Most affordable beach vacations in the U.S.

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.

Spending some or all of your summer on a beach vacation is a dream. And thankfully, you can have an excellent experience at the beach without breaking the bank. Find a location that’s not overcrowded for a high quality and memorable experience. Save even more with some points from the best travel credit cards. Earn points and use them for travel and accommodations. If you have the Hilton card you can book one of these beaches with your Hilton points. Also, check out one of the best beaches with Hyatt Hotels

Be careful when vacationing while there is a pandemic. Take the necessary precautions, such as wearing a mask, staying six feet away from people, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands often. Keep some hand sanitizer on you so you can sanitize your hands when you don’t have access to soap and water. Above all, do not travel if you’re feeling sick. 

You can enjoy a vacation while taking these precautions in response to COVID-19. Check out these top three destinations. 

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 

Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular beach destinations in the United States. There are a lot of great features in Myrtle Beach. It has over 100 golf courses for all you golf fanatics out there. There are 60 miles of shoreline with affordable shops and resorts. It’s near Augusta, Charlotte, and Charleston if you want to visit one of the big cities during your stay. There are also massive water parks and pools to enjoy. 

Cape May, New Jersey 

Cape May sits right at the south of the famous Jersey Shore, where there are plenty of bars and restaurants. Plus, it’s family-friendly and even more affordable than you might think. If you live nearby, this is a great option for a beach getaway because you don’t have far to travel. There are plenty of reasonably priced hotels and activities to enjoy such as lighthouse and brewery tours, as well as paddleboarding. 

Pensacola Beach, Florida 

Pensacola Beach is a popular getaway for vacationers between April and October because it’s so warm there during these months. If you don’t want to drive there you can take a flight to the Pensacola International Airport. Enjoy affordable restaurants and hotels. You could save even more money by staying in Pensacola and driving the 15 to 20 minutes to the beach. Enjoy activities like air shows by the Blue Angels (a crew of elite fighter jet pilots) and sunken ships to explore on dives. 

Rehoboth and Bethany Beach, Delaware 

This tiny state has two beach vacation options: Rehoboth Beach and Bethany Beach. They’re right next to each other. They’re relaxing destinations without the huge crowds, and if you want to get away from it all go a little up the coast to the wild dunes and estuaries of Cape Henlopen State Park. Avoid going there on the holidays (July 4th and Memorial Day weekend) for the best rates. Choose camping over staying in a motel to save money on accommodations. Check out Cape Henlopen State Park and Delaware SeashoreState Park. 

St. Pete Beach, Florida 

St. Pete Beach is a long island off the coast of Florida just a bit from the city of St. Petersburg. It’s a great beach destination with some fun activities and places to visit. Check out the Pass-a-Grille Historic District for shopping and meeting some of the locals. Visit Shell Key Preserve for a beautiful bird-watching spot. Don’t forget the gorgeous beach itself! St. Pete Beach is a truly cheap tropical vacation. Plan to visit during the winter or spring seasons as there are a lot of thunderstorms during the summer and fall seasons. 

Ocean City, Maryland 

Stay at this wonderful beach destination and enjoy the boardwalks. Try out some new foods at the most popular restaurants at Ocean City such as Thrasher’s Fries, Fisher’s where they are famous for their caramel popcorn, and then Alaska Stand for some of their famous funnel cakes. Check out the carousel at Trimper’s Rides and the arcade at Marty’s Playland. Save some cash by staying at a hotel in West Ocean City instead of grabbing a pricey beachfront hotel. 

Virginia Beach, Virginia 

Virginia Beach is an incredibly popular and affordable beach vacation for many. There is plenty of beach to enjoy, restaurants, and amusement parks for rides and food. Try some of the famous seafood there such as the oysters, scallops, and Chesapeake Bay blue crabs. Dine at one of the beachfront restaurants for an amazing view. While you can get a hotel room for a decent price, try camping at First Landing State Park for even better savings. You can even stay in a cabin there. 

Carlsbad, California 

Finally, a destination on the west coast that won’t break the bank! Enjoy a laid back atmosphere with plenty of beach to take in. Carlsbad is a little beach town about 30 miles from San Diego. If you go in May or November you can visit the Carlsbad Village Fair. It’s a popular destination for many vacationers, so if you want to go when it’s not so popular, avoid those two months. Check out the free concerts every Friday during the summer, which you can find in town or in parks. Try your hand at fishing on the Oceanside Pier or learn how to play volleyball on the beach. 

Wells Beach, Maine 

Head to the northernmost state to enjoy an affordable beach vacation. There are seven miles of beach along Wells Beach, Crescent Beach, and Drake’s Island Beach. Activities include riding the trolley, hiking the trails on Wells Reserve, and kayaking. Take a 30-minute drive to enjoy the rides at Palace Playland, visit Aquaboggan Water Park, and York’s Wild Animal Kingdom to see some animals and go on some rides. There are some wonderful resorts and hotels where you can stay for a bargain, such as Majestic Regency Resort.

Long Beach, Washington 

Long Beach is a peninsula with 28 miles of beach. Enjoy some great beach activities like bonfires, beachcombing, surf lessons, horseback riding, kite flying, and bicycling. Hike Discovery Trail, which is 8.2 miles long with markers from the Lewis and Clark expedition. Hike to the lighthouses at Cape Disappointment State Park or just visit the beach there. Visit Leadbetter State Park for some bird watching and hiking. Other places to visit at Long Beach include Fun Beach Speedway, the World’s Largest Frying Pan, Marsh’s Free Museum, and the International Kite Museum. 

Bottom line

Get your beachwear ready, pack up your necessities, remember the COVID-19 precautions mentioned above, and enjoy your affordable beach getaway with one of these 10 options. Plan ahead as far as possible for some really great deals. Enjoy yourself and the time you’re spending with your family. 

Featured image by Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock.

Nicole LaMarco is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, she covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Join the Discussion!

Comments are closed.