Go Cheap or Go Home with These Fun, Affordable Summer Vacations
Yellowstone is a wildly popular national park, but lodging for less than $150 per night can still be booked this summer. (Photo: Tomazkunst / Dreamstime.com)
Yellowstone National Park
Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
Who’s up for jaw-dropping scenery, warm western hospitality, and the closest thing to a safari experience that the lower 48 can offer? Best known for the Old Faithful geyser, which won’t disappoint with its spectacular display, Yellowstone is also home to 1,000 miles of hiking trails, 67 species of mammals (including bears, moose, and thanks to a successful reintroduction in 1995, more than 300 wolves), and ranger programs such as walks, hikes, and campfire programs that can help you get the most out of this crown jewel of the national park system.
Stay: Located three miles from the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Lodge offers Wi-Fi, complimentary continental breakfast, a heated pool, and access to a business center and coin-operated laundry facilities (251 S. Electric St., West Yellowstone, Mont., yellowstonelodge.com, from $149).
Myrtle Beach (Photo: Jkellyimaging/Dreamstime)
If you want a dreamy beach vacation, there’s still plenty of time to find a deal. Myrtle Beach’s miles of sand, wildly popular boardwalk, charter fishing expeditions, and Ripley’s Aquarium (where you can get nose-to-nose with sharks) will keep you busy while the sun shines, and its world-class eateries roll out an irresistible Southern-style welcome with local micro-brews, seafood buffets, and oceanfront tables.
Stay: Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort provides beach access and ocean views, a heated outdoor pool, heated “lazy river,” kids’ water play area, and a “kids eat free” policy (415 South Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, S.C., wgmyrtlebeach.com, from $79).
Dollywood, with its awesome thrill rides, is nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains. (Courtesy: Dollywood)
Great Smoky Mountains