As families start planning their summer vacations, many popular US travel destinations will see an influx of visitors. Regardless where you’re going this summer, you’ll likely take a few things into consideration before booking that perfect family trip. Do you want to be on the beach soaking up the rays, boogie-boarding, or strolling the boardwalk? Maybe you fancy a more adventurous endeavor in the mountains, where hiking, biking, and kayaking offer the ultimate outdoor thrill. Or possibly a romantic city escape, spending your days sightseeing, shopping, and dining on fancy cosmopolitan treats.
Whatever vibe you’re seeking; there’s no doubt you want something affordable. Summer vacation may be the only time of the year your whole family gets to go somewhere together. If you can save on accommodations and lodging, that means more money for actually enjoying yourselves while away.
Enter TripAdvisor Rentals. We’ve analyzed over 150 destinations across the US, comparing the average weekly cost of two-bedroom vacation homes during the summer months. (Note: prices reflect Summer 2015, when this post was written). Out of over 150 regions considered, the below list reflects 29 amazing hotspots that offer the most bang for your buck when staying in a rental home.
Florida and the sunny Southern coast are unsurprisingly well represented, but the charming Northeast and scenic West also hold their own. These affordable summer getaways pack a seriously fun punch at a manageable cost.
And once you decide on a destination, you can book all your tours, activities, and attractions right on TripAdvisor, too. Our new 24-hour cancellation policy means you can pre-book before arriving, but still have the flexibility to cancel if your itinerary changes.
Disney-accessible Davenport is the perfect summer vacation spot for families with children. An average cost of $601/week for a two-bedroom home means your wallet won’t suffer, either.
Phoenix receives sunshine during 85% of its daylight hours – the most of any major metropolitan area in the US, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. Summertime is hot, of course, but many rentals come with a private pool for cooling off. Once the heat of the afternoon is gone, take off on a hot air balloon ride at sunset. At a manageable $682/week for a two-bedroom home, this desert city is one of the country’s most affordable summer vacation spots.
A golfer’s paradise with plenty of water sports and beach relaxation, Englewood is a pleasant alternative to some of Florida’s other busy beach counties. A week’s stay in a two-bedroom home will only run you $750 on average.
The chic classic city of Naples seemingly has it all. Offering possibly the best bang for your buck, a two-bedroom rental goes for an average of $753/week. You’ll be in the center of the action; nearby the historic downtown district, a unique art scene, high-end restaurants, shops and nightlife, plus family-friendly attractions and entertainment. To get outdoors, why not venture out into the Gulf waters on a manatee and dolphin ecotour?
Bonita Springs is one of Florida’s most scenic vacation destination. It is home to Lovers Key State Park, a little known beach reserve with magical sunsets and an abundance of bright vegetation. The 21-acre Conservancy Nature Center is a celebration of Florida’s natural treasures – water, land and wildlife – and is a great daytime activity for the whole family. For an average of $861/week for a two-bedroom vacation home, you’ll have more money to spend on fun.
A seaside resort city with small-town charm, your best bet for a visit to Ormond Beach is an affordable vacation home, where the extra space and amenities are great for large groups. The average cost of a two-bedroom home this summer is just $861/week. Relaxation comes easy in Ormond Beach, but those looking for a livelier pursuit can easily get to nearby Daytona Beach for a day trip.
The pristine beaches steal the show in Cocoa Beach, where sea turtles, dolphins, whales and incredible sunsets all offer stunning photo ops. If the vacation rental savings aren’t reason enough to visit Cocoa Beach – just $905/week for a two-bedroom home – the attractions and family-friendly endeavors won’t disappoint. Historic restaurants and a world-class pier offer plenty of entertainment, and you can explore the Black River Aquatic Reserve on a manatee tour by paddle board or kayak.
Home to the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral provides families with an educational vacation experience that won’t break the bank. This summer you’ll spend just $916/week on average for a two-bedroom rental. When you’re ready to relax, hit the Canaveral National Seashore – 24 miles of undeveloped beach with over a thousand plants and 300 bird species. You can discover the area on two wheels with a guided electric bike tour of Port Canaveral and Cocoa Beach.
One of South Carolina’s lesser-known beaches is finally getting its due. A popular fishing pier jets from the two miles of pristine oceanfront where families can hop aboard boating excursions, surfing trips or just a romantic sunset stroll. Experience the beauty for just $950/week on average for a two-bedroom vacation home. That’s one of the most affordable rates you’ll find this summer!
What could be considered Florida’s most hipster-esque coastal town, New Smyrna Beach is bustling with boutique shops and cafes, plus a thriving arts community that’s received high praise. A week’s stay this summer in a two-bedroom vacation home here costs $982 on average, or only $140/night!
The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary is a must-see, hosting over 100,000 tourists each year. It’s free admission and offers not only an educational experience for all ages, but the chance to see amazing bird species up close and personal. A two-bedroom vacation home in Indian Shores this summer is just $1,001/week on average. You’ll have easy access to the sanctuary, as well as other attractions like Smuggler Cove Adventure Golf, a kid favorite.
The summer temps in Angel Fire sit at a perfect 76-degree average, and it’s never humid. This makes for amazing outdoor fun, like rock climbing, hiking, biking, golfing or simply relaxing by the lake. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains provide a scenic backdrop for the camera-wielding traveler. Stay in a gorgeous cabin rental for just $1,042/week, with two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and plenty of living space for the whole family. A trip to Angel Fire is the most budget-friendly way to experience all New Mexico has to offer!
Does whitewater-rafting sound like a good time? How about a backpacking trip through Colorado’s picturesque hills? Or zip lining high above the trees as the summer sun illuminates the land below? If you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors without breaking the bank, Silverthorne is the vacation spot for you. You’ll find beautiful two-bedroom homes for jut $1,089/week on average, much more affordable than Colorado’s busier destinations like Denver, Boulder, Breckenridge, Aspen or Vail.
The pace is noticeably slower in this Gulf Coast retreat, and that’s how visitors like it. When you’re lounging beachside with a daiquiri in your hand, what’s the rush? There’s plenty of water recreation, of course, and a quaint downtown strip with locally owned shops and restaurants. If you want to explore the area further, try a stunning coastal Segway circuit starting from nearby Anna Maria Island and calling in at Bradenton Beach, Coquina Beach and Holmes Beach. If the vibe here alone doesn’t put your mind at ease, consider that a two-bedroom summer rental is available for just $1,113/week on average.
Home to one of America’s greatest events – the Daytona 500 – this Florida beach town has it all. Roller coasters and thrill rides for the kids, golfing, fishing, shopping, great restaurants and more for the adults. The famous boardwalk and pier are a foodies’ dream. The beach itself is considered the “Original American Beach” and plays host to many festivals throughout the year like Biketoberfest, Daytona Blues Festival and all the motorsport action at the Daytona International Speedway. Thrill-seekers can go up to 145mph with a Daytona driving experience or book the gentler version for car-crazy kids. It’s hard to believe you’ll only spend $1,126/week when you stay at a two-bedroom vacation home this summer.
“Have a big vacation in a small town” is the motto in this Smoky Mountain escape. This summer, you can enjoy that big-time beauty of Bryson City at a small cost. Rent a cabin in the hills for outdoor adventure or something closer to downtown for a charming experience, with two-bedroom homes going for $1,130 on average – good enough for North Carolina’s most affordable vacation spot this summer.
Shop ’til you drop in La Quinta, with a range of boutique shops and top national retailers. Outdoor dining is a must under the picture-perfect views of the Santa Rosa Mountains. The city is inspired by health and wellness and has a lively arts scene, too. It’s also labeled as a premiere golf destination in the US. Save money by opting for a vacation home over a pricy hotel, with two-bedroom summer rentals costing just $1,145/week on average. Nearby Palm Springs makes a great day trip—try booking your tickets to the Living Desert in advance.
With sand as white as snow, you may forget that you’re on summer vacation! But staying true to its motto, Mexico Beach is certainly a “place to remember.” An average cost of $1,158/week for a two-bedroom home means you won’t spend a fortune on accommodations, either. Split it with friends, family or another couple for even more savings – the extra living space and comfortable amenities of a rental home are perfect for groups.
Lincoln City is such a summer hotspot that it’s winning awards you never even knew existed! Named “Kite Capital of the World” by KiteLife Magazine, the seven miles of sandy beach is often filled with bright kites of all shapes and sizes soaring through the air, taking advantage of the summer breeze. Rent a two-bedroom beach house for just $1,161/week.
Red River sits in Taos County, known as one of the most pet-friendly vacation destinations in the US. Now the city can claim it’s also one of the most affordable! A two-bedroom home this summer will run you just $1,164/week on average. The whole family will enjoy a truly off-the-beaten-path vacation that even Fido can join.
Sunriver has all the benefits of a resort community – the restaurants, spas, golf courses and activities – without the high price tag. Instead of staying in a crowded hotel, opt for more privacy with a two-bedroom rental home for an average of $1,168/week this summer.
Sailing, windsurfing, jet-skiing and kayaking are just a few things you’ll enjoy on the sands of Corpus Christi. Historic Chaparrall Street is a dining and nightlife hub, with entertainment for the whole family. Kids will love the Texas State Aquarium, Museum of Science and History, and the Institute for the Arts. If you’ve got budding fishermen in the family, treat them to an afternoon on a private fishing trip. You’ll spend just $1,200 on average for a week’s stay in a two-bedroom here.
Located at the lower arm of Cape Cod, Eastham is the most affordable northeast coastal getaway this summer, with two-bedroom homes costing just $1,224/week on average. The beaches sparkle, the lighthouse shines and Massachusetts’ seaside charm permeates through the town.
Travel 20 miles south of Eastham and you’ll hit another affordable Cape Cod gem, Dennis Port. Experience stunning East Coast beaches and Cape culture for half the price. A cozy two-bedroom rental this summer in Dennis Port is just $1,253/week on average, much less than the hotels of Provincetown, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket.
Along Lake Tahoe sits Incline Village, a mountainside retreat with unbeatable lake views, outdoor recreation, activities and stunning beaches. You can capture all this and more on a four-hour photography tour around Lake Tahoe. Yes, Nevada offers more than the casinos and buffets on the Las Vegas strip. For a more scenic vacation, check out the rental homes in the hills. A two-bedroom this summer costs just $1,362/week on average.
Laid-back. Easygoing. Carefree. These are all terms to describe the vibe on Pawleys Island. An affordable alternative to the more crowded sands of Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island vacation homes are just $1,398/week on average for a two-bedroom property this summer.
Mammoth Lakes claims to be “no small adventure.” Families marvel at the beauty of California and the surrounding area’s natural sights: The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Yosemite National Park, Rainbow Falls – all nearby Mammoth Lakes. Take a gondola ride high above the trees, or set your own pace with a hike along the numerous mountain trails, many of which are right out the back door of your cabin rental. Two-bedroom properties this summer are available for $1,472/week on average.
Colorado is no stranger to the music scene, and the restaurants and pubs of Crested Butte offer live entertainment on the regular. It’s the perfect end to a busy day outdoors hiking, biking, fly fishing or horseback riding. At $1,495/week on average, a two-bedroom vacation home is the ideal accommodation for your summer vacation.
Voted “America’s #1 Most Romantic Town” by Travel + Leisure, St. Simons Island sits on Georgia’s Golden Isles and offers visitors an intimate, affordable getaway with plenty of sights. Browse antique shops, hit the local cafes, or book your spot on a tasty food and history walking tour with a knowledgeable guide. Another accolade St. Simons can now claim is Georgia’s most affordable summer vacation rental destination, with two-bedroom homes available for just $1,730/week on average.
*Average rates are for a weeklong stay in a two-bedroom vacation home in that destination. Pricing data reflects Summer 2015, when this post was written.
Looking for an educational vacation that won’t cost an arm and a leg? Check out “Rich In History, Cheap To Explore: 9 Historical Family Vacation Spots You Can Afford.”