4 State Parks That Don't Feel Like State Parks
Love the beach? Discover this deal for only $110 a night, year-round, at Grayton Beach State Park. Grayton offers great views and clean, basic accommodations―as do all the other picks below. With beautiful parks like these, you won't miss room service.
- Grayton Beach State Park, Florida The no-frills cabins are about a three- to five-minute walk from the white-sand beach and emerald waters. Cabins come with a queen-size bed and two twin sizes. All have a futon in the living room, a screened back porch, kitchen, gas fireplace, microwave, dishwasher, outdoor grill, and air-conditioning. The rate is $110 every day of the year. 1-800-326-3521
- Hanging Rock State Park, North Carolina Stunning views, 18 miles of trails, cascading waterfalls, a spring-fed mountain lake, and great fall color for $100 a night.
- Guntersville State Park, Alabama A four-year, $25-million renovation produced a fabulous lodge by one of the South's largest lakes. Just $100 a night during summer.
- Indian Lodge, Texas In the heart of the Davis Mountains, the big-sky country of the South, for less than $100 a night.
- How to Get a 4-BR Beach House for a 2-BR Price
- The iconic Panhandle town of Seaside, Florida, can be pricey. Try this: If you only need a two-bedroom house, book a four-bedroom and then ask them to lock off the extra bedrooms you won't be using. You will pay only the two-bedroom price, but you'll get the full-size kitchen, porch, and living area of a larger house.
- Participating Seaside Houses: Beachside Bebo, Desire, Harvest Home, Natchez, Rainbow, Salad Days, and Teachers Lounge
- What it costs: Prices vary by house and season, but we found a lock-off option for $449 a night in a four-bedroom house that normally rents for $670 a night.
- How to book: www.seasidefl.com (select "Vacation Rentals")
- The fine print: Not available during the summer.
- Get the Ritz Experience for $89
- How? Try the Iberville Suites in New Orleans, where you'll stay at a Ritz-owned property under the same roof as the esteemed brand for less than $100. New Orleans and The Ritz go together like seersucker and a streetside trumpeter. The fit is even better when the price is this low.
- Why you'll love it: You get the same concierge service as The Ritz, plus several of the same amenities, and the good fortune of
- saving a bundle. That's because The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans is actually three properties in one. The Iberville Suites, The Ritz-Carlton, and the ultra-luxe Maison Orleans all share one roof and many of the same back-of-the-house services. You're steps away from the best dining and nightlife in the city, and you can take advantage of the special touches that make The Ritz legendary.
- What you get: The Iberville rooms are like nice rooms at a Hampton Inn―nothing fancy but comfortable. You can get The Ritz-Carlton on-call concierge for tickets, reservations, and directions; a top-notch fitness center and spa; and jazz artist Jeremy Davenport's exclusive gig at The Ritz bar―one of the best in town.
- What it costs: $89-$109 (a room at The Ritz starts at $149)
- How to book: www.ibervillesuites.com or (504) 523-2400
Travel Tip: Buy a Disney non-expiration ticket now at 2009 prices and it's good forever.