Travel the States on the Cheap
By Art Robinson, Contributing Editor
Most Affordable US Cities To Visit
If you want to travel and see the USA, it doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive! You can see some of the best views and most exciting adventures that this country has to offer on a budget, simply by planning well! Below are some of the best, most affordable cities to put on your list today!
Why go: Yellowstone is home to breathtaking natural attractions for visitors of all ages. With miles of hiking and skiing paths, erupting hot springs and belching mud pools, adventure-seekers agree that the entrance fee is a small price to pay for a visit to America’s oldest national park.
Why go: With plenty of natural attractions and low-price camping areas, Yosemite offers refuge for those looking to escape their hectic urban lives. Like Yellowstone, Yosemite offers access to extensive hiking trails for a small entrance fee, and travelers can avoid high hotel rates by simply packing a tent.
Why go: Known for offering some of the lowest hotel prices in the South — not to mention some of the most satisfying barbecue and best live music in the country — Nashville allows bargain hunters a laid-back getaway filled with down-home fun.
Why go: Although hotel prices are not always budget-friendly, those who are patient can generally find a room to suit both taste and budget. And with a wide variety of things to do, visitors can spend a couple of guilt-free days perusing the dozens of free Smithsonian museums along the National Mall.
Why go: Low prices are just one of the many perks of planning a trip to this southern city, not to mention picturesque architecture and restaurants dishing out hearty portions of Southern fare. With budget-friendly room rates, there’s no excuse not to stay a few extra nights.
Why go: New Orleans offers visitors a culturally rich getaway with rates that are much tamer than the city’s reputation. Budget hotels are housed in historic buildings, and eateries serve spicy portions of Cajun cuisine at reasonable prices. Avoid a visit in March; Mardi Gras can be tough on any budget.
Why go: Historic mansions and gas-lamp lit streets draw travelers looking for southern-style indulgence at a lower price point. But Charleston’s increasing popularity has been driving up hotel and restaurant prices; snag the best deals by planning a winter trip.
Why Go: You don’t have to worry about overstepping your price limit on a visit to the Adirondacks. In fact, if you’re devoted to staying in the great outdoors, the cost will come in well under budget. Campgrounds are extremely affordable and the hiking trails are completely free to explore.
Why go: Home to the legendary Alamo and River Walk, San Antonio is constantly buzzing with things to do. While hotels and restaurants in the heart of the city will charge a pretty penny for their convenient location, you can save on lodging and dining in neighborhoods like King William and Alamo Heights.
Why go: There are plenty of fun (and affordable) ways to stay dry in rainy Seattle. Caffeinate at the world’s first Starbucks, peruse the Pike Place Market or stretch your legs on the trails in the Olympic Mountains. If you don’t mind the cold, you can find some great deals on Emerald City hotels during the winter.
Why go: Home to numerous golf courses and family-friendly attractions, Myrtle Beach’s affordable hotels and restaurants make a trip here even more enjoyable. Take advantage of the stay-and-golf deals offered by many Myrtle Beach hotels, or spend time on the city’s public beaches.
Why go: Sitting at the heart of the Lone Star State, Austin’s outdoor attractions and notorious nightlife draw crowds from all over the country. A wide variety of lodging and dining options make the quirky “Live Music Capital of the World” a great year-round vacation spot.
– via travel.usnews.com
How To Eat & Drink For Cheap While You Travel
Getting yourself to your destination is only half the battle when it comes to traveling on a budget. It’s all too easy to end up with a huge food and drink bill when you’re out and about, but by remembering a few great tips you can keep those expenses down and enjoy your new city just as much, but with a smaller price tag!
If eating out is your way of seeing a city, then find ways to hack all those top-notch restaurants you’ve been reading about. Personal finance pro David Bakke, for example, told Travel + Leisure that when he craves his favorite upscale restaurant in Savannah, he heads down to the basement section where entrees come cheaper. If a fancy eatery is on your must-see list, then go there for lunch instead of dinner or sip a cheap drink at the bar.
Get food to go.
If you choose a restaurant for its food and not its ambiance, then order as takeout to minimize tipping. Then picnic in a pretty park or waterfront — you’ll see double the sights!
BYO groceries, even to a hotel.
Just because you didn’t rent a condo doesn’t mean you can’t make your own meals. Pick a hotel with a mini fridge, make a trip to the grocery store or Costco and do room service without the room service. You can literally make soup in the hotel room coffee maker or paninis with an iron — bring a rice cooker, though, and you’ve won the trip.
Honor the great American gas station.
They’re really not the crusty establishments we’ve made them out to be. From make-your-own milkshake machines to lobster taquitos and Kansas City barbecue, gas stations have evolved into cultural centerpieces of the destinations they serve. Gas Station Gourmet dishes up clever on-the-road recipe ideas, all cooked up from gas station finds.
– via The Huffington Post
What cities are on the top of your list of places to see in the USA?
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