• Jessica Thiefels

5 Budget-Friendly Beach Locations for Labor Day Weekend

Labor day weekend celebrates the end of summer, and you have to go out with a bang. If your bank account is feeling a little weary after a long summer of fun in the sun, don’t worry, you can still get away without breaking the bank. We found five destinations that are budget-friendly without sacrificing beaches, sunshine and plenty of fun things to do, making them perfect for your Labor Day Weekend getaway.

Before you can head out, though, you have to pack the essentials. Use this checklist (with coupons) to make sure you remember all the important items:

❏ Sunscreen

❏ Beach hat

❏ Sunglasses

❏ Refillable water bottle

❏ Beach blanket

❏ Beach bag

❏ Beach chairs and umbrella

❏ Buckets and sand toys

❏ Rolling cooler

❏ Waterproof speaker

❏ Waterproof phone cover

Tulum, Mexico

This Mexican city isn’t Cabo, but it is located on the Caribbean coast, making it a warm, tropical destination for your Labor Day Weekend. Not only will you soak in the hot sun, with daily weather averages in September reaching the high 80’s, but there’s plenty for you to do away from the sand too: “When you’re not exploring tucked-away Mayan ruins or getting rejuvenated with a yoga class at the Maya Spa Wellness Center, you can check out the Yucatan’s myriad of eco-parks or enjoy sunbathing along the pristine sands of Playa Paraiso,” says Liz Weiss, US News staff writer.

If you love adventure, don’t miss Gran Cenote, a limestone cavern where you can snorkel, relax in the sun, rent boats and much more.

Galveston, Texas

Who knew that Texas was home to long sandy beaches (32 miles of beaches, to be exact), just 50 miles from Houston. The best part, there’s plenty to do on a budget. Start by loading up your Galveston Island Pass: “Get your passport to adventure and savings with the new Galveston Island Pass. Load your pass with four or more participating attractions and save 40 percent off regular admission prices,” according to Galveston.com.

When you’re done bouncing between fun attractions for the day, grab your beach chairs and head to free Movie and Music Nights on the Strand. You can catch a movie on the first Saturday of each month at dusk and concerts every second and fourth Saturday.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

When you think of beach getaways, you don’t think of Oregon—which is precisely why this is a great budget-friendly option for your Labor Day weekend. With inexpensive accommodations, you can enjoy days on the beach, evenings watching the sun set, and even strap on your hiking boots for a few nature hikes in Ecola State Park. Check out these houses on HomeAway so you can stay on the water—and within your budget (cooking at home saves more money than you might think!)—for the whole weekend.

Destin, Florida

When you think of vacationing in Florida you probably think Disney World, Panama City or Miami. Save some money by heading to Destin instead. Located in the “Panhandle” of the state, you’ll enjoy white sandy Gulf Coast beaches and rolling green grasses of surrounding golf courses, without the high price tag of popular tourist towns.

Destin also offers something truly unique among popular destinations in Florida: it was coined as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” in the 19th century. Visitors can experience that legacy, which lives on today:

“The port continues to thrive with the same bountiful success that put Destin on the map as a top deep sea fishing destination. Today, Destin is home to the largest fishing fleet in the state of Florida. Millions of visitors flock to the area each year to experience the adventurous tradition of abundance and blessings in deep sea fishing that founded the city of Destin so long ago,” explain Destin locals and owners of Charter Fishing Destin.

Cape May, New Jersey

This budget-friendly beach vacation spot is located at the Southern Tip of New Jersey and is perfect for a slow, beach vacation. Spend your days on the sand and don’t miss the Cape May Lighthouse, where you can see across the Delaware Bay. Evenings are perfect for strolling through the kitschy Washington Street Mall, where you’ll find 3 miles of shops and restaurants, and don’t forget to make time for Victorian home sightseeing.

This seaside city is known for its grand Victorian houses and one of its most popular homes, Emlen Physick Estate, has also been turned into a museum. Make a stop here so you can experience what a home from the Victorian Era really looked and felt like.

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