When it comes to planning affordable summer vacations, you don’t have to be a bonafide budget expert to make every cent count. At TripAdvisor Rentals, we’re all about helping you save money, whether you’re headed down South, into the mountains, or near the West Coast.
This time around, we dug into the data to highlight the best budget-friendly cities out West. From trendy desert hotspots to high-altitude escapes, you’ll save big when you book a rental in these destinations—all for an average weekly rate* of less than $1,500.
Amenities range from the quintessential (fresh linens, full kitchens, free WiFi) to the luxe and exclusive (private pools, home theaters, backyard lemon groves). You’ll enjoy perks that hotels and B&Bs can’t offer, often for a fraction of the price. And with all the money you save? Snap up museum passes, plan a rafting excursion, or book a whale-watching trip—the possibilities are endless.
“My husband and I had the good fortune to rent this beautiful house just outside the city of Tucson. The multiple cacti were amazing, and the view of the mountains was not to be forgotten.” – Traveler Review
With its saguaro-studded hillsides and spectacular vistas, Tucson offers endless outdoor adventures (and affordable summer vacations!). Top parks in and around the city include Sabino Canyon, Saguaro National Park, and Colossal Cave Mountain Park, where the guided tours are a cool reprieve from the summer sun. If it’s air conditioning you crave, explore Pima Air & Space Museum to see the incredible collection of vintage-to-modern aircraft, or take in the exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Don’t miss the chance to see a show at Gaslight Theatre!
“Beautiful mountain views from the kitchen and around the neighborhood. This area couldn’t be any more perfect for getting around Phoenix. The kids just loved swimming in the pool every day.” – Traveler Review
You don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy some poolside-sipping in Arizona’s capital city. In fact, all you need to do is book a dreamy rental with a backyard pool. But affordable luxury in Phoenix extends well beyond accommodations. Bike miles of desert trails for free in South Mountain Park, or take advantage of discounted admission times at spots like the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix Children’s Museum, and Phoenix Art Museum. If you’re in town on the first Friday of the month, set aside the evening to tour the city’s inspiring art galleries.
“Great price. Great room. Great experience. Really amazing place to stay in Portland for an affordable price. Definitely coming back.” – Traveler Review
For a big-city getaway without the big-ticket price tag, look no further than Portland. Whether you want to stay next door to downtown restaurants or near the Willamette River, you’ll find a range of lodging options: dog-friendly studios, charming farmhouse cottages, and more. Even better? The attractions here are just as varied as the rentals. Browse the unique crafts for sale at the Portland Saturday Market, stop and smell the roses at the country’s oldest public rose garden, or view more than 200 interactive exhibits at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
“The house was clean, beautiful, and large enough for our family of four. The property was near everything we wanted to do, and we could watch the hot air balloons every morning from the rooftop deck.” – Traveler Review
Discover character and charm at every turn in New Mexico’s largest city. For authentic Southwest adventures and affordable summer vacations, you won’t find a more exciting spot. Albuquerque boasts 310 annual days of sunshine, but seasonal events like Route 66 Summerfest and Edgewood Arts & Music Festival make summer a memorable time to visit. The variety of year-round attractions—including museums, microbreweries, and wilderness trails—sweetens the deal.
“This house can only be described with one word: perfect! It is spacious, beautifully decorated, and fully stocked. It looks better than the pictures! The pool is an absolute delight to have.” – Traveler Review
There’s enough sun to satisfy everyone in Cathedral City, located in Southern California’s Coachella Valley. Favored for its close-knit neighborhoods, this charming city boasts mountain landscapes and eight community parks. Play a round of golf at a championship course or relax by the pool at your rental. Other popular pastimes include horseback riding, cycling, and hiking. The Araby Trail, a six-mile trek in the San Jacinto Mountains, offers a glimpse of Bob Hope’s futuristic former home.
“The owner and his family have been really nice and available during our stay. I always felt welcome. I strongly suggest this place to everyone who wants to have a good time in Oakland.” – Traveler Review
If you’ve never considered a trip to Oakland, we can give you more than a few reasons to pack your bags—starting with kid-approved attractions like Jack London Square, Children’s Fairyland, and the Chabot Space & Science Center. Whether your idea of sightseeing involves urban wine tasting or hiking (the redwood forests are stunning!), you’re bound to discover all sorts of gems on the Bright Side of the Bay. Public transportation also makes it easy to visit iconic landmarks in San Francisco.
“We used the property as a hub to see attractions around Anchorage and beyond. The owner goes the extra mile by providing a ‘guidebook’ for things to do and see . . . [and] we used it daily.” – Traveler Review
From natural parks to craggy peaks, the Last Frontier is a land of surreal beauty and wild outdoor adventures. If you love to hike, fish, raft, or climb glaciers, it’s hard to beat the affordable summer vacations available in Anchorage. Alaska’s most populous city is the perfect base for scouting out Seward, Girdwood, the Kenai Peninsula, and the Prince William Sound. Of course, you don’t have to leave the city to soak up amazing scenery. Encounter moose at Kincaid Park, revel in mountain views along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, or explore the cityscape on a downtown walking tour.
“Close enough to Leavenworth, but away from it all. The view of the mountains is spectacular [and] hiking is nearby.” – Traveler Review
This former logging town at the base of the Cascades is known for more than its timber these days. Since Leavenworth reinvented itself in the 1960s—remodeling its buildings to resemble a Bavarian alpine village—the city has become one of the most charming destinations in the Northwest. Top activities include hiking, birding, and horseback riding, but it’s the mountain lakes and rivers that really steal the show. The variety of trout and perch is a fisherman’s dream.
“The Puget Sound is right on your doorstep. Watching the sunset over the Olympic Mountains was beautiful.” – Traveler Review
Set on the glittering Puget Sound, Tacoma is surrounded by some of the region’s most jaw-dropping scenery, from rocky shores to Olympic Mountain views. But with its architectural landmarks and public art installations, the city is no eyesore either. Save on admission to the Museum of Glass and America’s Car Museum with a Museum District Pass, then kayak along the shore at Foss Harbor Marina. Book a waterfront rental to watch sailboats drift past as sea lions tussle in the surf.
“Bridger Hills Retreat was a magical house to rent. It was decorated in true Montana fashion, with all the comforts of home.” – Traveler Review
With rentals ranging from downtown bungalows to creekside cabins, Bozeman makes it easy to plan affordable summer vacations. Known for its relaxed boots-and-blue-jeans vibe, this winter sports hub is a mountain oasis in the summer. If forest trails and fields of wildflowers sound like your kind of escape, book a stay in Bozeman for hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. Historic Main Street has big-city appeal (think galleries, live music, and wine bars) with all the friendliness and hospitality of a small town.
“My wife and I came to Denver for our anniversary. We called [the rental] our home while we were there, because that’s the feeling it has. Everything is within walking distance or a short trip in the car.” – Traveler Review
If climbing, hiking, and cycling are right up your alley, it’s time to start searching for a rental in Denver. With 85 miles of bike trails and an innovative bike-sharing program, the best way to explore might be on two wheels. But even if you feel steadier on two feet, the Mile High City is still your oyster. Take a self-guided tour of the Denver Beer Trail, browse modern works at the Museum of Contemporary Art, or get up close and personal with dinosaur fossils at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
“A one-of-a-kind home. It was convenient to be close to everything: eclectic shopping, fine and casual dining, and all SoCal beaches.” – Traveler Review
Thanks to family-friendly beaches and buzzworthy neighborhoods like Belmont Shore, Long Beach is the ultimate coastal getaway. Swimming, sailing, and kayaking are classic pastimes, and if you’re eager to try your hand at kitesurfing, lessons and rentals are readily available. Sunny shores and unbeatable Pacific views aren’t the only perks to vacationing here, though. The coastal city’s central location makes it easy to visit hotspots like Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.
“This home is the best of both worlds: country charm and quiet while only 10 minutes from the Plaza. It’s spacious, easy to relax in, with good walking options from the front door.” – Traveler Review
No destination does affordable summer vacations like America’s oldest capital city. You might find yourself lingering in the historic Plaza, hiking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, or shooting the breeze on your rental’s patio. Centuries of art and ancient traditions converge in Santa Fe, which makes it a must-see spot for culture lovers—but the terrain is also ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. Add in art galleries and amazing restaurants, and you’ve got the recipe for a memorable trip.
“The home is state-of-the-art with decor and appliances. The location is perfect. The view of the state capitol building is amazing, just a few steps away from this luxury home.” – Traveler Review
If you can’t decide between an urban escape and the great outdoors, Salt Lake City offers the best of both worlds. Book a rental in the heart of downtown, and you’ll be a short walk from boutiques and restaurants; iconic resorts like Snowbird and Park City are within an hour’s drive. After the pristine powder melts, the city’s aspen forests and legendary canyons draw hikers, bikers, and climbers from all over the country, and local theme parks are a hit with families.
“We traveled with family to visit Disneyland and other California sites. Renting this house gave us the flexibility of spending days together or days apart, since there’s so much to see and do!” – Traveler Review
Maybe Anaheim isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of affordable summer vacations, but the spacious rentals here make it easy to keep costs down if you’re Disney-bound. Amenities like home theaters, gourmet kitchens, and private pools set these accommodations apart (without breaking the bank). The park’s thrilling rides and spectacular shows will be a short drive (or walk!) from your front door, but you’ll save money and score peace and privacy. Talk about a dream vacation!
*Weekly rates reflect the average cost of a two-bedroom rental in that destination during July 2017, according to TripAdvisor data. Destinations needed at least 10 available rentals on TripAdvisor and an average cost of less than $1,550/week to be considered.