5 Top Affordable Vacation Destinations in the U.S.

5 Top Affordable Vacation Destinations in the U.S. from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Planning a family vacation can be a daunting and expensive task. While we can’t help you with the stressful part (there’s no cure for that), we can help you save some coin. These five vacation destinations are family-friendly and affordable.

1. Grand Canyon

Considered one of the most famous sites in the U.S., the Grand Canyon is surprisingly affordable to visit – especially if you choose camping over a hotel room.

If you can delay your visit, wait until August, when prices are lower and fewer tourists are around.

If you live nearby, you can drive to this popular vacation destination. Car rentals are cheap (some as low as $11 a day), so driving is the budget-friendly option. But if you live on the opposite side of the country, driving may not be an option.

Try booking your flight on a Tuesday or Thursday when prices tend to be lower.

2. Memphis

Steeped in music history, there’s always something going on in Memphis. And because this isn’t your typical beach tourist town, it’s generally more affordable than other destinations.

Visit Elvis’ Graceland or the National Civil Rights Museum. It is here that Martin Luther King Jr. petitioned for the equal rights of black sanitation workers in 1968. He was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel one day after leading a peaceful protest. The hotel is now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum.

If you plan to visit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Graceland, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and the Sun Studio, you can save money by purchasing a Backstage Pass. This pass will give you access to all of these attractions for about $84.

3. Myrtle Beach

Sun, sand and fun, Myrtle Beach has something for everyone. There’s the boardwalk with rides and games. There’s the beautiful, 60-mile stretch of sandy beaches. And there’s great food around just about every corner. 

Instead of staying in a traditional hotel, think about renting a condo or vacation home instead (Airbnb). Vacation rentals usually have kitchens, which means that you can cook some of your meals instead of spending a fortune on eating out.

4. Williamsburg

Williamsburg is an affordable and educational vacation destination. Buying a combo pass will save you money on attractions, and a ferry ride (free) can offer a fun experience for kids.

If you want to avoid the hordes of travelers, try booking your trip for early spring, fall or winter.

Take a step back in time and immerse yourself in history at Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown. Or, let the kids have fun at Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. The Williamsburg Premium Outlets and Williamsburg Winery give the adults something fun to do.

5. Gatlinburg

It’s all about the great outdoors in this Tennessee town. Gatlinburg is home to three entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – which is completely free to enter.

The park offers miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking, and biking. You’ll also find quaint cabins and historical exhibits. The wildlife is plentiful, with elk, deer, black bears and other creatures lurking about.

You could spend your entire vacation exploring this massive park and see something new every day.

Along with visiting the park, you can stop by the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway or the Gatlinburg Space Needle.

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