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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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.

Boutique Hotels in the US Santa Barbara – The Taste of Spanish Riviera on the Californian Coast

santa barbara ca downtown

With the Pacific on one side and the Ynez Mountains on the other, the historic town of Santa Barbara is only an hour’s drive from Los Angeles. Its white stucco buildings with red-tiled roofs, brick walkways, and warm subtropical weather are reminiscent of the fascinating Spanish Riviera. Bicycle or walking tours are the best way to explore Santa Barbara’s picturesque harbor, nature parks, museums, wineries, and Hispanic architecture. With luxurious accommodations and a range of upscale amenities, boutique hotels in Santa Barbara can serve as the perfect base for exploring the downtown attractions.

santa barbara ca downtown

Image via Wikipedia by Caroline Culler

Montecito Inn

A landmark boutique hotel established by Charlie Chaplin in 1928, Montecito Inn bears a tradition of luxury and elegance. The hotel’s guest rooms and suites are designed in classical Mediterranean themes, reflecting the Spanish colonial aura prevalent across Santa Barbara. A range of upscale amenities includes an onsite restaurant, meeting rooms, spa, fitness center, an outdoor pool with hot tub, concierge, and valet. Continental breakfast, Wi-Fi internet, bicycle rental, and access to the hotel’s Charlie Chaplin DVD library are some of the complimentary amenities, which make it a great value for a luxury hotel.

Spanish Garden Inn

As the hotel name indicates, Spanish Garden Inn provides a setting and ambience at par with the rich Spanish heritage of the city. Located at the heart of Santa Barbara’s historic Presidio district, this boutique hotel offers quick access to State Street shopping district, museums, Stearns Wharf, and Old Mission Santa Barbara. The guest rooms feature king or queen beds, high-definition TVs along with DVDs, Wi-Fi internet, coffee makers, and premium bath accessories. You can choose from Deluxe and Superior rooms and suites depending on the size of your group.

Harbor View Inn

With Santa Barbara Winery within walking distance and the Old Mission Santa Barbara a 10-minute drive from the hotel, Harbor View Inn offers oceanfront rooms perfect for couples seeking a romantic escape or families planning a relaxing retreat in Santa Barbara. The hotel’s rooms and suites come with an array of luxury amenities including a king-size bed with fine linens, flat-screen TV with HBO and games channels, CD/DVD player, coffee maker, mini bar, iron with ironing board, and daily newspaper delivered at the doorstep.

santa barbara ca harbor

Image via Wikipedia by Caroline Culler

The Presidio

If you are looking for a Santa Barbara boutique hotel within budget, The Presidio is an option. Located on State Street, Santa Barbara’s vibrant shopping and entertainment hub, The Presidio offers contemporary-style accommodations along with modern amenities that ensure a remarkable living experience at lower rates. Its strategic location allows quick access to most of Santa Barbara’s downtown attractions as well as popular restaurants and bars. Rooms come with deluxe bedding, 42-inch LED TV with free movie channels, complimentary Wi-Fi access and bike rentals, and eco-friendly bath amenities.

Santa Barbara House

Santa Barbara House, formerly known as The Parkside Inn, is a pet-friendly, midrange hotel run by the Hyatt group. Tucked away in the quaint neighborhood of Por La Mar Drive, Santa Barbara Housepromises a quiet, relaxing stay.  The hotel’s spacious guest rooms are decorated in contemporary style. Each room comes with a king bed or two queen beds, a large flat-panel television, a desk with chairs, and a private balcony with sitting arrangement. The range of hotel amenities includes a swimming pool, onsite dining, gymnasium, and free parking and Wi-Fi.