Cheap Beach Vacations

Sandy Mitchell
Mexico is a great choice for a cheap beach vacation.

Sometimes a cheap beach vacation is the only answer to a dreary, snowy Northeast - or Midwest - winter. Whether it be a Spring Break vacation, or a quick weekend getaway, there are a number of cheap beach vacations within easy reach. Among the favorites are:

Bahamas

This group of islands, located just east of South Florida, offers visitors warm weather, long white sand beaches, casino gambling, and a carefree island flavor. New Providence Island, the most popular of the Bahamas Islands is home to Nassau, a cosmopolitan city with a combination of British Colonial style and Caribbean flair. Just offshore is Paradise Island, home to a long stretch of white sand beach, several lavish casinos, and the popular Atlantis Resort.

Freeport on Grand Bahamas Island is even more affordable. Reasonably priced charter flights connect the island with Fort Lauderdale and towns throughout the Midwest and Northeast. The island is quiet and relaxed and offers plentiful seafood, casino gambling, and duty-free shopping. Grand Bahamas Island is also home to one of the world's most important aquatic research and dive centers, and visitors can swim with the dolphins and learn more about island sealife there.

Mexico

Mexico's beaches are easily accessible from both the east and west coast of the United States. The vibrant Yucatan resorts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen are just a two-hour flight away from New York City, Boston, Chicago, and many other northern cities. There vacationers can soak up the sun, explore the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and Tulum, and enjoy some of the world's best diving and snorkeling.

West coast travelers can hop a flight down to the tip of the Baja Peninsula, where Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. The two arid resorts boast long stretches of beach, world-class sports fishing and a vibrant nightlife. Visitors are also treated to the spectacular rock formations, just offshore (including the iconic "el arco"), and scrumptious Mexican cuisine.

Shoppers will find plenty of affordable finds in both regions, including Mexican silver jewelry and housewares, carved wooden items, colorful hand-woven textiles, and a variety of fanciful and fun arts and crafts items.

Florida

Florida has been enticing northern beach lovers for over 150 years. With over 1500 miles of coastline and 600 miles of beach, there's plenty of sand, surf, and fun for everyone. Affordable Florida vacation spots include the "Space Coast," along Florida's eastern shore, from Juno Beach to Daytona Beach. The many family-oriented resorts along this stretch of Florida boast plentiful seafood, excellent fishing, long stretches of uncrowded beach, and the nearby Kennedy Space Center, always an interesting place to visit.

Florida's Panhandle, from Pensacola to Panama City is another affordable Florida destination. Less crowded than South Florida, this area retains some of the Old Florida appeal, with plentiful fresh seafood restaurants, rolling sand dunes, and miles and miles of white sand beach.

Other Cheap Beach Vacations

Other cheap beach vacation spots include South Padre Island, on the southern tip of Texas; Mississippi Gulf coast towns, such as Gulfport and Biloxi; and the east coast resort communities around Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and the outer banks of North Carolina.

Cheap Beach Vacations