America's Best Budget Beach Hotels
Ah, the dog days of August. Where has the time gone? That getaway you promised yourself? Didn't happen. That long weekend of lolling around in the sun? Perhaps you spent it catching up on work instead. Thankfully there are a few weeks left to get in a last summer-beach fling before the back-to-school, back-to-work grind starts up. August is a peak vacation month for many U.S. beach areas, and that can mean that premium rates are in effect. But we've found 10 under-the-radar hotels and resorts around the country that are offering rooms for less than $150 a night that are right beside the strand.
But you better book fast. Seems like there are lots of procrastinators out there -- not that we're pointing any fingers.
10. The Georgianne Inn, Tybee Island, Georgia
From $125 per night
Dating back to 1921, the Georgianne is an intimate inn that's as steeped in history as a glass of ice-cold sweet tea. Which, by the way, is the perfect thing to sip after a leisurely bike ride along the three-mile-long beach. Life on this barrier island, just 30 minutes from Savannah, remains tranquil, unlike other popular southern beach towns. Although there are plenty of motels and B&B's to choose from, the Georgianne is newly renovated and still retains its idyllic charm.
Tybee Island Travel Deals
9. The Beach Lodge, Port Aransas, Texas
From $75 per night
This small but much-loved hotel commands big attention on Mustang Island. The rep is built from visitors who came to check out "the" hangout spot in the island's main town and end up becoming repeat guests. It's nothing fancy, for sure, but the basic rooms are the perfect place to relax after a long day on the sand, or after taking part in the rollicking scene at the beach bar.
Port Aransas Travel Deals
8. Outrigger Royal Kahana, Maui, Hawaii
Outrigger Hotels Hawaii
From $135 per night
Hotels on Maui are traditionally pretty pricey, which makes this quiet, condo-style property located between the Kaanapali and Kapalua resort areas in West Maui a gem. In addition to its roomy quarters, the washer/dryers and full-size kitchens are perfect for families (and a great way to keep meal costs down). To get the full effect of the location, book an ocean view room with a balcony. There you can see the neighboring island of Molokai on a clear day and bask in the true spirit of the island.
Maui Travel Deals
7. Costa d' Este Beach Resort, Vero Beach, Florida
From $125 per night
Gloria Estefan and her husband own this boutique hotel less than three hours from the glitz and glam of Miami. While emulating a distinct Miami Beach look with its porthole windows and Art Deco shapes, the vibe around these parts is more laid-back -- great for those not interested in the city scene. The hotel's restaurant, Oriente, serves delicious Cuban cuisine as a homage to its owners' roots. And while this generally quiet town isn't known for its thumping night scene, the resort has a DJ spinning poolside during the day and then moves him inside at night, turning the place into a nightclub. Naturally, Estefan's hits are on heavy rotation.
Vero Beach Travel Deals
6. Camelot By The Sea, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
From $145 per night
There's tons to do at this top family-vacation spot -- an aquarium, a water park, a NASCAR speedway, and more than 100 golf courses. Make your base camp at Camelot By The Sea, an easy-on-the-wallet property where all of the rooms (from studios to three-bedroom suites) have balconies and face the ocean. The resort also has both indoor and outdoor pools as well as a 200-foot lazy river that are fun for all, plus a game room in case Mother Nature rains on your parade.
Myrtle Beach Travel Deals
5. Best Western Beach Resort Monterey, California
Best Western International
From $100 per night
This popular beachfront area is one of the last truly California casual locales -- which makes it a favorite getaway spot for West Coasters looking to escape. Sand dunes line the shore fronting the Pacific Ocean and towering pine trees loom in the background, a stunning setting that's appeared in many a Hollywood film. This beach resort recently underwent a $5 million renovation, upgrading all the rooms. The $100 price includes breakfast and gets you a deluxe garden-view room. Shell out an extra $40 a night to wake up and look right out onto the ocean.
Monterey Travel Deals
4. Hilton Garden Inn Orange Beach Beachfront, Alabama
From $129 per night
Despite the oil-spill plaguing the Gulf Shores, this region -- between Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida -- is still open for business. While the frolicking continues on the private beach and in the waters of this portion of the Gulf of Mexico, should anything change the hotel has an outdoor pool, hot tub, barbecue area, and tiki bar. Plus, the National Aviation Museum and a wildlife refuge are also nearby.
Orange Beach Travel Deals
3. Bally's Atlantic City, New Jersey
Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images
From $89 per night
AC is perfect for those who would like a side of gambling with their beach escape. And millions of dollars in renovations means that Bally's, one of the largest in the city with 1,750 rooms, is now a hot spot getaway. The hotel sits right on the boardwalk, fronting the Atlantic Ocean and is close to the shopping outlets for those who've had a successful dance with Lady Luck. If shopping isn't your bag, there are tons of restaurants and lounges, including the sandy, outdoor Sammy Hagar's Beach Bar, with its cheap drinks and a U2 cover band that wows the crowd.
Atlantic City Travel Deals
2. Harbor Lights Resort, Frankfort, Michigan
From $139 per night
The historic town of Frankfort began attracting wealthy vacationers to its Lake Michigan shores more than a hundred years ago. Today, guests don't have to be part of the moneyed set to afford a stay. The sprawling (and affordable) Harbor Lights has it all -- a private beach, an indoor pool, a spa. Spend the days biking, canoeing and kayaking on the lake, or check out the town where there's surely a festival or farmer's market to explore.
Michigan Travel Deals
1. The Palms Hotel & Spa, Miami, Florida
Palms Hotel & Spa
From $130 per night
Normally this super sleek oceanfront resort just above the bustle of South Beach would cost a grip during the winter high season. But, it's a bargain for those who don't mind the steamy August through October weather. Rooms are a great size and mimic the colors of the sea scene outside with their brown, cream, and turquoise touches. And they come kitted with an iPod docking station, flat screen TV, and free WiFi. Outside, take a refreshing dip in the bathwater-warm ocean, lounge by the pool, or enjoy a potent Miami Vice at the Tiki Bar. But if you're like us, you'll find yourself relaxing atop an opium bed in one of the free cabanas -- a true rarity in these parts.
Miami Travel Deals
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