Peak vacation season is upon us, but the world is looking different than it did 12 months ago. Before, families, couples and singles would likely be booking flights to destinations all around the globe. However, a post-COVID-19 mindset is keeping most people thinking domestically as a precautionary measure when they are planning their travels.
There are many places to visit in the USA that are ideal for couples, families and groups of friends, and also if you are trying to stick to a budget. The country's beaches, for example, provide a myriad of activities for both young and old. If sand and surf are up your alley, we will point you toward some of the best affordable beach vacation spots in the U.S.
Some of the best hidden vacation spots in the U.S. are beachfront destinations — and what better way to celebrate the end of quarantine than in a warm and wonderful setting, burying your toes in the sand. No matter if you are looking for romantic beach getaways or fun-filled watery adventures, the beach is calling — and it offers plenty of affordable getaway options.
If you are looking to lounge in some subtropical weather lounging on pristine beaches, then head to the continental United States' southernmost point — the Florida Keys. Key West offers visitors an eccentric kind of beach vacation, as the local residents always bring fun and funky vibes to any setting. You will find no end of eclectic restaurants, bars and, of course, people. Whether you love deep-sea fishing, snorkeling or sailing, Key West is perfect for free spirits looking to see where the warm wind may blow them.
Sand, sunshine and quaint beachfront communities are all reasons to plan a vacation to the Outerbanks region of North Carolina. This 200-mile string of barrier islands has a little something for everyone. Climb the towering sand dunes in Jockey's Ridge State Park, or rent a fishing charter and enjoy some unforgettable angling in the Atlantic's Gulf Stream waters. From iconic lighthouses and marine wildlife to cozy seafood dives featuring Hatteras-style clam chowder and raw oysters, the Outerbanks is definitely one of the best beachfront places to visit in the USA, especially for couples looking for a romantic getaway.
One quick look at a U.S. map will tell you that Indiana is nowhere near the ocean, but that does not mean it is devoid of beaches. Right along the shores of Lake Michigan is a lovely hidden gem waiting for you and your family to discover it — Indiana Dunes National Park. It features gorgeous beaches where you can lounge and relax or enjoy some freshwater swimming and take part in some fun-filled hiking and fishing exploits. You will also discover Mount Baldy, a massive sand dune mountain that is always changing shape.
Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the continental United States, and this town is a treasure trove for history buffs. Down every cobblestone street, you will come face to face with America's colonial past. With its diverse architecture and paranormal ghost tours, history is alive and well in St. Augustine. It is also a great place to introduce your kids to some swashbuckling pirate lore.
This coastal seaside community boasts 42 miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches and year-round sunshine. That means plenty of opportunities for swimming, sandcastle building and lots of water activities. You will also have the chance to sample some scrumptious local eats and shop around at a variety of eclectic boutiques.
While most beach-lovers flock to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the Gulf of Mexico is another coastal gem bordering several southeastern states, including Mississippi. Gulfport is an ideal location that is relatively affordable for those looking for a beach vacation on a budget. It has nearly seven miles of white, sandy beaches and plenty of watery adventures for young and old. This top-rated spot is also known for its kid-friendly attractions, including a local water park and marine mammal exhibit.
From top-notch water sports like jet skiing and surfing to secluded sandy spots where you can lounge by the ocean and soak up some rays, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina truly has something for everyone. Anglers love setting out on one of the local charters for an unforgettable deep-sea fishing excursion. Golfers can hit up one of the area's more than 100 courses that dot the region. Those traveling with kids love the ample supply of family-friendly opportunities, including a local amusement park with a towering Ferris wheel and tons of family-friendly restaurants with delectable seafood dishes.
After the sun sets over Myrtle Beach, things get really hot. If you are vacationing with your special someone or a group of friends, local bars, nightclubs and music venues fill up with local and national talent so that you can dance into the wee hours of the morning. There are also plenty of free seasonal activities throughout spring break and all summer long for visitors of every age, like movie screenings, carriage rides and outdoor concerts.
The real draw to Myrtle Beach, however, is its more than 60 miles of sandy shores. Swimming, sandcastle building and listening to the crashing waves — you are in for a treat in this coastal town.
If you are wondering where to vacation in the U.S. on a budget, head to Myrtle Beach. You can make your adventure even more affordable when you book your stay at Myrtle Beach KOA. Our campground has tons of budget-friendly ways to stay. Opt for a romantic cabin hideaway, or introduce your kids to the joy of tent camping. Plus, we are the only campground located in the city of Myrtle Beach, putting you just a hop, skip and a jump from all the attractions found in this beachside town.
That doesn't mean this area has to always be empty. When you start reviewing camping options, your history will display here to help compare sites and find the best stay. You will be able to share your stay information with friends or family and save it for a later time if you have a KOA.com Account.