There are several spots across the U.S. and the Caribbean where summer is considered offseason. That means airfare and hotel rates are often lower and it’s also not quite so busy. Here are five spots to consider.
Looking for the perfect summer vacation spot that’s not overrun with tourists ruining your vacation?
There are several spots across the U.S. and the Caribbean where summer is considered offseason. That means airfare and hotel rates are often lower and it’s also not quite so busy.
Here are five spots to consider if you’re looking to cash in your credit card rewards or loyalty points for summer fun in relative peace and quiet.
See related: Best rewards credit cards
1. Colorado mountains
Breathe in the fresh cool mountain air and enjoy gorgeous vistas in the mountains of Colorado in early to mid-June. The crowds have not yet arrived for summer outdoor activities, as there is still some leftover winter snow, and temperatures can be a bit cooler (though not cool enough to ski).
Many stores and restaurants that cater to tourists may also be closed, but go where the locals go. Those spots are always better, anyway!
This is one of our favorite times of year to visit Colorado towns like Beaver Creek, Vail, Aspen, Colorado Springs and Telluride. There are so many outdoor activities that are perfect in the mild weather (trying hiking Colorado Springs’ gorgeous Garden of the Gods), and you can comfortably leave the windows of your vacation rental open with no air conditioning before the warmer temperatures come along in July and August.
2. Captiva Island, Florida
It gets hot and muggy in Florida during summer, so that tends to keep some of the crowds away even though school is out.
Captiva Island, right next to Sanibel on the Gulf Coast, offers plentiful shelling, lots of restaurants and great opportunities for outdoor activities like kayaking, jet-skiing and boating. You may want to avoid being in direct sun during the midafternoon hours, though.
Rates drop dramatically during the summer season, starting at just $158 per night from June through August. Choose from properties like the North Captiva Island Club, South Seas Island Resort and ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa.
3. Grand Cayman
The Caribbean can also be a quieter spot to visit during the summer season because it’s hot there as well. It also happens to be the rainy season for Grand Cayman and the Cayman Islands, so it could mean a few less days on the beach, but also fewer people on the beach on sunny days.
Southwest Airlines offers cheap flights to Grand Cayman from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and if you bring along a snorkel and a mask, you can pretty much hop in the water anywhere on the island and enjoy endless activity.
Be sure you leave time for a visit to Stingray City in the Caribbean Sea, where the creatures congregate and you can swim among them. I also highly recommend eating your fill of delicious rum cakes and sipping on mango daiquiris.
See related: The best credit card perks for summer travel
4. Walt Disney World
While it used to be that Disney’s busiest season was summer, it seems it’s flip-flopped with fall, spring and even some winter months, with many days where the park is filled. We were there over a holiday weekend in January and found it to be just as busy as when we visit in spring and fall. Plus, like everywhere else in Florida, heat, humidity and rain deters many from visiting during these hottest of months.
For a great spot outside of the resort, consider The Grove Resort & Spa, which offers a free Disney shuttle and plenty of space to spread out with washers and dryers, kitchens and separate bedrooms. It even has its own water park for cooling off in the heat, with room rates as low as $135 per night this summer.
Additionally, Disney’s one-day ticket prices drop in cost by about $8 per day during select days in July and August, which can mean big savings for a larger family.
5. Palm Springs, California
Head to a desert oasis this summer with amazing architecture, great dining and exceptional value at resorts during this season.
The popular music festival Coachella happens in the spring, so the crowds thin out a bit in Palm Springs over the summer months. It’s a perfect time to score an amazing midcentury modern vacation rental and dining reservations at the area’s top spots, especially Sunday through Thursday.
Check out the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa, which has a top-notch spa, multiple pools and outstanding cuisine at the on-site Citrus & Palm restaurant. The Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Golf Resort Palm Springs has affordable rates as low as $86 per night. Also, check out the uber-hip Saguaro Palm Springs motor-lodge-turned-resort, which is offering a 35-percent-off summer promotion that includes $20 in frozen drinks.