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These 7 US Beach Destinations Are Travelers’ Favorites for an Affordable Vacation


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

Although US travel to Europe and Latin America is increasing at record numbers, there are still many people who stay in the United States for their summer vacations.

montauk pier long beach new york

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

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

The responses reflect all kinds of interests and range from destinations across the country. Some hope to head to the shoreline and others to a lake, but no matter what or where, it’s clear that escaping the heat and getting closer to the water is the number one priority for most travelers this summer.

Aerial view of bathers in Asbury Park, New Jersey on Memorial Day weekend 2019

Here are 7 US beach destinations that are traveler favorites for an affordable vacation:

1. Long Beach, New York

A beach just outside of New York City may not be the first place that comes to mind when you hear the word affordable, but Long Beach scores points with travelers looking for a deal.

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

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Long Beach Boardwalk - Long Island, New York

2. Coney Island, New York

A visit to Coney Island is pretty much 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 inexpensive activities at Coney Island and its three miles of free public beach.

Catch some free shows at Ford Amphitheatre, and time your visit so you can visit the Aquarium on a payday as you wish (currently set for Wednesday afternoons).

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3. Surfside Beach, South Carolina

This smaller, cheaper side of mega-popular Myrtle Beach is turning heads as a great summer destination for many reasons.

Located just south of Myrtle Beach, it’s a smaller beach community with hotels that average between $55 and $275, a variety of cheap rentals, and a more laid-back, less crowded, and laid-back vibe than its rowdier neighbor to the north.

Sunrise on the Atlantic coast of South Carolina, surf beach, Myrtle Beach area

4. Oak Island, North Carolina

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

This coastal town on the island of Brunswick is pricey lodging with plenty of free or affordable attractions, and the Oak Island Nature Center and Oak Island Lighthouse are great options for a budget day out.

More free or cheaper things to do include walking the pier, strolling through the farmer’s market, or browsing the many antique shops before heading out for dinner at night.

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5. Galveston, Texas

A favorite beach travel destination for many people who live in the South, Galveston wins over with its great beach and plenty of things to do for all ages.

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

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

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6. Asbury Park, New Jersey

The next entry on this list takes us to the Jersey Shore, a famous destination in its own right long before it became synonymous with a sight that many people of a certain age group can’t get out of their minds.

You can visit as a day trip from New York City or stay a while and enjoy the fresh, creative vibe and LGBT+ friendly vibe.

The city is known for its creative and ethnically diverse appeal. You can find hotels here in the summer for as little as $90 a night, though most will cost you more than that.

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7. Prescott, Ariz.

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

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

Prescott’s major lakes include Watson Lake, Goldwater Lake, and Lynx Lake, and while swimming is not allowed, the recreational activities make up for it.

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

Pair of canoes on a summer afternoon on Lynx Lake in Prescott, Arizona

Rounding out the top ten most sought after affordable vacation destinations in the US are:

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

You can see the complete list of the 175 destinations here.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com