8 budget-friendly family weekend getaways

Escaping for the weekend with the entire family in tow doesn't have to break the bank. In fact, there are tons of affordable spots in the U.S. for short-term family fun, from bargain cottage rentals on the beach to budget-friendly vacation homes near national parks. Whatever your pleasure, the following family weekend getaway guide will provide you with exciting options that won't put a strain your bank account.

Inexpensive vacation rentals in Hudson Valley, NY

If you live near New York City, Hudson Valley is a wonderful family weekend getaway destination filled with affordable activities all year round. Book an inexpensive cabin rental in Cohoes and you'll be near the 4-acre Falls View Park, where you can see the Mohawk River and check out the second largest waterfall in New York State. Charming towns like Warwick and Ossining are excellent for apple and pumpkin picking, while cottage rentals near Hunter Mountain offer close proximity to ski slopes and ziplining.

Affordable mansions for rent in Cape May, NJ

If you want to be near the ocean, head to Cape May, New Jersey, where you can rent a reasonably priced vacation home or a quaint Victorian mansion. Filled with shops and restaurants that cater to kids and families, this beach town boasts quiet, safe streets that are great for biking. There are also plenty of affordable indoor activities if your weekend is hit with rain, including the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum and the celebrated 1859 Lighthouse.

Cheap family weekend getaways in Long Island, NY

There are scores of wallet-friendly weekend vacation homes on Long Island, from cozy cottages in Montauk to affordable beach houses in Sag Harbor. Cottage rentals in Southampton feature outdoor pools and private decks, while cute getaway cabins on Shelter Island have big backyards and water views. If you're planning an autumn retreat, enjoy the foliage from your choice of popular hiking spots, including Belmont Lake State Park, the Planting Fields Arboretum, and Sand Point Preserve Natural Trails.

Reasonable cottage rentals on Mackinac Island, MI

This old-timey retreat on Michigan's Upper Peninsula has been a top family weekend getaway for more than 100 years. Accessible by ferry and bridge, Mackinac Island is less than 4 square miles but offers something for everyone, including bikeable parkland, horse-drawn carriage tours, the Fort Mackinac museum, and famous fudge shops. Affordable lakefront cottage rentals are plentiful and include amenities such as private docks and beach areas, as well kayaks, canoes, fire pits, and barbecues.

Budget-friendly family vacations in Big Bear Lake, CA

Less than 2 hours from Los Angeles, Big Bear Lake makes for a great family weekend getaway. Nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains, this popular ski spot is especially affordable during the off-season, when it offers all kinds of activities along its 7-mile-long lake, such as swimming, kayaking, ziplining, and mountain biking. Rustic cabin rentals are inexpensive and provide family-friendly features like open kitchens, mountain-view decks, outdoor hot tubs, and patios with gas grills.

Bargain family cabin rentals near Rapid City, SD

This Midwestern city offers ample opportunity for a cheap family weekend getaway, whether you stay in a cottage rental near Mount Rushmore or a vacation home outside of Badlands National Park. Explore Bear Country USA's 3-mile park drive if you want to see some of South Dakota's wildlife, or visit Rush Mountain Adventure Park for scenic cave tours and family-friendly thrill rides. Affordable getaway cabins near Canyon Lake offer all kinds of extras, including private yards with BBQs, picnic tables, and cornhole boards.

Great family weekend getaways on Galveston Island, TX

With miles of shoreline and endless activities along its celebrated Galveston Seawall, this breezy destination is jam-packed with affordable family fun. The ferry ride is free, and many of the island's cozy, Key-West-style cottage rentals sit right by the beach. Kid-friendly attractions abound, from thrill rides at Pleasure Pier and Schlitterbahn waterpark, to old-fashioned taffy-making demonstrations at La King's Confectionery. You can also visit Galveston Island State Park for low- or no-cost kayak tours, birdwatching trips, fishing spots, and hiking trails.

Weekend vacation homes in Spokane, WA

For a cheap family weekend getaway in the Pacific Northwest, you can book a cottage rental in Spokane, Washington. You'll find opportunities for inexpensive outdoor recreation at River Park, which features an amusement park, a mini-golf course, and a spectacular gondola ride over Spokane Falls. There are also apartment rentals in downtown Spokane within walking distance from Manito Park, where you can check out botanical gardens, duck ponds, picnic spots, and more.