Summertime is prime vacation season, but just because you want to get away doesn’t mean you have to splurge on a trip. Whether you want to travel by car, train, cruise ship, or plane, there are many destinations in the U.S. and abroad that will enchant you without emptying your pockets. Looking for cities, shorelines, or mountains? No matter what you’re interested in, you’ll find something intriguing among our 10 budget-friendly ideas. And for even more suggestions for your summer escapes, visit Fodor’s 2014 Go List.
BostonHome to a dizzying number of historic sites from the colonial period, this university-heavy metropolis is a pleasure to visit in the quiet summer months, when the city empties out and there are fewer students around. Explore the Freedom Trail on foot, then take a break on the Swan Boats at the Public Garden Lagoon. Spend some time exploring the Museum of Fine Arts or Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and when it's time for a meal, head to Faneuil Hall, Chinatown, or the North End for an authentic Italian dinner.
Insider Tip: The Charles River Esplanade is a fabulous place to walk, rollerblade, bike, or enjoy an outdoor concert at the Hatch Shell.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Boston Guide
Surprisingly affordable year-round, Chicago is arguably at its best in the summer, when the city comes alive with a flurry of events. Iconic Wrigley Field celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, so why not see a Cubs game while you're in town? Spend some time on the beaches lining Lake Michigan, and enjoy the pizza and hot dogs the city is famous for. For exploring away from the crowds, head to some of Chicago's great neighborhoods north of downtown, including Wicker Park, Bucktown, and Lincoln Park.
Insider Tip: If you love music, check out Lollapalooza when it hits the Windy City from August 1–3, 2014.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Chicago Guide
While you might assume that Bermuda is best left to well-heeled individuals with private yachts, there are plenty of budget and mid-priced accommodations for those making the two-hour flight from the East Coast. Enjoy the turquoise water, rocky cliffs, and pastel houses complete with signature moon gates (an interesting architectural element and symbol of good luck).
Insider Tip: The island is always hopping during the annual summertime Bermuda Big Game Classic fishing tournament, where some 40 teams compete for bragging rights and prizes.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Bermuda Guide
You won't find Mexico or the Caribbean on this list.
Celebrate the holiday and get out there once the sun goes down to experience the thrill of these mesmerizing displays.
Hit the slopes without breaking the bank.