15 Budget-Friendly Spring Getaways for Every Type of Traveler

These affordable spring destinations offer adventure, relaxation, and even a bit of history.
Last updated June 2, 2023 | By Sandy Baker Edited By Evan Pagano
Male traveler on beach

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If the brighter sunlight and longer days are motivating you to get away for a few days, get to planning an affordable spring getaway.

No matter what your ideal spring getaway looks like, there are some fantastic places to visit throughout the U.S. without overspending.

There are plenty of ways to save money, too, like driving instead of flying, earning cash back on travel expenses, or heading off to a non-tourist-trap city.

Here’s where you can travel on a budget this spring.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Victoria Nefedova/Adobe sunset drone view of Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach is a small waterfront city noted for its sandy shoreline that brings nature to life. It’s a very affordable Pacific Northwest beach town.

The area offers much to do, including over a dozen art galleries to tour, several fabulous, locally- owned dining options and craft breweries, and artisan shopping.

Make a point to charter a boat to watch for gray whale migration, then hike through Ecola State Park to see the sunset over the coastline.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Felix Mizioznikov/Adobe Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach has long been an affordable destination for beach lovers. Noted for its overall affordability with lots of low-cost, family-friendly things to do, it’s the perfect place for relaxed, affordable fun.

Many of its hotels are waterfront, allowing you to get your feet in the sand every morning.

Walk along the oceanfront boardwalk, check out all of the “kids eat free” establishments offering the freshest of seafood, and make it a point to visit the indoor mini golf courses and funky museums.

Visiting in the spring means beating the crowds and having your choice of affordably priced condos and hotel rooms.

Destin, Florida

jovannig/Adobe Destin Harbor Boardwalk at sunset

There’s nothing quite like the warmth of Florida, but many cities are just too expensive. Destin is the opposite.

It’s a waterfront town with stunning beaches and lots of marine activities to enjoy, and it happens to be a fraction of the cost of other popular Florida cities.

Spend some time on the Destin Harbor Boardwalk for inexpensive ice cream and fun shops, take in a free alligator show at Gator Beach, and relax under the sun on any number of beaches.

You’ll also pay significantly less during the spring months after spring break ends.

Red River Gorge, Kentucky

teebee1/Adobe Red River Gorge

Located in east-central Kentucky, Red River Gorge is the perfect location for adventure-seeking travelers who don’t want to spend a lot of money. You can rent a cabin or do some tent camping to keep costs even lower.

Red River Gorge is a part of the Daniel Boone National Forest and is notable specifically for its rock climbing opportunities.

It’s not well known, which means you can have fun ziplining, fishing, kayaking through the underground waterways, and even shopping locally without spending much.

Washington, D.C.

jonbilous/Adobe United States Capitol at sunset

A trip to the nation’s capital is more affordable than many realize, with various free activities here, like the National Mall museums and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Spring is an exceptional time to come, thanks to the blooming pink and white cherry trees along the Mall (the National Cherry Blossom Festival runs through April 16 this year).

You can also rent a room outside the heart of the city if you want to keep costs lower.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

jdross75/Adobe Gatlinburg TN cityscape

Gatlinburg is one of the most impressive, affordable spring travel destinations because of all there’s to do. Located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can easily spend time hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, and kayaking.

You don’t have to be outdoors the whole time, though. Find discounts for Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, the Gatlinburg Space Needle, and the numerous museums in Gatlinburg.

There are also lots of mini-golf opportunities for those who want a simple trip, and high-stakes whitewater rafting for those who want impressive fun.

San Antonio, Texas

f11photo/Adobe river walk in San Antonio

San Antonio has lots to do, including some impressive free and low-cost activities.

Start with the River Walk (a long public park along the river) or check out the impressive architecture in the King William Historic District and the stunning beauty of the Japanese Tea Garden.

Several museums offer discounts and free times to visit, including the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Briscoe Western Art Museum.

Finally, you can check out the history of the area with a low-cost (you can often negotiate a good deal) or even free walking tour and eat at the smaller (and cheaper) family-owned restaurants.

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

nick/Adobe Glenwood Springs Worlds largest Rocky Mountains

Glenwood Springs may not be as well-known as other resort towns in Colorado, but that’s why it’s more affordable.

It offers some exceptional activities, including the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, and the town’s natural hot springs are the perfect way to warm up and relax.

Pro tip: Book a discounted spa treatment day at one of the nearby hotels. Last-minute bookings may help you save even more.

Athens, Georgia

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Athens Georgia USA City Hall

Make it a point to visit Athens for a bit of history and lots of fun.

Noted for its antebellum architecture, this community offers fantastic low-cost tours, including tours of the historic T.R.R. Cobb House and the Taylor-Grady House. You can also visit the Georgia Museum of Art for free (though donations are accepted).

To keep costs low, take advantage of the fun outdoor options like birdwatching at the Sandy Creek Nature Center or kayaking along the Oconee Rivers Greenway.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Duarte/Adobe aerial drone view of Saona Island in Punta Cana

If you want more warmth and luxury, visit Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, this spring.

Though it’s not as inexpensive as other destinations on this list, it’s much more affordable than other regions in the Caribbean. And the beaches are unbeatable.

You’ll also find all-inclusive trips, often at a much lower rate, during the spring months (and even some last-minute deals may be available). The blue waters make this a magical trip.

Cape Ann, Massachusetts

Danita Delimont/Adobe Cape Ann Gloucester

Home to a truly authentic New England community, the region of Cape Ann, Massachusetts, has long been a favorite springtime getaway for those looking for outdoor fun. It’s only about 45 minutes from Boston, but it feels a world away.

You can fish at Halibut Point State Park and visit low-cost and free attractions, including the Hammond Castle Museum and Pavillion Beach.

Moab, Utah

Josemaria Toscano/Adobe Arches National Park

The warm weather in Moab makes spring an excellent time to visit, especially for those who enjoy mountain biking.

Moab is considered one of the ultimate biking experiences (especially along the Slickrock Bike Trail, which requires some experience and skill). You can also bike through Arches National Park, rock climb, and explore the canyons.

For adventure lovers who enjoy the beauty of nature, Moab is a low-cost way to recharge.

Antelope Canyon, Navajo Nation

lucky-photo/Adobe Magic Antelope Canyon in the Navajo Reservation

Plan a trip to the Antelope Canyon in the Navajo Nation near Lechee, Arizona. This slot canyon is impressively beautiful, and guided tours are available.

The sandstone geological formations here present an adventure-filled opportunity, and you can kayak through Lake Powell afterward.

South Padre Island, Texas

David/Adobe South Padre island

Located three hours south of Corpus Christi and just north of Mexico, South Padre Island feels remote.

You can spend your time (not your money) taking in the beaches, swimming in the waters, and watching for dolphins who pass the area often.

Some come during the spring to watch the migratory movement of 300 species of birds while others take a local, low-cost art class or visit the markets.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Josemaria Toscano/Adobe Majestic Vista of the Grand Canyon at dusk

Everyone needs to see the Grand Canyon just once, and it also happens to be a low-cost trip.

Visit Grand Canyon National Park to see the views, walk along the ridges, and take in the stunning history. You’ll pay a fee to enter the park, but you can stay for up to seven days camping or in an RV.

You should also check out Grand Canyon Village, a neighborhood nearby, after visiting locations like Mather Point and the North Rim.

Bottom line

Chanakon/Adobe hand man showing credit card payment for travel

There’s no reason to overspend or skip a springtime trip this year.

In addition to choosing budget-friendly destinations, there are ways to amplify your savings. You could earn travel rewards on a travel credit card, book last-minute trips, and use stand-by lines for flights.

You’ll have all of the fun you want without the debt to repay later.

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Sandy Baker Sandy Baker is a has over 17 years of experience in the financial sector. Her experience includes website content, blogs, and social media. She’s worked with companies such as Realtor.com, Bankrate, TransUnion, Equifax, and Consumer Affairs.