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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Top Pet-Friendly Luxury Getaways in Portland for Unforgettable Family Vacations

Mount Hood, Trillium lake, Portland, oregon

Portland, the City of Roses, welcomes you with its beautiful rose gardens, myriad food courts, picturesque neighborhoods, and the meandering river, Willamette, that flows through the heart of this eco-conscious city. The best way to discover Portland’s charm is by walking or biking. Therefore, choose wisely from an array of luxury boutique hotels in Portland for a comfortable, relaxing stay and get out to explore the city and beyond when you can.

portland, oregon, cityscape

Image via Wikipedia

Brasada Ranch in Powell Butte

Immerse yourself in luxury in a rural setting at Brasada Ranch, a nature retreat in central Oregon. Only 20 minutes from Bend-Redmond Airport and a little more than a 3-hour drive from Portland, Brasada Ranch spreads over acres of lush green landscape. You can choose from an array of luxurious suites, cabins, and guest rooms at this award-winning resort nestled in the peaceful community of Powell Butte. A championship golf course, an on-site spa, plush outdoor pools with lazy river, and sprawling equestrian trails are reasons enough to choose this resort as your next vacation getaway in Oregon. From tennis and basketball to white water rafting, fishing, rock climbing, and helicopter tours, Brasada Ranch will keep you busy with outdoor sports and adventures all day long.

Mount Hood, Cascade range, Portland, Oregon

Image via Flickr by @jpcody

Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station

Only a few minutes’ drive from Portland International Airport, Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station is a swanky hotel with stylishly appointed rooms featuring plush furnishings, spa amenities, complimentary Wi-Fi, LCD TVs with plug-and-play games, mini refrigerators, and free mineral water, tea, and coffee. With various activity programs for kids and pets, a bar, an indoor pool, and a lounge to unwind, there is something for every member of your family at the hotel. Portland Saturday Market and attractions like Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Oregon Zoo, and International Rose Test Garden are about 20 minutes from the hotel.

The Nines, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Portland

Located close to Pioneer Square and Portland Art Museum, The Nines Hotel offers trendy, luxurious accommodations along with a range of upscale amenities including pillow-top beds with down pillows, 42-inch televisions with movie channels, dual-line telephone, Wi-Fi, work desks, and room service. Luxurious en suite bathrooms come with bathrobe and premium bath amenities. The hotel’s central location allows you to quickly access Portland’s business district, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, and MAX Light Rail transit. Shopping and dining options are aplenty around the hotel. You can also join day trips to the mountains or wine countries arranged by The Nines Hotel.

Pioneer Square, Portland, Oregon

Image via Wikipedia

Hotel Modera in the Heart of Downtown Portland

Hotel Modera is another centrally located luxury boutique hotel that offers quick access to Portland Art Museum, Portland State University, and Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Choose from a range of elegantly decorated non-smoking rooms that come with high-definition LCD TVs, complimentary W-Fi, technologically advanced heating and air-conditioning, work desks, safes, coffee makers, refrigerators, and premium Italian bath products. A beautifully decked courtyard garden and lounge is the hallmark of Hotel Modera. Relax and satiate your taste buds with authentic Italian and French delicacies in the romantic setting of Nel Centro, the on-site restaurant.

Rivertide Suites Hotel on the Shores of Necanicum River

Rivertide Suites Hotel, a relaxing riverfront hotel, is just three blocks from the ocean and a few minutes’ walk from the Seaside Aquarium in Portland, Oregon. Live in a spacious, luxuriously furnished suite and enjoy amenities such as complimentary breakfast, a cable TV with premium entertainment channels, telephone with free local calls, a fully equipped kitchen, and a bathroom with jetted tub. The private balconies offer river or mountain views.  A 24-hour business center, a heated indoor pool, hot tubs, and a rooftop terrace garden are there for your work and relaxation.

Hipmunk Hotels: The Best B&B Hotels in the West Inc Renton, Bellingham & Missoula

missoula, mt, hipmunk hotels

The post below was originally published on No Place to Be on April 8, 2016.

There is something for everyone in the West, so whether you’re looking for a big-city experience, a cozy small town, or the chance to get completely lost in some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes you’ll find anywhere, this area offers it all. Luckily for you, there also some fantastic B&B options to make sure your trip is one to remember.

Missoula

Missoula sits amongst breathtaking scenery, and you can spend days if not weeks enjoying the surrounding scenery. Back in town, a visit to Fort Missoula is a must. The area was built in 1877 to protect the local people from Native American attacks, and it also served as a prisoner-of-war camp in World War II.

Make the most of your time by staying at the Gibson Mansion Bed and Breakfast, a B&B in Missoula that consistently receives five-star reviews. Beautiful gardens, friendly welcoming service, and great home-cooked food are the phrases that are continually linked with this B&B. Plus, they even deliver fresh scones and coffee to your room before breakfast each morning.

missoula, mt, hipmunk hotels

Image via Flickr by Wesley Fryer

Rapid City

It’s hard to imagine visiting Rapid City without taking a short trip to see the famous Mount Rushmore, especially if it’s your first time in South Dakota. Or, perhaps you are a returning visitor stopping over to catch an event at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center; either way, you should still make time to enjoy the beauty of the nearby Badlands National Park, Custer State Park, and Black Hills National Forest.

Sweetgrass Inn Bed and Breakfast is the perfect choice when deciding on a hotel in Rapid City. A friendly place with a genuine country feel, this B&B is loved for its large bedrooms and comfy beds. Or, check out more from Hipmunk for B&Bs in this lovely city.

Moab

If the talk of all these national parks is getting you excited, just wait until you’ve checked out Moab. With the incredible Hurrah Pass so close, you’ll be set for days. Add to that the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, as well as Indian Creek, and you really do have everything you could possibly want for a memorable trip.

To really embrace the local surroundings, make sure to stay at the Red Moon Lodge, described as having a rustic, earthy feel. Sitting just off the beaten path, you’ll really feel yourself blending into the surroundings. You are still on holiday though, so despite this authentic feel, you’ll still enjoy comfortable rooms, impressive homemade food, and be within easy reaching distance of the center of town.

canyonlands, utah, moab, hipmunk hotels

Image via Flickr Credit: Ken Lund

Bellingham

There’s plenty to attract you to Bellingham in Washington, but close to the top of your list should be Whatcom Falls Park, home to four sets of waterfalls and several miles of walking trails. You should also make time to catch a show at Mount Baker Theatre and enjoy a day at Lake Padden Park.

When asking yourself where to stay in Bellingham, check out the Hipmunk guide. Look no further than the Tree Frog Inn. It’s the little things that make this B&B so special including the fresh flowers, homemade cookies, and little chocolates all waiting for you in your room. This quiet, inviting sanctuary with thoughtful, artistic touches throughout is so close to town, yet feels so far away.

Renton

Being so close to Seattle, they’ll be plenty of things already coming to mind for your trip to Renton but be sure not to miss the attractions right on your doorstep. The Jimi Hendrix grave site is a must for and rock and rollers, while the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park is also a great place to enjoy a picnic during the summer months.

While not a B&B, Larkspur Landing is a great place to stay while visiting Renton, and guests return to this hotel again and again. The king suites, in particular, with their well-equipped kitchen and cozy living areas, are very popular. The best news? You can even bring your four-legged friend along with you to this dog-friendly hotel.

The Price You’ll Pay for Love This Valentine’s Day

valentine's day, valentines day destination, romantic hotels, usa hotels

This post was posted by The Hipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on January 21st.

valentine's day, valentines day destination, romantic hotels, usa hotels

It’s a fact: on Valentine’s Day, romantic items are more expensive.

Flower shops sell roses for two to three times their usual price. Restaurants replace their normal menus with special prix-fixe (read: pricier) options. And of course, nice hotels boost the nightly rates on their rooms.

The typical hotel rate on Valentine’s Day is 25 percent more than it is on the same day just one week before — though some cities experience a much larger surge in demand than others. We decided to look at the average price Hipmunk travelers paid when booking a hotel room in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day last year (a Saturday), compared to the price on weekend prior.

So where exactly do hotel prices surge the most on Valentine’s Day? You may be surprised at what we found:

Valentines day hotel price

Far and away, Reno, Nevada is the most marked-up place to book a hotel on Feb. 14. Ironically, Reno is something of a mecca for those wishing to engage in “anti-Valentine’s Day” activities: the city offers a Vampire pub crawl (for “those who think V-Day sucks”), as well as a slew of discounted gambling and drinking options. Las Vegas, Nevada (62 percent increase) and Atlantic City, New Jersey (25 percent), both similar destinations, also make appearances on this list — though traditionally romantic cities like New York (70 percent) Miami (53 percent) and Honolulu (26 percent) are considerably inflated as well.

Feel bad that Valentine’s Day is coming up and you haven’t booked a hotel room yet for your special evening? Worry not: as it turns out, no one plans ahead when it comes to booking V-Day hotel rooms. According to search results for “Valentines Day” in our database, 69 percent of bookings are made last-minute, in early February.

Below, we’ve plotted out when people actually search for Valentine’s Day rooms. As you can see, pretty much everyone procrastinates on planning!

valentines day, hotel price, USA hotels

So which cities are the most popular in terms of hotel bookings? Since the vast majority waits to book, we took a look at Hipmunk’s historical data from 2015 to see what destinations were trending last year:

popular v-day destination destinations, USA cities

Now for the most important question: How much is a room on Valentine’s Day going to set you back?

For the typical U.S. city, the average price of a room on Valentine’s Day last year was $171. Using our data, we’ve parsed out the average prices of some of the most popular cities for bookings on that special day:

valentines day hotel, usa hotels

Lastly, we wondered which of the above cities were the most romantic destinations, in terms of boasting the most hotels listed under Hipmunk’s “romantic” filter, an internal ranking system which tags hotels as romantic based on such features as neighborhood, food scene, and amenities like pool, spa, balcony, and kitchenette.

Whether you’re looking for a $400 per night splurge in Key West, Florida, or a $95 getaway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we wish all you lovebirds out there the best of luck in planning your Valentine’s Day!

And one last friendly reminder: if you’re looking to book a hotel, you can use the “romantic” filter on the Hipmunk hotel search to find an extra special room for the occasion– or just email  Hello@Hipmunk.com with a Valentine’s Day hotel request and let us do the searching for you.