Going on a beach vacation in the United States doesn’t have to be an Ultra-indulgent affair. While many budget travelers tend to avoid beach towns due to the high season sticker surprise, there are plenty of Inexpensive beach vacations on American shores. With careful planning, even popular beach destinations can be more affordable. Knowing when to go, where to stay and how to get around Inexpensively can make these beautiful places the perfect addition to your travel list.
Here are the best Inexpensive beach vacations in the United States:
1. Cannon Beach, Oregon
This scenic Oregon destination has over nine miles of coastline to enjoy. With Haystack Rock sticking out from the otherwise flat sandy shore, it’s easy to say it’s a travel photographer’s dream come true. The beach is also known for its colorful tidal pools that are beautiful at sunrise, as well as an impressive array of Migratory Bird and whale watching opportunities.
Cannon Beach grows in popularity during the summer months as beachgoers flock here to enjoy the short-lived Pacific Northwest heatwaves. Avoid the crowds by visiting in the fall, when you can reach the coast without so many people. Since this region is full of virtually untouched nature, it will be easy to save money on activities by taking free walks in the Ecola State Park, for example.
2. Fort Bragg, California
If you’re thinking of going to California, be sure to spend some time in Fort Bragg. This charming resort town is famous for its beach covered with sea glass, aptly called Glass Beach. It is also a affordable alternative to other more expensive destinations nearby, such as Mendocino.
Fort Bragg is the ideal starting point not only for picturesque beaches, but also for some stellar hiking areas. The Jug Handle State Nature Reserve is free to visit and has tidal pools, cliffs and a magical Pygmy Forest (cypresses and gnarled and twisted Pines). Mackerricher State Park is also free and has overnight accommodations. You’ll find seals hanging on the rocks and miles of virtually pristine coastline to explore.
3. Huntington Beach, California
So you want to have a complete California beach experience without spending thousands of dollars on expensive hotel rooms and fancy restaurants? Think Huntington Beach, a laid-back city much more affordable than nearby Santa Monica and San Diego.
As for the seaside resorts of Southern California, This is one of the most affordable. Not only can you find accommodation deals here, but the food scene is incredibly Inexpensive and there’s plenty to do for free. You can grab a few tacos from a food truck, and then spend the day exploring the 365-acre Huntington Central Park, which you can visit for free; you might even spot cetacean in the distance.
4. Galveston, Texas
Just 45 minutes ‘ drive from Houston, this charming beach town is an absolute treat and easily one of the most affordable vacations in the United States. With almost the entire island city accessible on foot or by bike, you will save a lot of time on transport costs here.
There are also plenty of free and Inexpensive things to do, like taking the ferry from Galveston to Port Bolivar to catch a glimpse of Seawolf Park and maybe even see dolphins. You can also visit Saengerfest Park or explore Galveston Harbor for free.
For a taste of the area’s natural beauty, head to Galveston Island State Park. Here you will find coastal birds and other wildlife, as well as hiking trails and a pristine beach. It is a serene alternative to the hustle and bustle of Galveston Beach.
5. South Padre Island, Texas
This sunny island is one of the best hidden gems in the country for its beautiful sandy beaches and laid-back atmosphere. The waves here are a favorite among beginner surfers, as there are much quieter areas to learn on your own or with an instructor. You can rent a board for the whole day for just from South Padre Surf Co. that’s a very good deal.
The island of South Padre is warm all year round, which means you can taste the tropics at any time of the year without leaving the United States. This is a popular spring break destination for students, so I recommend avoiding visiting during this noisy time.
In addition to surfing, there are many free and inexpensive things to do, such as exploring the Laguna Madre Nature Trail or Boca Chica State Park. You can also just hang out on the beach, jump in a volleyball match or relax on a chair and enjoy the scenery.