The Quick Report

10 Cheap Summer Vacation Destinations for Families on a Budget

Looking for a cheap summer vacation destination? Numerous affordable destinations offer exciting attractions, natural beauty, and family-friendly activities.

Discover ten cheap summer vacation destinations that provide fantastic experiences without draining your savings. Each one is accompanied by a description of its unique offerings, an estimate of the average cost, and reasons why it is an excellent choice.

1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach
Wikipedia

Myrtle Beach is a popular destination for budget-conscious families with its pristine beaches, lively boardwalk, and a wealth of family-oriented attractions. Enjoy sun-soaked days by the shore, indulge in water sports, explore amusement parks, or visit the Ripley’s Aquarium.

Accommodation options range from budget-friendly hotels to vacation rentals, and dining options cater to various budgets. On average, a weeklong family vacation in Myrtle Beach can cost around $1,500 to $2,500, depending on accommodation choices and activities.


2. Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Smoky Mountains
Wikipedia

Nestled amidst the stunning beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, this destination offers abundant opportunities for outdoor adventures. Families can explore hiking trails, go fishing, visit national parks, or experience thrilling rides at Dollywood theme park.

Cabin rentals are a popular and affordable accommodation choice, with options for different family sizes and budgets. A weeklong vacation in the Smoky Mountains can cost approximately $1,200 to $2,000, depending on lodging preferences and the number of activities pursued.


3. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores
Wikipedia

Gulf Shores boasts gorgeous white sand beaches, warm Gulf waters, and a laid-back atmosphere that appeals to families. Spend leisurely days building sandcastles, swimming, and enjoying beachside picnics. The area also offers opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and visiting wildlife parks.

Accommodations range from beachfront condos to budget-friendly hotels. On average, a family vacation in Gulf Shores can cost around $1,500 to $2,500, depending on accommodation choices and dining preferences.

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4. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Dells
Wikipedia

Known as the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” Wisconsin Dells offers many water-based attractions and family entertainment. Enjoy thrilling water slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools at the numerous indoor and outdoor waterparks. Additionally, families can explore amusement parks, go on boat tours, or visit scenic state parks.

Accommodation options include resorts, hotels, and vacation rentals. On average, a weeklong vacation in Wisconsin Dells can cost approximately $1,500 to $2,500, depending on accommodation choices and ticket packages for attractions.


5. Outer Banks, North Carolina

Outer Banks
Wikipedia

The Outer Banks is a charming coastal destination known for its stunning beaches, historic sites, and diverse outdoor activities. Families can visit lighthouses, explore nature preserves, go fishing, or try water sports such as kayaking and surfing.

Accommodations range from affordable vacation rentals to campgrounds. On average, a family vacation in the Outer Banks can cost around $1,500 to $2,500, depending on accommodation choices and the number of activities pursued.


6. Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi
Wikipedia

Corpus Christi offers a blend of beautiful beaches, cultural attractions, and outdoor adventures. Families can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing along the Gulf Coast. Visit the Texas State Aquarium, explore the USS Lexington Museum, or take a boat tour to spot dolphins.

Accommodations include budget-friendly hotels and vacation rentals. On average, a weeklong vacation in Corpus Christi can cost around $1,500 to $2,500, depending on accommodation choices and activities pursued.


7. Branson, Missouri

Branson
Wikipedia

Branson is a family-friendly destination known for its live entertainment, theme parks, and outdoor recreation. Families can enjoy thrilling rides at Silver Dollar City, explore the Titanic Museum, or catch a live music show. Outdoor enthusiasts can go hiking, fishing, or boating on the nearby Table Rock Lake.

Accommodation options range from budget-friendly hotels to cabins and campgrounds. A weeklong vacation in Branson can cost approximately $1,200 to $2,000, depending on lodging preferences and ticket packages.


8. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

Lake Tahoe
Wikipedia

Lake Tahoe is a breathtaking destination with crystal-clear waters, majestic mountains, and various outdoor activities. Families can go swimming, kayaking, or paddleboarding in the lake, hike scenic trails, or simply relax on the beach. Additionally, there are free summer concert series and events in the area.

Accommodations include budget-friendly hotels, cabins, and campgrounds. On average, a family vacation in Lake Tahoe can cost around $1,500 to $2,500, depending on accommodation choices and the number of activities pursued.


9. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville NC
Wikipedia

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers a vibrant arts scene, natural beauty, and family-friendly attractions. Families can explore the Biltmore Estate, hike in the surrounding national forests, or visit the hands-on exhibits at the Asheville Museum of Science. Enjoy free outdoor concerts and events in downtown Asheville.

Accommodation options range from budget-friendly hotels to vacation rentals. On average, a weeklong vacation in Asheville can cost approximately $1,500 to $2,500, depending on lodging preferences and activities chosen.


10. Portland, Oregon

Portland OR
Wikipedia

Portland is a city that embraces its natural surroundings and offers a range of family-friendly activities. Families can explore beautiful parks, visit the Oregon Zoo, or embark on biking adventures along the city’s many trails. The city also has numerous food carts and affordable dining options.

Accommodations include budget-friendly hotels and vacation rentals. On average, a family vacation in Portland can cost around $1,500 to $2,500, depending on accommodation choices and the number of activities pursued.