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Top Five Bargain Destinations for Summer 2010

by , SmarterTravel Staff
With spring temperatures, blooming landscapes, and less traffic, April is the perfect time to hit California's roads, especially along the Pacific Coast Highway. Starting in the palm-tree-lined streets of Southern California and winding its way along the ocean to the giant redwood forests of the north, this route is one of the most scenic and diverse byways in the country. You can spend weeks exploring the towns, attractions, vineyards, and beaches, so allow at least two full days for a quick trip.And don't let the rise in gas prices discourage you, because there are plenty of other ways to
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on May 8, 2010. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, Bahamas, California, Christine Sarkis, destination, hotel, Ireland, Myrtle Beach, Quebec City, vacation package.

Summer means vacation, but it's also the season of high prices and big crowds. Choose wisely and shop smart, though, and you'll be able to take advantage of deals and discounts that put even popular destinations on the budget travel radar.

I've monitored trends, industry news, and sale patterns to point you in the direction of places that offer the best bargain value for the coming season. Below you'll find examples of deals presently available for summer trips. Like all deals, these are sure to expire; however, a little research on your part can yield similar results when you're ready to book.

California

Turn that California dreamin' into a real vacation this summer with new low-cost carrier air service, hotel discounts up and down the state, and Disneyland offers.

California has some of the busiest airports in the country, and getting there will be even easier this summer with new service from low-cost carriers Allegiant and Virgin America. Allegiant begins service between Tennessee's Tri-Cities Airport and LAX, and Eugene, Oregon, and LAX on June 3. And Virgin America kicks off service between Toronto and both Los Angeles and San Francisco starting June 23.

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Hotels around the state are offering summer deals that are worth a look. More than 30 Joie de Vivre hotel properties in California are offering the Road Trippin' California promotion, with savings of up to 50 percent, through mid-September. Package rates start at $99 per night and include add-ons such as free parking, quirky amenities, or activities. The Breakfast in Beverly Hills promotion offers visitors who book two- or three-night stays an additional night's stay and daily breakfast for no additional cost. The deal is available at 12 Beverly Hills hotels through August 31. San Diego's Choose Happy promotion highlights ways to stretch your vacation dollars, and includes a list of 50 free things to do in the area and trips under $100 a day.

You can also find deals in Los Angeles, Mendocino County, Napa, and Santa Barbara. Even Disneyland has summer discounts on accommodations and park packages.

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