Sunset on the pier of a marina with sailboats and yachts

It’s that time of year.  School will be out soon, and we’re all dreaming of a great summer vacation.  But, when it comes to finances, we also need somewhere affordable.  Between the rising cost of everything, gas included, summer vacations may need to be pared down this year.

But, U.S. News & World Report has done some compiling and put together a list of the 20 Best Cheap Vacations in the United States. Their list includes a wide range of vacation spots with many activities, no matter what your interests are.  Whether you’re looking for a beach getaway, national park adventures or small town exploration, you’ll find some great options that are a little more budget-friendly!

U.S. News & World Report’s methodology and rankings are based on expert analysis, along with user opinions.  Their travel destinations are ranked against each other in various categories (for example, this list is Best Cheap Vacation Spots). The scores are calculated and weighted, with 50% from users and 50% from the editors. For more on their methods, click here.

While perusing the U.S. News’ list, we found 5 cheap vacation spots that are all within 6 hours drive time from Augusta!  The locations range from historical, small towns to beaches and mountains.

We’ve listed those 5 Cheap Vacation Spots close to Augusta from the closest to farthest away.  We’ve also included the other locations that made the list below!

When you’re done, don’t forget to check out which South Carolina town made the list of Best Weekend Getaways.

  • 5 Cheap Vacation Spots Within 6 Hours of Augusta

  • Athens, Georgia - 2 Hours

    Yes, Athens, Georgia made the list of Best Cheap Vacations in the U.S. Although for CSRA residents, this is around a 2 hour drive.  You could make this a day trip, or a quick weekend getaway.

    Overall, it came in at number 10 out of 20 locations. US News points out the many free attractions in the area, which includes historic homes and parks.  You can also visit the University of Georgia, the Georgia Museum of Art and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

    Athens, Georgia, USA City Hall

    Athens, Georgia, USA downtown cityscape. (Getty Images)

  • Beaufort, South Carolina - 2 1/2 Hours

    Beaufort ranked at number 20 out of 20 on the list.  It’s a laid-back place, full of Southern Charm.  There are lots of great shops and restaurants, plus Hunting Island State Park.

    Beaufort, South Carolina

    Sunset on the pier of a marina with sailboats and yachts. (Getty Images)

  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee - 5 Hours

    Gatlinburg ranked number 6 out of 20 on the list. Right outside of the Great Smoky Mountains, you’ll find a lot of great outdoor adventures- like fishing, hiking, biking and more. There are also a lot of great galleries and shops in the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community.

    Gatlinburg, Tennessee

    Visiting Gatlinburg, TN (Getty Images)

  • St. Augustine, Florida - 5 Hours

    St. Augustine came in at number 4 out of 20 on the list. This is the country’s oldest city and full of historical landmarks. You’re also close to the beaches as well.

    St. Augustine, Florida

    St. Augustine, Florida at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument at dusk. (Getty Images)

  • Knoxville, Tennessee - 6 Hours

    Knoxville is ranked 19 out of 20 on the list.  They have a great music scene and a lot of great outdoor space with parks and gardens.  You have plenty of nature trails to explore and several free museums.

    Knoxville, Tennessee

    Paddling on the Tennessee River

  • Other Best Cheap Vacations in the U.S. (According to U.S. News & World Report)

  • Grand Canyon - Arizona

    Ranked #1 in Best Cheap Vacations in the U.S.

    Grand Canyon Arizona

    Grand Canyon, Arizona. (Getty Images)


  • Glacier National Park - Montana

    Ranked #2.

    Glacier National Park Montana

    Glacier National Park located in Montana. (Getty Images)

  • Olympic National Park - Washington State

    Olympic National Park

    Sunset reflected in a slow moving stream, with sea stacks and driftwood, at Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park, Washington.

    Ranked #3.


  • Sequoia National Park - California

    Sequoia National Park

    Sign at the entrance to Sequoia National Park, California, USA

    Ranked #5.

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Colorado Springs Colorado

    Garden of the Gods after a dusting of snow at sunrise

    Ranked #7.

  • Nags Head, North Carolina

    Ranked #8.

    Nags Head North Carolina

    Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse in Manteo, North Carolina with clouds at sunrise reflecting in calm water.

  • Williamsburg, Virginia

    Ranked #9.

    Williamsburg Virginia

    River walk along the James River in Historic York town, Virginia. Yorktown is a major tourist destination for history and leisure purposes

  • Portland, Oregon

    Portland Oregon

    Boating on Columbia River with Mount Hood view during sunrise in Oregon

    Ranked #11.


  • San Antonio, Texas

    Ranked #12.

    San Antonio Texas

    San Antonio, Texas, USA Drone Skyline Aerial Panorama

  • Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

    Ranked #13.

    Gettyburg, Pennsylvania

    Colorful summer sunset from Little Roundtop in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Ranked #14.

    Albuquerque New Mexico

    Hot air balloons floating over the Rio Grande near Albuquerque, New Mexico.


  • The Finger Lakes in Upstate New York

    Ranked #15.

    Finger Lakes New York

    Two chairs sitting on a jetty at dusk, form a tranquil and idyllic scene at Lake Seneca, a popular vacation destination and located in the famous Finger Lakes region in New YorkState.

  • Augusta, Maine

    Augusta, Maine

    Augusta, Maine, USA downtown skyline on the Kennebec River.

    Ranked #16.

  • Flagstaff, Arizona

    Flagstaff, Arizona

    Sunset at Wukoki pueblo ruin in Wupatki National Monument near Flagstaff Arizona.

    Ranked #17.

  • Salt Lake City, Utah

    Ranked #18.

    Photo of Salt Lake City, Utah

    Salt Lake City, Utah

    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA downtown city skyline at dusk.

Sign me up for the HOT 95.5/93.1 email newsletter!

Join the HOT VIP Club and you'll get the hottest throwback hip-hop and R&B news, plus insider info on upcoming concerts, contests, and ways to get cash in your pocket!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.