These Are Officially the Best Budget-Friendly Beach Vacations to Take This Summer
10. Surfside Beach, South Carolina
Nicknamed “The Family Beach,” this Lowcountry gem offers plenty of fun for all ages, from its two miles of pristine beaches to the recently rebuilt pier (damaged in Hurricane Matthew in 2016). In the summer, twice-weekly farmers markets, a concert series, festivals, and beach cleanups attract visitors from all over.
9. Bar Harbor, Maine
Everyone knows Maine is absolutely divine in the summer, with its warm, dry weather and cool ocean breezes. Bar Harbor is especially stunning with its jaw-dropping natural beauty (it’s flanked by Acadia National Park on one side and Frenchman Bay on the other).
8. Annapolis, Maryland
Home to the U.S. Naval Academy, a wealth of maritime history, and some of the freshest crab found along the Chesapeake Bay, this charming harbor town has more than enough to do both on and off the water.
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7. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Sixty miles of beaches, amusement parks, outlet malls—Myrtle Beach has something to delight every type of traveler, which is why it consistently ranks among the top summer destinations for families. The long stretch of sand means there are plenty of oceanfront stays available, and many at a reasonable cost.
6. Tampa, Florida
With plenty of big city amenities to offer—from pro sports teams to Busch Gardens—this Florida getaway combines urban excitement with some of the prettiest beaches around. Tourism is down in the summer, so in addition to lower-cost stays, you’ll also find thinned crowds at the amusement park and aquarium.
5. Biloxi, Mississippi
Couples looking for a wallet-conscious coastal escape often head to Biloxi, where you can find a retreat with beach access for a bargain, along with charming cultural sites and eateries. Just be careful not to blow too much at the town’s famous casinos.
4. Daytona, Florida
While this sunny escape might have a reputation for attracting rowdy Spring Breakers and racing fans, in the summer months, Daytona is a laid-back—and affordable—vacation option. In addition to the 20 miles of beaches, guests can explore the historic Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Museum and the Museum of Arts and Sciences.
3. Boca Raton, Florida
Just south of Palm Beach, this stereotypically ritzy enclave sees hotel prices plummet come summertime. Snowbirds have also fled north, making beaches and other attractions, from nature preserves to art museums, significantly less crowded.
2. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
This South Florida gem is known as the “Venice of America,” with 165 miles of waterway and more yachts than any other city in the country. Like the Caribbean, more visitors come here in winter and spring, so flights and hotel prices are typically cheaper in the summer months.
1. Fort Myers, Florida
Just north of pricier Naples, this quiet Gulf Coast town draws visitors with its splendid white-sand beaches and historic homes—including ones that once belonged to Henry Ford and Thomas Edison (they’re now museums). Outside of the beaches and historic sights, nature buffs can visit wildlife refuges for a chance to spot mangroves, coastal birds, and even alligators.