If you’re among the 43% of Americans who say they’ll spend their tax refund on travel, you might as well book a trip that gives you the best bang for your hard-earned buck. For a peaceful and affordable getaway, there are several destinations that offer great deals and few crowds until—and for some places, well beyond—Memorial Day weekend.

Whether you choose to hop a ferry to Block Island or Martha’s Vineyard, bike between North Fork vineyards and pristine beaches or pitch a tent on a secluded lake, plan a budget-friendly shoulder season escape with the help of these five guides.

Block Island

For two nights at the Blue Dory Inn: $270 now vs. $650 later

North Fork

For one night at the Blue Iris Inn: $245 now vs. $590 later

bike ride through north fork vineyards

Martha’s Vineyard

For one night at The Madison Inn: $89 now vs. $289 later



For one night at The Graham & Co: $99 now vs. $185 later


17 Camp Sites

For unlimited nights from $0 with campsites all to yourself now vs. crowds and RVs later

camping in the adirondacks


Photos: Don & Suzan WellerReefTECK, Block Island Tourism Council, Kate’s Lazy Meadow, Suzanne Russo, Bruce Tuten


  1. I would add Newport, RI to that list. You can get to Newport from NYC by taking Amtrak to Providence – the transferring to a bus. The Newport hostel has detailed directions. One of my close friends went to college in Rhode Island, and reports that it’s better in shoulder season when the crowds are smaller.


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