Featured Travel

Affordable Down-South Destinations to Escape Winter’s Chill

You may have lucked out so far, Northeasterners, but don’t get cocky. Another snowpocalypse is just one “wicked staaahm” away. In fact, no matter where you live in the States, why not kick off the new year with a trip? Somewhere you know will be gorgeous—and affordable.

We’re talking about the Southern US; a region known for beach-like weather year round and the world’s best barbecue.

Each destination offers stunning vacation rental options at much less the cost than a hotel. Plus with extra living space, private outdoor areas, a full kitchen, and amenities like a swimming pool, game room or cinema, rentals provide the most bang for your buck.

Here are 4 sun-drenched southern escapes with some of the most affordable rental home rates in the country. AVG Weekly Rate reflects the average cost for a weeklong stay in a two-bedroom rental property booked on TripAdvisor Rentals during Winter 2015-2016.

1. Punta Gorda, Florida

A super relaxed lifestyle graces Punta Gorda locals and visitors alike. There’s the renowned waterfront complex – Fisherman’s Village – offering a full vacation’s worth of activities. Peruse the unique shops and eateries, or engage in a plethora of aquatic activities from boating, jet skis and windsurfing to paddleboards and parasailing. For just $523 per week on average for a two-bedroom rental stay, you can experience this Florida gem at a huge bargain.

2. Edisto Island, South Carolina

Edisto Island is a family-friendly escape with many leisurely pursuits. Stress is not a word commonly used here, as the carefree attitude of its residents radiates across the island. There’s the famous Edisto Beach – a non-commercialized oasis high on tranquility – plus fun day trips like dolphin watching tours, fishing charters and premium golf courses. Stay on Edisto Island this winter for just $784 per week on average for a two-bedroom vacation home.

3. Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, Alabama

The neighboring towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are warm-weather staples. If you’ve never visited, you’re truly missing out. Bright white beaches are as soft as pillows on the bottom of your feet, while The Track Family Recreation Center in Gulf Shores offers kid-friendly activities like go-karts, bumper rides, mini-golf and simulated skydiving. Not to mention the famous Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. At nighttime, Orange Beach buzzes with live music and entertainment from the many restaurants or dancing hotspots. At just $785 per week on average for a two-bedroom rental, an Alabama vacation never felt so good – on your wallet.

4. Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

“A classic beach town with timeless appeal,” claims Santa Rosa Beach’s tourism board. It’s extremely family-friendly and boasts an artsy, laid-back vibe. Water sports are aplenty for the thrill-seekers, but you’ll have just as much fun relaxing on the sugar-white sands, gazing into the azure waters of Florida’s gorgeous panhandle. If you need any more proof, consider that Santa Rosa Beach was named one of Travel + Leisure’s favourite American towns. With two-bedroom rates going for just $900 per week on average this winter, you’ll save big on accommodation costs.

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