The 20 Cheapest (But Best) Beach Vacations in the U.S.

Garrett Gardner

Folly Beach, South Carolina

Going for a beach vacation in the U.S. doesn’t have to be super-indulgent. Most budget travelers avoid seaside towns for the high prices. You did not know that you could choose from so many cheap beach vacations in the U.S. Provided that you plan carefully, you will discover some of the best cheap beach vacations that no one ever imagined whether they existed. To save time, we have compiled the 20 cheapest beach vacations in the U.S. for you below. We have also provided estimates of the daily expenditures on these beach vacations. These fees cater for meals, accommodation, and transportation.

Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

20. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

New England is a bit expensive, but that should not bother anyone looking for a cheap beach vacation in New England. According to World Packers, you will find fantastic beaches to enjoy on a budget in New England, like Hampton Beach. Located in the southern part of New Hampshire, the beach has been a summer favorite for locals in the region. People love that the beach is huge enough for various beach activities. It is a good place to surf, fish, and play sports. The beach hosts small comfortable cottages and local seafood eateries for visitors. Generally, it is a great beach vacation for families in the USA. As a solo traveler, you will likely spend $273 per day at Hampton Beach for food and accommodation, among other basic expenses.


19. Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach is a favorite among families and college students. Situated in Florida, it is among the cheapest beaches for a vacation along the Eastern Coast of the USA. You will enjoy the long stretch of sand that is the best spot for lounging with colleagues, sun tanning, or playing beach sports. Daytona Beach also hosts an amusement park and endless entertainment, like outdoor concerts in summer, which are free. The spring break period gets the beach packed with college students partying all over. This is, therefore, the best time to visit if you are looking for a wild experience. People who prefer a relaxed beach should visit any time apart from spring when the atmosphere is chill. When there are no price hikes, you will spend about $169 per day at Daytona Beach.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

18. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is among the ideal options for a pocket-friendly beach getaway in the USA. The best time to visit the beach is during the warm weather of May. This destination offers visitors much to enjoy, including an unforgettable nightlife experience. You will also enjoy the 60 miles of the beach’s sandy shoreline and not less than 100 golf courses. All this is available at a budget-friendly price. Getting to Myrtle Beach is inexpensive as well. Driving from cities like Augusta, Charlotte, and Charleston is easy. Please note that the locale is always packed during summer. Myrtle Beach is relatively cheap as daily expenses get to $139.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

17. Cannon Beach, Oregon

Oregon does not cross most people’s minds as an ideal beach vacation place. The truth is that Oregon is an unexplored gem for beach lovers. Cannon Beach is a simple city on the ocean located in the Northwest part of Oregon. If you love exploring nature, you will enjoy every bit of this place. It has cliffs, caves, unique birds, and national parks for explorers. Cannon Beach has cooler temperatures as well. Cannon Beach should be a good choice if you dislike beaches for the heat. At Cannon Beach, you can expect to spend approximately $154 per day for meals and accommodation, among other expenses.

Miami, Florida

16. Miami, Florida

One good aspect of beach vacations is that the primary attraction (the beach) is free. Despite a city like Miami being a bit pricey in terms of eating out and clubbing, people on a budget can still enjoy the place. Among the free activities, you will enjoy in Miami, Florida, are hanging out on Miami’s South Beach, visiting art museums, and enjoying the multicultural atmosphere. Visitors here enjoy the cheap happy hours, where they get the chance to drink and eat on a budget. Daily expenditure in Miami, Florida, for a vacation getaway will be approximately $165.

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

15. Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Wrightsville Beach is among the most looked down upon beach destinations in North Carolina. This explains why it is among the cheapest summer getaways in North Carolina. Located at the border of South Carolina and just 20 minutes from Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach is a relaxing place. Visitors can enjoy yoga, fish, or simply walk on the sandy beach. According to Be My Travel Muse, the destination is also ideal for water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, and windsurfing. If you need to refuel, Wrightsville Beach hosts many bars and restaurants for that purpose. Compared to others on the list, Wrightsville is a bit expensive as it will cost you $208 a day. The fee includes transportation facilities in case you will rent a car to take you around.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

14. Virginia Beach, Virginia

You should add this place to your bucket list if you are looking for a cheap and one of the best beaches in the USA. Virginia is a historic town that prides itself on a massive and beautiful beach, among other attractions. People enjoy the local boardwalk, boat tours, museums, and the Chesapeake Bay Nature. Accommodation is relatively cheap since you can easily find cottages going for $100 a night in Virginia Beach. Additionally, New York City isn’t far from Virginia Beach. If you have plans to visit this big city, it will take you a very short time to get there. Meals and accommodation will cost you $150 per day, but this is on the high end.

Delray Beach, Florida

13. Delray Beach, Florida

Delray Beach will be a good alternative if your pocket does not allow you to get to Boca Raton. The good thing about the beach is that it welcomes visitors any time throughout the year. Visitors love the place since it has value-friendly restaurants, hotels, and lively bars for refueling. There are many activities to indulge in at the beach besides swimming. Guests can surf, dive or snorkel. Nature lovers will also be happy to visit the Japanese Gardens or get to Wakodahatchee Wetlands to watch wildlife. A vacation on Delray Beach will require you to spend around $271 a day.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

12. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Rehoboth Beach is a visually attractive sand stretch along the Atlantic Ocean. Guests on a budget will enjoy tons of activities on Rehoboth Beach. During the day, you can swim in the sea before some entertaining music at night. The Bandstand band hosts several free concerts on the beach to entertain the guests. In terms of accommodation, there are many inexpensive motels, such as the Econo Lodges and Comfort Inns. Maximum expenditure here will be approximately $274 per day.

Huntington Beach, California

11. Huntington Beach, California

Huntington Beach has up to 10 miles of coastline. It is a good alternative to San Diego or Santa Monica in California. Dubbed Surf City USA, Huntington Beach lives up to these standards. According to Travel U.S. News, this place has waters that are ideal for surfing and has so many land and water activities for guests. Pet lovers should not miss the beach Surf City Surf Dog competitions. You will also enjoy the trails, whale watching, and horseback riding in Huntington Central Park. Cheap dining options are also available for visitors. The daily expenses here are estimated at $153 per day.

Panama City Beach, Florida

10. Panama City Beach, Florida

Panama City Beach is a better alternative to the famous Florida Beach destinations like Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. At Panama City Beach, you will find at least 2500 lodging options and motels charging as low as $85 every night. Even though the Florida Seaside destination is a good spot for spring breaks, it is also good for nature lovers and families. Attractions like St. Andrews State Park host hiking trails and affordable camping facilities. Another attraction is Camp Helen State Park. This is a good spot for hikers, beachgoers, and cyclists.

Folly Beach, South Carolina

9. Folly Beach, South Carolina

Folly Beach is where visitors and locals enjoy the South Carolina sand once the weather warms up. Situated on an island, the beach dubbed ‘the edge of America’ is ideally part of Charleston since it is 15 minutes away. Besides surfing and swimming, visitors can spend days here fishing, dolphin watching, and jet skiing. According to Vacation Idea, there are fun bars and eateries where you can enjoy some delicious seafood. It is among the most affordable beach on our list for a reason. A day at Folly Beach could consume $339.

Strand Bike Trail

8. Ventura Beach, California

Most of the time, California is on the high end in terms of pricing. However, you can still have fun on a budget at Ventura Beach, California. Lounging on the sand here is free; if you are tired of that, you can stroll along the Ventura Pier. People also walk along the Ventura Promenade to watch wave riders at the Seaside Park. Hotels are quite expensive here, but the beach offers a favorite spot for camping for people who cannot afford the expensive holes. Both RV and tent camping are available. On the high end, you can spend slightly more than $400 per day at Ventura. If money is an issue, you can avoid some unnecessary expenditures.

Siesta Key Beach

7. Siesta Key Beach, Florida

The beaches around Siesta Key have powdery sand and clear blue waters, which makes other mighty beaches of Florida jealous. These beaches have soft waves, making them perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding, or swimming in the ocean. Siesta Key beaches are close to Sarasota, with restaurants just a few minutes away. The clear waters are ideal for snorkeling at the Turtle and Crescent beaches. Sundays are the best time for going to the Siesta Key Drum Circle for sword balancing and belly dancing. The daily expenditure at Siesta Key Beach is estimated at $277.

Asbury Park

6. Asbury Park, New Jersey

This is another spot where travelers on a budget can have fun. It prides itself on a bustling boardwalk, beachfront lounges, new restaurants, miles of golden sand, and boutiques. This, therefore, tells that there is so much to do in Asbury Park. According to Planet Ware, the beach is a frequent host of the LGBTQ+ community with special entertainment and hotels. However, everyone can have fun here regardless of how they identify. Asbury Park is fun, and with as little as $155 a day, you can be sure to dine and lodge here comfortably.

south padre island

5. South Padre Island, Texas

A short distance from the coast of Texas, South Padre Island is among the state’s beloved beach getaways. Calm and warm gulf waters surround the location. Better still, the temperature here is toasty and so nice in early spring. You can therefore anticipate having fun in the water and on the sand. Accommodation is available on the island as it packs cheap restaurants and hotels. Families here will find so many things to do. For instance, they can visit the numerous water parks, kiteboarding, and sail and watch dolphins as they crest in the clear waters. It is important to note that this place is so full during spring break when prices tend to be high. On normal occasions, the daily expenditure on South Padre Island is about $123.

Gulf Shores

4. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Among the places that enjoy a spectacular shoreline in the U.S. is Alabama. One of the most popular towns along the 32-mile coastline is Gulf Shores. The place is famous for its white sandy beaches, warm waters, and budget-friendly price. This coast is heaven for its amazing natural beauty and quiet atmosphere, compared to nearby destinations. Spring break might not be the best time to visit this place since it is packed to capacity meaning that prices are also high. Most of the people here during this time are college students. Visitors will enjoy the budget-friendly price at Gulf Shores since meals, accommodation, and other basic expenses get to $160 per day.


3. Sleeping Bear Lakeshore, Michigan

Most people do not expect that this could be a beach vacation for the simple reason that it is on a lake as opposed to the ocean. However, Great Lakes make incredible beach getaways, particularly for residents of the Midwest who don’t wish to travel far. It is a beautiful location with huge sand dunes for climbers. The peaceful rivers are ideal for kayaking, while hikers will find comfort in the dense forests. If you wish to soak in the summer sun, many relaxing beaches are here. As opposed to other beach vacations, there are no restaurants or night accommodations in Sleeping Bear Lakeshore. The price is $145, which includes entrance and parking fees.

Cape May

2. Cape May, New Jersey

The shore of Jersey is a long Atlantic Coastline running up to 141 miles. Cape May lies on the southern part of the coast of New Jersey. It is a seaside town famous for its great restaurants, the beach, and historical architecture. Even though hotels here aren’t affordable like in other destinations, Cape May has many free activities that keep the costs of being here low. People enjoy bird watching, hiking, and biking. Whale watching is also available depending on the season of the year. All these services are offered at a relatively lower price. Cape May is an amazing coastal gem, especially for lovers of wildlife. Keep your eyes glued to the skies to watch migrating birds making their way to this place. You will enjoy all of these at $170 daily, including transportation fees.

1. Pismo Beach, California

It is not easy to put cheap and California in the same sentence, particularly when referring to the coast. However, Pismo Beach stands out and defies all that. This coastal city is among the most affordable beaches in this state. According to Good Morning America, there are so many things to do, not forgetting its natural beauty. Situated in Luis Obispo County, Pismo Beach prides itself on seven miles of the coast. There are many hotels, some with beach access. If you are, however, looking to cut costs, campgrounds and R.V. parks are still available. For meals, accommodation, and transportation, you might be required to part with $292 a day at Pismo Beach.

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