Visit The Midwest For Wallet-Friendly Adventures!

Setting sun behind the girders of the high arched New River Gorge bridge in West Virginia

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclaimer.

Discover the Midwest: your ticket to affordable adventures! Often overshadowed by its more glamorous counterparts, this region is a haven for budget-conscious travelers. Boasting a lineup of “most budget-friendly cities in the United States,” the Midwest keeps costs low without compromising on experiences. Prepare to explore a realm where affordability meets excitement, proving that adventure doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag.

Chicago Vacations

Chicago Il- Millennium Park Cloud Gate
Photo Credit: via Deposit Photos.

You’ve seen Jim Carrey fly to Nebraska in Yes Man, but the quintessential Midwestern travel movie has to be Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Ferris rode to the top of the Sears Tower, visited the Art Institute of Chicago, and took in a game at Wrigley Field – all classic Chicago things to do. If they ever remake Ferris, he’ll probably take a selfie at The Bean. Chicago is America’s 3rd largest city, with seventy-seven distinct Community Areas, so plenty of urban adventures are around.

Chicago grew because of its premier overland connectivity, so driving there is easy. Flying is as well with two major airports and the L-Train to take you around when you land. The hotels and restaurants are lower priced than in New York or Boston, and some people say Lakeside Park and the Navy Pier can go toe-to-toe with Central Park or the Boston Commons. In any event, there’s plenty to do in the Windy City to put it in the lead-off position for Midwest Vacations.

Detroit Weekends

Detroit Mi.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Some say visiting Detroit for Devil’s Night is a riot, but they haven’t witnessed the Motor City Renaissance. Old favorites, like the Ford Museum and Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, are still draws, but with urban revival projects like the Eastern Market and a world-class sports and entertainment district, Detroit is getting rave reviews. Even the Heidelberg Project is bringing a ray of light to overcome urban blight. If you haven’t been to Motown lately, you really should go. Plus, you can’t beat the summer weather.

Detroit’s hotels and restaurants are a remarkable value, and there are many well-priced city tours as well. The airport has many Frontier and Spirit flights arriving from across the country, and it’s pretty close to drive to from most of the Midwest.

St Louis Vacations

St. Louis, Missouri, USA downtown cityscape with the arch and courthouse at dusk.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

There was a time before trains when riverboats were king, and St Louis was the premier city in the Midwest. Of course, it was the “Gateway to the West” in those times and still holds on to some of its pioneering spirit today, including the iconic Gateway Arch. To paraphrase – a pioneering spirit embiggens the smallest man. That’s a perfectly cromulent thing to say in St Louis because of the thriving culture still with cosmopolitan roots from when St Louis was America’s crossroads.

St Louis is well connected to Midwestern cities by roads and a reasonable distance for weekend getaways. When you arrive, pick your hotel well as a base for your adventure because each neighborhood offers different things to do. Absolute budget travelers will enjoy the St Louis Zoo, perhaps the best free zoo in the country. Urban explorers will want to stay downtown for the Arch and riverfront attractions, while others might want to get closer to Six Flags, a first-class coaster park.

Upper Peninsula Getaways

Upper Peninsula Mi
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

If you point to home on your right mitten and talk about trolls living below the bridge, you must be a Yooper, don’t ya know. The Upper Peninsula has the most remote wilderness east of the Mississippi, from Isle Royale National Park, with more moose than people and remarkable diving at the Alger Underwater Preserve. Some of those people remark about how clear the water is and how well preserved the wrecks are; other’s just say how cold the water is. Even if you don’t brave the water, there are still plenty of hiking and scenic drives in the UP.

It’s hard not to have a budget vacation when you’re basing your vacation on road trips and outdoor recreation. However, you can even get a room on Mackinac Island for under $100 in the shoulder season. Oh, and by the way, fall is fabulous in the UP. Summers are pretty dang nice too, but be sure to pack your bug spray.

West Virginia Weekends

West Virginia
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

If you don’t want to drive across the country to the UP, take the country roads home to wild, wet, and wonderful West Virginia. The Gauley and New River are home to the east coast’s most extreme white water, and the New River Gorge has become an outdoor adrenaline playground, including the longest and fastest ziplines in the East. Don’t worry; there are plenty of hiking, paddling, and bike trails for the less amped outdoor lovers.

Like the UP, West Virginia vacations are naturally well-priced because you arrive by automobile and focus on outdoor adventures. You might want to save room in your budget for some big thrills, but that’s easy to get with the reasonable lodging offerings and a burn rate much lower than in big cities.

Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks Mo
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

The Lake of the Ozarks is conveniently located in the heart of Missouri, in the Heartland of America. It’s been called the “Best Recreational Lake in America.” Lake of the Ozarks has more shoreline than the entire California coast, so it’s a boater’s paradise. On land, visitors will enjoy the beaches of Lake of the Ozarks State Park and the stunning beauty of Ha Ha Tonka State Park.

Lake of the Ozarks is a tremendous value, especially if you have a camper or a boat. Seemingly every cove offers some unique experience, from show caves to Caribbean-themed beaches. Lodging ranges from boutique hotels to golf and spa resorts and a surprising array of restaurants. Whether by land or water, Lake of the Ozarks is one of the top vacation destinations in the Midwest.


Branson Mo. Skyline at Sunset
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

A wise man once said quantity has a quality all its own. Now, he might have been a genocidal dictator, but that’s not the point of this segue. It’s to say Branson earned its nickname of “Live Music Capital of the World” with over 100 live shows running at any given time. Branson has more seats than Broadway at much lower ticket prices.

Branson has just about every family-friendly entertainment option you could think of. That’s not to say there isn’t a romantic side to Branson as well. With just a little shopping, you can find boutique hotels at the edge of town and fabulous Ozark Mountain getaways like biking in Dogwood Canyon, spa days, wineries, and boating on Table Rock Lake. Of course, everything is remarkably affordable with all this competition, and Branson is within a day’s drive of 50% of the U.S. population.

Read More From Coleman Concierge:

Couple riding in a car together
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

There are many reasons for couples to take cheap vacations. You may be on a budget and trying to retire early or want to balance expenses on a trip between luxury stays and heart-pounding adventures. Most importantly, you shouldn’t sacrifice your fun just because you’re looking for low budget vacation ideas.

56 Cheap Vacations for Couples to Swoon Over

Romantic and Adventurous Things To Do at Lake of the Ozarks- A Three Day Action Packed Getaway

Lake of the Ozarks
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

There are so many romantic and adventurous things to do at Lake of the Ozarks, it’s a perfect setting for a romantic getaway. No wonder it was named the #1 Recreation Lake in the nation by USA Today. Read on to learn more about romantic accommodations, beautiful boating, outdoor adventures, and delicious restaurants for a perfect 3-day romantic getaway.

Romantic and Adventurous Things To Do at Lake of the Ozarks- A Three Day Action Packed Getaway

Diving Bonne Terre Mine – A Fishy Tale of Bonnie, Terry, and the Billion Gallon Lake

Bonne Terre Mine Missouri Underwater
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Is America’s greatest diving adventure just outside of St. Louis, Missouri? When the Bonne Terre Mine shut down, they left everything behind. Water flooded the passages, covering ore carts, tools, and even a steam engine. Click to learn more about this unique and exciting scuba dive from the viewpoint of the two resident fish – Bonnie and Terry. Are you ready to be the next Deep Earth Diver?

Diving Bonne Terre Mine – A Fishy Tale of Bonnie, Terry, and the Billion Gallon Lake

The 25 Most Romantic Things To Do in St Augustine Florida

St-Augustine Florida Bridge via Canva
Photo Credit: Canva.

Looking to plan a romantic getaway to St Augustine, Florida, or just to add a special date night into your vacation to America’s oldest city? We will give you the skinny on the 25 most romantic things to do in St Augustine. From large doses of nature to romantic attractions, a delicious food scene to exciting nightlife, there is no shortage of fun things to share with your love!

The 25 Most Romantic Things To Do in St Augustine Florida

Co-Founder and Content Creator at | Website
Hi! We are Ed and Jenn Coleman aka Coleman Concierge. In a nutshell, we are a Huntsville-based Gen X couple sharing our stories of amazing adventures through activity-driven transformational and experiential travel.



Newsletter Signup


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Meet Ed & Jenn

Hi! We are Jenn and Ed Coleman, and together we are Coleman Concierge. It is our goal to inspire you to get out, expand your world, and to seek adventure, even in your own backyard.

We deeply believe in the transformational power of travel. Our tagline is amazing adventures for ordinary people because we believe that you don’t have to be super rich, super fit or super anything to have an amazing adventure. Expanding your comfort zone and trying new things will pay huge dividends in both health and happiness.

We advocate for sustainable and ethical travel and truly believe in the power of travel to transform both ourselves as well as the world around us.


Get our latest travel tips and posts straight to your inbox and start planning your next adventure.

Newsletter Signup

Proud Media Members of:

North American Travel Journalists Association

Adventure Travel Trade Association

International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association

Society of American Travel Writers

Impact Travel Alliance

Your Journey Begins Today

Get our latest travel tips and posts straight to your inbox and start planning your next adventure.

Newsletter Signup