Beat the heat with these end-of-summer getaways

Looking for an affordable end-of-summer getaway? Laura Begley Bloom, executive editor for Yahoo Travel, tells TODAY about the best places to enjoy the dog days of summer.

St. Petersburg/Clearwater Beach, Florida

This might not be the first place you would think to go in August, but Europeans and South Americans have known for a long time that Florida is also great in summer. Sure it’s hot, but you’ll be at the beach. And there are great deals to be had. The area is known for its gorgeous white sand beaches and beautiful waterways, perfect for stand-up paddleboarding, speed boating or kayaking.

Where to stay: Postcard Inn. This stylish motel is right on the beach. Rates in August start as low as $87/night. 

Michigan’s Lower Peninsula 

Everyone knows Mackinac Island — which is not that far away — but for my money, this is the area where you want to be in summer. It’s sometimes called the Hamptons of the Midwest. There are amazing dunes (some reaching 450 feet high), great wineries, antique shops and artisanal food producers.

Where to stay: Neahtawanta Inn. This small, six-room inn is located on Old Mission Peninsula, a 22-mile long finger of land that divides Grand Traverse Bay into East and West Bay, with over 300 feet of beach front on Bowers Harbor. Rates start at $145/night.

Greenville, South Carolina

One of the best places to experience the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains is Greenville, South Carolina, the former textile town that is now a destination for artists, foodies, and outdoor adventurers. Every Saturday morning, the downtown Greenville Farmer’s Market features more than 50 local farmers, creameries, meat vendors and more. 

Where to stay: The Westin Poinsett, Greenville. The hotel was originally built in 1925, eventually became a retirement home, and then closed for a few years before it became a Westin in 2000. Rates start at $169/night.

Long Beach, California

This Southern California beach town with close proximity to Los Angeles is bike-friendly and walkable — great for couples and families. It's location offers easy access to Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and Catalina Island.

Where to stay: The Queen Mary. This lavish former cruise ship-turned-hotel, considered one of the top 10 haunted places in the U.S., celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. Rates in August start at $99/night.

MSC cruise

This is a great way to get away this summer on the cheap. On Aug. 23, the MSC Divina has a seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailing that will stop at Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. They’re running a deal right now starting at $299 per person for 7 nights.