Great places to enjoy cheap fun vacations in the USA

No matter if you're in the mood for a lively beachfront break or a high-energy getaway in a big city or up-and-coming town, you can find fun places to go just about everywhere. Look for vacation home rentals in the Florida Keys for plenty of fun in the sun, or book a summer rental in Los Angeles for amusement parks, dining, and live music festivals. Wherever you wind up, you'll find the perfect vacation rental with this handy guide to budget-friendly yet fun vacation spots all throughout the US.

Fun vacations all throughout Florida

Home to a huge assortment of theme parks, Orlando is widely regarded as one of the top places to go in the US for a fun trip for the whole family. Landmark attractions like Disney World and Universal Studios rub shoulders with highlights like Gatorland, The Holy Land Experience, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, to name a few. Further south, laid-back Key West boasts a lively vibe and plenty of waterfront activities, while cosmopolitan Miami is home to upscale shops, vibrant street art, and a beachfront party scene that's second to none.

Fun places to go on vacation in California

Whether it's big city entertainment or a low-key vibe, the Golden State delivers. Urban centers like San Francisco and Los Angeles feature trendy bars and restaurants, as well as plenty of live music festivals during the summer months. If you'd rather go a bit off the beaten path, coastal spots like Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara offer ample beachfront space. In San Diego, you'll find one of the country's top zoos and a sprawling wildlife park. Meanwhile, mountain locales like Tahoe and Big Bear are just as popular for summer hiking and mountain biking as they are for their skiing and snowboarding in the winter.

New York is filled with fun vacation spots

If you're planning a fun-filled getaway, New York City is tough to beat. With a vibrant dining and nightlife scene—bars here generally stay open until 4 A.M.—as well as live entertainment ranging from underground concerts to Broadway shows, you'll be guaranteed a good time in this bustling city. If you're feeling penned in by Manhattan's towering skyscrapers, you can head to the beach in Brooklyn or make the short drive or train ride into the Hudson Valley. Here, charming riverfront towns like Rhinebeck and Peekskill boast mom-and-pop shops, cafes, and craft breweries, as well as plenty of summertime hiking trails.

Head to Chicago for fun vacation ideas

Another great option for urban adventures, Chicago is known for cultural attractions like the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Art Institute of Chicago, while the lively Navy Pier features rides and games on Lake Michigan. Come summertime, the city's lakefront beaches are popular spots for BBQs and get-togethers, and its sprawling parks host popular music festivals with big-name acts. You can also explore the Lincoln Park Zoo or take an architecture or history tour from a boat on the Chicago River. A short drive away, the Indiana Dunes National Park offers 15 miles of sandy shoreline—including some truly massive sand dunes—on Lake Michigan.

Check out these fun places to travel in and around Austin

Located in the scenic Texas Hill Country, Austin is a popular destination for travelers of all sorts. All throughout this lively spot, you'll find restaurants serving an eclectic mix of classic and contemporary fare, as well as live music coming from the bars and clubs that dot the city. Book a vacation rental in the spring to time your visit to the South by Southwest music, film, and tech festival, or come in the summer when the area's lakes become popular hotspots for locals and visitors looking to escape the city heat. The area's mild weather during the winter months means you can explore the surrounding Hill Country just about all year round.

Fun vacations on the water in Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks

One of the country's premier destinations for low-key summertime fun, Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks is a perennial favorite for boating, fishing, swimming, and more. Technically a reservoir on the Osage River, the winding lake covers 54,000 acres and boasts more than 1,100 miles of shoreline where you can find boat launches, fishing docks, and waterfront parks. Look for vacation rentals right on the lake or go big and stay in a spacious summer rental with a hot tub, a deck, or a fire pit with lake views.