Summer might be the most popular season to travel, but if you're looking to save money, now is the time to plan a weekend escape. September marks the start of "shoulder season," the period in between a destination's low and high seasons when accommodation and transport are typically cheaper. Cost aside, it also means fewer crowds, shorter queues for tourist attractions, and no need to reserve restaurants months in advance. What's not to love?
Travel website Priceline recently crunched the numbers to find out which popular U.S. destinations are considerably cheaper to visit in fall. Its findings provide a handy weekend getaway guide: It turns out that hotels in coastal destinations like Montauk and Nantucket are roughly half-price in the cooler months, and scenic spots like Bend, Oregon, are slightly cheaper when the leaves start to change. Pack your bags—now's the time to book a fall weekend escape if you're traveling on a budget.
Newport, Rhode Island
Price Drop: $125
A popular summer destination for Boston locals and New Yorkers, there's so much more to Newport than sailing and seaside activities. Be sure to visit the historic houses in the area, including the stately Marble House, a Gilded Age mansion built by the Vanderbilt family, and The Breakers, a former summer residence that exudes opulence.
Summer average daily rate: $404
Shoulder season average daily rate: $279
Montauk, New York
Price Drop: $232
Montauk transforms after Labor Day. The lively Long Island town sees considerably fewer crowds, making the notoriously slow drive from Manhattan much more enjoyable. It's worth noting that many bars and hotels close in shoulder season so do your research. Gurney's Montauk Resort & Spa stays open year-round and is home to one of the best restaurants in the area, Scarpetta.
Summer average daily rate: $495
Shoulder season average daily rate: $263
Price Drop: $91
The city of Bend, Oregon, is often overshadowed by Portland, but it's slowly gaining recognition as an excellent U.S. stop off. Located on the eastern edge of the Cascades mountain range, it's a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Choose from 300 miles of mountain-biking trails, 71 parks, and countless spots for kayaking, fishing, rock climbing, and more.
Summer average daily rate: $324
Shoulder season average daily rate: $233
Cape May, New Jersey
Price Drop: $151
Now's the ideal time to visit Cape May, New Jersey, if you're traveling on a budget. Hotels in the seaside resort are $151 cheaper in fall than they are in peak season. Visit the Cape May Lighthouse for views across Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, or plan a trip to one of the area's historic Victorian houses.
Summer average daily rate: $375
Shoulder season average daily rate: $224
Price Drop: $211
Nantucket might be notoriously expensive in summer, but hotels on the tiny island off the coast of Massachusetts are dramatically discounted after peak season. There's plenty to do besides go to the beach. Stop by the Whaling Museum and finish the day with a cocktail at Greydon House, a quaint luxury hotel and restaurant in downtown Nantucket.
Summer average daily rate: $489
Shoulder season average daily rate: $278
Price Drop: $137
Always wanted to vacation in Oahu? Flying into and staying near Kapolei is much cheaper than Honolulu in fall. It's the perfect starting point to explore the island at large.
Summer average daily rate: $645
Shoulder season average daily rate: $508
Pack your bags–these duffels are perfect for a weekend escape:
Planning a fall getaway? Share your travel photographs with the hashtag #MyDomaineTravels on Instagram.