Top 5 Places to Travel on a Budget
Traveling on a budget is very rewarding. Who needs 5-star hotels, fancy restaurants, and expensive extras? I found that my favorite vacation spots are close to home, on American soil. Since I had such positive experiences, I wanted to share some of my favorite places with you. While I didn’t have to clean up my savings account or go broke for these unique “on a budget” destinations, they were worth every penny I spent. Here are 5 of my best places to travel, whether you’re on a budget or not.
This American hot spot is a fantastic place to go whenever you can get there. We all know the power of experiencing the Grand Canyon, but there’s so much more, whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter, Arizona gets a leg up on me from the amazing weather to the variety of affordable things to see and do. It can be very hot, so pack some casual clothing. because if you’re like me, the best place to be is outside. The state has done an incredible job creating hiking trails, botanical gardens, camping, outdoor tours, and other nature-loving excursions. The state is full of big cities and small towns full of art, culture and history and delicious food. For example, Tucson, Arizona is steeped in Mexican and Southwestern heritage. There is little to no entrance fee to see places like Sabino Canyon and Saguaro National Park and then head to Sedona, Arizona for a chance to see more than 100 art galleries and events happening all the time. They are amazing sites to see if you are an art enthusiast or not.
2. Baltimore, MD
I have visited Baltimore many times and it is by far one of my favorite places to see. The seafood is fresh and delicious, like all dishes in town, and for those of us on a budget, a dollar is very, very long. Steamed crabs are like no other in the world. The National Aquarium is beautifully located on the Baltimore Harbor and a day there is a day well spent. The beautiful and familiar sights, smells and sounds are one of a kind! The Harborplace and the Gallery is located near the harbor and offers an amazing shopping and dining mecca where you can select whatever is right for your wallet and taste. Depending on the time of year (remember Baltimore is cold in winter) there is even free entertainment. The American Visionary Art Museum is well worth the short trip from the harbor. They charge a fee to enter, but the building itself and the property are filled with sculptures and art to view for free. And there are many other museums to visit during your stay in this family-friendly city.
3. Hershey, PA
Hershey, Pennsylvania has become one of our nation’s most popular tourist destinations and offers many free and inexpensive things to do. There’s a world-class amusement park, an infamous day spa that can be a bit pricey, but there’s plenty of memorable affordable things to do too. Hershey Chocolate World, is a walk that is located on the grounds of Hershey Park but it is completely free. It is a wonderful historical walk that is both fun and educational. If you are traveling with children, they will receive a free candy sample at the end of the trip, where they will drop it off directly at the gift shop. There is also the Hershey Streetcar that will transport you around the city with kiss-shaped lights lining the streets. It was started by Milton Hershey while planning the city and continues to this day … well worth your time. If you have the time (and I suggest you do) visit ZooAmerica, Hershey Gardens, Milton Hershey School, and other great museums located in Hershey, PA.
4. Dallas, TX
In a city known for everything great, the cost of visiting it is not that bad. We had a bit of an adventurous spirit, so we booked a City PASS that offered discounted prices on some of the most popular attractions in the city. We couldn’t get to all of them, but we did see the George W. Bush Library and Museum (he was the president) and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Great for adding a bit of culture to your vacation. My travel companions enjoy visiting zoos, so we went to the amazing Dallas Zoo and met two beautiful African elephants and fed a giraffe. There are so many family-oriented events and presentations at this zoo, you may have to stay more than a day. The Dallas Farmers Market is a must see market. The food, the vendors, and the extremely memorable experience is like no other market I have ever visited. If you go, have a street taco at La Ventana or a pork-filled tamale at El Mero Mero. I must mention the Trinity River Audubon Center for all hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. This urban hardwood forest is an escape from the city to distinctive Texas terrain.
5. Nashville, TN
Nashville, the home of country music, American history, and much, much to see and do. First, the must-see of all the must-sees is the Country Music Hall of Fame and the infamous Grand Ole Opry. Just the view from the outside of these famous buildings is a must see. When you’re feeling full of country music, head out and walk around the beautiful college campuses of Vanderbilt University and Belmont University or head to the Adventure Science Center or the Belmont Mansion and spend the afternoon learning something new. The campuses are steeped in history and tradition and are a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors. And we haven’t even mentioned Nashville food. Nashville has to be a melting pot of kitchens. There are all kinds of dishes to satisfy any palate. My favorites were found in food trucks that offered fast, delicious, inexpensive takeout meals. If you have room for cake, I recommend the peach or walnut.