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Head to the city.
Hit a bustling metropolis. Cities tend to be less hectic over summer weekends than they are on weekdays and you can probably score a deal on a hotel room, particularly if it's not convention time. You'll also have free reign over public transportation (no spending money on rental cars!).
Climb every mountain.
Sure, the snow's gone, but don't skip the ski resorts. Outdoor types can hike and mountain-bike through the trails and canoe in nearby lakes. Even better, hotels are 50 to 60 percent off, and some lifts operate all summer long.
Go for turf by the surf.
The best budget-beach destinations have coastline to spare. Take Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: With more than 60 miles of sand, surf, and places to stay, you've got a great chance of getting a cheap room with an expensive view. Also check out St. Petersburg, Florida, which is along the Gulf of Mexico.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, May 2009.