New England. We love it, we hate it, but most of all, we are put into debt by it. After all, as one of the most expensive destinations in the United States, any visit to New England is sure to leave your pocketbook hurting. But it doesn't have to be that way. On the contrary, I'm here to give you three vacation recommendations that show you New England doesn't necessarily mean expensive.

The Rustic Vacation

For those trailblazers among you, there is perhaps no better, or more affordable option than Acadia, Maine, one of the most beautiful and underrated National Parks in the country.

Situated on the beautiful Eastern Seaboard, Acadia has it all: Mountains, rivers, lakes, and the Atlantic Ocean, all of which work together to create one of the most magnificent landscapes in the country. And it's not just about the scenery. On the contrary, Acadia offers some of the most exciting and fun outdoor programming in the country. From bicycling to birdwatching, climbing to fishing, you just won't get bored in Acadia, a welcome relief to those parents who stress about how to entertain the kids.

And, to make matters even better, the park is totally affordable. Outside of the $20 visitor fee (which you pay per car, not per person), the only sunk cost is a $20 a night rental cost for a campground. In effect, you have access to a week's worth of one of the most beautiful places in the country for the same price of just one night in a Boston hotel.

In short, if you're into the outdoors at all, Acadia is worth a visit. Your family, as well as your wallet, will thank you.

The Quaint Vacation

The outdoors isn't really your thing? You'd rather spend your days eating in coffee shops, perusing local bookstores, and taking in the "small town America" you always wanted to see? New England has just the thing for you in the form of Western Massachusetts, one of the quaintest and cutest collections of villages this side of the Mississippi.

Williamstown, for example, home of Williams College and the Williamstown Theater festival, will transport you straight back to the 1950s, with its remote, bucolic character. From local stores ("Where'd You Get That") to excellent eateries (the ‘6 House Pub), in Williamstown you'll feel, for the first time, like everyone really does know your name.

If you're a fan of scenery, Western Mass. has that too. Take the historic Mohawk Trail, one of the country's first scenic automobile routes. From New York to Greenfield, Mohawk trail shuttles you straight through the Berkshire mountain range, a ride that provides some of the most iconic "New England" views you'll ever see.

And, best of all, it's minimally expensive. Unlike Cape Cod, the small towns in Western Mass. can be seen on a relatively low budget. Even the nicest hotels, like the historic "Deerfield Inn" Bed & Breakfast, have rooms going for as low as $160, with many "chain" hotels providing even lower rates. While maybe more expensive than an Acadia Campground, the drive and the character of Western Massachusetts will make your trip well wroth it

The Urban Vacation

But what if the country-life doesn't appeal to you at all? Perhaps you'd prefer a more metropolitan experience, an urban summer getaway? New England has that too in the form of Providence, Rhode Island, a less expensive, but no less memorable alternative to its larger neighbor Boston.

In fact, in many ways, Providence is just as fun and just as vibrant as the bigger city. You could, for example, take in the sites of the Roger Williams Park Zoo, one of the very best parks in New England. Or you could take a stroll down Benefit Street, looking at homes that date back as far as 1792. Or, if you're into a more alternative vibe, you could do some shopping on Thayer Street, the local hangout for the neighboring Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design.

One thing is for sure, though. No matter what you do in Providence, it's going to be cheaper than doing the same thing in Boston. While the former cities hotels start at around $79, Boston's are almost twice as expensive, making Providence a not only equitable, but more cost-effective alternative to the larger city.

In effect, then, while New England may have a reputation as totally unaffordable it doesn't have to be that way. By spending your money smart, you can save a lot of time and anxiety, while still providing your family, significant other, or yourself a vacation's worth of memories that will last a life-time.