By Renee Forsyth
For a family on a budget, vacations can be hard to come by. Sometimes, just a weekend away from home can make the most memories. Some families may prefer a road trip, and some just want to start their vacation right away. The vacation prices below are based on a family of four taking a four-night stay. Based on the pricing of airfare, accommodations and a few activities in the area, these are the top 10 budget-friendly vacations in the U.S.
*Note: if the driving distance is less than 10 hours, airfare was subtracted from the total cost of the vacation.
#10- Mount Rushmore
Many people take a road trip to visit this monument, and that can be an adventure of its own. This monument has lots of history in it, and people from all over the country visit the masterpiece. The total price includes airfare, accommodations and entrance to the monument.
Total driving distance: 12 hours 54 minutes
Total cost: $2,938
#9- Grand Canyon, Ariz.
This magnificent natural landscape amazes people from all over the country. This rocky landscape is 1-mile deep and was formed with the help of the Colorado River. The total price includes airfare, accommodations and entrance to the park.
Total driving distance: 24 hours
Total cost: $2,768
This unique city features ferry rides, the Space Needle, and views of Mount Rainier. The city also is a great place for a family to unwind for a few days. The cost includes airfare, a ferry boat ride, admission to both the Space Needle and Seattle Aquarium.
Total driving distance: 30 hours
Total cost: $2,172
#7- San Antonio
This historic city boasts the famous Alamo Mission, San Antonio Riverwalk, and other natural beauties. This can be a unique place for a family to unwind. The total price includes airfare, accommodations and a tour or the Alamo, which is free.
Total driving distance: 18 hours 46 minutes
Total cost: $2,040
The “Mile High City” boasts panoramic views of mountains, numerous ski resorts, and many other attractions for a family to enjoy. The total cost includes airfare, accommodations, a day’s trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, and admission to the Denver Zoo and Downtown Aquarium.
Total driving distance: 13 hours 53 minutes
Total cost: $1,117
This historic city is the heart of the auto industry, Comerica Park where fans can enjoy a great baseball game and has direct access to Lake Erie, as well as Canada. The cost of this trip includes accommodations, admission to the Henry Ford Museum and Detroit Zoo, which houses a rare animal- a polar bear!
Total driving distance: 5 hours 16 minutes
Total cost: $434
#4- Memphis, Tenn.
This contemporary city hosts the heart of jazz and was the hotspot of the Civil Rights Movement. The price of this family-friendly getaway includes accommodations, a tour of Graceland, and a visit to the Civil Right Museum.
Total driving distance: 7 hours 51 minutes
Total cost: $421
#3- St. Louis
This gateway city boasts the Gateway Arch, numerous museums and art exhibits, all nestled along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. The cost of this trip includes accommodations, a ride to the top of the Gateway Arch, admission to the City Museum, as well as a visit to the St. Louis Botanical Garden.
Total driving distance: 4 hours 44 minutes
Total cost: $314
#2- Door County, Wis.
This tourist county boasts a small town feel, with Green Bay waters on one side of the peninsula, and Lake Michigan on the other side. The price of this getaway includes accommodations as well as a Wisconsin State Park pass
Total driving distance: 4 hours 51 minutes
Total cost: $286
#1- The Great Smoky Mountains, Tenn.This scenic getaway boasts lush forests, as well as, just like the name, smoky mountains. This getaway, hidden on the Tennessee-North Carolina border is a bit of a drive, but worth it with its breathtaking scenery. The price of this trip includes accommodations, as well as admission to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is free.
Total driving distance: 9 hours 41 minutes
Total cost: $244