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Ten Most Expensive US Summer Vacation Destinations

It’s summertime in the US, which means great times and great weather are afoot. And if you’re looking to get some relaxation in during your busy work schedule, maybe you’ll consider spending a little extra money on a more luxurious destination. Bundle.com recently released their rankings for the most expensive vacation towns in the US, with some familiar names such as Vail or Napa Valley making the list. Of course money may be tight for many of us, but once in a while it’s just worth it to go and spend a little extra for the sake of a good time.

So for summer 2012, here are your top-ranked Expensive Vacation Towns in the US:

10

Newport Beach, California
This LA metro beach town offers sunny, comfortable weather and a myriad of restaurants and shops. Just be forewarned if you want to have someone else plan this getaway or stay in a good location (like near the beach), it’s going to cost extra.

Vacationers spending on:

• Shopping: 1.62X the average vacation town

• Food: .7X the average vacation town

• Hotels: 1.28X the average vacation town

• Movie Theaters: .66X the average vacation town

• Public Golf Courses: .35X the average vacation town

• Public Transportation: .3X the average vacation town

• Taxis and Limos: .6X the average vacation town

• Tourist Attractions: 1.01X the average vacation town

• Travel Agencies: 2.74X the average vacation town

9

Virginia Beach, Virginia
The well-known East Coast destination is number nine on Bundle’s list for expenses this year. Conveniently located in the Center of the Eastern seaboard, people have been coming to Virginia Beach for years.  Just don’t frequently eat out or take taxis to your destinations if you don’t want to pony up the cash.

Vacationers spending on:

• Shopping: 1.57X the average vacation town

• Food: 1.63X the average vacation town

• Hotels: 1.37X the average vacation town

• Movie Theaters: .44X the average vacation town

• Public Golf Courses: .9X the average vacation town

• Public Transportation: 1.02X the average vacation town

• Taxis and Limos: 1.56X the average vacation town

• Tourist Attractions: .87X the average vacation town

• Travel Agencies: .46X the average vacation town

8

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
A surprise to many, this cozy Great Lakes vacation spot is perfect for weekend getaways, for a price. Many of the vacation amenities shown for this list are actually cheaper than the other locations on this list. Just avoid using any mode of transportation other than your feet. A rental car or bike may be the way to go.

Vacationers spending on:

• Shopping: .79X the average vacation town

• Food: .96X the average vacation town

• Hotels: 1.28X the average vacation town

• Movie Theaters: .91X the average vacation town

• Public Golf Courses: .96X the average vacation town

• Public Transportation: 3.31X the average vacation town

• Taxis and Limos: 3.06X the average vacation town

• Tourist Attractions: .63X the average vacation town

• Travel Agencies: .36X the average vacation town

7

Daytona Beach, Florida
Known for its coastline and more relaxed vibe, Daytona Beach is about more than just NASCAR. Good prices on many vacation amenities can be found here. If you sacrifice a little and don’t stay at a location-friendly hotel, all of Daytona’s offerings can be had at less than the prices at other pricey vacation towns. For a premium beachside city, Daytona is pretty soft on your wallet.

Vacationers spending on:

• Shopping: .86X the average vacation town

• Food: .46X the average vacation town

• Hotels: 2.2X the average vacation town

• Movie Theaters: .69X the average vacation town

• Public Golf Courses: .91X the average vacation town

• Public Transportation: .38X the average vacation town

• Taxis and Limos: .3X the average vacation town

• Tourist Attractions: .12X the average vacation town

• Travel Agencies: .16X the average vacation town

6

Nantucket, Massachusetts 
Who hasn’t heard of this charming piece of New England paradise? Nantucket and Cape Cod is known to be a yachter’s haven, but don’t let the stereotype fool you. This historical region has beautiful old architecture from the pre-Civil War era, as well as stunning natural beauty in the form of coastal beaches and flora and fauna. Want to try the local cuisine? That lobster plate will run higher than most other vacation spots.

Vacationers spending on:

• Shopping: 1.43X the average vacation town

• Food: 2.15X the average vacation town

• Hotels: 1.62X the average vacation town

• Movie Theaters: .5X the average vacation town

• Public Golf Courses: 1.25X the average vacation town

• Public Transportation: .32X the average vacation town

• Taxis and Limos: 1.3X the average vacation town

• Tourist Attractions: .19X the average vacation town

• Travel Agencies: 1.5X the average vacation town

5

Miami, Florida

This south Florida metropolis lands at #5 for the most expensive US vacation destinations this year. Yet, it’s only transportation and taxi costs that eat away at your travel budget (taxis cost over 9x as much compared to the average vacation spot!). Everything else in Miami can be had at comparable prices; perhaps renting a car is the way to go here so long as parking is available.

 

Vacationers spending on:

• Shopping: 0.57X the average vacation town

• Food: 1.28X the average vacation town

• Hotels: 0.75X the average vacation town

• Movie Theaters: 0.6X the average vacation town

• Public Golf Courses: 2.07X the average vacation town

• Public Transportation: 2.85X the average vacation town

• Taxis and Limos: 9.36X the average vacation town

• Tourist Attractions: .23X the average vacation town

• Travel Agencies: .53X the average vacation town

4

East Hampton, N.Y.
The Hamptons: Think this exclusive region on New York’s Long Island is only for the uber-rich to enjoy? Think again. Although this area is known for large estates catering to celebrities, politicians, or the jet setters from Wall Street, the small town of East Hampton can also cater to those wanting to splurge for the sake of enjoying its charm. Aside from coastal beaches, the area has historical significance going back to Colonial times, as well as the famous Montauk Point Lighthouse.

Vacationers spending on:

• Shopping: 2.64X the average vacation town

• Food: 2.12X the average vacation town

• Hotels: 1.88X the average vacation town

• Movie Theaters: .9X the average vacation town

• Public Golf Courses: N/A the average vacation town

• Public Transportation: N/A the average vacation town

• Taxis and Limos: .72X the average vacation town

• Tourist Attractions: N/A the average vacation town

• Travel Agencies: 2.74X the average vacation town

3

Southampton, N.Y.
Southampton has all the benefits of its neighbor to the east, but manages to charge a bit more overall for enjoying its environs. The biggest hit is taken when going to see tourist attractions. Old forts, cottages and the like are prevalent throughout town, or you can skip the city and head straight to the shore. Regardless, expect to pay up, even for park space for picnics or barbeques.

Vacationers spending on:

• Shopping: 2.65X the average vacation town

• Food: 1.64X the average vacation town

• Hotels: 2.20X the average vacation town

• Movie Theaters: 1.13X the average vacation town

• Public Golf Courses: 1.5X the average vacation town

• Public Transportation: N/A the average vacation town

• Taxis and Limos: 1.53 the average vacation town

• Tourist Attractions: 3.8X the average vacation town

• Travel Agencies: N/A

 2

Aspen, Colorado
This exclusive Colorado mountain town has a long history of being pricey. In fact, expect to pay almost double on many amenities. This shock is countered however, once you realize the tranquil beauty in the mountains surrounding the city. If prices get too overwhelming eating out or going shopping, an escape is just a walk, hike, or bike ride away. Enjoying nature after all, is free of charge.

Vacationers spending on:

• Shopping: 2.67X the average vacation town

• Food: 2.02X the average vacation town

• Hotels: 2.03X the average vacation town

• Movie Theaters: .84X the average vacation town

• Public Golf Courses: .83X the average vacation town

• Public Transportation: .14X the average vacation town

• Taxis and Limos: .69X the average vacation town

• Tourist Attractions: .32X the average vacation town

• Travel Agencies: 4.92X the average vacation town


 1

Vail, Colorado
Another luxury resort destination tucked away in the Rockies, Vail tops the list as the most expensive vacation destination in the US. One can expect to be gouged for the attractions the town offers, yet its charm seems to merit the cost. Come in summer for good weather and outdoor activities, festivals and art shows. Though prices are high in summer, take solace in the fact that they skyrocket even higher with the arrival of ski season.

Vacationers spending on:

• Shopping: 1.63X the average vacation town

• Food: 1.27X the average vacation town

• Hotels: 2.31X the average vacation town

• Movie Theaters: .98X the average vacation town

• Public Golf Courses: 1.01X the average vacation town

• Public Transportation: N/A

• Taxis and Limos: 1.53 the average vacation town

• Tourist Attractions: 13.89X the average vacation town

• Travel Agencies: 1.96X the average vacation town

Source: Bundle