Skip to Content

These 7 U.S. Beach Destinations Are Travelers’ Favorites For An Affordable Vacation 

Share The Article

Last Updated


More and more Americans are hitting the road this summer setting off on a trip, with some going far and some staying closer to home.

While American travel to Europe and Latin America is creeping up to record-high numbers, there still remain many people who are staying stateside for their summer vacation. 

montauk pier long beach new york

Many of those who prefer to stay within America this year for a trip head to a beach, and luckily for them, America has its fair share of them to go around.

Popular travel planning website Family Destinations Guide has surveyed 3,000 of its readers to determine the top 175 destinations across the country that they are hoping to visit this year for an affordable getaway. 

The answers reflect all types of interests and range from destinations across the country. Some are hoping to head to the coast, and others a lake, but no matter what or where, it’s clear that escaping the heat and getting near some water is priority number one for most travelers this summer. 

Aerial view of beach goers in Asbury Park, New Jersey on Memorial Day Weekend 2019

Here Are 7 U.S. Beach Destinations That Are Traveler’s Favorites For An Affordable Vacation:

1. Long Beach, New York

A beach right outside of New York City might not be the first place that comes to mind when you hear the word affordable, but Long Beach does win points with travelers who are looking for a deal.

This barrier island has a long free public beach and showcases free concerts often. A hotel here can range from $70 to $500 a night, and a vacation rental around $150 to $400 a night, so this is a beach trip best shared with friends. 

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans For 2023 Starting At $10 Per Week

Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

Long Beach Boardwalk - Long Island, New York

2. Coney Island, New York

A visit to Coney Island is more or less a rite of passage for anyone coming to Brooklyn in the summer, and it doesn't have to break the bank. For the price of a subway ride from the city, you can enjoy many free and cheap things to do in Coney Island and on its three miles of free public beach.

Catch some free shows at the Ford Amphitheater, and time you visit right so you can visit the aquarium on a pay-as-you-wish day (currently set for Wednesday afternoons). 

@explore_with_westley #texascheck #texas #thingstodoingalveston #roadtrips #texastravel #texasvlog #fyp ♬ Happy (Badscandal Remix) – Here At Last

3. Surfside Beach, South Carolina

This smaller and cheaper side of the mega-popular Myrtle Beach is gaining attention for being a great summer destination for many reasons.

Lying just south of Myrtle Beach, it’s a smaller beach community with hotels that average from $55 to $275, a range of budget rentals, and more of a relaxed, less crowded, and laid-back vibe than its more raucous neighbor to the north. 

Sunrise at a South Carolina Atlantic coast, surfside beach, Myrtle Beach area

4. Oak Island, North Carolina

This North Carolina favorite is a bit more expensive than some other budget beach destinations, with hotels ranging from $80 to $350 a night and vacation rentals around $280 to $720 a night, so a big chunk of your budget here will go to accommodation.

This Brunswick Island beach town makes up expensive accommodations with an abundance of free or affordable attractions, with the Oak Island Nature Center and the Oak Island lighthouse both being great options for a cheap day out.

More free or cheap things to do include walking along the pier, strolling the farmers market, or enjoying the many antique shops before heading out for a meal in the evening. 

@nctripping Fall in love with Oak Island! Here are 7 ways to enjoy this NC beach. #nc #northcarolina #oki #oakisland #oakislandnc #oakislandbeach ♬ Malibu – Miley Cyrus

5. Galveston, Texas

A favorite beach trip destination for many people living in the south, Galveston wins people over for its large beach and wealth of things to do for all ages.

An average hotel here costs around $60 to $280 dollars a night, and many cheap food and drink options are easy to find.

Free events such as food festivals, live concerts, and other attractions are common and won’t break the bank. 

@explore_with_westley #texascheck #texas #thingstodoingalveston #roadtrips #texastravel #texasvlog #fyp ♬ Happy (Badscandal Remix) – Here At Last

6. Asbury Park, New Jersey

The next entry on this list brings us to the Jersey Shore, a destination famous in its own right long before it became synonymous with a show many of a certain age group can't shake from their brain.

You can visit as a day trip from New York City or stay a while and enjoy the cool and creative vibe and the LGBT+ welcoming atmosphere.

The town is known for its creative, ethnically diverse appeal. You can find hotels here in the summer for as low as $90 a night, although most will set you back more than that. 

@allthethingsvibey Am I in NJ or am I in Miami? @asburyoceanclub is a great place to escape that isn’t far from NY/NYC. Super chill, luxe resort vibes, and quick easy access to the beach. Prime location within walking distance to the boardwalk and all the cool spots in town. @asburyoceanclub 📍Asbury Park, NJ #newjersey #nj #asbury #asburypark #asburyparknj #boardwalk #wheretogo #whattodo #thingstodoinasburypark #thingstodoinnjthisweekend #wheretostayinasburypark #staycaction #asburyoceanclub #poolside #oceanviews ♬ suono originale – Giorgio Prezioso

7. Prescott, Arizona

The only entry on the top 10 that is not a coastal beach destination, Prescott is known as one of the country's most historic and beautiful destinations in the Southwest.

Tucked into the Ponderosa Pines of Prescott National Forest and over 5,000 feet above sea level, the air should be fresh and the temperatures cooler here. 

The main lakes of Prescott include Watson Lake, Goldwater Lake, and Lynx Lake, and although swimming is not allowed, recreational activities make up for it.

Those looking for a swim can head to one of the many pools at the hotel and use the lakes for boating and kayaking instead. 

Pair of canoes on Summer afternoon at Lynx Lake in Prescott, Arizona

Finishing out the top ten most sought-after affordable vacation destinations in the U.S. are: 

  • 8: Crystal Beach, Texas 
  • 9: Topsail Beach, North Carolina 
  • 10: Belt Buckle, Tennessee 

You can see the entire list of the 175 destinations here

↓ Elevate Your Travel↓

Sign Up Now For Travel Off Path Premium! No ads, VIP Content, Personal Travel Concierge, Huge Savings, Daily Deals, Members Forum & More!

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS

Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.

This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.