The 5 best (and most affordable) places to travel in June

While it can be overwhelming to decide where to spend your hard-earned cash in the summer (There. Are. Just. So. Many. Options), it’s important to take advantage of the western hemisphere’s prime weather while you’ve got it. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best places to visit this month, many of which you can get to on the cheap this June.

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Most affordable places to travel in June
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Most affordable places to travel in June
NEW YORK, NEW YORK

New York is never a bad idea…even in February when the weather is freezing. Still, to see New York in the summer, when the streets are overflowing with alfresco diners, rooftop pool parties and denizens trying to catch a tan in Central Park’s Sheep’s Meadow, is to experience it at its finest. Regardless of your interests, you won’t run out of things to do in the Big Apple, so we’ll just tell you what’s new: A market called Markato—think of it like the Greek version of Eataly; a new menu dedicated to everyone’s favorite summer drink, rosé, at cocktail lounge The Skylark; and every second Monday, there’s a new Drag Bingo at LeGrande Lounge at The Time New York that’s sure to be a riot. After you've spent a day walking around NYC's bustling streets, check in to Haven Spa for some R&R and enjoy the 30-minute “quickie” services, which include everything from facials and massages to body scrubs and scalp treatments.

Why you should go in June: The late spring weather is arguably at its best—with consistent, warm days and nights that aren’t sweaty like in July and August. And while Gotham ain’t cheap, flights there are this month, according to Skyscanner.

Where to stay: Lotte New York Palace. The hotel’s handsome lobby and restaurants are housed in a former mansion built around a courtyard smack in the middle of Manhattan’s chichi Madison Avenue and around the corner from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. For baseball season, it offers a Pinstripe Package, a deal where guests receive half off select Yankees home games and receive two baseball hats, a copy of Yankees Magazine and more. So treat yourself to a game at one of the country’s most iconic baseball stadiums and at a luxe and familiar hotel (yep, Gossip Girl was filmed here too).

About 20 blocks south, where an affordable New York hotel room usually means you’re sleeping in a shoebox, you can find more contemporary apartment-style digs to spread out in at Hyatt House New York, all within walking distance to Macy’s, Union Square, and the shopping on lower Fifth Ave.

TUSCANY, ITALY

Rolling countryside full of Cyprus and olive trees, rows and rows of planted Montepulciano grapes, tiny towns perched at the top of hills, Tuscany will not disappoint—especially in the warm summer months when the sun is shining almost every day and all the nature surrounding it is alive and in full bloom. Whether you’re planning a romantic trip with bae or looking to spend an entire weekend sipping wine, eating pasta and tasting plenty of delicious cheeses and olive oils with your closest crew, the best and easiest way to see the region is to rent a car from Hertz. (Pro tip: Make sure you opt for the GPS, because cell phone data and therefore Google Maps can be challenging in these parts, and don’t forget a D.D. either.)

Why you should go in June: According to Kayak, flights to Europe this summer are at an all-time low, which means you can save and then splurge on your all your wildest Tuscan dreams.

Where to stay: If you close your eyes and dream up the perfect Tuscan digs, it still would not compare to what you’ll find at Toscana Resort Castelfalfi, an 800-year-old village-turned-resort just 40 minutes from Pisa, where you’ll also find a golf course, a nature reserve and on-site wine production from the almost 60 acres of vineyards. And you don’t need too much Italian to figure out that there’s also a former castle on the property, now used to house a cooking school.

ST. PETERSBURG-CLEARWATER, FLORIDA

While everyone else is hightailing it to Miami this summer, beat the crowds and head to the Sunshine State's oft-overlooked gem: St. Pete-Clearwater. Located on the Gulf Coast (as part of Tampa Bay, where it's a breeze to fly in/fly out), St. Pete is known for its perfect weather, powdery beaches, the Salvador Dali MuseumMahaffey Theater (home of The Florida Orchestra), tons of restaurants and some pretty epic fishing. Ideal itin: Kick off your weekend brunching at Michael Mina's FarmTable Cucina and loading up on shareable Italian-style favorites like wood-fired pizzas and homemade pastas, get up close and personal with the area's locals (fish) by snorkeling in the massive aquarium tank at RumFish Grilltake a yoga class at The Dali in their "avant-garden," and do dinner at The Reading Room, one of the most buzzed about openings with eclectic cuisine and some killer cocktails.

Why you should go in June: Aside from cheap flights, there are plenty of touristy attractions to take advantage of this month like Brocante Market, which boosts 15,000 square feet of vintage treasure finds and two new exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts—Can I Get a Witness: Photographs By Herb Snitzer and Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today.

Where to stay: The Don CeSar. This iconic "pink palace" dates back to the glamorous Great Gatsby ’20s era (F. Scott Fitzgerald was a regular patron of the hotel) and features 277 guest rooms and suites, six restaurants and lounges, two pools, and the world-class Spa Oceana, so there's no better option for where to have fun in the sun. It also has a pretty impressive kids’ camp and an old-fashioned ice-cream shop on-site, so if you're making your trip a family affair, you won't be at a loss for what to do with the littles.

PORTLAND, OREGON

A city known for setting trends (craft coffee, cider and “hipster donuts”...to name a few), there’s something truly special and yet so-hard-to-describe about Portland. Is it crunchy? Sure, but that’s not all. Rip City is oozing with what’s cool and has a food and cocktail scene that’s hard to beat, plus lots of natural beauty just outside city limits, making it an ideal place to have an outdoorsy-meets-cosmopolitan vacay.

Why you should go in June: If you appreciate craft brews, Portland’s Beer Week—technically an 11-day celebration of beer—should already be on your radar since it’s taking place between June 7 through 17. Plus, PDX’s summer weather provides a welcome break from the rain and overcast skies the Pacific Northwest town is known for.

Where to stay: Situated on a tree-lined bend of the Willamette River is River’s Edge Hotel, just minutes from downtown Portland. This recently renovated property centers you at the intersection of two worlds—the crazy cool and unique downtown of Portland and the idyllic nature of Willamette Valley, where you can taste some pretty sick Pinot Noirs—that surrounds the city. Best of all: Rooms here rarely break $300 per night even during high season.

LA ROMANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The Dominican Republic might be known for its major metropolis, Santo Domingo, and its splashy stretch of all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, but La Romana still stands as one of the Caribbean's most prized (and unspoiled) jewels. Offering everything from designer golf courses, horseback riding and skeet shooting to some of the best scuba diving in the world on Catalina Island (where pirate William Kidd's capsized ship rests at the bottom of the sea), this is the type of place to come when you want to do it all—or do absolutely nothing besides post up on Mintas Beach sipping rum cocktails. Another reason to visit is for Altos de Chavón, a replica 16th-century Mediterranean hillside village that includes a Grecian-style amphitheater where everyone from Sting and Marc Anthony to Andrea Bocelli and J.Lo have performed.

Why you should go in June: The summer is the ideal time to visit La Romana because the sun never stops shining, meaning there’s no chance of the rainy days—or worse, week—you might get in the off season. It's also a time to score travel deals in the form of packages galore and buy two, get one free hotel nights. Plus Latin megastar and "Despacito" singer Luis Fonsi will be performing on June 9 at Altos de Chavón, so it's a good idea to book tickets in advance for that one.

Where to stay: Casa de Campo Resort & Villas. Celebs, athletes and presidents alike love this luxurious property that sprawls across 7,000 acres of tropical paradise—and it's easy to see why. The ambiance, attentive service and stunning rooms and villas (that have starred in countless movies and music videos) are top notch, and the Marina & Yacht Club, Shooting Club, Polo & Equestrian Club, La Terraza Tennis Center and Pete Dye golf courses make it an adult playground that you'll have a hard time leaving. And if you're a foodie, you're in luck since the proper just kicked off the third year of its Flavors of the World series, which brings different chefs from the top 50 restaurants in Latin America into the kitchens of Casa de Campo for an unparalleled dining experience.

With additional reporting by Kelli Acciardo.

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