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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer. The first chance to head to the beach, spend time with family, and work on your base tan.
On FlipKey, we have over 170,000 vacation rentals available in the USA for MDW. No matter where you choose to celebrate our military heroes, consider booking a rental which has the space, privacy, and amenities you’re used to at home.
To help with your decision-making process, we’ve picked 10 top destinations that are not only generating interest, but that all have a median nightly rate under $100 (2BR) over the long weekend. Here’s to your best Memorial Day yet!
Rich in history, Lewes, DE is known as ‘The First Town In the First State”, and is one of Delaware’s top summer destinations for MDW and beyond. Situated where the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay converge, visitors flock to Lewes for the Maritime Festival on Sunday (featuring historical reenactments and ship tours) and the traditional Memorial Day parade on Monday.
Grab your hiking gear and your fishing pole and head to Washington, Utah for the long weekend. Located next to the beautiful Zion National Park and Snow Canyon State Park, southwestern Utah is an outdoorsy-type’s dream.
All the sandy beaches, palm trees and flawless weather of Clearwater and Tampa, but none of the crowds. Seminole is an affordable alternative to some of the other major west Florida locales. The Memorial Day Sunset Ceremony in nearby Largo, featuring a color guard demonstration and live military music, is well-worth a visit.
A family-oriented alternative to nearby Atlantic City, Stone Harbor has resisted the development of high-rise buildings and large tourist numbers common in many other beach towns. Stone Harbor has a full slate of events for MDW including a touch football tournament right on the beach. Game on!
Adventure in West Virginia starts in Fayetteville, a town right in the heart of the New River Gorge. Kayaking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking and the world’s best rock climbing are all outside your door. And speaking of the great outdoors, park movie showings and a spring trail run both top the Memorial Day weekend activities. When you’re feeling hungry from all the action, don’t miss out on a meal at Cathedral Cafe, a turn-of-the-century converted church with towering stained-glass windows.
Bordered by the cities of Sarasota and Venice, Nokomis is justifiably known for its beautiful seashore. Visitors to Nokomis enjoy friendly small-town living and a relaxed, beach-town atmosphere. Don’t leave after the long weekend without stopping at Nokomis Groves, a farm where families can fill a self-picked bag of oranges and try a cone of fruit-infused soft serve ice cream.
Southport is located on the North Carolina coast, where the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean. This small, 2.2 square mile village is a stunning combination of historic residences, lush coastal landscaping, and miles of water in every direction. Take cover during MDW, though. Southport’s annual Memorial Day observance, Days of Remembrance, features a firing of the Historical Society’s cannon “Thor.”
Yucca Valley is the gateway to Joshua Tree National Park, an incredible desert setting with rock formations and undiscovered trails that beg to be explored. Try not to spend all your time out in the park, though, because within the town limits there are plenty of fun activities for your holiday weekend. Known locally as the “Grubstake Events”, sign up for horseshoe tournament, a round of golf, and even a tug-of-war.
With more than 300 acres of parks and 100 acres of undeveloped open space, Greenwood Village is a smart alternative to staying in downtown Denver. The trail system provides 40 miles of scenic walking and biking areas. Prefer a slower pace to your weekend? Check out the public art exhibits at Samson Park, or see a concert at The Curtis Arts & Humanities Center.
South of Las Vegas and west of Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, Henderson comes alive over Memorial Day weekend. Golf any of eight championship courses or explore the Botanical Cactus Garden, the world’s largest cactus collection. Henderson lets you come up close and personal with wildlife, too. Take your binoculars to the Bird Viewing Preserve or spend the day among the big cats at the Lion Habitat Ranch.
The tax deadline has come and gone and now you’re eagerly waiting for that refund to hit your bank account… and probably daydreaming about where to spend it. While you might feel obligated to save that money (the average tax refund is $3,120 according to the IRS), you’ve worked hard this year and there’s no reason not to spoil yourself!
To inspire you, we looked at the median weekly rate for a 2-bedroom rental in the US this summer. What we found were 10 surprisingly affordable places your tax refund will cover. Here they are, along with our favorite free attraction in each city.
Just 22 miles off the coast of California and easy to reach by sea or air, Catalina Island is the picture-perfect place to spend your tax refund. Cruise along in your golf cart to explore the coast and feel the refreshing sea breeze whip through your hair. Packed your swimsuit? Reserve a cabana at Descanso Beach Club or dive into the Gulf of Santa Catalina to snorkel alongside schools of colorful fish. Book a rental in the hills and wake up to ocean views each morning—you’ll feel a million miles away from the mainland!
Beautiful brownstones, succulent seafood, avid sports fans, and centuries-old history: in a word, Boston. Discover the story of America’s founding at every turn while visiting this classic New England city. The 2.5-mile Freedom Trail can’t be missed, while a peaceful swan boat ride through the Public Garden is the pinnacle of a sunny summer day in the city. Check out exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts, browse trendy shops on Newbury Street, or take a tour of Fenway Park. No matter what you do, Boston will quickly work its way into your heart.
In Charleston, you’ll indulge in gourmet food, admire swoon-worthy antebellum mansions, embrace the meaning of Southern hospitality, and so much more. Head to Fort Sumter to see where the first shot of the Civil War was fired, or keep things light with a stroll past Rainbow Row down to the waterfront. The Charleston City Market combines history and shopping, while King Street offers a plethora of restaurants and bars, perfect for an evening jaunt. On your way out of town, stop to walk across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge—the amazing views and photo-ops make the 5-mile walk well worth it!
Washington, DC may be known for its high-profile diplomats and government agencies, but it’s more than just a hub for US politics. It’s made up of many neighborhoods, each with its own personality and appeal. If history is what excites you, spend an afternoon at the National Mall marveling at the city’s most iconic landmarks. Tour world-class art museums or get a taste of DC’s buzzing social scene in Dupont Circle. Stay in a modern apartment near M Street to be close to nightlife or opt for a place downtown and discover the history of our nation’s capital—all within walking distance.
From city parks draped in Spanish moss to celebrated museums, haunting sites and five-star dining, Savannah will tick all the boxes on your vacation checklist. Wander through the Historic District where period architecture will transport you back in time; take five under the shade of a massive oak tree in Forsyth Park; or tour the famed Bonaventure Cemetery (if you dare!). At the end of the day, retreat to the comfort of your Victorian home’s veranda allowing yourself to be seduced by Savannah’s Southern charm.
Whether you dance your way down Bourbon Street, feast on mouthwatering Creole dishes, or experience the city’s supernatural side, New Orleans always shows visitors a good time. Want to be in the center of it all? Saunter down the streets of the French Quarter known for its high-energy, vibrant nightlife and rich history—the soulful grooves of jazz music are inescapable here! Prefer something more laid-back? No problem. Tour The National WWII Museum, followed by a cup of cafe au lait and a beignet at Cafe du Monde.
Meander the San Antonio’s River Walk, following the scent of spicy chili wafting in the air. Lined by bars, restaurants, public art and nature, the 2.5-mile stretch along the river showcases the best of the city. Of course, you can’t forget a visit to The Alamo either! The former mission has long been a symbol of San Antonio’s storied past and is an absolute must for all visitors. Other popular attractions include the spectacular Natural Bridge Caverns, the Majestic Theatre, and the tranquil San Antonio Botanical Garden.
Marco Island’s sprawling beaches, colorful sunsets, and tropical drinks will have you in vacation mode in no time. Choose an oceanfront rental and roll out of bed onto the beach each morning. Whether you’re walking the sugary sands of Marco Island or taking flight on a parasailing adventure, the beauty of this destination never dulls. Looking for more ways to enjoy island time? Retreat to the spa or book a tee time at the local country club.
Hidden away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, vacationers have described a visit to Lake Lure as “luxuriously lazy” and “a treat.” That’s because a day here consists of casting your fishing line into the lake as your toes dangle off the dock, cruising along the shore via pontoon boat, and reveling in the beauty of your surroundings. Need another reason to love Lake Lure? You won’t have to spend your entire tax refund to stay here.
With its proximity to Disney World—only 20 minutes away!—and its affordable median weekly rate, Davenport is an obvious choice for families looking to make the most of their tax refund. When you’re not at the theme parks, play catch at the park, take a dip in the pool (most Davenport homes have one!) or eat out at one of the many local restaurants. For less than $650/week, get on your family’s good side and book a stay in Davenport ASAP.
What if we told you that you could rent a gorgeous villa just steps from the beach for less than $150/night? It’s true!
We looked at the average nightly rate for a two-bedroom rental on FlipKey and assure you it is possible to visit some of the world’s best beach locales this summer, without breaking the bank. From the jaw-dropping shores of Thailand to the photogenic beaches of Hawaii, our list spans the globe. With plenty of vacation rentals to choose from and free beach access in each destination, here’s our countdown of the most affordable summer beach destinations for the vacation of your dreams!
“This was the perfect place to spend a week at the beach. I can’t wait to go back!” – FlipKey Traveler
Sunset Beach is a haven for beach-lovers, golf enthusiasts…and vacationers on a budget. Situated along the picturesque coast of North Carolina, this destination buzzes with life during the summer months. Book a tee time at Thistle Golf Club or reflect on the beach before dropping a heartfelt note in the Kindred Spirits Mailbox. Don’t let the day escape without indulging in some soft shell crab at a local seafood shack. If you tire of things to do (and we doubt you will!), Myrtle Beach is just a short drive over the border in South Carolina and offers lots of free things to do.
“If Paradise exists on Earth, it is probably here!” – FlipKey Traveler
Collect your flower lei at the airport, then leave the congested tourist towns behind and head to Pahoa. This small town in Hawaii is known for its stunning natural beauty and refreshingly tranquil setting. The best part about Pahoa? One minute you can be horseback riding through the tropical Jungle of Kapoho and the next you’re walking along otherworldly black-sand beaches. Whether your heart’s set on a cozy beachfront cottage nestled along the Pacific Coast or you prefer a secluded hideaway surrounded by lush forests, there’s a place for all price ranges in Pahoa.
“The accommodation was perfect, the setting gorgeous and the pool provided a welcome backdrop for our days.” – FlipKey Traveler
Situated on the island of Bali, this sliver of beach paradise is an obvious choice for a summer getaway. Opt for a luxurious villa near the namesake Lovina Beach and everything the area has to offer will be at your fingertips. Whether you wander its black-sand shores or climb aboard an early-morning dolphin watch through the Bali Sea, you’ll want to get in as much as you can while visiting Lovina Beach! Schedule a massage by the sea, sign up for a traditional Balinese cooking class, and experience the local culture—you can do it all without breaking the bank.
“Paradise at its best!!! If you want a place to kick back and just let your hair down, this is the place.” – FlipKey Traveler
Aguadilla has it all: world-class beaches, an interesting historic district, a variety of eclectic Caribbean restaurants—even an ice skating complex! Lather on sunscreen and spend your days under the sun at Crash Boat Beach—from swimming and snorkeling to surfing and sunbathing, the possibilities are endless at this popular beach spot. When you need a break from the sun, discover the ruins of the Old Aguadilla Lighthouse or simply relax, piña colada in hand, in the comfort of your rental. For less than $121/night, make sure to book a place on the water so you can wake up to the sound of waves crashing along the coast each morning.
“Vero Beach offered all of the amenities of a tourist town, without the noise and traffic. The atmosphere was one of quiet and relaxation.” – FlipKey Traveler
In Vero Beach, hot summer days are best spent by the beach. Grab your boogie board and ride the surf at Wabasso Beach Park or laze the day away on the unspoiled shores of South Beach Park. Prefer to stay dry? Hop in a kayak to explore the serene inlets surrounding Round Island Beach Park. Keep your camera ready as manatees, turtles, dolphins, and more are known to make an appearance here. Away from the water, this affordable summer beach spot offers high-end shopping, delectable cuisine, and a laid-back atmosphere that will keep you returning year after year.
“What a quiet and relaxing time we had for our 10 days in paradise. WE HIT THE JACKPOT!!!” – FlipKey Traveler
Feel the spirit of Bob Marley and embrace the tranquil island vibes during a summer getaway in Kingston. Jamaica’s capital, this cosmopolitan destination offers visitors many options: fascinating cultural landmarks, historic museums, and miles of breathtaking beaches to name a few. Whether you’re exploring the Blue Mountains’ exotic jungle landscape or soaking up sun at a nearby beach, you’ll enjoy Jamaica for its affordable rentals and its countless adventures.
“Would 10/10 recommend to anyone looking for an inexpensive but luxurious stay.” – FlipKey Traveler
Bargain-hunting travelers will find great rental deals in Jacksonville! Whether it’s a day spent frolicking in the waves at Atlantic Beach, or an evening grilling on your rental deck, there are countless ways to relaxing in Jacksonville. It’s the perfect place for those who want to enjoy nature, while still having the conveniences of a big city.
“Our stay was everything and more. We also met the neighborhood turtle!” – FlipKey Traveler
Located on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, Venice is a beach bum’s dream. Plant yourself near the water’s edge and let the emerald waves lap your toes as you doze. When you’re not relaxing, walk the beach in search of shells. Venice is the shark tooth capital of the world and you never know what unexpected treasures might wash ashore. In town, wander down Venice Avenue to see the area’s iconic pink architecture, or settle in for the evening at your rental. From Mediterranean-style homes to waterfront condos, there’s a place for everyone—and every budget!
“We loved walking along the sea wall, with waves crashing on our right & the cliffs on our left. We’d really recommend this place!” – FlipKey Traveler
Experience Madeira during the summer months when the sun is shining, the sky is a brilliant blue and temperatures remain comfortably in the 70s. While there are countless places to hit the beach throughout the island, heading inland to explore is equally rewarding. Climb to the top of Pico Arieiro for incredible panoramic views or admire the colorful Palheiro Gardens in Funchal. End each day watching the sunset over the water while sipping a glass of Madeira wine. Does it get any better?
“Sa Noi Beach is only 5 minutes away and is our favorite beach in Thailand because of how quiet and beautiful it is with mountains on each side of the beach.” – FlipKey Traveler
With a plethora of budget-friendly villas and bargain beach homes, it’s no surprise that Khao Tao tops our list of affordable summer beach vacations. Snap a selfie with the giant gold Buddha at the temple of Wat Tham Khao Tao then continue on to the beach. The area is renowned for its amazing coral reefs, and with lots of cheap diving courses available, you’ll be an expert diver by the end of your stay. Expect hot and humid weather with sea breezes offering relief once the sun goes down.
Have you spent the first days of spring waiting for pricey flights to the Caribbean to drop? Whether your heart’s set on a dreamy beach vacay or an exciting urban getaway, you don’t have to break the bank—or leave the country—to enjoy an amazing spring vacation.
Based on the median weekly rate for a two bedroom rental on FlipKey, we’re highlighting some of the most affordable spring vacation destinations in America and the must-dos in each city. From the shores of Cape Cod to the desert landscape of Palm Springs, here are some of the best places to celebrate the arrival of spring.
With the majestic Rocky Mountains looming beyond the city limits and over 190 miles of trails to explore, Boise packs lots of punch for the nature-loving traveler. Climb the hill at Camel’s Back Park for great views of Southern Boise or take it easy on a stroll through the Idaho Botanical Garden. Had your fill of the outdoors? Boise’s varied museums and plentiful attractions will captivate all interests. However you choose to spend your time, Spring is the perfect season to enjoy all the city has to offer—before the dry summer heat sets in!
There are few places to experience the authentic Southwest quite like Albuquerque. With its fiery desert landscape, mouthwatering New Mexican cuisine, and unique multicultural heritage, this city is a magical escape for travelers of all ages. The city’s streets are lined with historic adobe homes and brick paths, while its clear, blue skies are dotted with colorful hot air balloons. Plentiful sunshine and mild temperatures add to this city’s appeal, making it one of the best affordable spring vacation spots on our list.
Eat: Vinaigrette | 1828 Central Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87104
Play: ABQ Trolley | 800 Rio Grande Blvd. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104
Chincoteague Island’s resident wild ponies have helped put this small Virginia town on the map. During the summer, they can be seen thundering down the golden beaches. But horses aren’t the only wildlife to be admired—the unspoiled beaches and lack of high-rises on Chincoteague Island make it a great place for bird watching, too. Escape to this affordable spring vacation destination for a breath of fresh air and a slower pace of life.
Situated in the Puget Sound area and easily accessible from Seattle, Tacoma is ideal for travelers who like to have lots of options. Ready to explore? Hop in the car and head to Mount Rainier National Park just a short drive away. Want to see what the downtown area has to offer? Tacoma is home to a vibrant community of artists and boasts many world-renowned museums and exhibits. Still, you might prefer to take in the scenic landscape from the comfort of your FlipKey rental like one reviewer who raved “being able to sit on the decking while you watch the sunset over the Olympic Mountain was beautiful.”
Eat: El Gaucho | 2119 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402
Whether you decide to book a modern condo downtown or a beach home nearby, Tampa is a popular spring vacation spot that won’t break the bank. Traveling with the entire family? Busch Gardens and The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay offer something exciting for every person in your group. Sports enthusiasts can catch a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game at the start of the season, while art lovers will be impressed by the city’s world-class museums. No matter what you do though, soak up some sun and enjoy Tampa’s waterfront location.
Thanks to its year-round pleasant climate and abundance of golf courses, a spring vacation in Palm Springs never disappoints. Soak up sun by the pool at your FlipKey rental, hop on a bike to explore, or discover the beauty of the surrounding desert on foot. Rather stay cool? Relax at one of the many award-winning spas in Palm Springs or hit some of the nearby museums. Whatever you decide to do, don’t miss out on the chance to spend a week here during the spring months.
Visit Dennis Port during the spring before tourists flock here for the peak summer season. This charming Cape Cod town oozes charm with its cozy cottages, wooden boardwalks, and photographic beach views. From skipping stones on the glassy waters to shopping at the local general store, Dennis Port has everything you need (and more!) for a delightful vacation, without the stress of going over-budget.
Tucked away in the Pocono Mountains, Lake Harmony is the perfect spot to welcome spring. The season brings the arrival of blooming daffodils and laurel blossoms, along with endless possibilities for outdoor recreation. Book a lakefront vacation home and wake up to sunrise over the water, or rent a cabin in the middle of the woods and truly escape it all. Whether you’re a hiker, biker, boater or botanist, we bet you’ll love this budget-friendly destination!
In Scottsdale, you can be touring the beautiful desert one minute, and wrapped in a cozy bathrobe at one of the many spas the next. Explore the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, which offers trails for hikers of all skill levels. If it’s been a rainy spring, you might even get lucky and see the desert in bloom! Head to Old Town Scottsdale for shopping or skip straight to the downtown area where you’ll find a buzzing restaurant and party scene. This spirited Southwest city is full of possibilities, especially during the spring!
Eat: Virtu | 3701 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Play: OdySea Aquarium | 9500 E Via De Ventura, Suite A-100, Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Nestled in the heart of Missouri, Lake Ozark is a premier lake town offering world-class boating, fishing, and shopping. Cast your line from the shore and hook a fish, hike the surrounding landscape, or take the boat over to Party Cove during your stay. Whether you’re planning a family getaway or booking a couple’s retreat, choose a FlipKey rental for an affordable spring vacation you’ll always remember.
You know how it is: winter’s here, the temperature’s low and everyone’s stuck indoors. You need a break—without breaking the bank.
Here are the warmest, most affordable destinations in the States and beyond. We’ve based the prices on a week in an average two-bed rental for the area. Don’t get caught out by peak season pricing—be inspired to escape the snow and plan your sizzling vacation now!
Hot Springs National Park draws thousands of visitors every year from all over the world. The 143-degree natural thermal springs in the park have made this place a classic winter vacation destination for more than a century. Why not see it for yourself?
Davenport is a little town in Florida’s popular Orlando region. Disney World is the number one reason that families flock here each year in the winter. Plus, the award-winning golf courses draw visitors seeking out a day in the sun.
The beautiful shoreline is Chincoteague Island’s greatest attraction. The beaches are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles. Another popular activity is renting bicycles and touring the island’s country roads. As you ride, keep an eye out for the famous wild ponies of Chincoteague.
Murphy is an excellent starting point for adventures in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Explore beautiful overlooks and waterfall sites here like Benton Falls. Rent a convertible and take the famous Cherohala Skyway drive as it winds through Cherokee and the Nantahala Forests.
Surrounded by wildlife and miles of amazing beaches, the community of Surfside Beach has everything you need for a relaxing vacation in the sun. Cheer on the runners taking part in the Myrtle Beach Marathon in February, and take a walk around Brookgreen Gardens, which features a Low Country Trail with native wildlife exhibits.
Cape Verde is a collection of islands in West Africa where exquisite views and water sports are everywhere. Some of the most popular activities here are fishing, kite surfing, and jet skiing. The island of Fogo showcases Pico de Fogo, an active volcano. It’san adventure to tour the surroundings and many travelers enjoy doing so on horseback or foot.
As the Philippines’ second largest island, Mindanao is truly breathtaking Explore the tropical rainforest and connect with the indigenous mountain tribes living nearby. Tourists soak up the sun on the beach while watching children grab the daily catch in their nets. Consider taking a guided trip up Mount Apo, an inactive volcano that’s perfect for explorers.
Travelers come to Essaouria to relax in spectacular surroundings that feature dramatic sunsets and windswept beaches. The city showcases French and Portuguese architecture and provides a wealth of culture, arts, and history for visitors to enjoy. Outdoor enthusiasts can go swimming and boating, while nature lovers appreciate the unique hikes around the area.
Visit the Salcette District in Goa, India, for world-class beaches, amazing architecture and relaxing spas. According to TripAdvisor reviews, Benaluim, Betalbatim, and Mobor are three of the top beaches in the area. Since January and February are quite dry, you’re all but guaranteed time in the sun to escape the winter blues.
Want a romance-filled escape with your special someone this Valentine’s Day that doesn’t blow the budget? There are plenty of places close to home that offer all the charm and enchantment without a hefty price tag.
From exciting urban getaways to relaxing beach retreats, we’ve rounded up some of the most affordable places to celebrate the upcoming holiday. In addition to budget-friendly accommodations, each of the destinations on our list have a variety of award-winning cuisine to choose from. We’ve included restaurant options for every price range, so you can treat your sweetie to a nice meal during your trip.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, book your trip now to avoid the panic of scrambling for last-minute plans. Who knows? You might even want to make a visit to one of these places your annual tradition…
This February, stay in a spacious home in the heart of Kansas City for less than $900 per week. Straddling the Missouri-Kansas border, this friendly Midwest city is an inviting metropolis for visitors all year-long.
Kansas City has much to offer: delectable barbeque, lively jazz music and a loyal sports scene. Spend a day strolling from fountain to fountain, stopping to snap photos and browse local shops along the way. With more than 200 fountains throughout Kansas City, they’re not hard to find. Once the sun goes down, the 18th & Vine Jazz District comes alive with the sounds of swing and jazz music emanating from the clubs.
“The artist scene in Kansas City is alive and vibrant. Now couple that with Jazz and it’s on fire!” – TripAdvisor Traveler
Book a trip to Hudson and you’ll have everything you need for a romantic getaway: access to fabulous restaurants, a cozy place to stay, fun attractions and more. Visiting in February will also save you some cash that you can put towards an extravagant dinner or an extra dozen roses.
This urban gem has a spirited downtown and is surrounded by the natural beauty of the Hudson River Valley. For breathtaking views, head down to the riverfront for a cruise along the Hudson River. If you fancy history, tour the grounds of the Olana State Historic Site. Just make sure to leave time at the end of the day to bar hop down Warren Street.
“I loved it so much, I told my parents about it and THEY went. This is definitely a photogenic place all year round!” – TripAdvisor Traveler
Affordable rental prices and a variety of dining options make Colorado Springs an easy choice for a great getaway.
Inhale the crisp mountain air on a hike at Seven Falls, or snap a selfie with the Garden of the Gods as your backdrop. Walk around the Old Colorado City Historic District for a couple of hours, or treat yourself to tea in the castle at Glen Eyrie. With so many things to do, one thing’s certain: your dinner will be well-deserved.
“You cannot describe this place to people, you have to show them. The big, honkin’ red rock formations are stunning.” – TripAdvisor Traveler
Looking to heat things up for Valentine’s Day? Head to Mesa where temperatures typically climb into the 70s, even in February. While temperatures remain steady even in the winter, rental prices drop, making Mesa a great place to go.
As if Valentine’s Day wasn’t a good enough excuse to treat yourself to a nice dinner out, you’ll earn it after a day exploring the spectacular Sonoran Desert landscape and surrounding mountains. Mesa is a place where one-of-a-kind opportunities for outdoor recreation are always at your fingertips, while fabulous arts and cultural attractions can also be found in this vibrant urban setting.
“When you start leaving the city, I felt and you can see the transition to the raw nature and awesomeness of the area and the mountain as you approach it. Once you enter the park it’s all a nature-lover could want.” – TripAdvisor Traveler
Nicknamed the Queen City, Charlotte has energetic nightlife, a refreshing arts and cultural scene and vacation homes that will have you wishing you could stay longer. The best part? You can visit this North Carolina hotspot without breaking the bank.
Known for its high-octane racing, a morning at the NASCAR Hall of Fame is an absolute must. You don’t have to be a NASCAR aficionado to appreciate the interactive exhibits, simulator rides, and special events found here. In the evening, do an early dinner before catching a show at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Whether you’re in the mood for cosmopolitan art, a casual stroll or charming southern history, Charlotte has it all.
“For a grand night out in Uptown Charlotte – enjoy the Arts – a musical, opera, jazz in a great setting!” – TripAdvisor Traveler
Looking for a reason to visit Oakland? Oakland offers picturesque views of San Francisco Bay, convenient access to nearby San Francisco, and is a more budget-friendly choice when planning a trip to Northern California.
With a growing number of hip restaurants and bars, cool music venues and recreational opportunities, there’s no shortage of things to do in Oakland. Wander around the Oakland Museum of California to learn about the surrounding environment, or experience it for yourself by hiking among giant redwoods at Redwood Regional Park. As daylight hours wane, head to the Tilden Nature Area to catch the sunset over the bay before dinner.
“Hike, swim, ride a steam train, and see great views of the bay! No matter your age or fitness level, there is something to enjoy at Tilden.” – TripAdvisor Traveler
Whether you’re cozying up in the comfort of your rental or hopping from restaurant to restaurant downtown, Rochester has the perfect recipe for a memorable Valentine’s Day.
Home of the renowned Mayo Clinic, Rochester is a place that’s attracted some of the most innovative minds in science and medicine, and much of what the city offers can be traced back to these roots. The Plummer House and Mayowood Mansion, for example, are historic buildings that are beautiful both inside and out and contain early artifacts from the Mayo Clinic’s history. Bundle up for a walk around Quarry Hill Nature Center or hit the spa for a relaxing couple’s massage.
Pittsburgh, the picturesque “City of Bridges”, continues to emerge as a popular destination because it offers affordable accommodations, friendly locals, great restaurants, and riverfront attractions. Book an urban getaway here for less than $550 per week and discover what makes this city so special.
Tour as many of the 90 neighborhoods that make up Pittsburgh and discover what makes the city so unique. You’ll find incredible architecture, amazing shopping and great pride as you go. If you fancy art, a trip to the Andy Warhol Museum never disappoints. Before you leave, get a bird’s eye view of the city and its skyline from Mt. Washington.
“What a view of the city. It’s a place to go that doesn’t cost a penny and you’ll walk away in awe of the city. It’s beautiful day or night but night time is special.” – TripAdvisor Traveler
With an average weekly rental rate of $352 per week, Lafayette is one of the most affordable places on our list to vacation with your loved one this February.
This destination is tucked into the heart of Cajun country and will surely add some spice to your Valentine’s Day celebrations. Voted the Tastiest Town in the South, indulge in flavorful po’boys, fresh Gulf seafood, slow-cooked meats and more. When you need a break from food, step back in time and explore the historic Acadian Village or hit the shops at the Jefferson Street Market.
“Thoroughly enjoyed strolling around at my own pace soaking up the history of days gone by!” – TripAdvisor Traveler
Affordable: Tsunami Sushi (412 Jefferson Street, Lafayette, LA 70501)
Moderate: Prejean’s (3480 N.E. Evangeline Thrwy (I-49), Lafayette, LA 70507)
During the winter months, Pensacola’s daily temperature dips…and so do the rates of most vacation homes in the area. Stay on the bay or just a short drive from the beach and celebrate Valentine’s Day down south this year.
Make yourself comfortable on the sugar-white sandy shores of Pensacola listening to the rhythmic crash of waves. When you’re ready for a relief from the sun, dive into the area’s proud military heritage showcased at local museums and parks, or explore downtown on foot. Pensacola is ideal for couples looking for a relaxing getaway.
“This secluded beach is stunning. Filled with beautiful sea birds, seashells, and a panoramic ocean view that extends forever, you’ll find everything you need for a relaxing/energizing stroll.” – TripAdvisor Traveler
Affordable: Seville Quarter (130 East Government Street, Pensacola, FL 32502)
Ever dreamt of planning an activity-filled vacation only to be reminded of how quickly expenses can add up? From airfare and lodging to dining and shopping, spending a week in Myrtle Beach can cost an arm and a leg if you don’t plan ahead. We want you to be able to enjoy your trip, without pinching pennies, so we’ve put together a list of the top 11 free things to do in Myrtle Beach.
Book a spacious, fully-equipped Myrtle Beach vacation rental (choose from more than 2,100 on FlipKey!) and you’ll save even more. Staying in a rental eliminates the need to book multiple hotel rooms in order to accommodate everyone, and you can split the cost among your group. Plus, you’ll save even more money by avoiding expensive dinners out and cooking some of your meals in the comfort of your rental. Stick to our list of free things to do in Myrtle Beach, too, and you’ll surely leave with some extra money in your pocket. You (and your wallet) can thank us later!
Make time during your stay to explore Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach’s premier destination for shopping, dining and entertainment along the Intracoastal Waterway. The complex features over 100 businesses that are divided into sections around a small lake. Specialty shops like Crabby Jack’s General Store and Sand and Sun are ideal places for tourists to pick up Myrtle Beach souvenirs and affordable beachwear, while local eateries feature everything from pretzels and fudge to seafood and burgers. Sign up for a Preferred Member card before you go and you’ll gain access to discounts and savings at many of Barefoot Landing’s shops, restaurants and attractions.
An aerial view of Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach shows some of the restaurants, shops, attractions, theaters and nightclubs included.
Broadway at the Beach is a one-stop shop for all things fun and entertaining. Centered around a 23-acre lake, the massive complex is South Carolina’s most visited attraction. It features everything from one-of-a-kind live entertainment during Legends in Concert performances to spectacular attractions like WonderWorks that will leave you wide-eyed. The best part, though? It is one of the many free things to do in Myrtle Beach that offers something for everyone in your family. Stroll along the walkways of Broadway at the Beach and window shop (or treat yourself!) at the unique boutiques full of treasures. Snack on some salt water taffy from Wee R Sweetz to tide yourself over until dinner or simply sit alongside the lake and take it all in.
From fishing to sightseeing, Cherry Grove Pier has it all, which is why it’s one of the best free things to do in Myrtle Beach.
More than 65 years after being erected, Cherry Grove Pier continues to draw tourists from all over the country. Since the early 1950s, it’s weathered hurricanes, welcomed countless visitors and provided a special place for families to make memories. Walk the length of the 985-foot pier and climb the two-story observation deck at the end for spectacular views of the coastline. In addition to being known for its sightseeing, Cherry Grove Pier also has a reputation for its stellar fishing scene and the potential for record catches. Cast your line from the pier and let it drift with the tide for your best chance at reeling in a fish. The pier has a tackle shop with rod rentals and bait and tackle for sale so there’s no reason not to give it a try!
With a little extra planning, you can time your trip so that you can attend a seasonal festival during your stay. The Grand Strand area is full of festivals all year-long and they are considered by visitors and locals alike to be some of the best free things to do in Myrtle Beach. In May, kick off the summer just north of Myrtle Beach at the World Famous Blue Crab Festival. The annual event takes place along the waterfront and boasts a variety of specialty food vendors and lots of fresh, local seafood. Plan your trip during September to experience the lively entertainment, mouthwatering barbeque and family-friendly fun at the Beach, Boogie & BBQ Festival. Other festivals with free things to do in Myrtle Beach include Art in the Park and A Grand Strand Holiday.
If you’re sifting through the countless free things to do in Myrtle Beach, make sure to put the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum at the top of your list. Housed in a charming cottage just steps from the beach, the museum serves as a beacon of culture for visitors and Myrtle Beach residents alike and has been proudly offering free admission since 2003. It’s also considered by many to be one of the premier visual arts museums in the Carolinas as it features an impressive 11 galleries that frequently change throughout the year. Visit the museum to see unique exhibitions of paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics, textiles, video and more, all of which offer visitors delightful surprises around every corner.
Open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. (10 p.m. on Saturdays!), there is no shortage of amusement at the Fun Plaza. It’s the largest family fun center in Myrtle Beach, and it’s conveniently located between the new boardwalk and the famous boulevard at 9th Ave. North. Follow gleeful cheers, arcade game alarms and lots of laughter to the Fun Plaza and watch on as gamers try to set new high scores. It’s free to visit the arcade, but each game costs a small fee to play. Put the spare dollar bills in your pocket toward a rowdy game of air hockey so a couple of you can play, or challenge someone to a game of Skee Ball. Before you leave, commemorate your trip to Fun Plaza with some silly shots in the photo booth.
A baseball diamond all groomed and ready for play in Myrtle Beach.
Situated across the street from the bustling Market Common is Grand Park, an idyllic spot for families to enjoy some fresh air away from the beach crowds. It is one of the more popular free things to do in Myrtle Beach because its possibilities for family fun are endless. Several ponds throughout the park provide a calming place to sit and soak in the scenery, while nearby picnic shelters are the perfect place to reapply sunscreen and refuel before hitting the playground. Even your dog can roam Grand Park by your side as you explore this recreation hub.
Is there any better free activity then spending time at the beach?
You can’t go wrong with a day at Myrtle Beach, one of the many beaches that makes up a portion of South Carolina’s 60-mile Grand Strand. Wake up early, lather on the sunscreen, grab a spot on the beach and drift back to sleep as your toes sink into the sand here. If you arrive later in the day, no need to worry. The wide, sandy beach has plenty of room for visitors and the warm Atlantic waters are always inviting. Whether you visit on a warm, sunny morning for a dip in the ocean or a brisk fall afternoon to walk along the shore, this beach is without a doubt one of the most popular free things to do in Myrtle Beach.
Palmetto trees and blue sky along the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach State Park, located in sunny South Carolina.
It would be impossible to make a list of the best free things to do in Myrtle Beach and not mention Myrtle Beach State Park. While there is a $5 admission charge for adults, it’s free for children. Head here to experience the area’s natural beauty, which includes a surprisingly green landscape and breathtaking ocean views along the Grand Strand. During the day, follow the nature trail through the park or cast your line from the fishing pier. In the evening, the park is lit by twinkling stars overhead rather than the glow of neon bulbs downtown and the peaceful sound of the waves offers visitors a nice change of pace from the city’s sounds.
Balance out a pricey evening experiencing the city’s vibrant nightlife with an expense-free day trip to the Official South Carolina Hall of Fame. Through several historical exhibits and a long list of inductees, the South Carolina Hall of Fame recognizes and honors citizens who have left a lasting impact on the state’s rich heritage. One contemporary and one deceased citizen are inducted into the prestigious South Carolina Hall of Fame, so there’s always something new to see. It’s located within the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and if you’re interested in learning all there is to know about South Carolina’s past and present, this attraction will surely satisfy your curiosity.
Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens
Drive just 30 minutes north of Myrtle Beach and you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world that offers an up-close-and-personal look at nature. The Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens are spread out over 100 acres of gorgeous vegetation and wildlife. It’s the perfect tranquil retreat for those looking to escape the bright lights and high energy of downtown Myrtle Beach. The gardens are open during daylight hours and the beautiful South Carolina attraction is free for the public to enjoy year-round. The park has numerous hiking trails that wind through a landscape composed of picturesque salt marshes, tiny islands and a spectacular coastline, as well as a small playground for your children’s amusement. Pose for a photo along one of the wooden boardwalks or pause during your walk to spot some of the wildlife that inhabits the park. You’ll feel rejuvenated once you leave this hidden gem near Myrtle Beach.
Winter ski vacations at popular destinations can provide more of a headache than relaxation with price gouging, commercialized resorts, and over-crowding. By staying in a FlipKey vacation rental, you’ll save money, gain privacy, and have much more space to lay out your snow pants to dry after a hard day on the slopes. Some rentals even come with special amenities like a jacuzzi (for sore muscles) and a fireplace (to stay warm the natural way). We looked at pricing for two bedrooms for a week’s stay (during winter 2015/2016) at 15 of the top ski destinations on the east coast, and ranked them by affordability. Here are the results, along with a bit about why each town & mountain is a must-visit according to their website:
About Windham, NY: This town has two apt nicknames “Gem of the Catskills” and “Land in the Sky”. Beautiful Windham serves as a city-slicker’s haven in all seasons as many New Yorkers leave their boroughs to enjoy country living here. Under 2000 residents call Windham home year-round though. Treat yourself at many of the town’s spas, play a round of golf at the Windham House, or ride 4-wheelers at the Adventure Park. Ride bikes on the Windham Path, visit the 200+ year old Hull Farm, or see the surrounding tri-state area from Point Look Out.
About Windham Mountain: “Windham Mountain Resort is the Northeast’s year-round outdoor lifestyle destination! We are known for our convenient location, family-friendly atmosphere, and impeccable customer service. Closer than Vermont and with more vertical than the Berkshires, Windham Mountain Resort offers big mountain skiing & riding so close to home. We are an easy drive from metro New York, New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley.”
About Carrabassett Valley: In Franklin County, Maine you’ll find the small town of Carrabassett Valley with a population of under 1000. That number swells of course as visitors swarm in to experience Sugarloaf Mountain in the winter. Fly fishing, hiking, and over 30 miles of back country trails are available for your outdoor adventures. The Ski Museum of Maine is in nearby Kingfield. Poplar Stream Falls has a swimming hole and over 50 foot drops to witness, while the town has an official park & pool that can be used in the summertime. Narrow Gauge Pathway is a 6 mile long ascending trail with plenty of picnic spots for use.
About Sugarloaf: “Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Maine, USA is one of the top year-round destinations in New England. Sugarloaf is the largest ski area east of the Rockies. Our trails and glades spread across Sugarloaf Mountain, Brackett Basin and Burnt Mountain. Additionally, the resort offers many winter activities including skiing, snowboarding, tubing, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, concerts, slopeside lodging and terrain parks.”
About Ludlow: Ludlow, VT was named after its cousin of the same name in Ludlow, MA, less than 100 miles away. Located at the base of Okemo Mountain in Okemo Valley, Ludlow is a four-season getaway that seduces skiers with galleries, shopping, fine dining and more when they’re done on the slopes. This 150+ year-old village began life as a classic mill town powered by the rushing Black River. Sample treats at the Green Mountain Sugar House, take in the breathtaking Buttermilk Falls, and have fun by the lake at the Camp Plymouth State Park.
About Okemo Mountain: “With 96% snowmaking coverage and consistent top rankings for snow quality amongst the Vermont ski areas – it’s hard to argue Okemo doesn’t have the best snow in the East. The best part about our mountain is that we listen. Aside from providing our guests the best possible Vermont ski conditions, we’re here to serve you – and that is our top priority. Thirty years ago Tim and Diane Mueller designed Okemo Mountain with their two young children in tow – and it shows! Fast forward to today, and they still maintain one of the best Vermont skiing resorts with that same personal touch.”
Where To Ski: Saddleback Mountain. Update: Saddleback was purchased by a new owner and shut down temporarily. FlipKey has no connection to Saddleback or their re-opening plans. Please refer to their website for updates.
About Rangeley: This fisherman’s paradise is 99% forest & water. Enjoy the gorgeous views at Height of Land, swim the Small Falls, or hike the Cascade Stream to get your outdoor fix when you aren’t on the slopes. Bald Mountain, Coos Canyon, and Angel Falls are three more stops on your Rangeley tour. Not only is winter popular here, Rangeley’s year ’round population of approximately 1,500+ inhabitants swells to almost 10,000 during the popular summer tourist season, too. There are scenic highways and hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail, and bountiful game including moose, deer and birds that welcome the advent of the hunting season. In the winter, snow blankets the region, signaling the start to alpine ski season. Groomed snowmobile trails are open by December, offering snowmobilers some of the best riding in the Northeast.
About Saddleback: “Saddleback provides an affordable and fun outdoor experience for guests of all ages and abilities. As one of only seven ski mountains in New England with a top elevation of over 4,000 ft, Saddleback is distinguished from other Maine mountains because of its one-of-a-kind high elevation alpine experience that includes a 2,000 ft. vertical drop overlooking the Rangeley Lakes. We invite you to come breathe the pure mountain air among snow-frosted evergreens. With five lifts to 66 diverse trails and glades, we make it easy to carve down our classic New England terrain. Come find your “sweet spot” on the gentle slopes: rugged double black diamond trails and glades, or our Freerider Terrain Park.”
About Bartlett: In the White Mountains, surrounded by the national forest of the same name, you’ll find Barlett, New Hampshire. Made up of 3 distinct villages (Glen, Bartlett Village, and Intervale) Bartlett has a few rivers running through it, the most known being the Saco River. You’ll have a blast with the kids at Storyland, there are both mountaineering and snowmobiling tours available, and of course, the jaw dropping views at Bear Notch. Bartlett is also an attraction for rail-fans. The Conway Scenic Railroad, a heritage railway in nearby North Conway, operates a train to the town daily for sightseeing.
About Attitash: “Attitash Mountain Resort is more than just a ski area, it is the essence of skiing, snowboarding and the winter lifestyle. Attitash Mountain Resort offers 68 trails and 11 lifts across two big, connected mountains (Attitash & Bear Peak) that combine traditional New England runs and challenging terrain with modern, wide-open cruisers suited for all abilities. Located in the heart of the White Mountains, Attitash Mountain Resort is considered New Hampshire’s premier year-round vacation area.”
About Waterville Valley (town): You’re only two hours from Boston, but you’ll feel much more at peace in this fun resort town than you would have ever expected. This “playground in the mountains” will keep adults and kids entertained for your entire stay. With a golf course, a pond, three 4000′ mountains, and more you can see why Waterville Valley is a monster of tourism.
About Waterville Valley (ski resort): “Waterville Valley Resort is a unique New Hampshire destination, nestled in a natural snow pocket in the White Mountains and surrounded by other 4000′ footers. Offering a variety of terrain for every skier or rider, whether a first-timer or an expert.”
About Hunter: The Town of Hunter contain two villages, one named Hunter and the other called Tannersville.The ski resort is the largest employer in the village, which is run by the Slutzky family in the heart of Hunter. The mountain peak is the second highest in the Catskills. Grab drinks and burgers at Ronni MacGregor’s Pub or the Hunter Mountain Brewery. The zipline adventure tours are a must-try for the whole family when visiting Hunter, as well.
About Hunter Mountain: “As Upstate New York’s premier winter destination for skiing and snowboarding, Hunter Mountain celebrates renowned terrain, award-winning snowmaking, luxury mountainside accommodations, and being a true four season resort! As an ideal family ski destination, a couple’s getaway, or just a day for friends and fun, Hunter Mountain has you covered! Discover Hunter’s impressive array of mountainside amenities, including ski and snowboard programs for adults, children, and families, lodging at the Liftside Condominiums and the slope-side Kaatskill Mountain Club, unique mountain eateries, two full service retail stores, and New York State’s largest snowtubing park!”
About Killington (town): Killington, Vermont is a town in Rutland County, located on VT Route 100 in the “Crossroads of Vermont” region, just 35 minutes from the Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport. Perfectly situated in the Green Mountains, Killington has some of the highest and most varied mountain terrain in all of New England. Killington is home to some of the most scenic areas of the Appalachian Trail – one being Thundering Falls. The town has 10 weather stations and sees over 200 inches of natural snow per year.
About Killington (ski resort): “Killington provides skiers and riders of all ability levels a choice of wide-open groomed cruisers, narrow classic New England runs, moguls steeps and trees all serviced by 22 lifts including two express gondolas. The Resort offers multiple terrain features for snowboarders and freeskiers in six terrain parks, including The Stash: an all-natural terrain park with more than 50 features, as well as a 500-foot long Superpipe with 18-foot walls. Killington always hosts a jam-packed schedule of bands, festivals, and competitions from Rails 2 Riches to the Dirty Girl Mud Run. Plus there’s plenty to do off the mountain including tubing, dinner excursions to the Ledgewood Yurt, snowmobile tours, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, spa treatments, shopping and more than 100 restaurants and bars in the region. After the snow melts, Killington features an 18-hole championship golf course as well as 35 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, plus the new Snowshed Adventure Center and Killington Bike Park.”
About Jeffersonville: Derived from the name of Thomas Jefferson, this town in New York is a charming, older village in the western part of the Catskills. Head down Route 52 in town to visit all the shops, restaurants, and other small businesses. Near the scenic Delaware River, Jeffersonville is a mecca for the arts and antiquing. A fire destroyed most of the main drag in 1918, but the town was rebuilt better than ever afterwards. You can spend your days playing golf, fishing or take a canoe or tube down the Delaware River or simply take a drive and count the cows. Canoe, kayak, horseback ride, try fly boarding or zip lining, or visit a distillery.
About Smugglers’ Notch: “Smugglers’ Notch Resort is a very special vacation destination. It’s nestled right in the heart of Vermont’s Green Mountains, surrounded by more than 3,000 acres of pristine forest, spectacular mountain vistas, and postcard-perfect scenes just waiting for you to discover. It’s the perfect playground in which to recreate, regenerate and relax in a family-friendly atmosphere where you will feel completely at ease … and at home. Your family and friends will love all the skiing and snowboarding our 3 big mountains have to offer. No matter what your skill level – we have terrain for all abilities, ranging from gentle cruisers for beginners to more advanced trails for intermediates, all the way to the East’s only triple black-diamond trail, The Black Hole, for the most experienced skiers and snowboarders. Regardless of your ability or age, we have a world renowned ski and snowboard school, our own Snow Sport University that will help you take your skills to the next level. And, we have so much more than just alpine activities! Other outdoor activities include such adventures as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing and snowmobile touring.”
About Lincoln: Lincoln is home to the New Hampshire Highland Games and to a portion of Franconia Notch State Park. Set in the White Mountains, large portions of the town are within the White Mountain National Forest. Walk around The Basin at Franconia Notch State Park for babbling brooks and forest scenery. Clark’s Trading Post and the Central Railroad is a fun trip to take with kids. There’s a waterpark, play house, mini golf course, moose tours and more to pass the time when you’re off the mountain.
About Loon Mountain: “Loon Mountain is New England’s most accessible big mountain resort. Located just two hours from Boston and three miles off Interstate 93, Loon offers 61 trails and 2,100 vertical feet of unparalleled skiing and riding. Although it’s close to home, Loon offers the kind of varied terrain and possibilities that you would find at a more remote resort. It’s a mountain that has something for everyone, whether you’re looking to ski the steeps or take your first snowboard lesson.After riding the Lincoln Express Quad to the 2,450-foot summit of South Peak, take a minute to enjoy the views of Mount Moosilauke to the west, Franconia Notch to the north, and Mount Washington to the east. Once you’ve worked up an appetite on the slopes, hit up the Pemigewasset Base Camp for a Boom Run Panini or killer burrito. At 3,050 feet, North Peak is the resort’s high point. On a powder day you’ll see skiers and riders make a beeline to expert trails like Upper Walking Boss and Upper Flume, which collect some of the best snow on the mountain. Experts will love glades like Walking Boss Woods and Buck Saw, while intermediates will enjoy Sunset and its panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.”
About Dover: Near the southern tip of Vermont you’ll find quaint, quiet Dover.With a history of tourism, Dover has served as a summer getaway since the early 1900s. For those who appreciate an active, outdoor, four-seasons lifestyle but also crave fine restaurants and night life, Dover may be the community for them. A top attraction is the Valley Trail, connecting Mount Snow with the West Dover Historic District. This pedestrian and biking walkway links town shopping areas and recreational amenities. You can also visit the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum in nearby Marlboro, go snowmobiling, or take the Green Mountain Adventure Challenge. Eat cake at the Sticky Fingers Bakery or grab a burger at the Valley View Saloon.
About Mount Snow: “Mount Snow is a premier four season resort located in the Green Mountains of Southern Vermont featuring four mountain faces of downhill skiing and snowboarding – including one of the East’s best terrain parks, Carinthia – slopeside lodging and golf at the acclaimed Mount Snow Golf Club as well as flexible wedding and conference facilities. Other activities include snow tubing, ski & snowboard lessons, downhill mountain biking and a full schedule of festivals and events. Mount Snow is a member of the Peak Resorts family.”
About Stowe: About 5 miles away from the cascading ski trails on Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont, you’ll find the town of Stowe. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Stowe like the Smugglers Notch State Park, Stowe Recreation Path, and the Sterling Falls Gorge. At the Trapp Family Lodge Outdoor Center you can drink, eat, hike and learn about the famous family that runs the attraction. You’ll find a fantastic hike in Wiessner Woods and you’ll be in awe of the bucolic beauty of the Gold Brook Covered Bridge. The Vermont Ski Museum is nearby as well. The community comes alive with festivals, shopping and dining opportunities with activities for everyone in all seasons. Stowe has made the most out of its natural setting– Mount Mansfield, the forests and fields, clear mountain streams and fine air carve out an appealing, enduring, distinctively New England style of life.
About Stowe Mountain: “Stowe Mountain Resort, is the definition of the luxury Eastern resort, and provides quality skiing and riding for all levels of family abilities. The area’s lift system includes a gondola to shuttle guests between Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, and its “sister” mountain, Spruce Peak. This inter-mountain transfer lift provides transportation to and from the slopes at the bases of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak – formally linking the two. The Poma ten-person standing gondola spans Vermont’s Route 108. Stowe benefits from its location on Mt. Mansfield with 333 inches of average annual snowfall that falls over it’s 2,360 foot vertical drop and 485 acres of skiable terrain.”
About Lake Placid: Lake Placid has done an admirable job with Olympic arena upkeep and related tourism. The still-operational Herb Brooks Arena (site of the “Miracle on Ice”) still hosts many youth and international ice events each year. Visit the Olympic Sports Complex to take a real bobsled ride! For non-Olympic related attractions, Lake Placid has much to offer. The Whiteface Golf Club is one of the most gorgeous courses in the area. If you can, hike up Mount Jo which has high peaks where you can see for miles. Explore the frozen waterfalls at High Falls Gorge, or take in a family-friendly show at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. With many fresh water rivers for fishing and lakes for canoeing, Lake Placid is an outdoorsman’s dream.
About Whiteface Mountain: “When you get to the top of Whiteface Mountain, you’ll be at the top of Northeast skiing. No ski mountain in the east reaches higher than ours. Around you, dozens of Adirondack peaks jut into the horizon. The fresh air filling your lungs has just blown over a protected park larger than Yellowstone and Yosemite, combined. And below you lie trails that have led Olympic athletes to glory. American Phil Mahre won silver here in the 1980 Winter Olympics. Andrew Weibrecht, a Lake Placid local who grew up skiing at Whiteface, earned a Bronze Medal in Super G at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and a Silver at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics! It’s your turn. Whiteface opened in 1958 and has earned its place in the annals of big-mountain skiing. It has the greatest vertical drop in the east, which means if pointing the boards downhill is your thing, you’ll have plenty of opportunities. We regularly stage major national and international skiing events, yet welcome first-time skiers and riders every day. We have 87 trails (a third of which are rated for expert skiers), 11 lifts including the Cloudsplitter Gondola, terrain parks, adrenaline-pumping glades skiing, and six Whiteface restaurants. Whiteface is the Olympic Mountain, which means not only can you carve the same turns as the world’s best racers, you can visit the other Olympic facilities, like the Olympic Jumping Complex and the Olympic Sports Complex, just down the road in Lake Placid. This is a place that has brought the best out of world-class athletes, outdoor enthusiasts, all-mountain skiers and riders and beginners for years. It’s your turn.”
About Jay: At the extreme northern end of Vermont, you will stumble upon Jay.The northern Vermont area is a bit more wild and wooly than the postcard-ready southern end, especially since it shares a border with Canada.Jay is in an area of the state known as the “Northeast Kingdom” and is one of the last “undeveloped” towns where you still find peace and serenity while enjoying the world-class recreational opportunities that exist within the borders.Seek out a remote border town and you might stumble upon a barn museum, winery, or swimming hole.The Jay Peak Pump House, a super cool indoor water park, might be the perfect relaxation area or thrill ride for those who want to spend some time off the mountain. The Jay Challenge is a combination adventure race and triathlon that occurs yearly in and around Jay. It is a three-day event comprising a 26-mile kayak trip on Lake Memphremagog, a 30.5-mile run over rough terrain and 65 miles of mountain biking. There is no better time to visit Jay than during President’s week and winter school vacations. You can discover an Ice Fishing Derby on Lake Memphremagog, “Fat Bike” Riding, and experience snowshoeing & snowmobiling at their best.
About Jay Peak Resort: “If you’ve been to Jay Peak, you know our reputation is deserved – the most snow in eastern North America and a liberal in-bounds policy that ensures you can enjoy it. 78 trails, slopes and glades wait for you but the nooks and crannies are what really set Jay Peak apart. If you haven’t been here, come experience the reality behind the legend. From the far-out corners of the backcountry, to the close-at-hand convenience of The Zone learning area, there’s a little something for everyone at our larger than life mountain. Poke around and make some moments of your own.”
About Ellicottville: At the far western end of New York lies Ellicottville. A simple town with a long name, Ellicottville plays host to thousands of Canadian skiers and snowboarders every year and is 55 miles away from Buffalo. If you’re looking for a glitzy, glamorous, fake ski resort town, you’ve come to the wrong place. Ellicottville has retained its charm despite growing sizably in winter tourism. With brick-fronted stores and Victorian-era homes lining the streets, Ellicottville can hold its own in the northeast ski discussion. There are nearly two dozen restaurants in and around the village with a handful of bars and breweries continuing the party into the night with live music throughout the week. The village, although it is only 1 square mile, is full of fun, activities, shops and restaurants to please folks of all ages and interests.
About Holiday Valley: “Holiday Valley offers fifty-eight slopes spread over four different faces with a 750-foot vertical drop and 13 lifts. Four terrain parks plus a half pipe, several glades and a wonderful children’s program provide fun for skiers and riders of all ages.”
Trinidad & Tobago are composed of two tiny islands, it is a relatively “new country”, with only 52 years of independence from the UK. Trinidad is considered the financial capital and Tobago is mostly known for its breathtaking beaches and relaxed environment. Their population is 1,223,916, which is approximately the population of Dallas, TX and they are also considered one of the most ethically diverse countries in the world. Random fun fact: believe it or not, Nicki Minaj is Trinidadian.
Their currency is called the Trinidad & Tobago dollar and it is worth approximately 0.16 USD. That being said, here are some tips to enjoy the most this beautiful country within a small budget.
Since there is not much information about T&T online (seriously) it can be kind of hard to find a place to stay. But don’t feel so lost! Flipkey offers a variety of options and prices for vacation home rentals in Trinidad & Tobago.
All the public transportation within the island (taxi, mini-vans, bus) costs $1 to $3 dollars, which gives you a lot of mobility to go everywhere. The best way to get transportation from anywhere in Trinidad is from Port of Spain (the capital, located in Trinidad). From there you can go to amazing places such as Maracas Beach, Las Cuevas Beach, the National Academy of Performing Arts, many parks, restaurants and more.
To move around Tobago is a bit more complicated, the ferry from Trinidad to Tobago is around $8. There are not many taxis around, so I would recommend you just set a time with a local tour agency and they will make sure to find someone to take you around the island. Since this would be like a private driver experience, they would probably charge you around $20 to drive you around for the whole day, so you get the chance to experience Castara Beach, Mt. Irvine Beach, Pirate’s Bay Beach, and its many waterfalls and lakes – all for free entrance!
Due to Trinidad & Tobagos ethnic diversity you can find all types of food in the area. I stayed in a city called St. James and we would walk on the streets for 4 blocks and find varieties of fresh fruit, baked goods, Chinese food, fancy Italian food, a lot of Indian food and typical Trini Food (Shark & Bake, Doubles). Street food normally costs $1 to $7 (you can get a combo of gyros, sandwiches and Doubles, depending on how hungry you are); there are some “set meals” restaurants that are also really popular and cost you around $8 for a good amount of food and a drink. And if none of the options above entice you there is also a Supermarket nearby in which you can buy “familiar” food, but believe me, you won’t want to miss the street food.
Trinis are really excited and proud about their Carnival, which happens every February. At this time of year, the locals wear typical Carnival clothes, drink a lot of alcohol and dance to Soca (typical Caribbean music). But, if you are not there during February, you can simply go to Ariapita Avenue and choose one of the many bars around. Their typical beers are Stag and Carib and they would cost approximately $2. Some other fancy drinks can go up to $4 on big nightclubs such as Aria, Zen and 51. Women get in for free at clubs, but men have to pay around $5, and they are really strict about your outfit. Ladies, please wear heels; gents, wear nice shoes and don’t forget your polo shirts.
I do feel that it is important to pay it forward for any type of experience that you have. It is good for the mind and soul, and you don’t have to spend a dime. That being said, one amazing experience of community service that I would suggest is the Trinidad & Tobago Red Cross National Society. They provide all types of training for volunteers from disaster relief to clowning for cute kids at the hospital.
Overall, Trinidad & Tobago is an amazing and lively country, full of friendly people and places to explore. Since it is so small, you can definitely visit most of it in one month. Nature is everywhere, people are always smiling, it is a one of a kind experience – don’t miss it!
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