Hipmunk Hotels: Affordable Options in The Less-Traveled South (Myrtle Beach, Richmond, and More)

richmond, virginia

The post below was originally published on This Life in Trips by Shaun Robertson.

hipmunk hotels

When thinking of cities in the Southern states, New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah come to mind — and with good reason. These cities offer some of the best culture, cuisine, music, and laid-back living that famously comes with this region. Of course, because of this, these popular tourist locations can be expensive to visit and crowded in the peak seasons. With that in mind, check out these great Southern city alternatives and the hotels to stay in for those looking for an affordable and less crowded stay.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg is a unique tourist destination, to say the least. Located on the doorstep of the Smokey Mountains, this eastern Tennessee town is a great jumping off point for exploring the great outdoors. That said, it’s also a great spot for family fun. With amusement rides, the Space Needle, and great restaurant choices, Gatlinburg has plenty to see and do within its city limits. Although not as popular as Nashville or Memphis, Gatlinburg receives its share of visitors. For thinner crowds, visit in the winter season or during the week in the summer. Either way, for a great mix of the outdoors and city fun, book your hotel in Gatlinburg in advance for the best savings. Furthermore, Reagan Resorts Inn is a nice option for budget travelers.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach may seem out of place on this list, but it can be enjoyed on the cheap year-round. Due to its famous beaches, great seafood, and spectacular golf courses, Myrtle Beach draws in over 14 million visitors per year — the majority of which are guests from the North seeking refuge during the cold winter months. Still, with popularity comes plenty of affordable hotels in Myrtle Beach no matter the season, like the Plantation Resort. With festivals year-round and plenty of free activities, Myrtle Beach truly is a budget-friendly destination in the South with much to see and do.

Midland, Texas

Due to its size, Texas is less crowded than other states in the South. Still, Midland, Texas, can provide an authentic Texas experience without the crowds of Dallas, San Antonio, or Houston at a fraction of the cost. Enjoy horseback riding in the sun or stay cool inside one of the city’s great museums. Aviation enthusiasts will enjoy the American Airpower Heritage Museum, and those interested in how the area came to be will enjoy the Museum of the SouthwestHotels in Midland range from high-end chains such as the Hilton Garden Inn and Four Points by Sheraton, to budget brands like the Comfort Inn and Super 8. Regardless of the star rating, hotels in the city, like TownePlace Suites Midland, can be found at a lower rate than those in Texas’s major hubs.

Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia, offers similar history, character, and charm that’s found in Charleston and Savannah but with the added bonus of a lively downtown core and nearby outdoor activities without the crowds. Civil War history can be found throughout the area, and there are plenty of great restaurants, shops, and bars in town to keep you busy. The nearby James River offers guests the chance for some whitewater rafting, and there are plenty of parks in the area — perfect for hiking and leisurely strolls. Hotels in Richmond are affordable and range from modest to luxury, giving the option to enjoy the outdoors or relax in the city. One such budget-friendly hotel is Courtyard by Marriott Richmond Airport.

train station, richmond

Fredericksburg, Texas

Last on this list is the charming town of Fredericksburg, Texas. Located an hour’s drive away from San Antonio and an hour and a half away from Austin, Fredericksburg is a great spot to explore Texas from. In town, you will find an interesting mix of Texan and German traditions. With its German roots, Fredericksburg has many great events and festivals such as Oktoberfest and Schuetzenfests (marksmanship tournaments), with a Texas-sized twist. Due to its obscure path location, hotels in Fredericksburg, like the Econo Lodge Fredericksburg, can be found at a great value compared to those in bigger cities. So break out your cowhide chaps and lederhosen and visit this interesting Texas town.

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Boutique Stays at Tennessee for a Memorable Weekend

chattanooga, tennessee, mississippi river

The beckoning of adventure in the scenic outdoors, year-round music gigs and festivals, and a history of music makes Tennessee a popular weekend getaway. Be it Memphis, the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll, or the lively town of Chattanooga, here is a list of five boutique stays at Tennessee that can add a special charm to your weekend trip to Tennessee this fall.

chattanooga, tennessee, mississippi river

Image by Micheal via Flickr

The Peabody Memphis

The Peabody Memphis, Tennessee hotels

Image by Heath Cajandig via Flickr

Established in 1869, The Peabody Memphis has come a long way to offer its guests most modern amenities and services at affordable price. Tastefully designed rooms come with executive desk with workstation, large flat screen TV with cable channels, high-speed internet, telephone, closet, iron with ironing board, and more. The strategic location of The Peabody Memphis allows quick access to the city’s main attractions. You can spend your free time working out at the Peabody Athletic Club or pampering yourself with beauty treatments at the on site spa.  The hotel’s special entertainment feature includes the historic Peabody Ducks March every day at 11 am and 5 pm.

Vista Inn & Suites Memphis

If you are looking for a pet-friendly budget hotel at a convenient place in downtown Memphis, Vista Inn & Suites Memphis can be the right choice.  This boutique hotel’s neatly organized rooms come with work desk, fridge, microwave, free wireless internet, cable television, and more. Enjoy continental breakfast served in your room as you wake up every morning. Choice of food is aplenty at Vista Inn & Suites Memphis as all the popular restaurants and fine dining options at downtown Memphis are quickly accessible from this hotel.

Chattanooga Choo Choo

Chattanooga choo choo, tennessee hotels

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With contemporary rooms and suites, a meticulously appointed Victorian rail carriage to sleep and dine, three on site restaurants, a Victorian lounge bar, heated indoor pool, an outdoor pool with waterfall and shaded decks, Chattanooga Choo Choo is more than just a hotel. It is a vacation complex where you can expect most relaxing living experience in the classic settings of Victorian era.

The Victorian sleeper car rooms will take you back to the fifties with their retro style interior. With latest technology and electronic appliances, the room amenities are designed to help both business travelers and vacationers in Chattanooga, TN.

The Read House Hotel Historic Inn and Suites

The uniqueness of The Read House Hotel Historic Inn and Suites in Chattanooga lies in its perfect blending of modern facilities with vintage settings. Traditionally designed, non-smoking rooms come with luxurious bed, antique furnishings, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, complimentary Wi-Fi internet, and coffeemaker. If you are traveling with family, opt for the suites with spacious bedroom and separate living areas.

Porter’s Steakhouse, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, awaits you with a range of American delicacies. Work out anytime at the hotel’s fitness center or unwind at the indoor pool with hot tub.

The Chattanoogan

The Chattanoogan, chattanooga, tennessee hotels

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Overlooking the beautiful Lookout Mountain, The Chattanoogan offers an array of upscale, non-smoking accommodations in downtown Chattanooga. Experience the warm hospitality of Tennessee at this award-winning hotel offering a range of leisure and business amenities to the travelers. Complimentary wireless internet, fully equipped business center with computer and printer, live music shows on weekend, a game room with pool and a full service spa are to name a few of many luxurious amenities at The Chattanoogan.