Summer Savings: Sensational and Affordable Getaways on a Shoestring
4 min

Most people don’t get three-month summer vacations once they grow out of school. That doesn’t mean you can’t have an incredible, affordable last minute vacation that brings the joy and fun of those school-age vacays! Here are five budget-friendly locations to consider for your next getaway!

Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Blowing Rock in NC is located in the mountains off the Blue Ridge Parkway. This charming village has incredible views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. Check out Moses Cone Memorial Park (Blue Ridge Parkway, Milepost 294), a Gilded Age mansion and 3,500-acre forested estate, to glimpse Blowing Rock’s past!

Eat at Café Violette (1132 Main St., Suite 102) for incredible French cuisine, including fresh seafood entrees. Meander Julien Price Memorial Park (Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 296.7), a 4,200-acre greenspace at the base of Grandfather Mountain, where you can fish, boat, camp, picnic, and check out interpretive guide programs and guided walks. Stay in a Cozy Cottage, a two-bedroom, one-bathroom vacation rental with a game room and log fireplace.

One of the many lakes worth visiting near Blowing Rock

One of the many lakes worth visiting near Blowing Rock

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, VT, in the northern part of the state, is known as a skiing destination and the home of Smuggler’s Notch State Park. Stay at 1415 Studio @ The Lodge. This price vacation rental studio has affordable rates, a king-sized bed, and even bigger views of Mt. Mansfield! Strap on skis or a snowboard, and drive to Stowe Mountain Resort, the fourth-largest lift-serviced ski hill in the state!

Then, visit Idletyme Brewery (1859 Mountain Road) to enjoy family-friendly dining and European brewing with Vermont hop culture. Grab home-cooked breakfast at Butler’s Pantry (128 Main St.), a popular stop for pancakes, omelets, French toast, and more!

Saugatuck, Michigan

Saugatuck is a perfect place to play and relax in the Midwest! Stay at Saugatuck Landings Upper, an affordable last minute vacation rental with one bedroom, one bathroom, and views of the Kalamazoo River. Check out the sand dunes by taking a tour with Saugatuck Dune Rides (6495 Blue Star Highway) to learn about the lost town of Singapore and its local wildlife!

Eat at GROW Cafe + Bistro (302 Culver), a vegan- and vegetarian-friendly spot known for brunch cocktails, local coffee, and tasty food. Need a little treat? Stop at Kilwin’s Chocolates (152 Butler Street #121) for incredible ice cream and fudge.

Views for days in Hood River, Oregon

Views for days in Hood River, Oregon

Hood River, Oregon

Hood River on the Columbia River is a Pacific Northwest haven. Start your adventure at Solstice Wood Fire Pizza (501 Portway Ave) for a slice of ‘za made with regionally milled flour and other local ingredients. Take your pizza on the road and get to know the area. Driving the Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway, a 70-mile route from Troutdale to The Dalles dotted with beautiful hikes and waterfalls.

After your drive, grab a couple of scoops of coconut or salted caramel at Mike’s Ice Cream (504 Oak Street) before heading to Hood River Waterfront Park (650 Parkway Ave) to enjoy your treat with a view of the river. Stay at Ava’s Castle, an affordable yet luxurious 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom home in walking distance from downtown.

Estes Park, Colorado

Nestled in Rocky Mountain National Park’s gateway, Estes Park, Colorado, is a haven of natural beauty and adventure. Begin with a wholesome breakfast at Mountain Home Cafe before immersing yourself in the park’s diverse trails. Post a morning of exploration, enjoy a shopping spree in Downtown Estes Park. Then chow down at Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Taphouse.

For your stay, consider Murphy’s Riverside Cottage, a cozy and affordable vacation rental cabin offering rustic charm amidst the woods. Watch for elk, a common sight in the area. In Estes Park, you’ll experience tranquility and adventure in the Colorado wilderness, making it a memorable last-minute adventure.

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