There’s still plenty of time to squeeze that summertime trip in—without having to break the bank. AFAR deputy editor Jenn Flowers recently shared her short list of affordable warm-weather getaways on the Today Show. Check out her stateside picks for an affordable weekend getaway for every type of traveler—be it for families, couples, empty nesters, groups of friends, or solo vacationers.
Catskills, New York
- Best for: Families
- Where to stay: from $145, Scribner’s Catskill Lodge
The Catskills have been a bucolic escape for New Yorkers and their families since the 19th century—and in recent years, an influx of stylish new hotels, restaurants, and shops are upping the area’s hip factor for the next generation. One of the most recent arrivals is Scribner’s Catskill Lodge, a 1960s inn overhauled by Brooklyn-based Studio Tack into a modern lodge with Alpine-inspired interiors, cozy fireplaces, and 38 guest rooms—some with private decks and Adirondack chairs.
The on-site Mountain Concierge, Jeff Vincent, is a Catskill native and can recommended activities for a range of ages and fitness levels, including the scenic and gravel-paved Overlook Mountain (3,140 feet) and the steep, two-mile Kaaterskill Falls trail. Refuel at the mountain-facing Prospect restaurant, which showcases ingredients from the Hudson Valley. Extra hungry? Order the 32-ounce dry-aged rib eye for two.
- Best for: Couples
- Where to stay: from $208, The Anvil Hotel
Adventurous couples should head west to charming Jackson—a historic town set next to the iconic Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. In the summertime, it’s a postcard-perfect setting filled with stylish shops, welcoming restaurants, old-fashioned rodeos, and live country music venues. When you’re ready to head into the great wide open, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and the National Elk Refuge are all just a short drive from Jackson. (Turn up the romance dial with a sunrise hot air balloon ride in the Tetons, or head to Granite Hot Springs—one of the best in the United States—for a soak.) Check into the new 49-room Anvil Hotel, with its refreshingly modern, Shaker-inspired guest rooms, cozy Italian trattoria, and hip Western-style boutique.
- Best for: retirees
- Where to stay: from $169, The Society Hotel
Come summer, rainy Portland is drenched with sun, and the city and surrounding landscape deserve a few extra days to take in—it’s a perfect getaway for retirees with a little extra time to explore it all. Bring your appetite: Portland consistently makes top 10 lists in the nation for good eats, and it’s one of the best spots in the country for craft beer.
If you’re more of an oenophile, head an hour outside the city to the Willamette Valley, a 150-mile stretch with more than 500 wineries, including some of the country’s best pinot noir. (Don’t want to sip and drive? A number of wine tour companies will pick you up and take you to some of the area’s best wineries.) Make the Society Hotel in Portland your base: It’s located downtown in a building dating to the 19th century. The hotel is a social hub with a rooftop deck and hostel accommodations, but you’ll want to book one of the contemporary-feeling private rooms.
- Best for: groups of friends
- Where to stay: from $125 The Austin Motel
Barbecue. Live music. Laid-back locals. Few cities rival Austin in vibe and personality. It’s practically built for friendcations. And the new Austin Motel is the perfect base of operations in the city. Hip local hotelier Liz Lambert took a 1930s building in the heart of the hip South Congress neighborhood and added a fresh eclectic vibe with a nod to the past—she even preserved the bulbous art deco MOTEL sign out front. Cool off from the heat with your crew around the kidney-shaped pool, with its retro umbrellas and lounge chairs, and catch the occasional synchronized swimming performances, old-school water aerobics classes, and live music acts. Next to the motel is Jo’s Burger Box, with all the American classics, such as burgers, fries, and onion rings.
- Best for: solo travelers
- Where to stay: from $139, Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa
Solo travelers who want their dollar to go far should look at off-season destinations, where luxury can be had at a steal. Temperatures may be rising in Scottsdale, but prices are plummeting by as much as 60 percent. This summer, the new and luxurious Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa starts at just $139 a night, and it’s a sybarite’s dream: There are three pools, and the treatments in the Palo Verde spa are inspired by the local landscape.
The resort also partners with the famous Cattle Track arts community, which dates back to the 1930s, and guests with artistic inclinations are invited to take workshops. Andaz is a five-minute car ride from pedestrian-friendly downtown Scottsdale, which is brimming with unique boutiques such as Vintage by Misty, tasting rooms showcasing Arizona wines, and notable art institutions, including the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
For outdoorsy types, Camelback Mountain is a must; it’s a short hike with a very steep ascent that will leave you feeling accomplished (just do it early in the morning to avoid the heat).
>>Next: The Sweetest Small Towns in the U.S. to Visit This Summer