The Best Affordable Beach Vacations in the US: 10 Great Beaches from Waipio Valley to Narragansett Bay

From remote barrier island hideaways to indelible Atlantic Ocean views, consider these 10 hotels stays for your next affordable beach vacation in the US.

When it comes to cheap beach vacations in the US, underrated and unforgettable go seamlessly hand-in-hand. Whether you’re traveling solo, with the little ones in tow, or on a romantic getaway, one thing’s for sure: miles and miles of unfettered coastline are best experienced minus the crowds.

From remote barrier island hideaways along Georgia’s coast—the perfect weekend getaway for modern urbanites—to grueling hikes that lead to secluded black-sand beaches, seeking out under-the-radar destinations means plenty of summer fun in the sun without ever having to break the bank.

Here are 10 affordable beach vacations in the US to consider when you want to go on a sunshine-fueled getaway.

Stay at a Protected State Park and Bucolic Barrier Island in Georgia

It’s hard to believe that Jekyll Island is conveniently located between Savannah and Jacksonville—step foot on this bucolic island along the Atlantic Ocean and you’re instantly transported back to its Gilded Age heyday, when wealthy East Coasters left their frigid cities for the chance of a warmer winter.

Part of the state of Georgia‘s barrier islands, aptly named the Golden Isles, the entire island is also designated as a protected state park; so in addition to beach days among gigantic bleached oak tree skeletons at Driftwood Beach, visitors can explore the island’s lush forests and historic sites—there are approximately 20 miles of marked bike trails to cycle along.

For city-slickers planning romantic weekend getaways, check in to the Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham, a beachfront property perfect for your next affordable beach vacation in the southern US. An outdoor heated pool and hot tub allow guests to have a tropical island vacation no matter the time of year.

Days Inn & Suites Jekyll Island

Top rated
Jekyll Island
8.8 Excellent (2081 reviews)

Explore a Deserted Beach with Multiple Waterfalls in Hawaii

Thinking of affordable beach vacations in the US, Hawaii is typically not the first destination that comes to mind. But it should be—especially if you head to the island of Hawaii.

Skip the crowds of Kailua-Kona and head east to Pepe’ekeo, where unfussy rooms await at Hamakua Guesthouse and Camping Cabanas. Set on a verdant plot of agricultural land, this Big Island property is known for its sustainability and off-the-grid lifestyle—solar panels fuel the accommodation’s electricity, while rainwater collection serves as the primary water source. For dark sky enthusiasts, the lack of light pollution in the area means looking up at night is all you need to do to view the constellations and cosmos in all their glory.

This stay is a scenic one hour drive away from one of the island’s most underrated beaches: Waipio Valley Beach. Getting to this black sand beach, however, is not for the faint of heart. A three-mile hike down a steep trail takes the adventurous to a deserted beach sheltered by 2,000-foot cliffs, complete not one or two, but multiple jaw-dropping waterfalls.

Hamakua Guesthouse and Camping Cabanas

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (338 reviews)

Seaside Living in a Charming Former Artists' Colony Town in Southern Maine

The endearing town of Ogunquit is definitely an underrated beach vacation. Set along Maine‘s southern coast, this quaint seaside destination offers visitors over three miles of idyllic white-sand beaches and a rugged coastline ripe for whale watching and hiking.

A 10-minute walk from the gentle shores of Ogunquit Beach is The Colonial Inn, a historic 19th-century property offering views of the ocean from its main building. In addition to chic accommodations that range from water- and garden-facing rooms to an airy 2-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen, the property offers an outdoor pool and hot tub, a cozy porch, lawn games, and a fire pit to warm up during the chilly seaside summer evenings.

For the artistically inclined, a visit to the Ogunquit Museum of American Art overlooking the Atlantic Ocean is not to be missed—the area has a centuries-long history of attracting creatives to its shores, serving as one of the country’s premier artist colonies in the 18th and 19th-centuries.

The Colonial Inn

9.0 Excellent (1639 reviews)

A Quaint Beach House Rental and the Country's Oldest Topiary Gardens in Portsmouth, Rhode Island

While the summer season sees an influx of tourists to the coastal towns of Narragansett and Newport, for a more affordable vibe, head north on Aquidneck Island to Portsmouth. Considered one of the best cheap beach vacations in the US, this under-the-radar New England town has over 56 miles of shoreline. So whether you spend the day idly soaking up the sun on Sandy Point Beach or get a glimpse of annual sailing competitions in the inviting waters of Narragansett Bay – the choice is entirely up to you.

A private entry and staircase lead you to this quaint 1-bedroom vacation rental—it’s part of a larger quintessential clapboard-style beach house. A furnished private patio offers sweeping views of the quiet, conveniently situated residential neighborhood that’s walking distance to several of the area’s local beaches, including Island Park Beach, where gentle waves and a pebble-laden shore make it an ideal family-friendly option.

A 10-minute drive from this comfortable seaside rental takes you to the country’s oldest and most northern of topiary gardens, the Green Animals Topiary Garden. Home to more than 80 skillfully designed geometric and animal-themed topiaries, the seven-acre property also features flower and vegetable gardens, including 16,000 daffodils from 49 different varieties.

Nice Private Space Short Walk To The Beach

9.4 Excellent (227 reviews)

Experience the Best of Two States at this affordable Atlantic Coast Inn in Ocean City, Maryland

Located in North Ocean City, Maryland, the Fenwick Inn offers guests the best of both worlds, for a fraction of the price. It’s less than a mile from the Delaware state line and the Fenwick Island Lighthouse – the state’s oldest, making it an ideal base for those that want a quiet beach getaway, but still want easy access to the vibrant beach boardwalk attractions of downtown Ocean City.

This no-frills property offers all the necessary comforts for a great beach vacation, namely a comfortable place to lay your head after a day spent frolicking the sandy shores—the nearest beach along the Atlantic Coast is only a block away. Indoors, a heated saltwater pool and hot tub provide some much-needed respite during the chillier, cloudy seaside days.

Fenwick Inn

Ocean City
8.2 Very good (3775 reviews)

A Remote Pacific Northwest Beach and Oceanfront Resort in Oregon

Knowing where to look is just half the fun when planning an under-the-radar beach getaway, especially in a beach-filled state like Oregon in the Pacific Northwest.

An unbeatable oceanfront location—it’s one of the only beachfront spots for miles—Driftwood Shores Resort And Conference Center offers guests a quiet reprieve after their meandering drive along Oregon’s spectacular coast. Warm yourself up with a dip in the property’s heated indoor pool and hot tub before heading to the on-site restaurant, where specialties like fish tacos and hearty bowls of chowder feature fresh catches of coastal seafood.

Head 20 minutes north from the property, and you’ll find yourself at the trailhead to Hobbit Trail, a secret half-mile hike that’s both lush and mystical at the same time. The final destination? An incredibly remote stretch of sandy cove on Oregon’s plush coast known to the locals as Hobbit Beach.

Driftwood Shores Resort And Conference Center

8.4 Very good (2792 reviews)

Family-Friendly Fun in an Artsy Lakeside Town in Michigan

Come for the Great Lakes of Michigan, stay for the underrated slew of beach towns, like Saugatuck, that dot the fabled shores. Commonly referred to as the Art Coast of Michigan, this quaint little town of fewer than 1000 residents is also an art lover’s dream destination; Saugatuck is home to numerous fine art galleries and annual art fairs, including the Waterfront Invitational Fine Art Fair, which features over 60 artists in a variety of traditional and contemporary mediums.

For a cozy and affordable pick for your beach vacation, there’s nothing quite like a stay at the Captain’s Quarters Motel. It’s just a five-minute drive from Oval Beach, a renowned stretch of sand known for its rolling dunes and Instagram-worthy sunset backdrops over Lake Michigan.

After a day spent basking in the summer sun, head back to this budget pick for the ultimate family-friendly afternoon. Surrounded by lush greenery, this casual motel has everything you’d need for a vacation with the kids in tow, including a picnic area, outdoor games, a fire pit, and a BBQ grill.

Captains Quarters Motel

9.4 Excellent (1226 reviews)

Explore a Historic Fort, Uncrowded Beaches and 13 Miles of Shoreline on this Barrier Island in Florida

Located on Amelia Island, a tiny barrier island off Florida’s Atlantic coast, Fernandina Beach is an unlikely destination for an affordable beach vacation in the US, offering visitors almost 13 miles of pristine shoreline and crowd-free beaches.

For the outdoor enthusiasts, be sure to stop by Fort Clinch State Par – a 1,400-acre park filled with nature trails, a historic fort and opportunities for fishing, camping, hiking and more.

Primely situated right on Fernandina Beach, Amelia Hotel at the Beach is walking distance from the area’s historic downtown dining establishments. Upgraded rooms at this 89-room property offer oceanfront balconies, where the gentle rhythmic sound of the waves is guaranteed to lull you to sleep.

Amelia Hotel at the Beach

Fernandina Beach
8.4 Very good (3469 reviews)

Get a Glimpse of Whales and Wildlife from this Charming Coastal Town in Northern California

Not only is this spacious 2-bedroom vacation rental in Crescent City walking distance to Pebble Beach—tide pools teeming with starfish and crab make these shores a very family-friendly choice—but it’s a short drive away from the famous California redwoods.

Whether you choose to ride bikes in the summertime—included with your stay—hike the nearby nature trails, or view the plethora of wildlife that call Castle Rock Wildlife Refuge island home, consider this underrated Northern California destination for your next cheap beach vacation in the US. Depending on the time of year, it’s also an ideal spot for whale watching along the state’s unspoiled Pacific Coast.

Cozy Home-1/2 Block To Pebble Beach & Short Drive To Redwoods

Crescent City
9.8 Excellent (472 reviews)

Experience Iconic Sand Dunes and Scenic Views on the Central California Coast

If you’re looking for cheap beach vacations in the US’s sunshine-filled Golden State, then look no further than the Ramada Marina – a no-frills property set in the underrated town of Marina on California’s acclaimed Monterey Peninsula. Situated just six minutes from the nearest beach, it is the place to stay if a relaxing beach trip is what you’re after.

A stay here means two things: you’re far enough away from the tourists that flock year-round to the coastal cities of Big Sur, Santa Cruz, and Monterey, but still within convenient driving distance to many of the area’s renowned attractions – including a quick day-trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea, a charming artists’ enclave and under-the-radar surf destination.

Home to endless stretches of seaside dunes—some of the Central Coast’s largest can be found ever-changing based on the winds at Marina State Beach—the town’s multiple Pacific Coast beaches remain uncrowded year-round. Marina does, however, attract a steady stream of adventurous hang gliders, thanks in part to its scenic coastal location and regular high winds.

Monarch Valley Inn Marina at Monterey Bay

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (2126 reviews)