Tacking on an extra day to the weekend can make a world of difference after a long week in the office. And what better way to take advantage of some much-needed time off than to book a quick trip?
Whether you prefer lazy days at the beach or a history-filled excursion, we’ve highlighted seven of the best destinations for an affordable long weekend getaway along the Eastern Seaboard. Each place offers a variety of vacation rentals to choose from and endless East Coast appeal—all for less than $500!
“If one is looking for a step into the past of Lowcountry South Carolina, it is right here.”—FlipKey Traveler
Situated on Port Royal Island, in the heart of South Carolina’s Sea Islands, Beaufort is an idyllic choice for an affordable long weekend getaway. It’s the second oldest city in the state, with gorgeous antebellum mansions, centuries-old oak trees, and period architecture epitomizing its historic charm. When you’re not strolling down Main Street, or browsing at one of the local art galleries (Beaufort has close to 20!), retreat to the comfort of your rental. No matter where you stay, you’ll never be more than minutes from the waterfront!
“We couldn’t have asked for a better trip. Ocean was gorgeous, soft sand, more shells than I could ever imagine and plenty to do.”—FlipKey Traveler
Panama City is so much more than just a spring break destination. With year-round sunshine and a slew of family-friendly activities, it’s a wonderful place to visit—even for a few days. Book an oceanfront home and roll out of bed onto the beach each morning, or choose a high-rise condo and enjoy loads of amenities at your fingertips. When you’re not chilling at your rental, take advantage of the abundant water-sports around St. Andrews Bay. Water-skiing, snorkeling and deep-sea fishing are always popular.
“I can honestly say that I don’t remember ever staying in a place that was so beautiful and peaceful—something we all treasure in our hectic lives, even for just a little while.”—FlipKey Traveler
Climb aboard a ferry from Boston and cruise across the bay to the tip of Cape Cod. You’ll dock just down the road from your final destination: Wellfleet. This town is situated on a narrow strip of land hugged by the sea on both sides. It’s renowned for its stunning seashore, world-famous oysters, and eclectic culture. Make the most of your long weekend here by exploring the area via bicycle or hopping from art gallery to art gallery on Main Street. Not in a rush? Let time stand still as you watch fishing boats, trawlers, and yachts come and go out of Wellfleet Harbor.
“The sound is peaceful, and we loved watching the wildlife—we even saw a river otter swim by early one morning. A really great trip to Emeriald Isle as always!”—FlipKey Traveler
A slice of paradise along North Carolina’s coast, Emerald Isle boasts 29 miles of blissful beachscape and outdoor activities galore. The best part about this destination, though? You can stay steps from the beach, without breaking the bank! Even if you don’t choose an oceanfront home, it’s easy to find a wooden boardwalk that will lead you through the swaying dunes and down to the ocean. Whether you’re swimming in the Atlantic Ocean or flying kites along the water’s edge, the whole family will be happy on vacation in Emerald Isle.
“Couldn’t have asked for a better place for our 20th Girls’ Weekend. A great time in Ogunquit, Maine!”—FlipKey Traveler
Ogunquit is the picture of New England charm: boats bobbing in the harbor, luscious seafood fresh off the boat, and quaint cottages right near the beach. The town’s name even translates to mean “beautiful place by the sea.” It features over three miles of sandy beaches and coastline, making it the ultimate place to relax and unwind after a busy week. From sunbathing and strolling, to sailing and deep sea fishing, there’s plenty to do in Ogunquit!
“Family members explored the quaint seaport and enjoyed fine seafood restaurants. Plum Island’s beaches and natural areas were explored by others.”—FlipKey Traveler
Get your dose of the beach in Newburyport, a charming East Coast town just 35 miles north of Boston. It sits along the water, where the Merrimack River and Atlantic Ocean meet, and features a vibrant town center with local restaurants and shops. During your stay, slip into routine grabbing coffee on your way out to Plum Island each morning. Use your afternoons to discover the area’s rich maritime history or to laze about on your rental’s back deck. Newburyport is an affordable long weekend getaway spot you don’t want to miss this summer.
“Perfect in every way!! I loved taking my coffee outside every morning and looking at the water. Fenwick is such a wonderful place to vacay.”—FlipKey Traveler
If you enjoy the beach, you’ll love Fenwick Island! Tucked along the Delaware-Maryland border, this affordable long weekend getaway spot is a coastal gem offering picturesque state parks, family-friendly amusements and more. Decide between a round of putt-putt, a boat ride through the bay, or a lazy day at the beach—you can’t go wrong, no matter what you decide! If you tire of the laid-back beach vibes, the excitement of Ocean City, Maryland is just down the road.
*Weekly rates reflect the median rates for a two-bedroom rental in that destination from June-August 2017, according to FlipKey data.