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8 Last-Minute Affordable Summer Getaways
As the end of summer nears, squeezing in one more vacation before the fall arrives sounds like a spectacular idea. With hotels, airlines and car rentals offering massive deals and incentives to book before the end of the summer, the only question you have to ask yourself really is, why not? This year, top summer hotspots are Orlando, Las Vegas, and Myrtle Beach followed by Maui, New York City, Key West, and New Orleans according to a recent study, but if you’re looking for something less crowded we’ve got you covered. Our best advice for saving money is to book these flight and hotel deals now! Bangor, Maine This offbeat alternative to Portland, Maine, is a hub for good food, great music and is home to a growing art scene. Bangor is the gateway to many outdoor activities, whether visiting Moosehead Lake or hiking through Baxter State Park. Bangor is easy to get to with the Bangor International Airport located conveniently in the center of the city. Acadia National Park is also close by and can be reached in a short one-hour drive. At the park, visitors can stop at the popular Sand Beach or explore the famous Carriage Roads. The annual Dark Sky Festival (Sep 25-29) is a starry-eyed way to wrap up the perfect summer. Read more: 25 Gorgeous American Lighthouses Cancun, Mexico Mexico is always a good idea. Just a hop, skip and a jump from the US, Cancun lies at the heart of the Mexican Caribbean. With direct airlift and easy access to the Yucatan's most amazing sights – from the ruins of Chichen Itza, to the cenotes of Tulum – Cancun is a destination ideal for a last-minute summer vacay. If shopping is more your speed, book a guided shopping tour in Playa del Carmen to find your most precious souvenir (think vibrant textiles and maybe even a hammock?) for just $19.99 through GetYourGuide. Set your out of office and book a room at the newly renovated JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, a sprawling resort with 447 ocean-facing guest rooms, all of which peer out over the palm-studded grounds. Lake Atitlán, Guatemala If you’re looking to explore a little further than Mexico, Lake Atitlán in Guatemala has your name written all over it. It’s easy to get lost in the lake’s natural beauty that has been dubbed, the “most beautiful lake in the world” for it’s breathtaking views of three volcanoes. Perched on the shore of Lake Atitlán in the Guatemalan highlands is Casa Palopó, a former home-turned-boutique hotel offering a Labor Day weekend rate of $188 per night, which includes free airport transfers. Sign us up! Joshua Tree, California Before the busy autumn season sets in, take some time to fully immerse yourself in nature at Joshua Tree, part of the Greater Palm Springs region of California. It’s home to Joshua Tree National Park and some of the best stargazing in the state. Within the national park, lives Cholla Cactus Garden (don’t forget your camera for this trail of massive succulents), a multitude of various levels of hiking trails and lookouts like Keys View that offers panoramic views of the Coachella Valley. The average nightly rate for a hotel is under $200 with a variety of last-minute deals available on Hotel Tonight. Portland, Oregon Portland is a perfect summer getaway with plenty of water adventures available on the city’s rivers and affordable eats. The city is a veritable food truck heaven, with food truck pods popping up all over the city. For more stationary eats, check out Hey Love, a popular local joint with a fresh summer menu. A 90-minute day trip gives you access to Mt. Hood National Forest, the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area, Willamette Valley Wine Country and the Oregon Coast. Hotel Monaco Portland is a home base for your P-Town escapades, offering free perks like nightly socials with complimentary local beer and wine, and free bike rentals to cruise the cycle-friendly city. And good news, little Fido got an invite because pets stay free! Check out their hotel deals page for discounts of up to 25 percent off nightly rates. Read more: 7 Exceptional American Food Halls Nassau, Bahamas Sitting beachside with a piña colada in hand in the Bahamas sounds like the definition of vacation. So why not make it happen? Beach, swim, sleep, repeat is the motto at Breezes Bahamas, an all-inclusive resort located on the powdery, white sands of legendary Cable Beach. Guests can enjoy land and water activities ranging from rock-wall climbing, tennis, beach volleyball, kayaking and windsurfing, all of which include complimentary instruction and equipment. Breezes is offering a "Summer Savings" deal with rates as low as $140 per night for bookings until August 31st. The deal includes all meals, drinks, land and water sports, daily activities, and nightly entertainment. Cleveland, Ohio Located on the shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland is a warm-weather paradise with beaches galore and waterfalls and hiking trails twenty minutes outside the heart of downtown Cleveland at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The charming lakefront town has a welcoming “come as you are” attitude and a walkable downtown area. The average hotel nightly rate is well under $200, and the city has a free trolley system throughout downtown. Other free activities include concerts, museums and more. Ljubljana, Slovenia The fairy tale–like country of Slovenia is an affordable under-the-radar destination for summer travel. Situated just 20-minutes away from Jože Pučnik Airport, the centrally located capital city of Ljubljana is the perfect place to start exploring Slovenia. In the summertime, quaint outdoor cafes, bustling food markets and lively festivals line the historic streets. From Ljubljana, most of Slovenia’s iconic sites can be reached in under an hour. Travelers can view the serene beauty of Lake Bled in the Julian Alps or experience Slovenian wine in the stunning vineyards. Cheers to that!
Get to Know: Cannon Beach, OR, One of the Coolest Small Towns in America 2017
Cannon Beach, Oregon is no. 6 on Budget Travel’s list of the 10 Coolest Small Towns in America 2017. Here’s the magic number to remember when you think about this breathtaking oceanside town: 363. That’s how many miles of shoreline there are here, each mile as stunning as the last, especially the stretch where you can take in the views of the iconic Haystack Rock, a majestic millions-years-old boulder 235 feet from the shoreline. Colorful tidepools swirl around it and all sorts of birds as well as puffins gather there and you can walk right up to it in low tide. But any of the many places to stay along the water, from rustic B&Bs to more posh resorts, offer quite a vista to wake up to. Needless to say, Cannon Beach is a mecca for outdoor sports. There are plenty of spots for surfers to catch waves and calmer areas for kayakers. Hiking amid some of the world’s tallest trees in Ecola State Park or bike rides along the local expanse of the 382-mile Oregon Coast Trail are ways for landlubbers to spend the days. The Lost Art of Nursing Museum, and the Columbia River Maritime Museum, a treasure trove of maritime objects, are just a few of the institutions that give visitors a sense of the area’s rich and varied history. But to get back to the future, this being Oregon, there are vast dining and drinking options that far exceed what you’d expect for such a small town. Pig N Pancake and Crepe Neptune are among the tempting options for breakfast fare. Dinner is a thrilling array of everything from family-owned Ecola Seafood, which specializes in the local catch, to the elegant, chill Seasons Café, known for its elevated, creative twists salads and sandwiches along with local beer and wine, and the quirky Cannon Beach Hardware and Public House, where you can chow down on pub grub and shop for tools, camping gear, and paint supplies. The originality of that spot alone is enough to have us booking our ticket.
More Places to go
Yachats ( YAH-hahts) is a small coastal city in the southernmost area of Lincoln County, Oregon, United States. According to Oregon Geographic Names, the name comes from the Siletz language and means "dark water at the foot of the mountain". There is a range of differing etymologies, however. William Bright says the name comes from the Alsea placename yáx̣ayky (IPA: /ˈjaχajkʲ/). At the 2010 census, the city's population was 690. In 2007, Budget Travel magazine named Yachats one of the "Ten Coolest Small Towns of the U.S.A.", and Yachats was chosen among the top 10 U.S. up-and-coming vacation destinations by Virtualtourist. In 2011, Arthur Frommer, founder of Frommer's Travel Guides, listed Yachats number seven among his ten favorite vacation destinations in the world.
Newport is a city in Lincoln County, Oregon, United States. It was incorporated in 1882, though the name dates back to the establishment of a post office in 1868. Newport was named for Newport, Rhode Island. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 9,989, an increase of nearly 5% over its 2000 population; as of 2019, it had an estimated population of 10,853.The area was originally home to the Yacona tribe, whose history can be traced back at least 3000 years. White settlers began homesteading the area in 1864. The town was named by Sam Case, who also became the first postmaster.Newport has been the county seat of Lincoln County since 1952, when voters approved a measure to move the center of government from nearby Toledo to Newport. It is also home of the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Nye Beach, Yaquina Head Light, Yaquina Bay Light, Pacific Maritime Heritage Center and Rogue Ales, and is notable as the western terminus of U.S. Route 20, the longest road in the United States.
Eugene ( yoo-JEEN) is a city in the U.S. state of Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest. It is at the southern end of the Willamette Valley, near the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette rivers, about 50 miles (80 km) east of the Oregon Coast.As of the 2010 census, Eugene had a population of 156,185; it is the county seat of Lane County and the state's third most populous city after Portland and Salem, though recent state estimates suggest its population may have surpassed Salem's. The Eugene-Springfield, Oregon metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is the 146th largest metropolitan statistical area in the US and the third-largest in the state, behind the Portland Metropolitan Area and the Salem Metropolitan Area. The city's population for 2019 was estimated to be 172,622 by the U.S. Census.Eugene is home to the University of Oregon, Bushnell University, and Lane Community College. The city is noted for its natural environment, recreational opportunities (especially bicycling, running/jogging, rafting, and kayaking), and focus on the arts, along with its history of civil unrest, protests, and green activism. Eugene's official slogan is "A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors". It is also referred to as the "Emerald City" and as "Track Town, USA". The Nike corporation had its beginnings in Eugene. In 2022, the city will host the 18th Track and Field World Championships.
Coos Bay (Coos language: Atsixiis) is a city located in Coos County, Oregon, United States, where the Coos River enters Coos Bay on the Pacific Ocean. The city borders the city of North Bend, and together they are often referred to as one entity called either Coos Bay-North Bend or Oregon's Bay Area. Coos Bay's population as of the 2010 census was 15,967 residents, making it the most populous city on the Oregon Coast. Oregon's Bay Area is estimated to be home to 32,107 (Coos Bay 16,700; North Bend 9,925; Charleston 795).