2 North Carolina Cities Among America's Best Cheap Travel Destinations

By Sarah Tate

April 14, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

Two cities in North Carolina were named among the best vacation spots that won't hurt your wallet. U.S. News & World Report ranked the best cheap vacations around the U.S. that offer a lot of bang for your buck, including two spots in the Tar Heel State.

Coming in at No. 7 and No. 15, respectively, Asheville and Nags Head are some of the best affordable vacation destinations in America, with plenty of cheap or free attractions to keep you entertained. Here's what the site had to say:


"Located in western North Carolina, Asheville appeals to nature lovers and adventure travelers. Take a drive along scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, hike to breathtaking waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest or learn about Southern Appalachian plant species at the Botanical Gardens at Asheville. Save money on lodging by opting for a hostel or vacation rental downtown or test your wilderness skills on a camping trip. You'll also want to time your visit for summer when the town holds several music festivals."

Nags Head:

"Spending time in the sun is the main reason to make the trip to Nags Head, part of the Outer Banks region of North Carolina. The beach town's sky-high sand dunes in Jockey's Ridge State Park and great fishing spots in the surrounding Gulf Stream waters attract travelers with varying interests. When visitors are not lounging on the sand, they can explore Nags Head lighthouses or look for birds, sea turtles and more at nearby Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Fall and spring are the best seasons to visit thanks to fewer crowds and lower prices for accommodations."

These are the 20 best cheap vacations in the country:

  1. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
  2. Glacier National Park (Montana)
  3. Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)
  4. Moab (Utah)
  5. Bar Harbor (Maine)
  6. Cannon Beach (Oregon)
  7. Asheville (North Carolina)
  8. Sequoia National Park (California)
  9. Olympic National Park (Washington)
  10. Destin (Florida)
  11. Santa Fe (New Mexico)
  12. St. Augustine (Florida)
  13. Gatlinburg (Tennessee)
  14. Colorado Springs (Colorado)
  15. Nags Head (North Carolina)
  16. San Antonio (Texas)
  17. Williamsburg (Virginia)
  18. Gettysburg (Pennsylvania)
  19. Athens (Georgia)
  20. Portland (Oregon)

Check out U.S. News & World Report's full list to read up on what makes these destinations special.

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