Xpat Matt’s Budget-Friendly Adventures in the American West

This post was originally published on XpatMatt on April 14, 2016.

Image via Trover by Micah Weber

Image via Trover by Micah Weber

Not every trip “out west” needs to empty your wallet and your savings account. In fact, there are plenty of adventurous destinations in the west that are affordable, uncrowded, and full of awesome outdoor activities for you and your traveling family. These five budget-friendly destinations offer everything you need to make the most of your adventure-based getaway.

Discover the Wild West in Missoula

Missoula is one of Montana’s most underrated cities. This hip town and its active residents are fueled by its surrounding scenery, littered with mountain peaks, rivers, and forests. Visitors can stay in the heart of downtown — minutes from some of the world’s best mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, rafting, hiking, horseback riding and more — for an affordable price any time of year. Opt for the budget-friendly Holiday Inn Downtown for gorgeous river views and a location that’s within walking distance of some of the city’s favorite sights.

Make Memories in Rapid City

Rapid City, S.D., is known as the home of Mt. Rushmore, but adventures extend far beyond the historic monument. Adventurers will find endless fun mountain biking, fishing, hiking, geocaching, horseback riding, and kayaking among the gorgeous scenery of the Great Plains and the Black Hills. Even better, you can stay in the center of town or inside the famed Black Hills National Forest on any budget.

Explore the Red Rock Landscapes of Moab

Moab is a place that adventure lovers dream about. Staying seconds from what are known as the greatest mountain biking trails in the world doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg despite Moab’s standing as an outdoorsy “resort town.” Stay close to the downtown museums, restaurants, and outdoors stores or walking distance to the area’s best parks and trails; you can always find an affordable place to rest your head at the end of a day filled with adventure.

Venture Into the Mountains in Vail

Escape the hustle and bustle of Denver to discover the White River National Forest and all of the adventures available at the Vail Ski Resort. You don’t have to pay outrageous resort prices to enjoy all of the mountain biking, hiking, golfing, and whitewater rafting adventures Vail offers in spring and summer. Instead, opt for one of many more affordable options, like the Evergreen Lodge, to stay minutes from the mountain town’s best features for an unbelievably affordable price.

Adventure Inland in Roseville

Roseville is just 30 minutes from Sacramento, but it’s one of the best places to escape the stresses of city life in California. The area is known for its pristine golf courses, artsy downtown area, abundance of museums, and parks and trails that make for pleasant bike rides, runs, and hikes. Your budget-friendly hotel in the heart of Roseville will also place you minutes from the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, where you can boat, swim, kayak, and fish on hot, dry summer days in California. Opt for a stay at the Extended Stay America or Residence Inn by Marriott Roseville for easy access to downtown and the outdoors.


A wanderer. A frustrated photographer. Hiker. Lover. Half extrovert, half introvert. Solo traveler.

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