July: Asbury Park, N.J.
Currently experiencing a renaissance after a big post-Hurricane Sandy government investment, Asbury Park hits all the sweet spots. It's a peak-season summer destination that won't break the bank.
The freshly built arcades, concert stages and bars of the beachy boardwalk are pure Americana, and even cross-country flights barely break $335. Stay in nearby Neptune City, where summer hotels stick to about $165 to $175 nightly.