Families looking for an inexpensive vacation would do well to look to
Palm Springs came in cheapest with a price tag of $1,256 for a week's vacation in a two-bedroom rental between July and September. Based on a family of four, the price includes a single-day bicycle rental, basic groceries and dinner at a restaurant.
The cost works out to about $180 a day, but it doesn't factor in the blistering summer heat that makes it nearly impossible to go out and do anything during the day. Temperatures in the desert resort town Thursday were about 95 degrees, and triple digits were promised for the weekend.
If you like the low prices but don't want to spend every air-conditioned second inside, head for the cool high country of the San Jacinto Mountains. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway ($23.95 for adults, $16.95 for children 3 to 12 years old) takes passengers to around 8,500 feet in elevation with hiking and dining options at the top.