A Hop, Skip, and a Pump
SPLURGE: Music fans can park their lawn chairs at Tanglewood for the Berkshire venue’s weekend Jazz Festival (8/29–8/31). Prefer pop? Visit Connecticut’s mini Vegas for Celine Dion’s show at Foxwoods’s MGM Grand (9/6). 617-266-1492, tanglewoodjazzfestival.org; 866-646-0050, mgmatfoxwoods.com.
SCRIMP: Thriftier types can board the ferry to Cape Cod ($71 roundtrip) for the annual Provincetown Jazz Festival (8/15–8/17), or catch the same Dion show—minus the slots—when she plays the Garden (8/12–8/13). 508-274-2513, provincetownjazzfestival.org; 800-477-5285, tdbanknorthgarden.com.
ROAD MILES SAVED: 260 for jazz fest; 200 for concert
SPLURGE: Undo the stress of sitting in gas-guzzling Cape traffic by hitting the volleyball nets at Cahoon Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, or join the après-beach set for schmoozing and jumbo Goombay Smashes at oceanfront hot spot the Beachcomber. 508-349-6055, thebeachcomber.com.
SCRIMP: Accessible by T, the rehabbed Carson Beach is a Southie favorite, with game-ready bocce courts and stellar views of the harbor that beg for a sunset picnic. The stylish brick promenade and clean new bathhouse almost make you forget you’re not on the Cape. 617-626-1250, bostonharborwalk.com.
ROAD MILES SAVED: 200
SPLURGE: Tiger wannabes are abuzz over the eco-friendly Bob Cupp–designed course at Vermont’s new Stowe Mountain Lodge. Though the $205-per-player greens fee—plus gas costs—presents a whopping handicap, flush swingers likely won’t be waylaid. 802-253-3560, stowemountainlodge.com.
SCRIMP: Closer to home, the Plymouth area is slowly becoming synonymous with top-quality public-access greens. Waverly Oaks, Pinehills, and Southers Marsh lead the way with fairway fees as low as $60. 508-224-6700, waverlyoaksgolfclub.com; 508-209-3000, pinehillsgolf.com; 508-830-3535, southersmarsh.com.
ROAD MILES SAVED: 320
SPLURGE: While pitching a tent in Maine’s Acadia National Park starts at just $14 per night, the drive to this awe-inspiring nature reserve could set you back hundreds. Don’t forget to budget an extra $6.50 each for popovers at the park’s Jordan Pond House. 207-288-3338, nps.gov/acad.
SCRIMP: For a $14 ferry ride and an $8-per-night fee, settle into sleeping bags on Bumpkin Island in Boston Harbor. True, the backdrop is more concrete skyline than verdant acreage, but you’ll be saving a bundle (and be guaranteed no bear attacks). 617-223-8666, bostonislands.org.
ROAD MILES SAVED: 570
SPLURGE: Tennis greats John McEnroe, Jim Courier, and Mats Wilander will volley to the death at Newport’s Hall of Fame Champions Cup (8/13–8/17). Tickets start at $14; gas could cost upward of $50. But a McEnroe racquet-throwing outburst? Worth every dime. 401-849-3990, tennisfame.com.
SCRIMP: Soccer playboy David Beckham (and, if we’re lucky, his majorette in Lycra, Victoria) descends on Gillette Stadium as the Los Angeles Galaxy take on the Revs (8/30). Though Foxboro is a moderate distance from Boston, plan to arrive and leave early: Fans can clog two-lane Route 1 for hours. 877-438-7387, revolutionsoccer.net.
ROAD MILES SAVED: 120
-Illustrations by Steve Waxman