PHOTO: St. Augustine tops MONEY's '2017 Best in Travel' list. (Photo via Flickr/Dan Lundberg)
Enjoying an out-of-town vacation in 2017 doesn’t necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, says MONEY magazine, there are plenty of destinations that marry quality, cost and value for a “terrific travel experience.’
St. Augustine, Florida
Take St. Augustine, Florida, MONEY’s top domestic pick in its annual “Best in Travel” survey. A week-long trip for two in America’s oldest city, including airfare, will cost around $2,507.
“Relative to other Florida Atlantic beach destinations, St.Augustine is a bargain,” said MONEY. In addition to the value it offers, the destination was cited for its beaches, golf and restaurants.
Estes Park, Colorado
In second place, MONEY picked Estes Park, Colorado. Located in the shadow the Rocky Mountains, the destination provides an “authentic” mountain adventure, and it does so to the tune of about $2,698 for a one-week vacation for two. In addition to adventure activities, the magazine recommends the city for its Rooftop Rodeo, held every July, it says is one of the best small rodeos in America.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Lobster isn’t the only compelling reason to visit Bar Harbor, Maine. The city, which is located near Acadia National Park, is known for its scenery, its history and its wide variety of on-the-water activities. According to MONEY, a weeklong trip, including airfare, will cost about $2,914.
Fort Worth, Texas
If you’re looking to get your cowboy on, MONEY recommends Fort Worth, Texas. Daily cattle drives and live music are just some of the attractions found in the city’s Stockyard’s National Historic District or get a dose of culture at five area museums, located in The Cultural District. Or take in an opera or ballet or the symphony at Bass Performance Hall. A weeklong trip to Fort Worth will run about $2,281.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
History, culture and inexpensive dining options are part of what makes Albuquerque so compelling. More than 100 art galleries are located in the city as well as an “impressive” variety of street art. And, of course, the annual hot air balloon festival makes this a must-see city. For a week’s vacation, expect to pay $2,194.
Other domestic cities making MONEY’s best-of-list include Williamsburg, Virginia; Las Vegas, Nevada; Carmel-by-the-Sea, California; Gulf Shores, Alabama; and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Internationally, MONEY picked Hanoi, Vietnam as its top choice. The dynamic blend of contemporary high-rises and nineteenth-century architecture helped propel Hanoi onto the top of the list. And with hotels averaging about 566 a night and mid-range meals costing less than $20 for two, the city’s value is unbeatable. An average trip for two, including airfare will cost about $2,600 in Hanoi.
Rates have been dropping on Bali, thanks in part to favorable exchange rates, which means hotel prices are down by 22 percent over last year. Whether you prefer a sleepy getaway or a bustling city, Bali is sure to offer something for you, including an exciting culture scene. Expect to spend about $2,579 for a trip for two.
At 3,200 square miles, there’s a lot of Crete to explore, including hundreds of attractions. In particular, outdoor activities and beachside locales are well worth the visit. Airfares have dropped in the past year, as have hotel rates, so 2017 should be the ideal time to visit. A one-week getaway for two should cost about $3,642.
MONEY’s other top international picks include Cuzco, Peru; Paris, France; and Marrakesh, Morocco.
View the 2017 MONEY Best in Travel list for full recommendation and to learn about their research methodology.