Published On: Aug 21 2013 12:53:31 PM CDTUpdated On: May 29 2014 01:00:00 AM CDT
Up for a vacation but short on cash? U.S. News & World Report has you covered, with these 17 affordable destinations it ranked best in the U.S.
1. Yosemite National Park -- One of California’s most formidable natural attractions, Yosemite is a great spot for families to escape from hectic urban lives. The park's extensive hiking trails and breathtaking scenery only cost a small entrance fee. Visitors can also avoid hotel prices by packing a tent.
2. Yellowstone National Park -- With its numerous hot springs and belching mud pools, visitors agree Yellowstone's entrance fee is a small price to pay to visit to America's oldest national park.
3. Nashville, Tenn. -- The "Music City" offers some of the lowest hotel prices in the South, especially in the winter. Buy the Music City Total Action pass to visit four attractions of your choosing for just $50, which can save you up to 50 percent.
4. Savannah, Ga. -- The oldest city in Georgia is known for the picturesque architecture, Southern charm and a handful of restaurants specializing in authentic Southern cuisine. Hotel prices are already pretty reasonable, but book in the off-season or near the airport to really save some money.
5. Washington, D.C. -- Visitors to the nation's capital city can spend days indulging in the dozens of Smithsonian museums or visiting the National Zoo, of which are free. In the spring, visitors can also stroll through Stanton Park to enjoy the city's famous cherry blossoms.
6. Seattle -- There are plenty of affordable ways to have fun in this rainy city. Get caffeinated at the world’s first Starbucks, peruse the Pike Place Market or hike the many trails winding through the Olympic Mountains.
7. Chicago -- The Windy City is home to plenty of free attractions like Millennium Park and Navy Pier. Hotels aren't the cheapest, but some restaurants and are relatively affordable like a slice of Chicago’s renowned deep-dish pizza.
8. Austin, Texas -- Sitting at the heart of the Lone Star State, Austin draws crowds from across the country with its hip nightlife and quirky, laid-back atmosphere. Follow the students for budget-conscious destinations and avoid booking your trip during University of Texas football games or South by Southwest.
9. New Orleans -- The Big Easy offers visitors a culturally rich getaway with prices much tamer than the city’s reputation. Budget hotels can be found inside historic buildings, and summertime rates are always cheaper. Just be prepared to sweat.
10. San Antonio -- Save money on lodging in the home of the Alamo by staying neighborhoods like King William and Alamo Heights, which are cheaper than near the city's famous River Walk area. It's also wise to avoid restaurants in the popular tourist area.
11. Myrtle Beach, S.C. -- Take advantage of the many stay-and-golf deals offered by Myrtle Beach hotels or consider renting a home for a week, especially if you're traveling with a large group. Visiting in the fall or even the winter is also much cheaper.
12. Puerto Rico -- This island has all the perks of a Caribbean getaway for a fraction of the price. Be sure to book at least two or three months in advance, and invest in a good map to avoid spending more money if/when you get lost.
13. Adirondacks -- Campgrounds here are extremely affordable, while hiking trails are free to explore. Skip the peak months of September and October to save more money, and try the Saranac Lake neighborhood or the St. Regis Canoe Area for fee-free fun.
14. Pittsburgh -- The Steel City is still grounded in its industrial roots, and most food and attractions are reasonably priced because of it. The exception is Heinz Field, where it will cost you a pretty penny to take in a Steelers game.
15. Charlottesville, Va. -- Known as the East Coast's Napa Valley, this region is rich in wineries but without the hefty price tags found in California. The hotels also cost a fraction of the exorbitant prices found in Napa.
16. Las Vegas -- From all-you can-eat buffets to public pools and rows of quarter slots, America's Playground offers big fun on the cheap. But be sure to set a cutoff point when hitting up the casinos or you could lose big.
17. Kansas City, Mo. -- An abundance of brand-name hotels keep room rates low throughout the year in this Midwestern city, also home to a number of hardworking breweries in the Power & Light District.
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