11 Best Place To Go For Thanksgiving In 2024

The new year brings new opportunities for travel and adventure. If an American vacation is on your 2024 travel bucket list but money is tight, not to worry! The United States offers incredible affordability and value across the country. From coast to coast, majestic national parks to quaint small towns, there are fantastic destinations where your dollar will go far.

As a budget-focused travel blogger and expert penny pincher, I’ve explored hidden gems across the U.S. that offer big fun with small price tags. I’m sharing my insider guide to the 20 best cheap vacation spots for Thanksgiving in 2024 to inspire your wanderlust without draining your wallet!

TOP 11 Best Affordable U.S. Vacation Destinations For Thanksgiving

Here are all the place to go for thanksgiving in 2024

  1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  2. Newport, Oregon
  3. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  4. Salt Lake City, Utah
  5. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
  6. Beaufort, South Carolina
  7. Athens, Georgia
  8. San Antonio, Texas
  9. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  10. Portland, Oregon
  11. St. Augustine, Florida

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

For a quintessential sunny beach getaway on a budget, it’s hard to beat Myrtle Beach. This classic East Coast vacation spot has it all – gentle waves, bountiful seafood restaurants, beach boardwalk, mini golf, live music venues, and amusement park thrills.

The miles of sandy Atlantic beaches have lifeguard stands, so you can safely swim worry-free. Go chase the legendary Southern sunset! And at under $150 a night even for oceanfront hotels, you’ll have spare cash for activities.

My top money-saving tips: Look for free concerts or movies under the stars on the boardwalk, take advantage of happy hours at beach bars, and split costs by staying with friends in a vacation rental condo just steps from the sea.

Newport, Oregon

For rugged Pacific Northwest beauty on a dime, Newport should be on your list. Located on Oregon’s stunning central coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it’s best known for lighthouses, whales, breweries and fresh seafood.

Nature lovers can explore tide pools teeming with starfish, hike through magical, mossy old-growth forests in nearby state parks, go stormwatching, or take exhilarating beach ATV rides. And with budget hotel rates averaging only $130 even at peak season, Newport delivers adventure without heavy damage to your wallet.

Insider tips: Visit in March-June or September-November to avoid crowds and score the very best lodging deals. And take advantage of Newport’s free attractions like the historic bayfront area, Yaquina Head Lighthouse tours, and sea lion viewing at the docks.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Seeking Southwestern flavor, big blue skies and a vibrant urban energy? Albuquerque is an underrated gem, overflowing with culture, cuisine, natural beauty and entertainment…all at family-friendly rates.

Immerse yourself in Native American life by exploring Petroglyph National Monument’s ancient rock carvings or watching dancers at a pow wow. Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails of the Sandia Mountains overlooking town. And cap it off by watching a dazzling sunset explode in color over the high desert landscape.

With average hotel prices around $130 andABQ’s wealth of free museums and attractions, you’ll keep cash in your pocket for green chile cheeseburgers, blue corn pancakes and local craft beer. Yum!

Salt Lake City, Utah

Craving outdoor adventure against a backdrop of epic mountain vistas? Salt Lake City brings together the best of urban life with access to world-class terrain for skiing, hiking, mountain biking and camping.

Explore downtown’s modern art galleries and museums, or take a scenic drive through nearby canyons and valleys dotted with ski resorts. And make time for star gazing in the pitch black darkness of the remote wilderness just outside the city. With so much natural beauty surrounding SLC, you’ll get lost in the amazing landscapes for little financial investment.

Money matters: Skip the height of ski season when demand drives up prices. And stick to free things like Temple Square, Liberty Park, and Antelope Island State Park to keep costs minimal.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

History lovers seeking inspiration will discover a world of possibilities in Gettysburg. Site of the pivotal Civil War battle and President Lincoln’s iconic Gettysburg Address, this small Pennsylvania town packs big educational punches…without draining your travel budget.

Walk the fields of Gettysburg National Military Park and visit sites where Major General George Meade’s Union troops collided with General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate forces in 1863. Tour battleground landmarks like Little Round Top, Devil’s Den and Pickett’s Charge for tactical insights that’ll send chills down your spine.

After immersing yourself in powerful history during the day, relax at night with ghost tours, community concerts, shopping and dining downtown. With loads of free sites and hotel rates around $130 even in peak seasons, Gettysburg lets you soak up history without paying a high price.

Beaufort, South Carolina

Immerse yourself in the slow-paced charm of the Old South on a trip to Beaufort, a darling historic town filled with antebellum architecture, moss-draped oak trees and warm hospitality. Known as the heart of the South Carolina Lowcountry, Beaufort woos visitors with its heritage, culture and cuisine.

Stroll the live oak-lined streets while admiring over 300 historic homes and buildings. Pop into quirky art galleries, boutiques and cafes housed inside old converted mansions and warehouses on Bay Street. Wander the Point neighborhood to see the lavish riverside estates featured in movies like The Big Chill and The Prince of Tides.

With comfy bed and breakfast inns starting around $130 per night and most attractions free, Beaufortdeliver Affordable Southern comfort at its finest. It’s the perfect place to unlock Lowcountry magic while minding your budget.

Athens, Georgia

Music lovers and college town enthusiasts can’t miss Athens, home of the iconic rock band R.E.M and the University of Georgia. Radiating trendy vibes, creative spirit, diversity and nonstop fun, Athens invites visitors to dive into its legendary indie music scene, cutting-edge art galleries, fantastic restaurants and electric football fandom.

Get your fill of UGA Bulldog pride and SEC tailgating madness on a fall weekend, then explore Athens by day when crowds thin and hotel rates dip to $130 or less. Tour the stunning State Botanical Garden showcasing exotic plants from around the world or test your rock n’ roll knowledge during a walk through downtown’s Music History Murals.

Athens keeps wallets full for bar-hopping along Clayton Street, catching rocking shows at the famous 40 Watt Club, and sampling freshly roasted Jittery Joe’s coffee…a locally owned Athens institution.

San Antonio, Texas

In search of a vibrant Latino culture infusion? Historic architecture? Mouthwatering Tex-Mex cuisine? River Walk romance? With its festive atmosphere and affordable rates, San Antonio sings a siren song for travelers craving an authentically Spanish-flavored city break.

Top-rated attractions like the UNESCO World Heritage missions and the legendary Alamo battle site can be seen either for free or included on low-cost passes like CityPASS. After getting your fill of history, culture and cuisine downtown, escape to Breckenridge Park for a picnic by the serene San Antonio River.

San Antonio hotel prices average only $130 per night, even dropping below $100 outside of spring break and summer. It’s a Texas-sized bang for your travel buck!

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Adventure calls from Colorado Springs! Situated against the stunning backdrop of Pikes Peak and the Rockies’ Front Range, Colorado Springs brings together contemporary city conveniences with instant access to some of America’s most awe-inspiring terrain.

Embark on an outdoor extravaganza exploring Garden of the Gods strange red rock formations, hiking through meadows flecked with wildflowers in the surrounding Green Mountain and Ring the Peak trail systems, or testing your mettle on a via ferrata climbing route. After an exhilarating day outdoors, enjoy the vibrant urban nightlife downtown.

With epic nature just beyond your doorstep and hotels rates averaging $130 per night, an action-packed Colorado Springs escape easily fits the budget.

Portland, Oregon

Portland’s famously weird and wonderful vibe translates into memorable adventures without emptying your wallet. From books to beer, foodie finds to forest hikes, PDX overflows with fun…all served up with quirky Pacific Northwest charm.

Bibliophiles browse the towering shelves of Powell’s City of Books, America’s largest independent bookstore. Nature lovers traverse 70 miles of hiking trails in 5,200 acre Forest Park right beside downtown. And craft brew connoisseurs have entered paradise with over 85 breweries operating in the metro area.

Pair Portland’s wealth of free attractions with hotel rates around $150, and you’ve got an affordable city getaway filled with hipster cool. Keep Portland weird, people!

St. Augustine, Florida

History comes to life in St. Augustine, the oldest continuously occupied European-founded city in America. Founded by the Spanish in 1565, this coastal Florida gem today weaves together historic charm, sunny beaches, cafes and cobblestone streets into an idyllic getaway.

Stroll down Aviles Street, the oldest European-settled street in the U.S., to experience St. Augustine’s heritage. Marvel at the 17th century fortress Castillo de San Marcos.


Listen up, folks! The good ole U S of A has a ton of awesome places you can visit without going broke. We’ve got it all – beach bummin’, mountain hikin’, city explorin’, museum wanderin’…you name it.

So gather round and let me hippity hop around this great nation of ours to show you some sweet spots that won’t kick your wallet to the curb. Down in Florida we got beaches with sand up the wazoo. Out West there’s parks full of critters to gawk at. Up North there’s big ol’ buildings to stare at. And smack dab in the middle, farms as far as the eye can see!

Now I can’t vouch for any beach babes in bikinis, but I can say your family and friends will think you’re really fancy when you show ’em your photos in front of that there Hollywood sign or Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. Just make sure Aunt Karen doesn’t photo bomb ’em all with her big hair!

So come on, don’t just sit there like a bump on a log! Gas up the ol’ jalopy and get moseying across this great land of opportuni-tie. Your bucket list of activities awaits without emptying your bucket of cash! Happy trails, partner! sound of whip crack

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