Aspen, Colo.
Starting just around spring break, ski resort towns such as Aspen start getting really cheap -- for reasons that should be fairly obvious. Instead of lamenting the melting snow, however, many area resorts switch into outdoor mode and lure tourists with wide-open expanses usually covered by scores of skiers.

"If you're talking about a mountain vacation, there are still resorts during the summer -- but you're going to save so much money," Banas says. "People think of places like Aspen, Vail and Breckenridge as winter destinations, but there's a lot of outdoor stuff you can do in the summer, like mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, zip lines and slides."

Air-and-hotel packages just aren't happening at this time of year in Colorado, but the cost of airfare will be mitigated by the decidedly discounted price of hotel rooms. Hotwire has some as low as at $58 to $90 for three-star hotels. Expand the radius to Breckenridge or Keystone and the deals get sweeter, such as a three-night stay in a condo at the $89-a-night-and-up Keystone Resort that throws in a fourth night free and gives guests free activity vouchers for fly fishing, paddle boats, gondola rides and other activities.

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