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15 Most Affordable Places to Travel in the U.S. in August

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While August is one of the most popular travel months, that doesn’t necessarily mean your trip has to cost a small fortune — especially if you know where to go.

To determine the most affordable places to travel in August, we tapped the pros at Kayak to pull flight and hotel data between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31, 2024. The prices listed for each destination below include a combined average for round-trip economy airfare and rate for one overnight stay in a standard double hotel room. “Among the cheapest destinations to fly this August are southern hotspots with major airports like Orlando, New Orleans, and Miami,” says Cara Johnson, Kayak’s consumer travel trends expert. “While these southern destinations come with a lower price tag (and warmer temps!), if you want something on the cooler side, try Denver or San Francisco.”

Additionally, it’s worth noting that all but one of these destinations are located in the mainland United States, making for an easy long weekend escape. So, whether you’re craving a serene beach retreat or an action-packed city adventure, the below destinations offer something for every type of traveler — and, best of all, they won’t break the bank.

Here are 15 of the most affordable places to travel in the U.S. this August.

Orlando, Florida

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Average cost (including round-trip flights and a one-night hotel stay): $519

A trip to Orlando is always a good idea — especially in August. While the weather’s hot (tip: be sure to pack plenty of SPF and lightweight clothes), you’ll be rewarded with fewer crowds. And while the city is best known for its theme parks — looking at you, Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando — budget-conscious travelers may choose to take advantage of Orlando’s many free activities and attractions, including the UCF Arboretum, the Dr. P. Phillips Community Park, and live performances and movie screenings at Lake Eola Park. We’d also be remiss not to mention the city’s burgeoning food and drink scene: There are nearly a dozen Orlando restaurants that have earned the coveted Bib Gourmand designation from Michelin — which highlights top-notch cuisine at excellent value — including Sushi Saint, Otto’s High Dive, and Zaru.

Where to stay: There are countless accommodation options in the Orlando area — check out the Disney and Universal websites to find special seasonal offers to save money. Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort offer great value for people planning to spend time at the theme parks.

New Orleans, Louisiana

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Average cost: $520

New Orleans is famous for its Creole culture and cuisine, vibrant music scene, and abundant festivals — making it nearly impossible to be bored. Throughout the month of August, NOLA offers a handful of free and fun-filled events, including Satchmo SummerFest at the New Orleans Jazz Museum, NOLA Pickle Fest, and Red Dress Run. Travelers can also beat the scorching heat at one of the city’s many museums, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, The National World War II Museum, The Sazerac House, and the Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes & Culture. Finally, cool off with a refreshing daiquiri at the Big Easy Daiquiri or New Orleans Original Daquiri.   

Where to stay: The upscale Omni Royal Orleans hotel is within easy walking distance of top sites like Jackson Square, the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, and the iconic Cafe Du Monde. The property’s rooftop pool, which offers sweeping city views, is the ideal place to cool off in style. Plus, guests can snag up to 20 percent off summer stays of three nights or longer.

Miami, Florida

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Average cost: $538

With its beautiful beaches, buzzy nightlife, incredible architecture, and captivating arts and culture scene, Miami offers something special for every type of traveler. Best of all, you don’t need to break the bank to have a good time. Many beaches, including the world-famous South Beach, are free, as are parks like the waterfront Lummus Park and Flamingo Park, which offers a swimming pool, playground, and baseball field. Alternatively, take a self-guided tour of the city’s Art Deco Historic District or the eclectic Wynwood neighborhood, which boasts colorful street art, graffiti, and murals at nearly every turn. August also marks the return of Miami Spice Restaurant Month, in which patrons can enjoy three-course meals at some of the city’s top restaurants from $30-$35 for lunch and $45-$60 for dinner.

Where to stay: August is a great time to score a deal on a Miami hotel, so we’ve rounded up the best hotels in Miami Beach, from five-star resorts to charming boutique properties, so you can find your ideal home base.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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Average cost: $540

You may equate Fort Lauderdale with spring breakers, but the truth is this bustling South Florida city by the sea — just 30 miles from Miami or 40 minutes by car — is a great summer vacation destination for beach lovers. Moreover, with nearly 25 miles of golden-sand shores, travelers will have plenty of room to roam along the ocean. Beyond the beach, travelers can stroll along the shop- and restaurant-lined Las Olas Boulevard, wander along the scenic Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk, and pop into one of the many museums, including the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens and the Museum of Discovery and Science. Foodies, meanwhile, can take advantage of Dine Out Lauderdale 2024. Kicking off Aug. 1, the culinary event features multi-course meals at some of the city’s best restaurants at can’t-miss prices.

Where to stay: You can’t go wrong with a stay at the chic Kimpton Shorebreak Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. The property is just one block from the beach and offers complimentary beach chairs plus two on-site swimming pools. Value-packed amenities abound, including a nightly wine and cheese hour, morning coffee and tea, daily beach yoga, bike rentals, and the use of boogie boards. Bonus: Pets stay for free (read: no hidden fees).

Denver, Colorado

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Average cost: $553

Denver is teeming with things to see, do, and explore, from scenic hiking to brewery hopping and beyond. Speaking of the former, top spots include Mount Galbraith Park, Bluffs Regional Park Trail, and Chavez and Beaver Brook Trail Loop, all within a half-hour drive of downtown. Post-hike, grab an ice-cold beer at one or more of the breweries on the Denver Beer Trail, including Great Divide Brewing Co. and Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery. The city’s River North Art (RiNo) District is teeming with art galleries, concert venues, and eclectic eats, and you can easily spend an entire afternoon exploring the neighborhood. Additionally, no summer trip to Denver is complete without catching a concert at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre or watching the Rockies play at Coors Field. Pro tip: Purchase a Denver CityPASS to save up to 43 percent on attractions like the Downtown Aquarium, Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, and more.

Where to stay: Art lovers will feel right at home at the Acoma House. Situated just south of downtown in Denver’s Golden Triangle District, this property offers 24 custom rooms, each distinctively designed in collaboration with a local artist. Amenities include 24-hour check-in, bike rentals, and kitchenettes.

Washington, D.C.

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Average cost: $565

Those craving a history-filled summer getaway won’t want to sleep on our nation’s capital. Here, you’ll find an abundance of complimentary attractions and sites, including the National Mall, the Smithsonian museums, the National Arboretum, the National Archives Building, the National Gallery of Art, and, last but not least, the largest library in the world, the Library of Congress. Free Tours By Foot offers — you guessed it — free walking tours, too. Be sure to also carve out enough time to stroll through picturesque Georgetown, known for its charming cobblestone streets plus dozens of shops and restaurants. Located along the Potomac River, The Wharf is among DC’s hippest haunts, with ample shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, special events, and activities like boating and bike rentals. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the Metro (D.C.’s subway system) makes it easy to get around the city, and it’s much more affordable than taxis or rideshares.

Where to stay: The trendy Yours Truly D.C. is about halfway between Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle. The design-forward hotel also offers a buzzy on-site restaurant, barber, and record shop — along with prime people-watching opportunities.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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Average cost: $586

This summer vacation destination — considered one of the country’s most affordable beach towns — is especially popular amongst fun- and sun-seeking families. Myrtle Beach and its surrounding towns boast a whopping 60 miles of wide, sandy beaches, all of which are free to the public. Should you need a break from the beach, consider exploring the tranquil Brookgreen Gardens or the fascinating Ripley’s Aquarium; otherwise, check out one of the city’s museums or mini golf courses. Visitors can also catch one of several free performances, ranging from magic shows and comedy shows to concerts. Broadway at The Beach, one of Myrtle Beach’s best shopping, dining, and entertainment complexes, also offers weekly fireworks shows. Last but not least, it’s worth carving out a few hours to stroll the 1.2-mile-long boardwalk, where you’ll find shops, restaurants, and the nearly 200-foot-tall SkyWheel.

Where to stay: Several chain hotel outposts including Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grand Dunes and Hampton Inn and Suites Myrtle Beach/Oceanfront offer brand loyalists the opportunity to cash points in for stays to save even more money.

Atlanta, Georgia

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Average cost: $614

Craving an urban escape? Look no further than Atlanta. Visit this bustling southern city in August to enjoy minimal crowds — you’ll almost feel as if you have the entire city to yourself — coupled with discounted hotel rates and less traffic. Retreat to nature by biking all or part of the 22-mile-long BeltLine trail system, which is dotted with plant and art installations, including murals and sculptures, or the 30-acre Atlanta Botanical Garden. The city is also home to one of the country’s largest aquariums, the Georgia Aquarium, which is sure to impress kids and adults alike with over 120,000 animals spanning 200-plus species. Meanwhile, history buffs can visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. When hunger calls, make a beeline towards Ponce City Market, which is home to an expansive food hall — plus a bustling bar and ample shops. Finally, art lovers need not miss the annual Piedmont Park Arts Festival, a two-day outdoor event taking place Aug. 17-18 that will feature 200-plus painters, photographers, glass blowers, crafters, and more; highlights include artist demos, live music, and a children’s play area.

Where to stay: The Starling in Midtown is less than a 10-minute walk to Piedmont Park. In between sightseeing, guests can cool off on the breezy terrace, which boasts a sparkling swimming pool plus plush cabanas.

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Average cost: $621

While you may equate Las Vegas with glitz, glamour, and high-rollers, keep in mind that Sin City can easily be explored on a budget. Travelers can take their pick of free things to do in Vegas, including the water show and botanical gardens at The Bellagio, circus acts at Circus Circus, the wildlife habitat at The Flamingo Hotel, live music at The Fremont Street Experience, the Wynn Lake of Dreams show, and the volcano eruption at The Mirage. Also, score great deals on some of the city’s best eats by taking advantage of happy hour specials. For example, Brera Osteria at The Venetian Resort has half off pizza, cocktails, and wines by the glass every day between 3:00-5:00 p.m., while Jaleo at The Cosmopolitan hosts daily sangria hour from 5:00-7:00 p.m. with $7 sangria and beers, $9 wines, $12 cocktails, and appetizers as low as $4.

Where to stay: Marriott’s Grand Chateau is one of (very) few Las Vegas properties without a resort fee. And while it’s not directly on The Strip, it’s less than a mile away.

San Francisco, California

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Average cost: $621

San Francisco is famous for its vibrant cultural scene, incredible architecture, and top-notch dining, which means the Golden City truly offers something for everyone. And while the city boasts 20 distinct neighborhoods, Chinatown, The Mission, The Castro, Haight-Ashbury, and Fisherman’s Wharf tend to be the most popular among tourists.  It goes without saying, but top sites like Golden Gate Park (home to the majestic five-acre Japanese Tea Garden), The Painted Ladies (a collection of colorful Victorian and Edwardian-style homes), Alcatraz (a tiny island off the mainland that was once a prison), and The Presidio (a former army post turned national park site) are all must-visits. Music lovers should plan their August trip here around Outside Lands (Aug. 9-11), one of the most exciting music festivals in the entire country.

Where to stay: For a stylish and sophisticated stay near top sites like Union Square, look no further than The Marker. The boutique haunt is housed in a striking Beaux Arts-style building and offers a buzzy on-site restaurant and colorful rooms and suites.

Chicago, Illinois

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Average cost: $628

Come August, Chicago wins travelers over with its warm, sunny weather and ample outdoor events, including the Lollapalooza music festival (Aug. 1-4),  the Chicago Air & Water Show (Aug. 10 and 11), the Great American Lobster Fest (Aug. 19 and 20), the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest (Aug. 16-18), and the Sangria Festival (Aug. 17 and 18). Other highlights include free open-air dance lessons as part of Chicago Summerdance, live jazz courtesy of Jazzin’ at the Shedd, and movie screenings under the stars brought to you by the Millennium Park Summer Film Series. Make your way down the restaurant-lined Riverwalk or Navy Pier, dotted with rides, games, restaurants, and more, before heading out on the water via a boat tour. Also, it wouldn’t be a trip to Chicago without a visit to the (free) Lincoln Park Zoo, the Art Institute, Cloud Gate (known as “The Bean”), or the Chicago Architecture Center.

Where to stay: Located along the Magnificent Mile, the aptly named Aloft Chicago Mag Mile makes a great, affordable home base for exploring. Plus, it’s less than a mile from Navy Pier, the Riverwalk, and Cloud Gate.

Nashville, Tennessee

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Average cost: $646

Nashville is world-renowned for its music scene, hence its nickname, Music City. Catch a live performance at the Grand Ole Opry (which also offers tours) or the Ryman Auditorium, explore the Historic RCA Studio B recording studios, and visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Come nighttime, head to Robert’s Western World or the Bluebird Cafe to rock out with a drink in hand. For even more fun, bar-hop along Broadway, making stops at the many bars and honky-tonks. Should you need a break from the hustle and bustle, head straight to the 132-acre Centennial Park, where you’ll find a one-mile walking trail, a lake, a sunken garden, and the Parthenon, a replica of the original in Athens. Finally, no trip to Nashville is complete without some hot chicken: Get your fix at beloved haunts like Prince’s, Bolton’s, and Puckett’s.

Where to stay: The new Tempo by Hilton Nashville Downtown offers sleek rooms, a rooftop pool, and a convenient location close to Broadway. 

New York, New York

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Average cost: $674

While many New Yorkers ditch the city in favor of nearby beach towns in The Hamptons, out-of-towners can soak up the sun and the warm weather from one of the Big Apple’s many parks, including Central Park, where picnicking and people-watching opportunities abound. Bryant Park offers free movie nights, yoga, and live performances. And while Manhattan is wonderful, it’s worth exploring the city’s other four boroughs. Head to Queens to catch a Mets game or explore Flushing’s Chinatown, visit Brooklyn to hit the beach and the amusement park rides at Coney Island, check out the Bronx to eat your way through Little Italy or watch the Yankees in action, and take the ferry over to Staten Island and admire lush flora in the Snug Island Culture Center and Botanical Garden.

Where to stay: We’ve rounded up 10 of the best affordable hotels in New York City so you can find a perfect spot that won’t break the bank, like the Cambria Hotel New York — Chelsea.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Average cost: $680

The Puerto Rican capital of San Juan was previously deemed the most affordable beach vacation destination for U.S. travelers. And while the stretches of sand and crystal-clear waters here are stunning, it’s the city itself that truly stands out. In Old San Juan, travelers can visit historic sites like Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristobal; stroll along quaint cobblestone streets lined with colorful buildings; and sip cocktails at some of the Caribbean’s best bars (looking at you, La Factoría). Additionally, the Condado neighborhood is especially popular among tourists thanks to its prime oceanfront locale and abundance of hotels and restaurants, as is Isla Verde.

Where to stay: Guests at La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort enjoy resort-style amenities like three outdoor pools, a casino, a pristine beach area, and eight bars and restaurants, including a swanky Italian eatery and a beach bar and grill. The stylish rooms and suites have a beachy-chic aesthetic and many feature ocean views.

Los Angeles, California

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Average cost: $686

This sprawling SoCal city is teeming with historic attractions, beautiful beaches, scenic hiking, swanky restaurants, and some seriously incredible shopping, which means there’s something for everyone here. And you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a good time: Trek to the world-famous Hollywood Sign, admire the sweeping city views from the Griffith Observatory, window-shop along Rodeo Drive, and check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You’ll also want a few hours to explore the laid-back Venice neighborhood, where you can hit the beach, stroll along the canals, go surfing, and explore Abbot Kinney Boulevard, which is dotted with bars (don’t miss The Brig, which dates back to 1952), galleries (Yiwei Gallery, which spotlights emerging Asian artists, is a favorite), and restaurants, including the oh-so-trendy Gjelina.

Where to stay: The Hoxton Downtown LA is one of several great affordable hotels in Los Angeles; the city is also a great place to splurge with credit card or hotel loyalty points.

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