Are you looking for a great travel destination that won’t break the bank? Here are the top 5 American cities to visit if you are on a tight budget.
Best American Cities on a Budget: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia makes the list of the best American cities on a budget because you can see and do so much in the City of Brotherly Love for free. Historical sites that charge no admission include Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the First Bank of the United States, New Hall Military Museum, the U.S. Mint, the Masonic Temple, Philadelphia City Hall, the Rodin Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Edgar Allen Poe Historical Site.
Need more free things to do while in Philly? If you are botanically minded, how about a trip to the Awbury Arboretum, a 19th century English landscape garden. If you enjoy wildlife, the 140-acre Martin Park Nature Center offers a recreational area and wildlife sanctuary. Perhaps the most unique low-cost Philly destination is the Mutter Museum. Containing over 20,000 objects, this medical oddity museum at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia is a must see. Be warned however, that the Mutter is not for those with weak stomachs.
Dining and accommodations in Philadelphia are also very reasonable. Those looking to stay in the downtown area should check out Hotels Cheap which has a comprehensive listing of great bargain hotels. Make sure you sample the local specialty Philly cheesesteaks which offer bargain diners hearty regional fare at great prices. Traveling around the city is easy and affordable if you use the SEPTA buses, trolleys and subway trains. A one day pass will run $6 and is free for seniors 65 and older.
Need some more ideas for cheap or free things to do during your budget trip to Philly? UpTake offers a list of over 200 frugally minded activities to enjoy during your visit to this historical gem.
Best American Cities on a Budget: Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is a bargain travelers dream. Offering great hotel rates, bargain priced meals and low cost activities, Las Vegas is the 24-hour city that doesn’t leave you with an empty wallet. Chowing down on the cheap is easy in Vegas if you know where to go. Good frugal bets are buffets, diners and delis. Most establishments also offer after-midnight graveyard specials that are a steal. Cheap Eats Las Vegas is a great site to help you sniff out the city’s foodie bargains.
Great free activities in and near Las Vegas include the dancing waters and 27-foot-tall chocolate fountain at the Bellagio, the lion habitat at the MGM Grand, the Gondola Canals of the Venetian, the Silverton saltwater aquarium at the Silverton, circus acts at Circus Circus and the sports hall of fame at the Las Vegas Club Casino. All the major casinos also offer free gaming lessons daily. Great value priced hotels include the Desert Rose Resort, Homewood Suites Las Vegas Airport and the Suncoast Casino and Hotel.
Best American Cities on a Budget: Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. is one of the best historical American cities to visit on a budget. Most of the museums are free as are all the major monuments and memorials. Some free not to be missed D.C. attractions include the Smithsonian Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, the White House (yes, you can still tour parts of the presidential residence), Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the Washington monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the National Arboretum, the National Archives and the Navy Museum. Summer months also see numerous free outdoor concerts around the city. Public transportation is easy to use and affordable. Going to Georgetown, Union Station or the National Mall? Hop on the DC Circulator Bus for the low price of one dollar. Hotel rates in D.C. are usually cheaper on the weekends and outside the District. Eat on the cheap in D.C. by dining during happy hour when prices are lower or packing a picnic.
Best American Cities on a Budget: Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore is like an ignored middle child, situated between its flashier historical siblings Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. Like those cities, Baltimore is chock full of history that can be experienced at bargain prices. Free activities include climbing to the top of the first Washington Monument, a visit to Edgar Allen Poe’s grave, cruising the art finds at the Fell’s Point Art Loop, visiting Fort McHenry and touring Little Italy. Make sure you visit Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for museum tours, affordable restaurants and historic ship tours. Hotels Cheap makes finding a great deal on Baltimore hotels a breeze.
Best American Cities on a Budget: Orlando, Florida
Orlando isn’t just one of the top tourist destinations in the U.S., it’s a hot spot for world travelers as well. Sure you could spend a small fortune visiting Disney, Universal Studios, Sea World or Busch Gardens, but there are also many low or no cost things to do in Orlando. If mouse ears and roller coasters aren’t your thing, why not try the Lego Imagination Center, Gatorland, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, the Orlando Science Center or the Trainland International Trolley and Train Museum. Travel during the off season and really get a bargain. Stay far away from Disney and you can nab an affordable hotel.
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