10 of the Best Cheap U.S. Vacations

Americans are known worldwide for being hard workers, however, we really love to cut loose too. Vacations are fun, but they can get expensive. So when you want to get away from it all, the costs can start to add up fast. So if you want a great vacation on a budget, where should you go? Here are 10 of the best cheap U.S. vacations.

San Antonio, Texas

The San Antonio Riverwalk

San Antonio has a lot to offer vacationers. The historic Alamo is right across from the Riverwalk, which is a mile of shops and restaurants along the San Antonio River. There are also several theme parks as well as cultural attractions like the Market Square where you can find unique items imported from Mexico.

Why you should go: The Alamo offers free admission, the restaurants have enormous, sharable portions, and the hotel rates on the Riverwalk start at under $40 per night.

The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

One of America’s national treasures, the Grand Canyon is also a surprisingly affordable vacation. The hot climate of Arizona makes the Grand Canyon a perfect off-season destination. The National Park Service offers cabins and dorms to fit all budgets, and though the restaurants can get pricey, you can always pack and cook your own food.

Why you should go: See one of the natural wonders of the world on a government-level budget — we’re talking as low as $51 per night.

Memphis, Tennessee

Beale Street in Memphis. Mario Tama/Getty Images

People tend to overlook Memphis for Nashville, but both cities have so much to offer visitors. Graceland is in Memphis, as well as Beale Street, where you can have a beer and hear some great live music. You can also visit the Rock and Soul Museum or the National Civil Rights Museum.

Why you should go: Music, Graceland and cultural museums, many of which offer free days or free attractions. Plus, hotel prices start at under $50.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Flickr/Nicolas Henderson

People tend to overlook the beautiful natural wonder in Hot Springs, Ark. Hot Springs National Park offers an array of historic bathhouses that sit atop natural springs that are heated by underground geothermal vents. Hot Springs also houses the Gangster Museum of America and Magic Springs Theme Park.

Why you should go: A stay in Hot Springs is really easy on the budget, with hotels ranging in price from $50-$150 per night.

READ MORE: Go Inside the Glass Chapels of Arkansas

Adirondack Park, New York

Flickr/Lukas Schlagenhauf

When you visit the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, you get the beauty of an unspoiled nature preserve without a heavy price tag. The peaceful atmosphere of Adirondack Park is just about as far as you can get from the rush of New York City, and it’s a lot less expensive. Enjoy hiking and skiing, bobsledding and of course, the Olympic Museum.

Why you should go: Breathtaking scenery that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Rooms start under $70 per night, the park itself hosts plenty to see, and other attractions in the area are also very reasonably priced.

Kirkland, Washington

Flicker/Steve Ginn

There are beach towns and then there’s Kirkland, Washington. The quaint little seaside city is situated on Lake Washington only 20 minutes from Seattle so you can take in Pike’s Place Market and the Space Needle without the hit to your bank account. Kirkland is also just 30 minutes from beautiful Snoqualmie Falls which is a sight to see no matter the season. Of course, there is sailing in Kirkland, as well as wineries and art galleries.

Why you should go: Kirkland has all the sights of Seattle with a very reasonable price tag; hotel prices start at under $90 per night.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Flickr/Xiquinho Silva

Philadelphia is an excellent cheap U.S. Vacation because it is the birthplace of America. The history you can witness in Philadelphia is overwhelming, but the cost won’t be. Known for being Pennsylvania’s largest city, Philadelphia is also home to Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell as well as multitudinous museums.

Why you should go: Philadelphia offers delicious food and tons of historical sites to visit.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Old Town in Albuquerque

Albuquerque doesn’t get as much attention as it should. The New Mexico city is nestled in the picturesque Sandia Mountain Range, Albuquerque has a desert beauty that is simply unequaled. One popular way to see those mountains is in a hot air balloon, but at $160 per ticket, it doesn’t fit in the budget. Instead, check out the Sandia Peak Tramway which will carry you up the mountain for $25. You can also visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center museum or the Petroglyph national monument which is free.

Why you should go: Great food, culture and people. Plus, you can get a hotel room in the area for under $40 a night.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Bourbon Street

If you thought you couldn’t afford the excitement of Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, think again, because New Orleans is a very reasonably priced city to visit. You can do just about all the sightseeing you want for free in New Orleans. There’s Frenchmen Street and Jackson Square with the nearby famous Cafe Du Monde. If you want a little more nitty gritty Louisiana flare though you can take a swamp tour for about $50 or a ghost tour for about $20.

Why you should go: New Orleans has some of the richest cultural offerings in America. You can get a hotel room in New Orleans for starting under $60.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas strip.

There are surprisingly very many affordable options for accommodations and entertainment in one of the most exciting U.S. cities. In Las Vegas, they want you to spend money gambling, so hotels, flights and food are all relatively inexpensive. Also, club promoters will hand out free entry to bars and clubs all along the strip. In addition to that, there are always free things to see like the dancing fountains at the Bellagio which run every 15 minutes.

Why you should go: You can stay on the outskirts of town for under $40, or in the historic downtown district for under $75. Hotels on the Strip are as low as $110. Many casinos also offer dining plans that will save you money.

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