10 best cheap vacation destinations in the U.S. for 2023-24 travel

10 best cheap vacation destinations in the U.S. for 2023-24 travel

We tend to think of U.S. News & World Report in terms of college rankings, but they analyze and rank other things too, including great vacation destinations, cruises, hotels and inexpensive travel spots. And unlike those college ones, where the near-impossibility of admission is a through line for the top contenders, these affordable travel picks are accessible to everyone.

As you might guess, national parks and natural wonders figure prominently on the “best cheap vacations in the U.S.” list for 2023-2024. A quarter of the 20 destinations are national parks. California’s Sequoia & King’s Canyon National Park, for example, gets a shout-out at No. 5, thanks to its gigantic trees, stunning scenery, abundant trails and year-round access.

There are park-adjacent destinations, too, that range from Tennessee’s Gatlinburg (No. 14), which lies just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, to Maine’s Bar Harbor (No. 6), the gateway to Acadia National Park. And beautiful beaches, lush forests and historic cities share the limelight.

Here’s just a peek. Find all 20, along with travel guides to each destination, at travel.usnews.com/rankings/.

10 Best Cheap Vacation Destinations in the U.S. for 2023-2024

1 Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

2 Moab, Utah

3 Glacier National Park, Montana

4 Cannon Beach, Oregon

Oregon’s Cannon Beach and its iconic Haystack Rock were ranked among the top U.S. beaches by TripAdvisor reviewers, too. (Getty Images) 

5 Sequoia & King’s Canyon National Park

6 Bar Harbor, Maine

7 Olympic National Park, Washington

Washington’s stunning Olympic National Park encompasses dramatic mountain peaks, rainforests and rugged beaches. (Getty Images) 

8 Destin, Florida

9 St. Augustine, Florida

10 Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

For more travel coverage in the Bay Area and beyond, follow us on Flipboard.

Florida’s historic St. Augustine — and its scenic Bridge of Lions — was recently singled out by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best affordable vacation spots in the country. (Getty Images)