Want a good deal on a summer vacation? Choose a ski resort – or any destination that’s popular in winter.
Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, is one of North America’s top-rated ski resorts, but when ski season is over, prices drop and there is still plenty to do. With the Great Getaway Family package, book a two-bedroom or larger condominium for two nights at any Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservations managed property, and receive 50% off the second night and a Deer Valley Mountain Activities Card worth $100 toward lift-served biking, hiking and scenic rides as well as Deer Valley bike rentals. Stay three nights or more and also receive a $50 food and beverage card valid at Royal Street Café or Deer Valley Grocery Café. (Valid June 14 through Labor Day, subject to availability.)
Waterville Valley in New Hampshire’s White Mountains actually began as a summer resort, evolved into a top ski area and now offers budget-priced summer vacations, starting in June at $154 per person for a family of four. Waterville Valley Resort’s Summer Unlimited package gives visitors access to all the town has to offer: swimming, hiking, mountain biking, ice skating, golf and tennis, from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.
In the summer, Waterville Valley’s Town Square is a gathering place for free entertainment, outdoor evening concerts and nature programs for the kids. At nearby Corcoran’s Pond, you can swim, paddle boat, kayak or canoe. The Recreation Department also holds special events and cookouts at the pond during the summer. Travel within Waterville Valley is easy with an open-air trolley running daily throughout the town. Visit the Town Square’s shops or restaurants, the White Mountain Athletic Club or take a scenic chairlift ride up Snows Mountain.
If you like beaches and enjoy warm-to-hot weather, there are plenty of good deals in areas where travelers go to escape winter. Florida, for example, offers off-season deals throughout the state at virtually every hotel and motel.
At the Inn on Fifth in Naples, Florida, packages are priced at their lowest between June and October. The Naples Family Adventure package starts at $199 per night (three-night minimum) and includes an in-room snack, two tickets to the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, a cruise on the Double Sunshine and lunch for two at Riverwalk, dinner for two at McCabe’s Irish Pub, an upgrade to a Plaza room or better and late checkout.
At the Comfort Suites Oceanview on Amelia Island near Jacksonville, summer rates run about $88 a day and include a free breakfast, free Internet and free fitness center, with available laundry facilities. Stay three nights and the fourth one is free. The Free Night, Any Night deal is available at 18 properties throughout Amelia Island; some require only a two-night stay, with the third night free.
Even upscale Palm Beach County in Florida has summer specials. The Boca Raton Resort & Club offers the Uniquely Boca Summer Package (through September 30), starting at $199 for deluxe accommodations; daily breakfast at the Palm Court or SeaGrille at the Boca Beach Club; 15% off golf greens fees, spa services, tennis fees and kid-friendly Camp Boca; complimentary valet parking; late checkout and a waiver of the usual resort fee. The Palm Beach County microsite lists many other summer specials.
Don’t forget the islands
And for summer vacations in the Caribbean — Jamaica, Saint Martin, Saint Thomas and other islands — check out air/hotel packages, which offer great values, especially at the all-inclusive destinations. Jet Blue, for example, features some resorts where up to two kids stay free with two adults.