Nothing says summer like a trip to the beach. Beach vacations are the classic family vacation, but they're also great for romantic getaways, trips with friends, or even solo adventures. Whether you want to relax with your toes in the sand or try surfing, there's a perfect beach destination for you. Thankfully, you can have an incredible vacation without spending too much.
Sure, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach are popular Florida getaways, but this lesser-known beach town is far more affordable.
It's hidden on Florida's east coast, tucked between Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach, and visiting makes you feel like you've stepped back in time. The beach itself has that classic white sand and aquamarine water look Florida is famous for. And the charming seaside community that backs it makes this vacation feels like you've stepped back in time.
While in town, be sure to take a stroll down the beach pavilion to the pier. You can walk through oceanfront Anglin's Square, which is filled with cafes, bars, restaurants, and gelato shops — visit at night to enjoy the bar scene.
Swing by Anglin's Beach Cafe for a fried shrimp basket with an ocean view and then grab a scoop of mint chocolate chip from Kilwins before heading back to the beach. There’s a range of affordable accommodations in the area, from boutique hotels to beachside resorts.
Panama City, Panama
If you're looking for a tropical beach vacation, Panama is a far more affordable option than other destinations. If you visit during the offseason, you can get serious deals on flights and hotels. Nueva Gorgona, about an hour away from the city on the Pacific coast, has quiet beaches with both black and sugar-white sand and turquoise waters perfect for swimming, surfing, and floating the day away.
While in Panama City, explore the famous Panama Canal and nearby Miraflores Visitor Center, where you can view of ships passing by in the locks. Wander around Panama City's historic district, Casco Viejo, which has a history that goes back to the 1600s. Today, it is filled with restaurants, local shops, and wine bars, plus historic churches to tour.
In addition to more upscale offerings, Casco Viejo is full of charming, affordable places to stay like the Magnolia Inn. If you’re really looking to budget, the Selina Casco Viejo Panama City hostel is a backpacker’s dream with stylish interiors and a lively atmosphere.
While Greece can be a very expensive place to visit, this small town is relatively affordable compared to the most popular islands. During your stay, explore the alleyways and winding streets in Corfu's Old Town, which is home to museums like the Archaeological Museum and Casa Parlante, a mansion that's been made into a museum with decorations dating back to the 1800s. Also visit Achilleion, a historic palace that's been converted into a museum with a giant painting of Achilles pulling Hector from his chariot.
When in Corfu, you can stay in five-star properties for a budget price tag. We recommend The Olivar Suites and Domes of Corfu for your beach week.
St. Paul's Bay, Malta
This quiet fishing village on Malta’s Northern coast is a great place to get away from the crowds for a good price.
The beaches in Malta are exactly what you’d expect from the Mediterranean. White sand, bright blue water, and rocky outcroppings greet you on the shore. You can take a boat excursion from St. Paul’s Bay over to Comino’s famous Blue Lagoon. If you head here toward the end of July, you'll experience a traditional Maltese festa (or, village feast) in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows, which includes processions and fireworks. St. Paul’s Bay is also where you’ll find the Malta National Aquarium.
Accommodations will be both comfortable and affordable, from the Dolmen Hotel to the bay-front Gillieru Harbour Hotel.