Nothing beats a summer in New England. From the scenic sands of Cape Cod Bay to the expansive, windswept beaches of southern Maine, New England comes alive from June through August.
Millions of visitors flock to the northeast for a lobster roll and a relaxing summer vacation week. But, due to high demand, prices for hotels and the major hot spots can be astounding.
Luckily, FlipKey has got you covered. We looked at our summer rate data to determine which New England beach locales are looking like a total steal this year.
Book a vacation rental in one of these eight towns and you’ll enjoy the space, privacy, and amenities of home for a fraction of the cost. Result!
Buzzards Bay, MA | Avg Summer Weekly Rate: $1001
Compare to Barnstable, MA | $4283
In Massachusetts, Cape Cod is considered a slice of heaven on Earth. Demand for the towns along Route 6A creates a pricing level that many travelers struggle to meet. So what’s the secret to enjoying the Cape Cod experience while saving a few bucks? Booking a rental in Buzzards Bay, an area near the Bourne Bridge (the unofficial start of Cape Cod), of course! Here you can pay $3000 per week less than someone staying in Barnstable (a mid-Cape hotspot). Plus, you can drive and visit all the same Cape attractions and beaches while resting your head knowing you booked yourself an affordable New England beach vacation.
Dennis Port, MA | Avg Summer Weekly Rate $1685
Compare to West Hyannisport, MA | $4678
Despite its small scale, Dennis Port offers a variety of beaches on both its northern and southern borders. It’s easy to explore the Cape using Dennis Port as your home base. Two of the largest and most vibrant towns in the area, Hyannis and Provincetown, are less than 30 minutes away by car. A week in West Hyannisport, a similar oceanside Cape town, will cost you an eye-watering $3000 more.
Newburyport, MA | Avg Summer Weekly Rate $2065
Compare to Rockport, MA | $3198
The north shore of Massachusetts has its own don’t-miss charms, too. Take Newburyport, for example. Anchored on a rich Maritime heritage, this seaside town offers a lifestyle that is second-to-none. Stroll along the brick-lined downtown and watch the street performers ply their trade on colonial cobblestones. For your days at the beach, drive over to sandy, serene Plum Island at the northern tip of the town. If you plan to spend a week in historic Rockport instead, you’ll be coughing up an extra $1200.
Hampton, NH | Avg Summer Weekly Rate $1777
Compare to Meredith, NH | $3830
Travel northbound on the same stretch of sand as Plum Island and you’ll land in Hampton, New Hampshire. Hampton Beach State Park is the main attraction here as thousands of tourists enjoy the swimming, hiking, and picnic areas offered. For the non-beach crowd that still loves the sun, spend the day zooming down the slides at Water Country, New England’s largest water park. In Meredith, another New Hampshire summer hot spot, you’ll be forking over $2100 more for a rental.
Narragansett, RI | Avg Summer Weekly Rate $2366
Compare to Newport, RI | $3295
For an affordable New England vacation, you’ll want to head to Narragansett in little Rhode Island, where the town beach is the star. Don’t forget to get out of the sun for a while and tour one of the area’s famous lighthouses, Point Judith Lighthouse, which has been warning sailors since before the American Revolution. You’ll be saving a boatload choosing Narragansett over Newport, where you’d be spending $1000 more for a week’s stay.
Old Saybrook, CT | Avg Summer Weekly Rate $2208
Compare to East Hampton, CT | $2717
Bordered on two sides by the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound, Old Saybrook embodies the spirit of small town waterfront living. After a few days spent frolicking on Harvey’s Beach, you should explore the area on the Old Saybrook Walking Tour, a self-guided jaunt from the railroad station to the “millstone” highlighting 37 homes, churches and buildings. If driving is more your speed, the Old Saybrook Loop Ride is a 10-mile scenic circle to the Long Island Sound and back again. A week in East Hampton, CT will cost you $500 more than a week in Old Saybrook for a similar rental.
Wells, ME | Avg Summer Weekly Rate $1838
Compare to Kennebunkport, ME | $3894
Wells is a friendly Maine beach town without the pomp. You’ll find seven miles of oceanfront to explore, including Crescent Beach and Drake’s Island Beach. You can reconnect with nature in Wells, too. At the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, you can hike along the one-mile Carson Trail, which meanders through pine woods and offers views of tidal salt marshes. If you’d prefer a week in upscale Kennebunkport, be prepared to shell out $2000 extra clams.
Swan’s Island, ME | Avg Summer Weekly Rate $1118
Compare to Mount Desert, ME | $2936
For an unforgettable, affordable visit to Acadia National Park in the summer, avoid a rental in nearby Bar Harbor, and choose to take the ferry over to Swan’s Island, instead. The six-mile ocean crossing takes about 30 minutes. And when you get there? There’s a quarry for swimming on the island, as well as scenic places to visit on foot or bicycle. Staying on Mount Desert Island proper will cost you an extra $1800 for the week.
We’ve done all the hard work and found all the hidden gems. The rest is up to you. Plan and book your best New England trip yet (at an affordable price) with FlipKey!
Want to expand your beach weekend beyond New England? Check out the best beach weekends in the Northeast from our friends at TripAdvisor!