Family Destination Guide conducted a national survey of 3,000 families to find out which “affordable destinations” they would most like to visit this summer.

The poll listed the top 175 affordable summer family destinations and some North Carolina beaches came up high on the list – especially humble little Oak Island, which came in fourth and found itself in much more famous company such as Coney Island, New York, and Galveston, Texas.

Topsail Beach also made it into the Top 10 of affordable summer vacation spots. Overall, four North Carolina destinations did well in the survey which can be found here:

According to Family Destinations Guide, due to inflation, a whole lot of families are choosing very budget-friendly vacations this year, “trading the glitz and glamor of expensive resorts for the simple pleasures offered by more cost-effective destinations.”

And, apparently, North Carolina fits that’s bill very well.

New York’s Long Beach came in first, due to “a wealth of activities and attractions that are budget-friendly and enjoyable for all ages,” thanks to the boardwalk area, which often features free concerts, free movie nights and low-cost dining options.

New York’s Coney Island came in second with its Coney Island Boardwalk, free access to the beach and a lot of free entertainment.

At number three was Surfside Beach in South Carolina, which has a lot of nice affordable motels and hotels and is known for its “beautiful sandy shores.”

In fourth place came Oak Island, North Carolina, which is described by the guide as follows: “Located along the picturesque Brunswick Islands, this charming coastal town offers a range of family-friendly activities and attractions. Families can find affordable accommodations, including cozy beachfront cottages, budget-friendly hotels, and affordable vacation rentals, ensuring a comfortable and cost-effective stay. Oak Island boasts miles of pristine sandy beaches, and the town offers affordable attractions like the Oak Island Lighthouse, where families can climb to the top for breathtaking views, and the Oak Island Nature Center, which offers educational exhibits and nature programs for all ages.”

Rounding out the top 5 is Galveston, Texas. That city is known for its “beautiful beaches, vibrant atmosphere, and family-friendly experiences that won’t strain the budget,” and attractions like Moody Gardens, an aquarium, a rainforest pyramid and a discovery museum.

The rest of the top ten are as follows:

  1. Asbury Park, New Jersey
  2. Prescott, Arizona
  3. Crystal Beach, Texas
  4. Topsail Beach, North Carolina
  5. Bell Buckle, Tennessee

Topsail Beach ranked high due to “a variety of affordable lodging options, including beachfront cottages, budget-friendly hotels, and vacation rentals, ensuring that families can find comfortable accommodations that fit their budget.”

Also, Topsail Beach offers “affordable activities such as fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding, allowing families to enjoy water adventures without breaking the bank. Moreover, Topsail Beach is known for its family-friendly attractions, many of which are budget-friendly or offer discounted rates for families. Furthermore, the town hosts various affordable events and festivals throughout the year, including live music performances, art shows, and local celebrations.”

Carolina beach came in at 30th and Nags Head was in 33rd place.

Nags Head was chosen for its “stunning” view and “affordable outdoor adventures such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing, allowing families to explore the coastal waters and marshes.”

Rose Ackermann, of stated, “’Affordable’ does not mean ‘inferior’ or ‘second-rate.’  The budget-friendly travel sphere is bursting with choices, offering everything from breathtaking outdoor experiences to cultural immersion, charming local accommodations, and gastronomical delights that won’t break the bank.”