As the summer winds down, you may be feeling like it is too late to head out on a late summer vacation. What if all the hotels are booked, everything is too expensive, or there is nothing within driving distance?
On top of that, gas prices are at an all-time high without any relief in sight, and inflation is making flights and hotels much more expensive. But there are still some late summer deals to be found if you look in the right place!
Check out these ideas for late summer vacations that are drivable and less expensive than you might think.
If You Live in New England, Visit New Haven, Connecticut
Home to Yale University, New Haven is a beautiful and historic city with plenty to see and do. Walk the campus of Yale, visit the Long Wharf Theatre, explore one of the many art museums, or enjoy a leisurely stroll through one of the many parks.
Plus, you can eat some of the best pizza in the United States.
If you want to keep your vacation inexpensive, you can visit East Rock Park and explore all the many trails, go swimming at Lighthouse Point Park Beach or enjoy a free walking tour at Yale.
New Haven has many great hotel and Airbnb options that will keep you comfortable while enjoying all that Elm City offers.
If you want to keep prices down, you can stay in one of the nearby suburbs of North Haven or Milford for even less.
Average Hotel Price: $207 per night.
If You Live in New York City, Visit The Adirondacks
The Adirondacks offer hiking, biking, camping, and the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors. With over six million acres of land to explore, you’ll never run out of things to do.
The Adirondacks are family-friendly and offer fun activities like waterparks, mini-golf, laser tag, and bowling. Plus, the hotels are large and full of things to do within the hotel itself.
The Adirondacks can be a great place to vacation if you have kids.
There are many great lodging options in the Adirondacks, from camping and cabins to hotels and resorts. No matter what your budget, you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs.
If You Live in The Mid-Atlantic, Visit Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
This historic town is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors, with hiking, biking, and kayaking all nearby. Or take a stroll through town and learn about its storied past. Learn about John Brown’s raid and the Civil War at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. All of the museums are free.
Harpers Ferry is a great place to visit if you’re looking for some history and outdoor adventure all in one. There is camping nearby and a few hotels in Harpers Ferry itself.
Some of the best whitewater rafting in the area and some of the best hiking trails can also be found in Harpers Ferry. Help keep costs down by spending lots of time in the great outdoors.
If You Live in The South, Visit Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is a great city for music lovers, with plenty of live music venues to enjoy. But there’s more to Nashville than just music. You can also tour the State Capitol, visit the Parthenon, or explore one of the many museums dedicated to music.
To keep your costs down while in Nashville, take advantage of all the free attractions, like touring the State Capitol building or visiting one of the many free museums. You can also enjoy the music scene by seeing a show at one of the many honky-tonks on Lower Broadway for less than the price of a movie.
There are plenty of great hotels and Airbnb options in Nashville, so you’ll be able to find something that fits your budget. Stay outside of downtown to make your money stretch further.
If You Live in The Midwest, Visit Minneapolis, Minnesota
This vibrant city is the perfect place to enjoy the final days of summer. Take a walk or bike through one of the many parks, enjoy the views from the Stone Arch Bridge, or visit one of Minneapolis’ many museums.
If you want some free things to do, get out and walk along Lake Harriet, swim on the shore, or go hiking at Minnehaha Park and splash around at the waterfall. You will surely find lots of fun outdoor adventures when visiting Minneapolis.
The enormous Mall of America is just a 20-minute drive from downtown. You could spend a whole day there!
Stay outside of downtown Minneapolis to get the best deals on hotels.
If You Live in The Northwest, Visit Coeur D’Alene, Idaho
This beautiful city is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors while also enjoying great food and entertainment. Coeur D’Alene is only an hour from Spokane, Washington, making it the ideal place to visit for a weekend getaway.
This mountain town has some of the most beautiful scenery in the area, and it all starts with the lake. Lake Coeur D’Alene offers many activities like swimming, boating, and fishing. And if you want to explore more of the area, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails to enjoy.
Almost anything you do outdoors is free or inexpensive, making this a fabulous last-minute summer vacation.
Stay at the Coeur D’Alene resort, or make your vacation inexpensive and camp at one of the dozens of camping spots around the city.
If You Live in The West, Visit Albuquerque, New Mexico
This city is perfect for enjoying the outdoors and learning about Native American culture. Hike through Petroglyph National Monument, explore one of the many pueblos, or take a scenic drive down the Turquoise Trail.
Albuquerque is also home to the Sandia Peak Tramway, which offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding area.
You can find all sorts of fun things to do for free in Alberquerque, from museums and hikes and even walking down the old Main Street. Plus, hotels are cheaper in late summer than in peak season.
Whether you’re looking for a historic city to explore or a scenic mountain town to enjoy the outdoors, there are plenty of great late summer vacation options that won’t break the bank. So get out there and enjoy all that summer has to offer!