and music notes gracing bathroom tiles. 5. Hotel Preston: Nashville, Tennessee (Courtesy Provenance Hotels) When the Hotel Preston was renovated in October 2018, it was imbued with a free-spirited vibe that’s evident everywhere you turn. You’re in Music City, after all, so it should come as little surprise that you can call down to the front desk and have an acoustic guitar delivered to your room free of charge, along with a signature guitar pick as a souvenir. Featuring 196 guest rooms that channel the creativity of the city, the decor reflects the vibrancy of Nashville’s music scene. (See: neon signage that urges guests to "Hustle, Be Happy, and Shine On.") The hotel is also close to many of the city’s noted sites, like the Music City Walk of Fame. 6. The Moxy Hotel: San Diego, California Fun is the Moxy Hotel’s stock in trade, and that’s evident from the moment you arrive. But first, you have to find the check-in desk, which is cleverly combined with the lobby’s centerpiece, a fully stocked bar. In the evenings, this is the place to be, as a DJ spins dance hits while guests play a variety of arcade and board games, including a giant Jenga. There’s even a secret speakeasy hidden somewhere in the hotel. (Hint: you’ll need a password to gain entry.) The hotel is paces from the Gaslamp Quarter, where you’ll find several popular music venues, such as the House of Blues and Tin Roof. 7. Verb Hotel: Boston, Massachusetts The Verb Hotel is within walking distance to Boston’s centrally located Fenway Park, which makes it a great home base for tourists. (Just be sure to check the Red Sox schedule if you want to avoid the game-going crowds.) With rock ’n’ roll memorabilia like photos, instruments, and framed concert tickets scattered throughout the common spaces, the hotel feels like a temple to the city's music history. Record players and a small vinyl collection can be found in every room, and you can browse the record library, which is well-stocked with albums from local bands. The property, originally built as a Howard Johnson’s motor inn in 1959, was shuttered for many years before its refurbishment in 2014, a revamp that maintained its retro appeal. 8. Line DC: Washington, D.C. Housed in a former neoclassical church in the eclectic Adams Morgan neighborhood, Line DC is home to Full Service Radio, a community station that broadcasts out of the lobby and live-streams to each room. The station spotlights live performances by DJs and interviews with local musicians. Line’s 220 guest rooms incorporate an urban-chic aesthetic, with artwork and photography from local female artists. The hotel also features a satellite location for D.C.'s public library, stocked with books for young adults and children that can be checked out during a stay.

ADVERTISEMENT