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Best Cheap Summer Vacations

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

With kids out for summer recess, more travelers are packing their bags and getting out of town. That means fewer hotels and airlines are desperate for your business. And given the economy's fickle nature, destinations that were bargains last year may not be so now. U.S. News used expert insight along with an assessment of affordability and traveler appeal to bring you this list of the best summer vacations to take on the cheap. We need your vote to help us determine next year's ranking, so please choose your favorite destination from the list below.

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Yellowstone

#1 in Best Cheap Summer Vacations

Why go: A one-time fee grants entry into Yellowstone National Park for seven days. That's plenty of time to take advantage of the best of the park's majesty, including Old Faithful or the Mammoth Hot Springs. Save on lodging by staying at the park's campground facilities. Read More

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Fort Lauderdale

#2 in Best Cheap Summer Vacations

Why go: Like the Caribbean, Fort Lauderdale and other Florida beach towns are more popular during the winter and spring, so you can snag lower flight and hotel rates if you plan a summer trip. And, with more beach than beach bums, you won't have to fight for a prime location. Read More

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Ocean City

#3 in Best Cheap Summer Vacations

Why go: One of the most popular beach spots in the mid-Atlantic, Ocean City, Maryland, offers affordable hotel room and rental home rates. Although summer is its busiest time of year, many restaurants and attractions offer coupons and discounts for beachgoers. Read More

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Biloxi

#4 in Best Cheap Summer Vacations

Why go: With its brazen Southern charm, this affordable Mississippi retreat offers beach access at a low cost. That is, if you don't gamble your savings at the Beau Rivage Casino. You can also spend your time touring Biloxi's cultural sites like the Beauvoir and the Biloxi Lighthouse. Read More

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Key West

#5 in Best Cheap Summer Vacations

Why go: Key West beckons travelers year-round thanks to its relaxed atmosphere and unconventional residents, but frequent rain showers make summer the shoulder season for the 4-mile island. This means fewer crowds and lower than average room rates. Read More

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Santo Domingo

#6 in Best Cheap Summer Vacations

Why go: This Caribbean metropolis makes for quite the urban adventure. There's no shortage of art and culture at the Alcázar de Colón and the Malecón. And with numerous attractions and affordable hotels, you're bound to leave with your savings intact. Read More

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Toronto

#7 in Best Cheap Summer Vacations

Why go: Toronto has all the buzz of an urban setting for a slightly lower price than that of New York City. Summer's real draw to Toronto comes in the form of cultural events (like the Shaw and Stratford festivals), near-perfect weather and plenty of things to do outside.  Read More

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Outer Banks

#8 in Best Cheap Summer Vacations

Why go: With multiple beaches, historic charm and tons of outdoor activities, it's no wonder that visitors flock to the Outer Banks in the summer. However, lodging can get pricey this time of year, so opt for a rental home instead. Look for additional savings through the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau. Read More

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Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

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Nashville

Nashville

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Crete

Crete

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Lisbon

Lisbon

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