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Perfect Towns for a Weekend Trip in Every State

Gabrielle Olya

Sometimes the best way to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life is with a weekend getaway. Whether you want to plan a last-minute trip to explore a new town or a locale that might not be a town but still has that small-town feel, there are plenty of places that you might not know about that are perfect for a two- or three-day weekend vacation.

Click through to find out the best hidden-gem destination in every state for a quick getaway.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Perfect Towns for a Weekend Trip in Every State

Sometimes the best way to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life is with a weekend getaway. Whether you want to plan a last-minute trip to explore a new town or a locale that might not be a town but still has that small-town feel, there are plenty of places that you might not know about that are perfect for a two- or three-day weekend vacation.

Click through to find out the best hidden-gem destination in every state for a quick getaway.

Alabama

Town to visit: Mentone

For a quiet escape, head to Mentone, a picturesque mountain town located in northeast Alabama. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike in DeSoto State Park, kayak in Little River Falls or ski at the Cloudmont Ski and Golf Resort, depending on the time of year. If strolling and shopping are more your scene, there are plenty of shops to explore in downtown Mentone. And no visit is complete without a stop at the quaint Wildflower Cafe, which is best known for their tomato pie.

If you’re flying in from out of state, plan a trip for September, which is the cheapest time to visit the state of Alabama.

Wildflower’s Famous Tomato Pie: $5 

Alaska

Town to visit: Ketchikan

Ketchikan is known for its salmon, scenery and Alaska Native culture. With its location on the Inside Passage, it’s home to plenty of wildlife, including bald eagles. It’s also the site of the Misty Fjords National Monument, which features icy blue lakes, waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and glacial valleys. Explore the “Mistys” via a floatplane or cruise tour — either way, the sites you see will be unparalleled. After a day of enjoying natural beauty, spend some time searching for the authentic totem poles scattered throughout Ketchikan — it’s home to the largest collection of totem poles in the world. Make sure you eat plenty of salmon and seafood while you’re there. For a fine dining experience with wilderness views, head to The Timbers at Salmon Falls Fishing Resort.

If you’re visiting from another state, avoid a trip in July, which is the most expensive time to visit the state of Alaska.

Alaska Seaplane Tour: $239 and up 

Arizona

Town to visit: Sedona

It’s easy to fill a weekend in Sedona, which is known for its signature red rocks. Hike or bike along over 300 miles of trails, get cultured at the Sedona Arts Center, fish in Oak Creek Canyon, relax at one of the many day spas, visit Jordan Historical Park — which is one of the free things to do in Arizona, take an all-terrain vehicle tour or go for a hot air balloon ride. Whether you’re a fan of outdoor adventure or rest and relaxation, you can find it here.

Jordan Historical Park: Free 

Arkansas

Town to visit: Eureka Springs

The northwest Arkansas town of Eureka Springs is one of America’s bucket list destinations and an idyllic getaway any time of the year. In the summer, it’s an escape from the lowland heat; in the fall, it’s one of the best places to see autumn foliage; and in the winter, the town resembles a Christmas wonderland. The Main Street area is a shopper’s delight, and foodies can enjoy everything from ethnic cuisine to fine dining. For fans of the supernatural, be sure to take a ghost tour of the historic town.

Haunted Eureka Springs Walking Tour: $13.50 per person 

California

Town to visit: Ojai

Ojai is located within driving distance of the chaos of Los Angeles, but they feel worlds apart. If you love hiking, biking and wine, this pastoral town is the perfect weekend getaway. Explore the trails at the nearby Los Padres National Forest, and then relax with a glass of wine at one of the numerous tasting rooms serving up locally made wines that are dotted along the town’s main drag. Ojai also has a Mediterranean climate, so you can also enjoy some olive oil tasting — which is one of the free things to do in California.

Ojai Olive Oil Company Tours and Tastings: Free 

Colorado

Town to visit: Steamboat Springs

Nature lovers flock to Steamboat Springs year-round to enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountain town. In the warm months, take a dip in the Strawberry Park Hot Springs, hike to Fish Creek Falls or go biking through the area’s parks. In the winter, Steamboat Springs is a popular ski destination thanks to the Steamboat Resort and Howelsen Hill. If outdoor activities aren’t your thing, you can enjoy a concert at the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra or get cultured at the Steamboat Art Museum. 

Strawberry Park Hot Springs: $15 to $20 

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Connecticut

Town to visit: Mystic

The shoreline town of Mystic is best known for its iconic Bascule Bridge and its overall New England charm. Shop at the colorful mom and pop shops, visit the Mystic Museum of Art or a local gallery, snack on cider and fresh doughnuts at B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill, or gaze at the sea creatures at the Mystic Aquarium. There are also plenty of nature trails around if hiking and biking make for your ideal weekend.

Mystic Aquarium: $37.99 

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Delaware

Town to visit: Milton

The quaint town of Milton is located along the Broadkill River, just minutes away from the Delaware beaches. It’s also home to the Dogfish Head Brewery, which locally brews the popular craft beer and is one of Delaware’s free tourist attractions. During your visit to Milton, plan an outdoor adventure kayaking along the Broadkill, take a tour of the area’s historic homes and stock up on fresh produce at the farmer’s market. 

Dogfish Head Brewery Quick Sip Tour: Free (includes four free samples)

Florida

Town to visit: Key West

Key West is technically an island city, but it has a lot of the charm you’d get in a small town. Stroll along Duval Street to shop, eat and drink, and be sure to stop at Sloppy Joe’s, which was a favorite hangout of Ernest Hemingway. You can also visit the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum to learn more about the famous novelist, or take a walking tour of the island to see its picturesque homes, gardens and courtyards.

One of the best ways to save money on your vacation is to skip the hotel and get a short-term vacation rental instead.

Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum Tour: $14 

Georgia

Town to visit: St. Simons Island

Located among Georgia’s Golden Isles, the community of St. Simons Island is full of Southern charm and history. Relax on the sandy beaches, play a round of golf, try your luck at charter fishing, get pampered at one of the local spas and indulge in a gourmet meal at one of the island’s top restaurants — or go the casual route and get a delicious cheeseburger at ZuZu’s in the Pier Village. The island’s attractions include the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum, marshes, and the Fort Frederica National Monument.

If you want to visit from out of state for cheap, keep in mind that the cheapest time to visit Georgia is August.

ZuZu’s Cheeseburger: $11 

Hawaii

Town to visit: Kailua

For those looking to visit a part of Hawaii that isn’t fully overrun by tourists, the beachfront town of Kailua is worth a trip. Grab a fresh smoothie at Lanikai Juice, hike the Lanikai Pillbox Trail for incredible views of Oahu and rent a paddleboard for some fun in the sun at Kailua Beach Park. 

If you want to save money, don’t go in December, which is the most expensive time to visit the state.

Kailua Beach Adventures Four-Hour Paddleboard Rental: $50.15 

Idaho

Town to visit: Sun Valley

Sun Valley is home to the first destination ski resort in the country, but it’s become a destination year-round thanks to its nature trails, thriving arts and culture scene, premier shopping and top-of-the-line cuisine. It’s also extremely dog friendly, so your furry friend can come along for a weekend trip. While you’re there, check out the collection of celebrity photos at the Sun Valley Lodge, go paragliding with Fly Sun Valley, get cultured with a gallery tour, and find your Zen at the Garden of Infinite Compassion at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden.

Sawtooth Botanical Garden: No fee, donations welcomed

Illinois

Town to visit: Geneva

Geneva is home to over 25 miles of bike trails, shops, festivals, and nature preserves. Take a tour of the local Penrose craft brewery, relax in the Japanese garden at the Fabyan Villa Museum or catch a performance at the Steel Beam Theatre in St. Charles.

If you plan on flying into Illinois, one of the best ways to save money for your vacation is to shop “mistake fares.”

Fabyan Villa Museum: $3 suggested donation

Indiana

Town to visit: Syracuse

If you’re looking for a lakeside retreat, head to Syracuse, which is located along the shores of Lake Wawasee. Summertime is the best season to go, so you can fully take advantage of all the activities the lake has to offer, including swimming, fishing, boating, water-skiing, tubing and jet-skiing. You can also fill your leisurely days by picking berries at the Blue Barn Berry Farm or playing golf at one of the numerous area golf courses, such as the Maxwelton Golf Club. 

However, the cheapest time to visit the state of Indiana is October, so keep that in mind when planning your trip.

18-Hole Round of Golf at Maxwelton Golf Club: $27 

Iowa

Town to visit: Dubuque

Dubuque is full of history as a former hub of a booming warehouse industry. Now it’s a place full of shopping and dining options, family-friendly attractions, outdoor adventures and colorful street art. Learn about the local wildlife at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, explore the Crystal Lake Cave, have fun at the Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, or get your adrenaline pumping at the Sky Tours Zipline.

Avoid going in June if you’ll be flying in: It’s the most expensive time to visit the state of Iowa.

Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark: $12 to $18 

Kansas

Town to visit: The Flint Hills

The continent’s largest remaining tract of tallgrass is located in the Flint Hills, which makes for some stunning landscape views. Visit the Prairie Fire Winery to enjoy some wine with the scenery, take a trip back in time at Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site, or go for a horseback ride at Flying W Ranch.

One of the best ways to save money for your vacation to the Flint Hills is to be flexible about your travel dates.

Old Prairie Town: $5

Kentucky

Town to visit: Elizabethtown

There’s plenty to do to fill a weekend in Elizabethtown, or Etown as the locals call it. For starters, you can pedal-boat around the lake in Freeman Lake Park, take a historic costumed walking tour, shop in the Glendale Historic District and sip some bourbon at the Jim Beam Distillery — which is one of the coolest things to do in the state for under $20.

Jim Beam Distillery Tour: $14 

Louisiana

Town to visit: St. Francisville

If relaxing on a porch among trees hung with Spanish moss is your idea of an ideal Southern escape, you’re going to want to head to St. Francisville. The small town is so picturesque, it’s been the backdrop for numerous TV shows and films. Spend your days browsing antique shops, visiting historic plantations or golfing at The Bluffs on Thompson Creek, the only Arnold Palmer-designed course in the state. Fans of ghosts and the supernatural can’t miss a stop at The Myrtles Plantation, which is said to be haunted. St. Francisville is definitely one of America’s most underrated travel spots.

Evening Mystery Tour at The Myrtles Plantation: $15 

Maine

Town to visit: Downtown Portland

The historic seacoast town of Downtown Portland has a number of distinct neighborhoods, so there’s a little something for everyone. Peruse the galleries in the Arts District, go back in time at the Historic Old Port or head into town to visit the unique shops and award-winning restaurants. There are lots of dining options to explore, but make sure you eat a classic lobster roll while you’re there. Portland Lobster Company boasts the best lobster roll in the whole state of Maine, so you might want to pencil in a stop during your weekend retreat.

If you’ll be flying in, consider planning a trip for November, which is the cheapest time to visit the state of Maine.

Portland Lobster Company Lobster Roll: Market price 

Maryland

Town to visit: Deep Creek Lake

No matter what time of year you visit, Deep Creek Lake — which is nestled in the mountains of western Maryland — is a good weekend vacation idea. Summer is the perfect time for water activities on the lake, from boating to paddleboarding. During the winter, visit Wisp Resort to hit the ski slopes. And the spring and fall are the perfect times to visit the area’s state parks. However, fall is the most expensive time to visit the state of Maryland, so it might not be the best time to go if you want to save money.

Extended Day Lift Ticket and Rental at Wisp Resort: $69 to $79 

Massachusetts

Town to visit: Oak Bluffs

Located on the island of Martha’s Vineyard — which is the coolest place in the state you can go to for under $20 — Oak Bluffs is home to sandy beaches, colorful cottages, a variety of shops and plenty of dining options for seafood lovers. While you’re there, relax on Inkwell Beach, pick up a coffee drink at the popular Mocha Mott’s, go for a ride on the historic Flying Horses carousel, visit the iconic gingerbread cottages at the Oak Bluffs Campground, take a scenic drive to the East Chop Lighthouse and have a picnic in Ocean Park. For those looking for a more active getaway, rent a paddleboard or kayak to take out on Sengekontacket Pond, or play a round of golf at the Farm Neck Golf Club. 

Cottage Museum at the Oak Bluffs Campground: $3 

Michigan

Town to visit: Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is the place to go when you want to get away from it all — including cars, as horse-drawn carriages are a way to get around here. Take a carriage tour of the island to get the lay of the land, indulge your inner history buff with a visit to Fort Mackinac and Fort Holmes, go for a boat ride or spend a day fishing, and be sure to taste some fudge from one of the local shops. With so much to do, it’s no wonder the island is one of America’s bucket list destinations.

Mackinac Island Carriage Tours Sightseeing Tour: $29

Minnesota

Town to visit: Brainerd Lakes

Whether you want to have an adventure-filled or relaxing weekend, you can do both in the Brainerd Lakes area. For those seeking some action, there are plenty of opportunities to golf, fish, boat, bike, snowmobile, bird watch or kayak. For those looking for a more laid-back experience, take part in one of the local festivals, browse the shops, take a leisurely walk in one of the parks or on the nature trails, or plan a spa day. For some kitschy fun, be sure to visit Paul Bunyan Land, which features a 26-foot-tall talking lumberjack. 

If you will need to fly into Minnesota for your trip, make sure you know when to book a domestic flight. It’s one of the best ways to save money for your vacation.

Paul Bunyan Land: $21.95

Mississippi

Town to visit: Canton

Though it’s technically a city, Canton has a historic small-town feel. That’s why it’s served as an idyllic backdrop for several major films, including “A Time to Kill” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Local tourist attractions include Canton’s Museum of History, the Courthouse Square and the city’s contributions to the Mississippi Blues Trail. It’s especially charming to visit during Christmastime when the whole city is strung with hundreds of thousands of lights.

Canton’s Museum of History: $5

Missouri

Town to visit: St. Charles

The river city of St. Charles enjoys a slow pace that will give you the small-town feel you want in a getaway with the amenities of a city. The home to the Lewis and Clark Rendezvous now welcomes almost a million visitors each year who come for a taste of the area’s rich history — and maybe a taste of its over 150 restaurants too. Enjoy the historic architecture as you explore the area on foot or by carriage, shop along Main Street or press your luck at the local casino. No trip is complete without some St. Louis-style BBQ, so head to Hendricks BBQ to get your fill. 

You’ll save money by going in February — it’s the cheapest time to visit the state of Missouri.

Hendrick’s BBQ 8-Ounce Smoked Brisket: $16

Montana

Town to visit: Big Sky

You can definitely expect to see wide-open skies in Big Sky, but there’s also so much to do in the Montana town with a Western flair. Skiing enthusiasts will love the more than 5,800 acres of skiable terrain, but there’s plenty of outdoor fun to enjoy during the warmer months too, from whitewater rafting to hiking. It’s also a good base camp for those looking to explore Yellowstone National Park.

If you want to fly in for a ski trip, avoid going in December, which is the most expensive time to visit the state of Montana.

Geyser Whitewater Expeditions Half-Day Gallatin River Rafting Adventure: $68

 

Nebraska

Town to visit: Valentine

Whether or not your weekend trip is romantic in nature, you’re sure to love exploring the outdoors in Valentine. The town’s slogan is “Small town, big adventure,” and with so much to do, it truly lives up to it. Take in the scenic beauty of Cherry County while hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, tubing, kayaking, hunting, fishing or camping during your trip. Hike to the waterfalls at Smith Falls State Park or the Snake River Falls, see the local wildlife at the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge — which is a free thing to do in Nebraska — and unwind with a glass of wine at the Niobrara Valley Vineyards.

Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge: Free

Nevada

Town to visit: South Tahoe

Lake Tahoe — one of America’s bucket list destinations — straddles California and Nevada, and there’s plenty to do on the Nevada side. Be sure to head to the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa for gambling and spa treatments, rent a paddleboard to explore the lake and take a sunset cruise on the M.S. Dixie II.

M.S. Dixie II Captains Dinner Dance Cruise: $94 

New Hampshire

Town to visit: Sugar Hill

The tiny town of Sugar Hill is nestled between the White Mountains and rolling hills and fields. During the summer, you can see fields filled with thousands of purple, pink, white and blue lupine flowers, and during the winter, you can easily access many ski centers. No matter what time of year you go, be sure to stop in for breakfast at the James Beard Award-winning Polly’s Pancake Parlor, fill up on the “world’s greatest” cheddar cheese at Harman’s Cheese & Country Store and peruse the unique odds and ends at the Sugar Hill Sampler.

One of the best ways to save money for your vacation to Sugar Hill is to keep a vacation savings account.

Polly’s Pancake Parlor Six-Pancake Sampler: $9.59  

New Jersey

Town to visit: Cape May Point

This peaceful resort area located at the southern-most tip of the Jersey Cape was founded in 1875 and has been attracting people looking for rest and relaxation ever since. Local attractions include the Cape May Bird Observatory, the Cape May Lighthouse, the Higbee Wildlife Management Area, Lily Lake, a World War II tower and bunker, the SS Atlantus and, of course, the serene beaches. It’s also a major migration point for many animals, so depending on the time of year you go, you can catch lots of sea birds, dragonflies, monarch butterflies, horseshoe crabs or hawks.

You’ll get the best deals if you visit in February, which is the cheapest time to visit the state of New Jersey.

Tag for Three-Day Access to Cape May Beaches: $12

New Mexico

Town to visit: Taos

Escape the everyday in Taos, which is home to an art colony, a world-class ski resort, a World Heritage site — the Taos Pueblo, which is the coolest thing to do in the state for under $20 — the iconic St. Francisco de Asis church and a breathtaking landscape featuring the Rocky Mountains. It’s also rich in spiritual traditions, distinctive dining options and a lively music scene. Take a wine or beer tour, explore Taos’ haunted past and feast on farm-to-table cuisine while you are there. 

Turquoise Tours Winery Tour: $99 (includes tastings and transportation) 

New York

Town to visit: Lake George

Located in New York’s Adirondacks, Lake George is a quintessential vacation area. While you’re there, soar above the treetops on a zip line with Adirondack Eagle Flyer, take a cruise with the Lake George Steamboat Company, take a one-of-a-kind excursion on a pedal-powered railbike with Revolution Rail Co., get your adrenaline pumping at the Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom, explore the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves, shop ’til you drop at the Factory Outlets, learn the history of Fort William Henry, and see some classics at the Hyde Collection Art Museum and Historic House.

Don’t plan your trip for December — it’s the most expensive time to visit the state of New York.

Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Tour: $14.95 

North Carolina

Town to visit: Edenton

Edenton has been called one of America’s prettiest towns, and it’s full of history, beauty and charm. History fans will appreciate that it’s home to three National Historic Landmarks, including North Carolina’s oldest courthouse, and fans of the outdoors can partake in sailing, paddling, biking and more. Plus, there’s something for everyone in the downtown area, which is dotted with unique shops and restaurants. 

Using a travel rewards card to book your trip is one of the best ways to save money on your vacation.

1767 Chowan County Courthouse Docent Tour: $2.50 

 

North Dakota

Town to visit: Medora

Medora is technically a city, but with an estimated population of 132 as of July 2017, it definitely has a small-town feel. Get a taste of the Badlands’ beauty at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, saddle up for a horseback ride at Medora Riding Stables, play a game of golf — or mini golf — or learn more about the area’s history with tickets to the “Medora Musical,” which plays all summer long every summer. And fortunately, if you have to fly to visit, July is the cheapest time to visit the state of North Dakota.

“Medora Musical” Tickets: $36.95 and up 

 

 

Ohio

Town to visit: Hocking Hills

Nature lovers will find plenty to do in Hocking Hills: Hiking to Old Man’s Cave, exploring the natural beauty of Ash Cave, going on a canoe adventure and zip lining through nature are just a few of the things you can do outdoors here. There’s also almost always a festival or event going on, so you can celebrate with the locals.  

Just avoid visiting in December, which is the most expensive time to visit the state of Ohio.

Hocking Hills Adventures Crocketts Run Canoe Trip: $38 per canoe

Oklahoma

Town to visit: Beavers Bend

Escape the city and head to Beavers Bend for outdoor adventures like zip lining and horseback riding, fishing and star gazing. Head into Broken Bow for artisan pizza at The Grateful Head and homemade fudge at Whipporwill Fudge Factory & Sweet Shoppe. When the day is done, turn in for the night in a luxury cabin. 

Using a trip-planning tool to plan your visit is one of the best ways to save money for your vacation.

The Grateful Head Create Your Own Large Cheese Pizza: $14.12

Oregon

Town to visit: Florence

Located along the Oregon coast, Florence is a historic riverfront town with lots of places to explore, play and stay. Take a sail from the Siuslaw River out into the Pacific Ocean, go for a walk along the beach to the historic Heceta Head Lighthouse, see the sea lions at North America’s largest sea cave, try to spot whales off the coastline, go for a dune buggy ride across the coastal sand or try your luck at the Three Rivers Casino Resort.

The cheapest time to visit the state of Oregon is February if you are flying.

Sandland Adventures One-Hour Giant Dune Buggy Tour: $16 per person 

Pennsylvania

Town to visit: Skytop

Scenic Skytop is located in the Pocono Mountains, surrounded by lakes, forests and mountain views. A year-round destination, you can bike, golf and boat during the warmer months, and ski during the winter months. If you come around Christmastime, be sure to check out the life-size gingerbread house on display. But that might not be the most economical time to go if you will need to fly in — December is the most expensive time to visit the state of Pennsylvania.

Golfing Greens Fee & Cart Rates at Skytop Lodge: $55 to $65 

Rhode Island

Town to visit: Little Compton

Little Compton is located along what Travel + Leisure referred to as “Rhode Island’s secret coast.” Although the opening of the Stone House hotel has transformed the town from a locals-only spot to a place more accommodating to tourists, it still has the feel of being off the beaten path. Check out Molly Luce paintings hanging in the unassuming local library, visit the Wilbor House to see its impressive collection of historic home furnishings, and be sure to eat a lobster roll at Commons Lunch.

Lobster Roll at Commons Lunch: $5.50  

South Carolina

Town to visit: Pawleys Island

The picturesque seaside town of Pawleys Island is best known for its signature Cypress cottages. There’s plenty of history and untouched beaches here, but also lots of attractions to keep you busy whether you want to shop, dine, play outdoors or just relax. Go dolphin-spotting on a Blue Wave Adventures dolphin tour, get a taste of the island’s history at the Hopsewee Plantation, or catch a show at the Carolina Opry.

If you’ll be flying in, consider checking for deals on Twitter. It’s one of the best ways to save money for your vacation.

Blue Wave Adventures Dolphin Tour: $31 

South Dakota

Town to visit: Custer

For an adventurous weekend getaway, head to Custer, which is located on the edge of Custer State Park. Whether your thrill of choice is rock climbing or hiking, you can do that here. There are also many lodging, dining, family fun and shopping options in the area as well. 

The cheapest time to visit the state of South Dakota is June, so keep that in mind when planning your weekend getaway.

Sylvan Rocks Discover Climbing Adventure (Half-Day Group Climbing): $94 per person for parties of two or more 

Tennessee

Town to visit: Crossville

The city of Crossville is the “Golf Capital of Tennessee,” with 10 championship golf courses for golfers of all skill levels. Even if golfing isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty to do in this Middle Tennessee locale. Catch some live theater at the Cumberland County Playhouse, explore Cumberland Mountain State Park and Ozone Falls, and unwind at the end of the day with a glass of wine at the Stonehaus Winery. 

Don’t go in November if you want to save money — it’s the most expensive time to visit the state of Tennessee.

One-Hour Row Boat Rental at Cumberland Mountain State Park: $3 

Texas

Town to visit: Matagorda

Whether you want to be super active or just lay low, you can do that at Matagorda, located on the Texas Gulf Coast. Spend the day bird watching or fishing, or building sand castles and listening to the waves roll in. History buffs can explore the many local historic sites, shopping enthusiasts can go on a shopping excursion in town, and nature lovers can explore the wildlife areas at the Matagorda Bay Nature Center. No matter what your activity (or non-activity) of choice is, make sure you eat a fresh seafood dinner at some point during your stay. 

When you’re planning your stay here, avoid booking through a 1-800 number. Experts say that’s one of the best ways to save money on your vacation.

Matagorda Bay Nature Park: $5 

 

 

Utah

Town to visit: Bear Lake Valley

Bear Lake is known as the “Caribbean of the Rockies” because of its vibrant turquoise blue water. The surrounding area has become a year-round vacation destination, with plenty of outdoor recreation available to keep you busy. Warm weather means it’s time to jet ski, sail, boat, fish, swim and relax on the sandy beaches; in the winter, you can go snowmobiling, ice fishing and skiing. It’s also a great place for bird watching and wildlife spotting. 

If you love winter sports, consider planning a trip in January, which is the cheapest time to visit the state of Utah.

Bear Lake Funtime One-Hour Sea-Doo Spark Rental: $89 

Vermont

Town to visit: Stowe

Stowe is the alpine “Ski Capital of the East,” so you might think of it as a winter destination, but there are plenty of places to play, dine and shop year-round. In the summer, enjoy the Green Mountain views while hiking, biking or boating; in the fall, enjoy the legendary autumn foliage on a scenic drive or walk along the Stowe Recreation Path; and in the spring, take advantage of Vermont’s best weather of the year with lots of time spent outdoors.

If you want to save money on your trip, don’t go in December, which is the most expensive time to visit the state of Vermont.

Peace Pups Guided Hiking Tour: $75 

Virginia

Town to visit: Middleburg

Middleburg is located just an hour away from Washington, D.C., but it feels like a totally separate place and time. Known as the heart of Virginia’s Hunt Country, there are equestrian events throughout the year, plus farm-to-table gourmet dining, a historic district with many unique shops and art galleries, and several wineries and vineyards with stunning views of the town’s rolling hills. It’s a place to relax, enjoy and take a step back in time to simpler days.

When booking your stay in Middleburg, request a corner room — it’s one of the best ways to save money for your vacation.

Wine Tasting at 50 West Vineyard: $10

Washington

Town to visit: Friday Harbor

Located on San Juan Island, Friday Harbor is a seaport town known for its history, charm and slower pace of life. While you’re there, go for a whale or kayak tour, learn more about the island and the animals who live there at The Whale Museum and the San Juan Historical Museum, and see a play or musical performance at the San Juan Community Theatre.

You can save on your trip if you go in October, which is the cheapest time to visit the state of Washington.

The Whale Museum: $9 

West Virginia

Town to visit: Berkeley Springs

Berkeley Springs is a historic spa town that’s just as suited for romantic getaways as it is a family vacation. Get pampered at one of the local spas, browse the shops, check out the local arts, take a dip in the warm springs at Berkeley Springs State Park, go fishing or hiking at Cacapon Resort State Park or feed fish at the Ridge Fish Hatchery.

Ridge Fish Hatchery: Free 

Wisconsin

Town to visit: Rowleys Bay

Get away from the crowds and embrace nature at Rowleys Bay. The community sits on the edge of the Mink River Estuary, which is home to one of Wisconsin’s most diverse wildlife habitats. This makes it an ideal place for hiking, kayaking, fishing and bird watching. While you’re in town, make sure to go to Rowleys Bay Resort for its fish boil, and indulge your sweet tooth with a pastry from Grandma’s Swedish Bakery. 

If you don’t want to spend too much on your trip, make sure you avoid traveling in December, which is the most expensive time to visit the state of Wisconsin.

Rowleys Bay Restaurant Fish Boil Dinner Buffet: $22.50 

Wyoming

Town to visit: Thermopolis

Thermopolis is home to the world’s largest mineral hot springs, which you can experience for free at the Hot Springs State Park Bath House. While you’re there, you’re almost sure to see wild bison roaming around. Be sure to walk along the Rainbow Terraces to see one-of-a-kind natural beauty. Other local attractions and activities include the Legend Rock petroglyphs, the Wyoming Whiskey distillery, whitewater rafting and golf courses. 

Bath House at Hot Springs State Park: Free

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Note: Some of the attractions mentioned are located in areas nearby the location mentioned.

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