There's nothing like a relaxing getaway to, well, get away from the hustle and bustle of your daily schedule and the impending price-hike of late summer as we approach Labor Day. While the weather this time of year can't decide to be a lamb or lion, destinations experience a price lull you should take advantage of before warmer temps signal high season. Here are our picks for locales offering the most bang for your buck.
Take it easy in the Big Easy: Steamy New Orleans is a budget traveler's dream destination. The cost of your walking shoes will take you around the easy-to-navigate Crescent City. In a day's time, you can take in amazing architecture in the French Quarter, quirky culture at places like the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum and even incredible jazz a stones throw from wherever you stand. And let's not forget about the world-class cuisine that ranges from the po'boy to dishes served by celeb chefs John Besh and Emeril Lagasse!
This capital city is at its most beautiful before the rainy summer season. Though packed with people, the city offers history in the form of ruins, a vibrant arts scene and an incredible food culture. An efficient public transportation system and lots of hotel deals help entice travelers looking to ease their wallet woes.
For a taste of Europe with a North American sensibility, there's no better place than Montreal, Canada. Simultaneously urban and quaint, the city is a surprisingly affordable location to spend a long weekend or more, no French required. A city of festivals, uber-walkable Montreal offers all manner of entertainment year-round, but it really thrives in warmer months, when denizens fill the streets after months of hibernation. Sure, Old Town is cute, but venture out to neighborhoods like Mile End and Le Plateau-Mont-Royal for a real taste of all the city offers.
If nothing else, ocean-adjacent San Diego boasts the best Mexican food outside of Mexico. Just sayin'. Home to Comic Con, this sunny hotspot-boasting, on average, 266 days of sun annually-can get crowded and expensive during busy summer months, so strike while the iron is hot. Lodging deals abound, and hotspots like Balboa Park boast attractions as varied as the Japanese Friendship Garden and the Air & Space Museum.
Surprised this college-town made the list? Don't be. A buzzing hive of galleries, restaurants and street festivals, this Midwestern city just 45 minutes from Detroit offers foodies a range of culinary experiences, while outdoorsy-types will enjoy hiking, biking and other activity-driven activities. From the University of Michigan to a plethora of museums and theaters, this town has everything within reach.
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Raised in Southern California, Joseph left the temperate climes of the OC for the chilly winters of Chicago, where he earned his degree in magazine journalism. Along the way, he developed an impenetrable layer of blubber, thanks to the city's deep dish pizza and hot dogs. In recent years, he has edited an online travel magazine, helped produce two international TBEX conferences, and has written about fashion, food, wine, and travel for various online publications. Currently, Joseph is Assistant Editor at Wine Enthusiast Magazine, where he geeks out on his interests regularly. Read Joseph's blog at Pith + Moment or follow him on Twitter.
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