Yes, the economic recession is still going, but increased bill payments and tightened budgets do not mean that a quality summer vacation can't be enjoyed this year. There are various places in the U.S. where travelers can go have fun without breaking the piggy bank. Check out the following summer vacation destinations inside the U.S. Most travelers should be able to drive to at least one of these destinations. A good rule of thumb is to go at the beginning or the end of the summer vacation season.

Hiking in Spokane, Washington, Relaxing in Virginia Beach, or Exploring San Antonio, texas

- Spokane is the home of the beautiful Nine Miles Falls and it is also a place where one can spend days amidst car-free hiking trails that run along the Spokane River. It's also a great place for horseback riding and mountain biking as well. Stay at the Pheasant Hill Inn for $86 a night and enjoy free breakfast, indoor and outdoor pools, free Wi-Fi and gym. Rooms include a fridge, so travelers can save on food.

- In the Guinness Book of Records as the World's Longest Pleasure Beach, Virginia beach is a great east-coast summer destination. The best lodging option is the Travelodge Inn, just a block from the beach. The weekend rate is $77 a night and the weekday rate is $59 a night. It includes free continental breakfast.

- The Wyndham Historic Hotel is a four star luxury hotel that can actually fit into many people's budget. They have a special of $119 a night if checked in before September 20. If traveling with kids under 18, they stay for free. Also free are tickets to the San Antonio Zoo and the Witte Museum. When not out exploring, relax on the rooftop pool.

Go on Tour With a Band

If wanting to go for something more adventurous with a couple of friends, try following a favorite band's music tour. The summer music tour schedules for a lot of great artist are available on line. Get some friends together and a car, and have everyone pitch in for gas and cheap motel lodgings.

Branson, Missouri Theme Parks, Touring Wisconsin, or Orlando Resorts

- In addition to rides and theme park attractions, Missouri's Silver Dollar City Theme Park also has live entertainment for the whole family. Stay at the Still Waters Resort for $70 a night. Small children stay for free. Rooms include full kitchens, so one can stay in a cook to save money on food. Other activities nearby include paddle boating and kayaking at Table Rock Lake.

- The state of Wisconsin is home to the gorgeous Rocky Arbor State Park and Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum. Stay at the Dells Days Inn for only $67 a night. The Inn has indoor and outdoor pools as well as a spa. Also visit the Auto Museum and take a boat tour at Mirror Lake State Park.

- Just 15 minutes from Sea World and a short drive from Universal Studios in Orlando, the Summer Bay Resort is a great place to stay when vacationing in Florida with a family. The resort charges per room with up to 4 guests can stay in each room. Rooms are under $150 a night, even on weekends, and they include washers, dryers, balconies, and kitchens complete with fridge, microwave and dishwasher.

Yellowstone National Park, Camping in Cape Hatteras, or Visiting Sunny LA

- Entrance into Yellowstone for six people is only $25 and campsites for four people go anywhere from $12 to $25 per night. If traveling with a large party especially, this is one of the cheapest and more beautiful vacations around the US.

- If wanting to avoid the bustle of crowded theme parks and would rather enjoy a calm, quiet vacation, go to Cape Hatteras. It is a small island with budget-friendly shops and movie theatres. Instead of a hotel, try the campgrounds, and enjoy splashing on the beach and telling stories over a seaside campfire.

- The city of angels has just been named by the American Society of Travel Agents as a top budget-friendly destination. With L.A. airports experiencing a drop in traffic, flights to L.A. are cheap. Plus, Disneyland is offering free admission to people on their birthday. If traveling during a loved one's anniversary this summer, head west to California. Also be sure to look for travel deals on flights, LAX airport parking specials, and hotel specials when booking a trip to LA.