We’ve all been there. Decided it was time for a vacation, picked the perfect destination, dreamed of all the fun to be had- then suddenly realized there was no way to fit this trip in the budget.
A dream vacation doesn’t have to be an all-inclusive resort on some remote island. Paradise comes in all shapes and sizes, including a small town here in the good ol’ US of A. Whether you are looking for some sun on the beach, adventures in the mountains, or a quality culture experience there’s something for everyone. Read on for some of the best small-town destinations, all of which can be experienced for under $500 (a goal you can achieve in a year for less than $10 a week!). Talk about easy on your monthly budget!
The perfect cultural immersion experience, Telluride offers something for anyone looking to get away. Soar the slopes of the Telluride Ski Resort in the winter or jam out to summer festivals in the mountains. Bring your tennis shoes and mountain bikes, there are plenty of trails. The most popular is Bridal Veil Falls, a beautiful 365-foot waterfall. Don’t forget to venture into the artsy downtown district filled with murals and restaurants boasting character. For a more intellectual evening, you can visit the historic district’s most prominent landmark, the Sheridan Opera House. Many of the activities in this city are free, which makes budgeting for a trip a lot easier.
If a quiet beach destination is your heart’s desire, Morro Bay is an excellent option. The city gained its namesake from an ancient volcanic rock which sits within the state park. For the outdoorsy type, there is plenty of kayaking, sailing, and fishing to be had. Again, all free which means all budget friendly. For a more relaxing day, you can always soak up the sun on the quiet beaches. Spend the evenings in town at local wine bars and breweries. Make sure to pick up a souvenir shirt from the Aloha Shirt Shop and return home looking like a true Californian.
This town is the dream location for the outdoor enthusiast. Full of rolling hills and winding rivers, this is truly a destination to escape society. Canoeing, tubing, kayaking, and hiking are all easily within reach to visitors. Stay at the Niobrara River Ranch, where you can spend mornings sipping coffee (TIP: skip the expensive latte and brew your own coffee to stay on budget) on your cabin porch and taking in the breathtaking views. Spend an afternoon exploring The Sandhills, which cover 19,000 square feet. The city also hosts a huge Valentine’s day bash with music and food.
As it says in the name, this city is right on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. Take in the rays and relax to the sound of the ocean. Even in the summer, these beaches are never too full. Take a boat out on the water or spend the day on one of the many golf courses. For the foodies, there are several “food trails” to choose from which take you from one location to another based on a style of food. Options include the typical beach munchies of seafood, burgers, and key lime pie. For smaller budgets, pack snacks and take a self-guided tour of downtown.
This (VERY) small town situated on the edge of the Delaware Canal is almost untouched by modern day hustle and bustle. Nothing says budget friendly like a location which has not been flooded with tourists. Many of the city’s 19th century style buildings remain intact. The city boasts of history and heritage. Visit the local museum, catch a cruise on the canal, or explore the Ben Cardin C and D recreational trail. There are many shopping options as well, which provide beautiful views of the water.
No matter how small your budget, there is a dream destination out there perfect for you. Small towns are the best way to gain an experience like no other and even check items off your bucket list! For the price of your daily latte, you can start saving for the ultimate adventure.