8 Budget Family Vacations Ideas in the Southern U.S.

From the beach to the mountains and beyond, there's something waiting for your family in the South.

Sweet tea, barbecue pork, and NASCAR. These are things that come to mind when people think about the southern United States. And while these themes may ring as true as chicken fried steak, they are by far from an all-encompassing description of life in the region. As many a savvy traveler will tell you, vacation options in the South are as diverse as any in the country. From beaches to mountain escapes to direct access to outer space, the South truly offers something for every family.

And the best part? Most of the fun can be had without breaking the bank. Here are some of our favorite picks for family vacations in the South on a budget–all under $200 a night for a family of four! What are you waiting for, y’all? Pack those bags and start practicing that Southern drawl. It’s time for a trip into the heart of Dixie.

*Prices are for reference and were checked on trivago in August 2020. All prices can vary according to the booking and travel dates. 

Enjoy 180 Degree Views from this Ocean Front Condo in Florida

You can catch both the sunrise and sunset without leaving the comfort of your Ocean Front Condo in Marco Island, Florida. This sixth-floor unit in the South Seas condominium complex invites the outside in with its wraparound balcony overlooking three-and-half miles of sun-kissed white beaches.

The newly remodeled inside is just as welcoming as the outdoor space with a dining table that seats six, enough couches for everyone to flop on after a day at the beach, and three televisions to help avoid fights over what the family is going to watch. The beach is a short walk away as is the complex’s swimming pool, tennis courts, and fitness center. Teach the kids a new to them game on the well-maintained bocce ball courts.

Ocean Front Condo With Wrap Around Balcony, Gorgeous Vacation Property!

Marco Island
8.4 Very good (12 reviews)

Your Grand Hacienda Awaits Your Family on San Antonio's River Walk!

Move over Orlando! There’s a new alternative in town for amusement and thrill seekers–it`s called San Antonio, Texas! And the family-friendly Omni La Mansion Del Rio is a great place to stay with the kids, specially because it`s located on the always entertaining San Antonio River Walk.

Keep the adventure going with the hotel`s Children’s Discovery Package, which includes a backpack for each child in your party, a sweet treat with turndown, and a scavenger hunt through the historical building. Be sure to check out a family movie night at the pool, complete with free popcorn and a live mariachi performance.

Omni La Mansion Del Rio

Top rated
San Antonio
9.2 Excellent (4934 reviews)

Find Island Bungalow Vibes in Georgia

The open floor plan, screened in back porch, and backyard fire pit make the Blue Skies Cottage, a relaxing island retreat in Georgia. It`s a great hopping off point for all that St. Simons has to offer, from historic sites to the marshes and the beach. Each is within a short bike ride along the island’s well-planned trails.

The house epitomizes communal life on the island. The open floor plan encourages interaction with family members. Foodie families will love gathering up some fresh Georgia seafood and cooking together in the spacious kitchen. The inviting spaces extend to the outside with a large screened in back porch, complete with fireplace, and a fire pit in the backyard for ghost stories and tall tales.

Your family can use a break from the hustle and bustle, right? Roll down those windows–open the sunroof if you have one–and breathe in the salty air. Don’t be too distracted by the live oaks that canopy the roads, though; you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy those when you ditch the car keys for a bicycle.

New Listing! Fun South Island Beach Cottage, Close To Everything!

St. Simons
9.8 Excellent (223 reviews)

Swim in a Saltwater Indoor Pool After Exploring The Rocket City in Alabama

Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley recaptured our country’s interest in spaceflight when they splashed down into the Gulf of Mexico after a successful return trip from the international space station. After spending a day of staring up at giant rockets like the authentic Saturn V, plan a little splashdown for the family at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Huntsville Hotel and Spa, in Huntsville, Alabama. The saltwater indoor pool will make them feel like real astronauts in the Gulf of Mexico!

While the kids are playing, parents can enjoy some quiet time on one of the comfy loungers that dot the spacious pool deck. The walls of windows invite in plenty of sunshine and views of nature. Families with sensitivities can opt for a Wellness Suite in this all suites hotel–they include an Alen BreatheSmart Flex 40b air purifier, a Pelican shower filtration system, and AllerZip bedcovers, to name a few.

The hotel’s downtown location makes it a great jumping off point for exploring Huntsville’s culinary scene. Of course, sometimes it’s hard to get rambunctious little ones to sit down at a restaurant. The Embassy Suites offers a great family dining alternative with The R fast casual restaurant. Pick from regional Southern favorites like catfish po-boys and barbecue pork flatbread.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Huntsville Hotel & Spa

7.6 Good (3030 reviews)

Discover a Recycled House n the Heart of Downtown Charlottesville

This eclectic Recycled House offers a unique family retreat in the heart of downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. A fun family activity is to walk through the Recycled House and guess where the items came from. Can you tell that the shower tiles were salvaged from a swimming pool? Or that the kitchen counters were once tabletops in a chemistry lab at the University of Virginia? And, no, those croquet balls used in the banisters are not for playing with.

The house sleeps six with a king size bed in the master bedroom, a sleeper sofa in the upstairs loft, and another sleeper sofa in the downstairs living room. There’s also plenty of outdoor spaces to escape to when you need some me time. A favorite for kids is the upstairs tree house deck.

The Recycled House - Walk Downtown

10.0 Excellent (347 reviews)

Have Family Vacatiosn in One of Blackbeard's Old Haunts in Murrells Inlet

Just 10 minutes south of the neon lights and tourist attractions of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this large Beautiful Home in Murrells Inlet is perfect for sea-faring and boating families. It`s located along a canal to the Wacca Wache Marina and comes with a floating dock. Trailer your own or rent one from an outfit there. If boating isn’t your thing, drop a kayak in the canal or watch turtles swim by while your feet dangle over the dock.

This four-bedroom house has an open floor plan with lots of space for the whole family to hang out, including a kitchen with a built-in breakfast bar. But who wants to spend time inside when there is an outdoor back porch with a gas grill and television? Perfect for catching the big game while hosting a family cook out! There’s also a gazebo near the floating dock with a fire pit for after dinner s’mores. Try not to fight too hard over the dockside hammock.

Beautiful Home With Floating Dock To Waterway In Murrells Inlet, Near The Ocean.

Murrells Inlet
9.7 Excellent (66 reviews)

Live the Great Smoky Mountain Lifestyle

The family will all be singing “Rocky Top” after a stay in this Rustic Cabin in Pigeon Forge. This three-level log cabin is all about Tennessee mountain charm with its stone fireplace to the log walls. Get lost in that laid-back mountain lifestyle with a little front porch pickin’ on the porch swing and rockers.

We also love the large windows in the dining room that draw in the sunshine on a chilly morning. An added bonus is the skeet ball and ice hockey machines in the game room. While the kids are busy, perhaps mom and dad can enjoy their master suite private Jacuzzi. The stone walls give it a spa-like feel.


New Listing-book Your Summer Vacation Today

Pigeon Forge
8.3 Very good (35 reviews)

Chillax With Your Kids on Your Own Beach in North Carolina

Endless beaches and oceanfront suites make the Shell Island Resort your family’s little piece of salt life heaven in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. There is so much to love about this resort besides just the price! Let’s start with the accommodations.

This is an all-suites, all-oceanfront resort. Each room boasts its own private balcony, kitchenette, and separate living room and bedroom. You get the vacation rental lifestyle, but with the benefits of a full-service hotel. Hello maid service!

The resort’s secluded location on the northernmost tip of Wrightsville Beach makes you feel like you are on your own private stretch of sand. The 3,000-foot-long beach offers plenty of space to try a new water sport like stand-up-paddle boarding, a sport that Wrightsville Beach is quickly becoming known for as host to the Carolina Cup, one of the world’s largest and most competitive SUP races. Shelling and beach volleyball are also popular family activities at the resort.

Shell Island Resort

Wrightsville Beach
8.4 Very good (2502 reviews)