standard downtown la

Many Americans consider spring to be an ideal time to take a temporary sabbatical celebrating the quietus of those long, arduous winter nights. As luck would have it, Spring Fever coincides harmoniously with peak tax season.  As the air thickens and the terra firma thaws, those who have the privilege of filing for a tax refund visit their local H&R Block with bright eyes, usually receiving some sort of bonus by late May. The IRS estimates the average American’s refund is $3,000, but if you’re anything like me, you’ve already mentally spent about half of that on more practical endeavors such as credit card bills, car repairs, or home improvements in an exhausting effort to act more responsibly. In honor of tax season, here’s a list of U.S. destinations that’ll cost less than $1,000 to explore during a long weekend from anywhere in America. Whether you’re looking for nightlife or the Milky Way, reasonably indulge your inner wayfarer for less.

 

Outer Banks, NC

Sunrise at fishing pier on the Outer Banks, North Carolina

Sunrise at fishing pier on the Outer Banks, North Carolina

Average Flight Cost: $200 – $500

Average Hotel Costs / 2 nights: $200

Rental Car Cost / 3 days:  $80

Public Transportation: Shuttle, Bus.

Best Season To Go: Summer.

Nearby Attractions: Carova Beach, Springer’s Point Preserve, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, dozens of lighthouses and historic landmarks.

outer banks north carolina

Beach house on the Outer Banks, NC

El Paso, TX

el paso texas

Long range binoculars for tourists and panoramic view of skyline and downtown of El Paso Texas looking toward Juarez, Mexico | © Americanspirit | Dreamstime.com – View Of Skyline And Downtown Of El Paso, Texas

Average Flight Cost: $150 – $450

Average Hotel Costs / 2 nights:  $150

Rental Car Cost / 3 days:  $120

Public Transportation: Bus, Paratransit.

Best Season To Go:  Late Spring, Early Summer

Nearby Attractions: White Sands National Monument (1.5 hour drive), Chamizal National Memorial, Organ Mountains (1 hour drive), Guadalupe Mountains National Park (1.5 hour drive), Thousand Steps Trail, Western Playland Amusement Park, El Paso Museums of History, Archeology, and Art.

el paso texas

EL PASO, TEXAS – MAY 29. The 25th annual KLAQ International Balloonfest was held at Grace Gardens with over 30 hot air balloons launched on the morning of May 29, 2010 at El Paso, Texas | © J.schultes | Dreamstime.com – Hot Air Balloons Photo

Las Vegas, NV

las vegas

The iconic Las Vegas sign

Average Flight Cost: $80 – $450

Average Hotel Costs / 2 nights:  $160

Rental Car Cost / 3 days: $130

Public Transportation:  Monorail, Bus, Shuttle, Tram, Cab.

Best Season To Go: Late Fall, Early Spring.

Nearby Attractions: The Strip, various museums, casinos and shopping opportunities, Valley of Fire State Park (1 hour drive), Death Valley National Park (1.5 hour drive), Lake Mead National Recreation Area (1.5 hour drive), Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (30 minute drive). Find more attractions in Las Vegas here.

Bellagio Fountains

Fountains at Bellagio in Las Vegas, NV

Fort Lauderdale, FL

fort lauderdale beach

Beach in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Average Flight Cost: $70 – $400

Average Hotel Costs / 2 nights:  $170

Rental Car Cost / 3 days: $140

Public Transportation: Bus, Cab.

Best Season To Go: Year Round.

Nearby Attractions: Fort Lauderdale Beach, Intercoastal Waterway, Big Cypress National Preserve (2 hour drive), Everglades National Park (2 hour drive), Las Olas Blvd.

lily pads in the everglades

Lily pads in the Everglades

Memphis, TN

beale street memphis tennessee

Beale Street in Memphis, TN

Average Flight Cost: $100 – $430

Average Hotel Costs / 2 nights:  $200

Rental Car Cost / 3 days: $80

Public Transportation: Bus, Trolley.

Best Season To Go: Spring.

Nearby Attractions: Beale Street Historic District, Memphis House of Blues, Graceland, National Civil Rights Museum, Sun Studio, Holly Springs National Forest (1 hour drive).

memphis tennessee

Graceland – Memphis, TN

Ocean City, MD

ocean city maryland

Ocean City, USA – August 4, 2014: Crowded boardwalk in Ocean City, MD on August 4, 2014. National Geographic named it one of the top 10 boardwalks in USA and The Travel Channel called it America’s best.

Average Flight Cost: $150 – $420

Average Hotel Costs / 2 nights: $180

Rental Car Cost / 3 days:  $70

Public Transportation:  Boardwalk Tram, Bus, Trolley.

Best Season To Go: Late Summer.

Nearby Attractions: Ocean City Boardwalk, Ocean City Beach, Trimper’s Rides and Amusement Park, Assateague Island National Seashore, an array of dining, nightlife and shopping opportunities.

ocean city maryland

Beach in Ocean City, Maryland

 

Los Angeles, CA

los angeles beach

Image via Pixabay under license CC0

Average Flight Cost: $80 – $450

Average Hotel Costs / 2 nights: $220

Rental Car Cost / 3 days:  $180

Public Transportation:  Metro Rail, Bus, Shuttle.

Best Season To Go: Spring, Fall, Winter.

Nearby Attractions:  Santa Monica Pier (20 minute drive), Sunset Blvd., Runyon Canyon Park, Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Garden,  The Broad art gallery, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Griffith Park and Observatory, The Hollywood Sign. Find more attractions in Los Angeles here.

standard downtown la

The Standard, Downtown LA | Image via Pixabay under license CC0

 

Cleveland, OH

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States.

Average Flight Cost: $80 – $450

Average Hotel Costs / 2 nights: $150

Rental Car Cost / 3 days: $75

Public Transportation: Bus, Train, Cab, Shuttle.

Best Season To Go: Spring, Summer, Fall.

Nearby Attractions: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center, Cuyahoga Valley National Park (30 minute drive), Great Lakes Brewery, Edgewater Park, Gordon Park, Westside Market, Tremont Historic District, A Christmas Story House, Lakeview Cemetery.

cleveland ohio

Image via Pixabay under license CC0

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Boats drop anchor on the Allegheny River outside PNC Park in Pittsburgh to watch a Pirates baseball game.

Average Flight Cost: $200 – $470

Average Hotel Costs / 2 nights:  $160

Rental Car Cost / 3 days: $100

Public Transportation:  Bus, Light Rail, Inclines.

Best Season To Go: Spring, Summer.

Nearby Attractions:  The Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Mount Washington, The Strip District, Mattress Factory, Market Square.

pittsburgh skyine

Pittsburgh skyline

Denver, CO

denver, co

Denver, CO Skyline

Average Flight Cost: $80 – $480.

Average Hotel Costs / 2 nights:  $190

Rental Car Cost / 3 days: $70

Public Transportation: Bus, Rail, Shuttle, Metro, B-Cycle.

Best Season To Go: Late Summer for hiking, Early Winter for skiing.

Nearby Attractions: Dinosaur Ridge, Denver Zoo, Denver Botanic Gardens, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Cherry Creek, Chamberlin Observatory, Rocky Mountain National Park, (1 hour drive), Arapaho National Forest (1 hour drive), Pike’s Peak and Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs (2 hour drive.) Find more about Denver here.