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These Are the Top 5 Cheapest West Coast Getaways This Spring

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For those yearning to explore the West Coast of the United States without breaking the bank, plenty of budget-friendly options showcase natural wonders and coastal culture. From Washington‘s dramatic Olympic National Park to California’s iconic Santa Barbara beaches, the West Coast offers affordable getaways amidst stunning landscapes.

You can discover national parks, charming towns, bustling cities, and locales renowned for their wine – all while managing your travel expenses. Eschewing the typical European trip, the West Coast is comparably rich in experiences without the steep international airfare.

Consider destinations like the Willamette Valley, where you can savor some of the world’s best Pinot Noirs, all within reach of major airports with direct flights coming in from all over. These diverse regions promise affordability and the chance to make invaluable memories without the high cost often associated with vacationing.

Top 5 Cheapest West Coast Getaways This Spring

1. Portland, Oregon: The City of Roses on a Budget

Sunrise View of Portland, Oregon from Pittock Mansion.
Josemaria Toscano / Adobe Stock

Oregon’s hub of culture and nature, Portland, allows you to explore without overspending. Your adventure in the City of Roses can be as affordable as it is memorable.

Find inspiration in boutiques and shops that showcase Portland’s unique flair without the hefty price tags, especially in the offbeat neighborhoods where small businesses thrive. Meander through the Portland Saturday Market, where window shopping is free, and the artisanal souvenirs are budget-friendly.

  • Parks & Gardens: Enjoy the beauty of the Portland International Rose Test Garden free of charge. The tranquility of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden offers minimal admission fees, giving you a cost-effective way to commune with nature.
  • Arts & Culture: Revel in Portland’s creative spirit at no cost by visiting galleries during monthly art walks. Museums like the Portland Art Museum and Oregon Museum of Science and Industry occasionally offer “pay-what-you-will” days throughout the year – check their websites for specific dates.
  • Outdoor Adventure: Indulge in hiking through forested parks around the city or take a day trip to Cannon Beach, just a short drive from Portland. Oregon’s scenic coastline won’t cost a penny to admire, unless you decide to splurge on a beachfront treat.

Remember, whether it’s the allure of the Pacific Ocean or the call of the lush Oregon forests, your visit to Portland can be rich in experience yet kind on your wallet.

Budget-Friendly Hotels In Portland

See Related: Best States to Visit in the USA

2. San Diego, California: Affordable Beachside Bliss

San Diego, California Skyline
SeanPavonePhoto / Adobe Stock

In San Diego, you’re treated to some of Southern California’s most scenic coastlines without overstretching your budget. La Jolla offers picturesque views and an opportunity to kayak alongside sea lions, while the expansive sandy beaches beckon surf enthusiasts and families alike.

  • Swimming & Surfing: Free public beaches like Mission Beach offer a great sport for a refreshing swim. If you surf, bring your board to catch a wave without spending a dime. There are lots of outfitters that rent surfboards, kayaks, or paddleboards, too, so you can find budget-friendly rentals for your time on the water.
  • Seafood & Dining: Seafood and affordability rarely go hand-in-hand, but that’s the benefit of visiting a beach town. Enjoy affordable, fresh seafood at the local markets, or try the catch-of-the-day specials at oceanside eateries.
  • Pier Fishing: Not every fishing trip has to be a deep water excursion. Bring your gear and join the locals on public piers for a cost-free day of fishing.
  • Whale-Watching & Diving: Instead of costly tours, spot migrating whales from shore during the season or snorkel near La Jolla Cove to discover aquatic life.

We won’t avoid the elephant in the room – lodging in San Diego can be very expensive. However, if your biggest expense each day is the roof over your head, it doesn’t seem so bad! There are so many free things to do if you love time in the sun. So pack your sunblock and prepare to bask in the affordable beachside bliss that awaits you in this Pacific paradise.

Budget-Friendly Hotels In San Diego

3. Seattle, Washington: Emerald City Savings

Aerial drone photo of the Seattle Space Needle and downtown
Felix Mizioznikov / Adobe Stock

Seattle offers a blend of urban charm and natural beauty on a budget. You can book budget-friendly hotels or consider rentals outside the city center for better rates.

Areas like Old Town can offer a glimpse into Seattle’s past without the downtown prices. Save on transit by using the city’s bike-share program or public transportation for efficient and inexpensive travel throughout Seattle.

  • Sightseeing: Visit iconic landmarks like the Pike Place Market without spending a penny on admission fees. Opt for the free parks nearby, like Cama Beach Historical State Park which provides picturesque views of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Outdoor Activities: Take advantage of Washington State’s scenic landscape with affordable kayaking and biking rentals. The shores along the Pacific Ocean or the trails of Olympic National Park are accessible with minimal fees.
  • Shopping and Dining: For thrift shoppers and foodies alike, explore local markets and neighborhoods for unique and economical finds.

If you do end up with a rental car, cruise the highways to see beautiful places like Gig Harbor, Mount Rainier, or just drive around the bays looking for unique views. Seattle is an excellent gateway to a trip where you can set a budget and still pack your days with adventure.

Budget-Friendly Hotels In Seattle

See Related: Best Restaurants in Downtown Seattle

4. Las Vegas, Nevada: Entertainment on a Dime

Aerial view of Bellagio Fountains and Las Vegas Strip
Paul / Adobe Stock

Las Vegas is well-known for its nightlife and entertainment options, but you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy this lively city. While the mention of Nevada often brings to mind glitzy casinos and expensive shows, Las Vegas offers a plethora of budget-friendly activities that can make your vacation both affordable and memorable.

  • Explore Fremont Street: Experience the nostalgia of old-school Vegas with free nightly light shows and street performers.
  • Bellagio Fountains: Admire this iconic, free-to-watch water display that choreographs water to music and lights.
  • Window-shop the Strip: The Las Vegas Strip is an entertainment paradise where you can soak up the atmosphere without spending a cent.
  • Explore The Desert: Art installations like Seven Magic Mountains and natural wonders like Red Rock Canyon make for exciting day trips with cheap entrance fees.

Remember, you don’t need to gamble to savor Las Vegas. Aside from the casinos, the city’s natural scenery is also remarkable—just a short drive away you can hike in the surrounding mountains. While Las Vegas may not offer a traditional beach vacation, it doesn’t skimp on recreational activities.

Flights to Vegas and casino hotels are usually fairly cheap. After all, they want tourists to come to this oasis in the desert! Just keep an eye out for resort fees – those add up quick.

Plan your trip during the week for the best rates and fewer crowds. Finally, if you enjoy a good show, look for ticket discounts to enjoy the nightlife without the usual price tag. Encourage yourself to experience Las Vegas uniquely—your wallet will thank you.

Budget-Friendly Hotels In Las Vegas

See Related: Where to Stay in Las Vegas: Best Areas and Neighborhoods

5. Sacramento, California: A Capital Experience Without the Price Tag

Aerial view of Downtown Sacramento, California
Matt Gush / Adobe Stock

Sacramento, the capital of California, offers an affordable West Coast getaway with a blend of cultural heritage, a cool arts scene, and lots of nearby outdoor recreation. It’s three hours from Yosemite National Park – far for a day trip, but a good spot to start and end your trip.

  • California State Capitol Museum: Free admission lets you explore California’s legislative history and appreciate the architecture.
  • Capitol Park: Surrounding the Capitol, this park is perfect for a leisurely stroll among meticulously landscaped gardens at no cost.
  • Affordable Eats: Dive into diverse cuisines at local eateries, with many offering hearty meals without the hefty price.
  • Nature on a Dime: Numerous parks and the verdant City of Trees canopy provide free, relaxing environments to unwind.
  • Vineyards and Breweries: Savor local wines and craft beers, often at lower prices than more famous regions, making for an indulgent yet economical tasting experience.

Embrace Sacramento’s affordable offerings, and relish the cultural experiences and natural beauty that Northern California has to offer without straining your wallet.

Budget-Friendly Hotels In Sacramento

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