Whether you need a quick escape from the dark days of winter or an extended vacay to pause and reset, there’s no doubt about it: All roads can (and should) lead to the beach.
But rack up enough leisure days by the shore and you’re bound to rack up a pretty scary credit card bill, right? Not necessarily, according to Vrbo. The vacation rental marketplace recently crunched some numbers to determine the most affordable and desirable beach destinations in the country, and a word to the wise: If you’re looking for a deal, you might want to head south.
According to Vrbo, the best value coastal city in the country is none other than Myrtle Beach, where the average price per person for rentals comes in at a scant $54 per night. To determine the winners, Vrbo first looked at the site’s most popular beach destinations overall. Then, they calculated each location’s average nightly rate based on data from January through December of 2018.
Myrtle Beach, a family-friendly vacation fave, came out a notch above the rest. And, frankly, we’re not surprised. Over the years, we’ve seen the South Carolina resort town pop up as a finalist on numerous rankings of affordability and lifestyle, including as one of the U.S.’s cheapest places to retire and best places to invest in a vacation rental. It’s also earned acclaim for its high quality of life—a major bonus for the 32,000 part- and full-time residents who call this Southern gem home.
But coming in just behind this buzzed about escape on Vrbo’s ranking is another gem that flies a bit more under the radar: Harrison County, Mississippi. Bordering the Gulf of Mexico, the region encompasses the vacation towns of Gulfport and Biloxi, both known for their fresh-caught seafood and white-sand beaches (and, yes, the casinos). Average rates here go for a reasonable $55 per night per person; just remember not to blow all your room rate savings at the blackjack table.
See the full list of the top five best value beach destinations below:
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (Average rate: $54)
- Harrison County, Mississippi (Average rate: $55)
- Corpus Christi and Port Aransas, Texas (Average rate: $60)
- Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral, Florida (Average rate: $60)
- South Padre Island, Texas (Average rate: $62)