Top Five Bargain Destinations for Summer 2011

by , SmarterTravel Staff
New York - Brooklyn Bridge (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on June 6, 2011. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, beach, Christine Sarkis, Costa Rica, Fort Myers, hotel, Houston, New York City, Reno, vacation package.

Summer inspires vacations like no other season. All that demand can mean higher prices, but we've found five great destinations that deliver bargain appeal and plenty of fun. We've found real, available prices for summer to make sure these hot spots are as budget-friendly as they claim. 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.

New York City

New hotels all over the city, airfare sales, and a bundle of free and cheap events throughout summer take a bite out of the Big Apple's usual high prices this summer.

Orbitz recently named New York City a top spot for summer, with hotel rates down four percent year-over-year. In fact, hotel growth is a major trend right now: Accommodations have increased by nearly a quarter since 2008, and new midscale and budget hotel brands are bringing greater affordability to the city this summer. For instance, the 699-room Yotel New York Times Square West—the city's largest new hotel in more than a decade—opened in early June. At press time, there were July and August midweek and weekend introductory rates from $149 a night, including continental breakfast and Wi-Fi. More deals are available at new properties beyond Manhattan: The trendy Aloft Brooklyn opens on June 9, and its Better Tomorrows deal (promo code ZB4) takes 40 percent off the price of a second night, bringing the cost of a July weekend stay to about $150 a night.

The city's tourism website, nycgo.com, is promoting more ways to save. With Third Night Free, you can stay three nights for the price of two at 15 different luxury hotels. The promotion runs from June 27 to September 5. Select hotels in Lower Manhattan are offering special weekend rates and discounts on activities through September 6. Around the city, free events and attractions include concerts, ferry rides, and art exhibitions. Restaurant Week, which runs from July 11 to 24, means you can lunch at a New York City hot spot for just $24.07 or have dinner for $35.

This September marks the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. After a dedication ceremony on September 11, the 9/11 Memorial opens to the public on September 12. Entry is free, but reservations are required.

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