It’s a fact: Americans love to travel. Whether it’s Disney World, a trip to the beach, Las Vegas, or seeing a Broadway show in New York City, Americans have a lot of places to vacation. However, times are tight, and many people can’t afford these popular tourist attractions. Still, there’s no need to stay home. A fun or relaxing time, whichever your desire, can be had in many American cities on a budget.
One of America’s oldest and most haunted cities, Savannah, Georgia is a must see for history buffs and those who love historic mansions. According to Savannah’s city website, it has the largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States (2010) with several square miles of antebellum mansions and beautiful parks.
Hotels within the historic district can be pricey. However, you can find reasonably priced accommodation in hotels and motels outside of the historic area and take a hotel provided shuttle, or rent a cab for $10-$20 from most locations into Savannah’s historic district. Once there, enjoy the day by bicycling around the historic district, or take advantage of Savannah’s open container law allowing you to drink store purchased drinks in the open as you stroll the beautiful streets on your own or on one of the many haunted location tours.
One of the cheaper beach cities in Florida, Pensacola is home to pristine white sands, great people, and is absent the stink of refineries in nearby Panama City. If you travel during the off season, particularly in late September or October, when the chance of hurricanes are higher, you’ll find cheaper hotels. Hotels, on the beach, can be rented for $100 a night in October, as opposed to the $300 or more during peak travel season. Additionally, for music lovers, Pensacola is now home to an annual beach festival, the De Luna Fest that will occur in early October. To avoid breaking your budget, buy any groceries you’ll need before heading over to Pensacola Beach, and you won’t have to pay the bridge toll multiple times.
Home to Music Row, the Grand Ol’ Opry, and an amazing nightlife, Nashville Tennessee can be expensive. But, budget conscious people can still have a good time. There are lots of free photo opportunities within Nashville. Stroll through Music Row at night and take lots of pictures of the lights, street performers, and nightlife. A reconstruction of the Parthenon, built for the Tennessee Centennial over a hundred years ago, looms over Centennial Park on Nashville’s west end. As with other cities, you’ll find the best hotel deals for your budget outside of the downtown area, but be sure to check online travel guides for hotel ratings.
Lancaster can be enjoyed by both young and old. For those seeking pastoral views, there are large numbers of Amish farms in the area, and hand crafted goods abound. For younger folks, or the young at heart, nearby Hershey Park promises loads of fun and roller coasters for less than Disney World. For those with a certain sense of humor, there are towns nearby with odd names like Bird In Hand, Blue Ball, Intercourse, and Virginville.
Asheville, North Carolina
Home to a thriving arts and a Mecca of liberalism, Asheville sits on the edge of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Hotel costs are much cheaper on the east side of the mountains, rather than in the tourist traps of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg on the mountain range’s west side. From Asheville, you can take a number of scenic drives into the mountains or take a white water rafting trip down some thrilling class 3, 4, and 5, rapids.
Savannah Historic District. 2010. Historic District.