Top 15 Beach Vacation Spots in the USA
Beach Vacation Spots in the USA – A beach vacation is always a good idea, from deliciously warm sand to explosive sunsets. Hotels that break the high value and budget can also come with many of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
But when it comes to beach vacation spots in the United States, planning the perfect beach vacation doesn’t necessarily involve dipping into your savings.
There are dozens of beach getaways in the United States that are not only beautiful and captivating but also incredibly affordable.
Some of the best cheap beach vacations in the United States are in well-known, bustling cities such as Myrtle Beach, SC, or Daytona Beach, FL, while others are more of a tourist route, such as Gulf Shores, AL, or Cannon Beach, OR.
No matter your style, from non-stop energy to barefoot and laid-back, America’s many beaches have an affordable beach town to match.
Whether you’re exploring the craggy Pacific coastline, the seasonal Atlantic coast, or the Caribbean-style Gulf of Mexico, you’ll find that the cheapest beach vacation spots in the United States are never too far.
- Virginia Beach, VA
There are miles of beaches and an abundance of hotels that make Virginia Beach one of the best cheap beach vacations in the United States.
Facing a vast stretch of open sand on the Atlantic Coast, Virginia Beach calls travelers for its excellent seafood restaurants, a long boardwalk, and cheap hotel rates.
Summer is the most popular time to visit Virginia Beach, with most visitors arriving on Memorial Day and Labor Day.
You’ll find that the destination hosts several surf competitions, even in the summer. While in town, make time for Ocean Breeze Water park, a round of golf, or a visit to First Landing State Park.
If you want to do Virginia Beach on a budget, you can rent a campsite or a cabin within the state park. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
Myrtle Beach, SC
South Carolina has a spectacular coastline, but none is more impressive than the 60 miles of powder-soft beachfront on Myrtle Beach.
This great American beach getaway is perfect for travelers on a budget, thanks to its broad spectrum of accommodations and things to do.
Many resorts in Myrtle Beach are condominium-style, meaning they have fully equipped kitchens, so guests can buy groceries to prepare their meals.
What else is light on the wallet than this? While in town, enjoy one of the beach’s many pools while in town, visit the golf course, or chase some adventure at the amusement park.
Just be sure to avoid peak weekends in the summer, such as Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, as prices have been known to move upward. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
- San Diego, CA
California is known for many things, but affordability isn’t one of them. Still, it’s possible to find beach getaways that won’t break the bank, and San Diego is one of them.
San Diego is one of the southernmost seaside cities in the state; its strong waves, excellent surf, perfect year-round weather, historic districts, art museums, and beautiful reefs.
This happening hippie haven also has hundreds of great restaurants, galleries, and shops. But the best way to enjoy San Diego is by going to the beach, which is always free.
Depending on the time of year, you can find deals at some of San Diego’s resorts.
You can discover the coastal community of Carlsbad just 30 miles north of San Diego. This clifftop maritime town is known for its long ocean side piers, laid-back lifestyle, free concerts, and the beach. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
Cape May, NJ
The Jersey Shore is a long, meandering Atlantic coastline stretch that runs 141 miles. And while it may be on your radar thanks to that stellar television series, rest assured that much of Jersey Shore is quite the opposite of what you’ve seen on MTV.
Take Cape May, for example. Cape May is located at the southernmost tip of New Jersey’s coast, a seaside Victorian town known for its historic architecture, great restaurants, and of course, the beach.
While the hotels aren’t remarkably affordable compared to the other destinations on this list, Cape May has a bevy of free activities to help keep costs down.
Hiking trails, biking, bird-watching, and (depending on the season) whale watching can keep people entertained at a very reasonable price. You’ll also find live theaters, restaurants, and festivals.
Cape May is a beautiful coastal gem, especially if you love wildlife. Please keep your eyes on the skies for the migratory birds that make their way to this part of the country.
If it ever happens through the spring and fall, you might be lucky enough to spot a humpback whale or two offshore. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
- Canon Beach, OR
The coast of Oregon has some of the most dramatic scenery in the country. A wooded, misty shoreline gives way to acres, thicker forests, and, finally, mountains.
One of the best beach towns in Oregon is undoubtedly Cannon Beach, known for its many galleries, charming architecture, restaurants, and shops. With so much to keep you busy, this is a fun beach getaway that won’t break the bank.
Cannon Beach’s claim to fame is Haystack Rock—you probably recognize it from the 1980s classic, The Goonies. This stand section is one of the most beautiful in the country.
While water temperature may not always be a priority for swimming, the many hiking and biking trails around the beach will undoubtedly provide an opportunity to work up a sweat. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
Pensacola, Florida, could be the answer if you’re looking for deep white beaches, turquoise waters, and utterly pleasant temperatures.
This panhandle beach town is on Florida’s border with Alabama and, thanks to the high number of direct flights, is one of the cheapest beach towns around.
An abundance of hotels and resorts help keep prices competitive here too, and those rates drop significantly if you stay about 15 minutes from the beach.
But Pensacola is much more than Sweet Shores. You’ll also find historic Victorian architecture; Buzzy Restaurant; and sunken ships offshore, which are always a hit with divers.
Just beware of holiday weekends and spring break. That’s when things get a little more expensive and crowded. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
- Gulf Coast, AL
Alabama itself has some spectacular coastline. Gulf Shores is one of the most popular cities with its 32 miles of coastline, known for its white, sandy beaches, warm waters, and budget-friendly prices.
The relaxing Gulf Coast paradise is known for its natural beauty and quiet, laid-back lifestyle, especially compared to nearby destinations.
Summer is the high season, but prices may increase during spring. Then its sidewalks are raided along with college kids. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
Pismo Beach, CA
The words “cheap” and “California” are rarely seen in the same sentence – especially if we’re talking about the coast. But Pismo Beach is the rare exception to the rule.
This central coastal city is one of the most affordable beach escapes in the state without sacrificing natural beauty or the number of things to do.
Located in southern San Luis Obispo County, Pismo Beach has seven miles of oceanfront hotels along its coastline.
Many hotels also have their beach. But you can also find RV parks and campgrounds if you want to cut costs.
Pismo Beach is also a top surf spot in California, and you’ll find that the crowd here is incredibly relaxed and casual. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
Daytona Beach, FL
One of Florida’s most prominent beach destinations is just two hours north of Orlando – Daytona Beach.
This family-friendly budget destination has everything from amusement parks and golf to a long boardwalk always buzzing with energy.
Daytona International Speedway is what puts Daytona Beach on the map, but what keeps people coming back are its beautiful beaches, summertime live music chain, restaurants, energy, and cheap hotels.
The weather here can be cold from December to February, but it is a fantastic beach destination for the rest of the year. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
South Padre Island, TX
Just off the coast of Texas, South Padre Island is one of the Lone Star State’s most beloved (and most affordable) beach getaways.
It is surrounded by warm, calm bay water, and by early spring, the temperatures are already nice and toasty.
Inexpensive hotels and restaurants pepper the island, and families will find they have plenty of things to do, from kite boarding and boating to visiting water parks and spotting dolphins that sweep the clear waters.
Just be aware that the streets swell with college kids during the spring holiday season, and prices go up. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
Wrightsville Beach, NC
Carolina Seashore is one of the most famous in America, with places to visit, like the Outer Banks, usually attracting people with deep pockets.
For something more affordable on this beautiful beach, look no further than Wrightsville Beach.
This seaside town borders South Carolina and is less than a half-hour drive from Wilmington.
The laid-back beach getaway is known as one of the best beaches in North Carolina, and for Crystal Pier, which is always drawn to sunrooms with fishermen and the occasional yoga enthusiast.
You’ll find that the oceanfront is lined with affordable restaurants and hotels, and most people visiting Wrightsville are outdoor enthusiasts. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
Asbury Park, NJ
Jersey Shore’s Asbury Park was put on the map by Bruce Springsteen. After all, it was his birthplace.
The destination fell on hard times during the 1980s and 1990s, but investment in this beach town has given it new life.
With a bustling boardwalk, new restaurants, beachfront lounges, boutique hotels, and miles of wide, golden sand, Asbury Park is one of the best beaches in New Jersey.
With dedicated hotels and entertainment, this destination is particularly popular with the LGBTQ+ community, although everyone is welcome to partake in fun regardless of their identity. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
The Caribbean doesn’t seem like it would be a cheap destination for a beach getaway, but if you know how to do it right, you can visit San Juan, Puerto Rico, on a budget.
The best time to visit San Juan is during the off-season, which runs from May to November, when hotel prices are some of the lowest. Yes, even beachfront resorts offer rock-bottom prices in the off-season.
San Juan is also a hub for great restaurants and free things to do.
Going to the beach is the most obvious way to spend the day for free, but when you’re out on the beach, you can still browse art galleries, take a day trip to the El Yunque National Forest, and many festivals.
You can participate in one of these or hang out in a bakery and people-watch. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
Tybee Island, GA
Tybee Island, a barrier island famous for its soft powdery sands, historic architecture, and warm waters, is to the east of the savanna.
With beautiful resorts, inns, and bed and breakfasts, Tybee Island is a wonderful Atlantic beachfront retreat with a reasonable price tag.
A wide variety of hotels can be found here, but only a few of them are actually on the beach. Still, the island isn’t huge, so no matter where you stay, you’ll be within walking distance of the beach.
Tybee Island’s historical vibe is undeniable, whether Victorian architecture or funky retro motels outfitted with a modern-era hipster vibe. (Beach Vacation Spots in the USA)
Delray Beach, FL
Not far from Boca Raton, Delray Beach offers an inexpensive beach option when visiting the southern Floridian coast.
The seaside town has two miles of beautiful coastline and dozens of restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries along its famous Atlantic Avenue.
Not only does it have lovely hotels and beautiful beaches, but it also has a long list of fun things to do in Delray Beach – many of which are free.
Delray Beach is one of Florida’s most affordable beach destinations, from the Saturday Green Market to live music and oceanfront parks.
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