Top 10 Budget Summer Getaways
Where to Stay: Blackbeard’s Lodge
A pirate theme abounds at this Outer Banks classic. Check in at a boat-front desk under a statue of Blackbeard himself. Rates range from $43-$275.
111 Back Road, Ocracoke; 1-800-892-5314 or www.blackbeardslodge.com
Where to Eat: Cox Family Restaurant
You may have a little wait for breakfast at Cox’s in Morehead City, where locals crowd the booths and tables daily. Nothing fancy here (just about everything is less than $5), but if you’re looking for bacon and eggs served all day, you’re in the right place.
4109 Arendell Street, Morehead City; (252) 726-6961
Where to Stay: Atlantic Coast Resorts
One of the best affordable properties we found is Atlantic Coast Resorts, which offered with clean, adequate condos and a great pool. In-season rates start at $94.
1702 North Ocean Boulevard; (866) 409-2793 or www.atlanticcoastresorts.com
Where to Eat: Luigi's Trattoria
Our favorite lunch stop remains the authentically Italian eatery with its imported prosciutto di Parma sandwich with fresh mozzarella ($6.95).
503 61st Avenue North; (843) 497-7080
Where to Stay: Brookshire Suites
Large rooms, complimentary hot breakfast, and a great location make this a find for families. It’s located one block from the Inner Harbor. Rates: $119-$229.
120 East Lombard Street; (410) 625-1300
Where to Eat: Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop
If you have a sweet tooth, Vaccaro’s is nirvana. This Little Italy bakery serves a vast array of sweets from cannolli to authentic Italian gelato. Go on Monday night from 6 to 9 p.m. for the $12 all-you-can-eat dessert and coffee special. Open daily.
222 Albemarle Street; (410) 685-4905 or www.vaccarospastry.com
Where to Stay: Sheraton Oceanfront Hotel
Amenities include indoor/outdoor pool, restaurant, and room service. Rates range $59-$199.
Oceanfront at 46th Street; (757) 425-9000 or 1-800-521-5635
Where to Eat: Charlie’s Seafood Restaurant
This is the place to slurp some she-crab soup or fresh seafood entrées.
3139 Shore Drive; (757) 481-9863 or www.charliesseafood.com
Where to Stay while in Galveston: Hotel Galvez
Enjoy high-speed Internet, breakfast buffet, access to the beach, a pool, and Bernardo’s Restaurant. Rates start at $99 weekdays, $129 weekends.
2024 Seawall Blvd.; (409) 765-7721
Where to Eat before you embark: Mosquito Café
A funky locals’ spot with excellent eggs and fresh omelets.
628 14th Street; (409) 763-1010 or www.mosquitocafe.com
Where to Stay: Hampton Inn-Biltmore Square
This hotel offers all the amenities you would expect from a chain, but at five minutes from the Biltmore Estate and Biltmore Village, its location is key. Rates range $84-$189.
1 Rocky Ridge Road; (828) 667-2022
Where to Eat: Salsa Mexican Caribbean Restaurant
Find here a fun blend of Mexican and Caribbean cuisine. The tiny space downtown crowds at lunchtime, but delicious and enormous portions smooth any line-waiting. Open for lunch and dinner daily.
6 Patton Avenue; (828) 252-9805
Where to Stay: Gulf Hills Hotel & Conference Center
At the Gulf Hills Hotel & Conference Center rooms have been redone in vibrant florals, soft greens, and sunny yellows. You’ll find them simple yet tasteful and worth the price. Rates range from $109-$129, including deluxe Continental breakfast.
13701 Paso Road, Ocean Springs; 1-866-875-4211 or www.gulfhillshotel.com
Where to Eat: COAST
Grab a burger, a brick-oven pizza, or a hearty appetizer while watching the game on big-screen TVs.
875 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi; 1-888-750-7111
Where to Stay: Admiral Hotel
Modest rooms just steps from the boardwalk.
1-888-882-4188 or www.admiralrehoboth.com
Where to Eat: Summer House Restaurant & Saloon
The huge, half-pound burgers are half-price ($6.95 for two) every Monday night. Open daily 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
228 Rehoboth Avenue; (302) 227-3895 or www.summerhousesaloon.com
Where to Stay: Southern Resorts
Overnight at Southern Resorts. You'll find three-bedroom cottages a block from the water and one-bedroom oceanfront condos. Rates start at $91 a night.
(800) 737-2322 or www.southernresorts.com
Where to Eat: The Crab Trap
The best fried shrimp and fish sandwiches are at The Crab Trap. Because it sits on the water, you don't even have to change out of your swimsuit to dine.
3500 Old Highway 98; (850) 654-2772 or www.crabtrapdestin.com
Where to Stay: Adam's Mark Hotel
A great downtown option, Adam's Mark Hotel sits just across from the Gateway Arch. Rates from $119.
4th Chestnut; (314) 241-7400 or www.adamsmark.com
Where to Eat: Imo's
St. Louisians prefer their pizzas topped with Provel cheese, a blend of provolone, Cheddar, and Swiss. The consistency is more like Alfredo sauce than stringy mozzarella, but the rich flavor puts a tasty new spin on pizza. Try it at Imo's, a chain famous for slicing its pies into squares.
4479 Forest Park; (314) 535-4667 or www.imospizza.com