If you want a dreamy beach vacation, there’s still plenty of time to find a deal! Myrtle Beach’s miles of sand, wildly popular boardwalk, charter fishing expeditions, and Ripley’s Aquarium (where you can get nose-to-nose with sharks) will keep you busy while the sun shines, and its world-class eateries roll out an irresistible southern-style welcome with local micro-brews, seafood buffets, and oceanfront tables.
Stay: Westgate Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort provides beach access and ocean views, a heated outdoor pool, heated “lazy river,” kids’ water play area, and a “kids eat free” policy (415 South Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, S.C., wgmyrtlebeach.com, from $79).
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
The mountains, the ocean, the pine-scented air! You may have thought a trip to Acadia National Park was off-limits by this time of year. But this popular, well-booked area is still a possibility if you’re willing to book lodging a short drive away. Acadia is for travelers who like their seaside a little rough around the edges, with cliffs, trails, and surprisingly empty beaches.
Stay: Ramada Ellsworth is 18 miles from Bar Harbor, walking distance from an L.L. Bean outlet, and offers a pool, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary continental breakfast (215 High St., Ellsworth, Maine, ramada.com, from $129).
If you’ve been putting off a trip to theme-park paradise, summer offers some nice discounts on hotel rates. Sure, it’s hot down here in summer, but paying less than $75 a night to stay near Universal Studios Florida, SeaWorld Orlando, and Walt Disney World will take the sting out of some of the park admission, which can top $90 a day for adults.
Stay: Wyndham Orlando Resort is less than 20 minutes from the major parks, includes three restaurants, three pools, a health club, and even an on-site ice cream parlor (8001 International Dr., Orlando, Fla., wyndham, com, from $67).
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
Who’s up for jaw-dropping scenery, warm western hospitality, and the closest thing to a safari experience that the lower 48 can offer? Best known for the Old Faithful geyser, which won’t disappoint with its spectacular display, Yellowstone is also home to 1,000 miles of hiking trails, 67 species of mammals (including bears, moose, and, thanks to a successful reintroduction in 1995, more than 300 wolves), and ranger programs such as walks, hikes, and campfire programs that can help you get the most out of this crown jewel of the national park system.
Stay: Located three miles from the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Lodge offers Wi-Fi, complimentary continental breakfast, a heated pool, and access to a business center and coin-operated laundry facilities (251 S. Electric St., West Yellowstone, Mont., yellowstonelodge.com, from $149).