Are you planning your next family vacation but you are on a tight budget? Have you always wanted to travel across America but you just can’t decide between the many travel destinations? Do you want to know the best cheap places to visit in the US? Then we have the perfect travel guide for you.
We have scoured the internet and thousands of tourist guides to find the best cheap cities for you to visit in the USA. America is one of the finest places to visit due to its vast array of cultures and climates making it suited for any type of tourist. The US may be considered a pricey place to visit but worry not as we have gone through each city and all it has to offer to ensure you can travel this wonderful nation without spending a fortune.
Below you will find a brief break-down of the many reasons to visit the US, how you can save the most money and what cities are both the cheapest and perhaps most enlightening to visit in America. Whether you are wanting to experience the natural side of the US or the hustle and bustle of its large cities has you excited, we have got you covered.
Traveling in the US
Why the US is a great place to visit
Due to its size and its vast array of cultures and climates, the US is an incredible place to visit regardless of personal tastes. With so many unique cities and states that can cater to your preferences, every type of person will find somewhere they will love in the USA.
People who already reside in America can attest to this, as even they are discovering new places to explore and sights to behold. Regardless of where you are in the world, visiting or traveling across America is one of the finest ways to spend your upcoming vacations. Whether you are traveling from Kansas City to San Francisco or Paris to North Carolina, you can be sure to have a wonderful time.
How you can travel cheaply in the US
Easily the greatest way to save money when traveling across the US is to find cheap places to stay in your chosen cities to visit. Sites such as Airbnb and locations such as hostels can offer incredible prices that will remain within your budget meaning you can spend more of your budget on doing the things you want to do.
Those of you who are fans of more natural vacations may also want to look into campsites or campground surround the cities you are wanting to visit. Most places charge either per day or per night, but you may find some cheap places that will offer you a weeklong ticket.
Weekend passes or even city-specific passes can help you save money when it comes to visiting the destinations you want to visit. With many cities offering reduced prices on things such as theme parks and museums as long as you own a citywide pass. Be sure to research cities to visit that offer such passes as they will help you spend less whilst doing more!
Deciding where to travel in the US
Choosing where you want to go on your next vacation is completely down to personal choice and what you are looking to experience during your holiday. Specific states feature their own unique culture and climate, but this can ever differ massively from city to city. Places such as Las Vegas will offer a completely different experience to Los Angeles or San Diego, so be sure to check out what your chosen place offers.
Fans of hot weather and more desert-based environments will want to plan their trip around the south of the USA whereas those who don’t mind colder climates will perhaps prefer the north. As long as the place you are planning to go offers the experience you are seeking you will be sure to enjoy your next American holiday.
Below you will find a list of what we believe are 15 of the best, but also cheap places to visit in the USA. If you are unsure of where to go next or are simply curious to see what North America can offer you then be sure to read on!
Top 15 Cheap Places to Travel in the USA
Easily one of the most famous cities in the United States of America, Washington DC is an incredible place to visit for any type of tourist. Ideal for families and solo tourists alike, Washington DC has a lot on offer regardless of your budget.
For those of you into politics or just classic American landmarks, there are a host of attractions found within Washington DC. Places such as the White House itself and the Lincoln Memorial are just some of the low-cost tourist spots that everyone should visit at least once in their life.
Perhaps one of the best and cheapest venues to visit in Washington DC is the exceptional collection of museums known as the Smithsonian. Seen in films such as Night at the Museum, the Smithsonian museums features possibly the best collection of artifacts you will find anywhere in the world. Those of you on a budget can rejoice as entry to all the museums under the Smithsonian group have free entry is free. This lack of entrance fee makes this a wonderful family-friendly travel destination.
San Antonio, Texas
History buffs and sightseers alike will find a host of things to occupy their day down in San Antonio, Texas. Known historically due to the Alamo, San Antonio is rife with guided tours and historical lectures bringing you ever closer to America’s vibrant past.
With a vast array of riverside restaurants and commercial districts, San Antonio offers a host of different activities for you to find off the beaten path. Its world-famous River Walk is just one of the many aesthetic places you can visit in San Antonio, and the best part is how climate it can be all year round. For those of you who prefer the heat of Texas over the snow of Alaska, you will find a lot to love in San Antonio.
Although the west coast of the U.S may be considered slightly pricier than other areas, Portland, Oregon is a surprisingly budget-friendly tourist attraction. Whether you are after a scenic walk through the city of a chilled coffee day out, Portland Oregon has it all.
If active outdoor activities are what you are looking for, then worry not as Portland has a variety of natural locales for you. Beautiful parks such as the Laurelhurst park or the incredibly tranquil Tom McCall Waterfront park offer a stellar picturesque view that anyone can appreciate.
Due to it’s close proximity to Washington, Portland has some of the best coffee shops you can find in the west of the United States. With world-famous coffee shops such as Coava Coffee Roasters and the Proud Mary Café, there are a host of different places for you to sit down and relax. When you are next planning your American road trip be sure to add Portland, Oregon to your list.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is without a doubt one of the best cities to visit in the USA, with a host of different attractions, it is hard to find a city that offers as much to its tourists as New Orleans. Architecture fans will wonder at the beautiful storefronts and balcony filled buildings adorning the cities streets.
Perhaps one of the cities most popular attractions is it’s French quarter that has been attracting tourists for years. Bask in New Orleans rich history on a guided walk or simply appreciate the many different street performers and musicians that New Orleans is known for. Full to the brim with liveliness and eccentricity, cities like this are a wonder to behold.
As NO is situated beside swampland, guided tours run throughout the day to introduce tourists to the vast array of wildlife that lives within the swamps. Options such as swamp boat tours or passing by alligator nests on the walkway, there is something for everyone in NO, Louisiana.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Tourists visiting Salt Lake City are typically visiting to see the titular lake, but that’s not all this glorious destination can offer. Being the largest city in Utah, you can expect there to be a vast array of attractions and places for a curious visitor to check out.
Salt Lake City is easily amongst the best places to visit anywhere within the USA regardless of personal preferences. For those you who are interested in visiting the world-famous lake be sure to have your wallet on hand as entry fees are roughly around $3 per car. This is one of the cheapest world-wide attractions you will find anywhere and well worth a visit.
If you are an art fan be sure to check out the Utah Fine Arts museum as it has some wonderful sights for you behold. Tourists will also find the Hogle Zoo nearby, an affordable place to bring the kids with admission costing roughly between $12 and $16 per person. If you are passing by Utah on your next road trip be sure to pop by SL City for a one of a kind experience.
A tried and tested method to find a budget travel area is to visit cities that have a large student population and Austin is just one of them. Due to students typically spending less than your average adult, locations with a high student population will tend to feature cheaper attractions to cater to this which is perfect for tourists on a budget.
Austin has an incredible array of artistic locations and street food, if you are a foodie or just want to appreciate fine street art, Austin is ideal for you. Thanks to a massive Mexican influence, Austin is rife with a variety of cultures bringing together the best of both worlds. If you can’t choose between visiting Mexico or visiting a city in the USA, Austin is the perfect middle ground!
An ideal travel location for those of you who appreciate music, especially the origins of rock, Memphis is packed to the brim with famous musical monuments and attractions. With places such as Graceland, home of the rock king himself Elvis Presley, or the Beale Street Blues Club, Memphis has it all.
With more museums than your average US city and a host of live music events daily, Memphis is packed to the brim with culture. The best part of it is, most of these are free attractions so you no longer need to worry about the price per person as this destination is ideal for tourists on a strict budget.
When deciding on where to take the family next, make sure you at least consider visiting the wonderful city of Memphis. This is especially true for those of you who love music or just big Elvis Presley fans in general.
Situated beside the Appalachian Range and west of the incredible Stone Mountain Park, Atlanta has been a prime destination for both hiker and nature lovers for years. Known for having one of the largest airports in the USA, Atlanta is easily accessible by both air and car so plan according to your budget.
Atlanta is easily one of the most budget-friendly cities to visit due in part to its wonderful array of both cheap and free attractions. From the Fernbank Science Center to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta has a range of both historic and cultural sites. Those of you who are planning on staying in Atlanta for some time maybe want to consider purchasing a CityPass as it lowers the entry fee to some of Atlanta’s most popular spots!
Coastal towns have always been popular places to visit when it comes to summer vacations, and Newport is no different. Whether it’s surfing by the beach town or taking a walk down the pier, outside and nature lovers will find a bevy of activities to enjoy in this wonderful seaside city.
Aquariums and art galleries can be found at many locations throughout this city, kids will love trying to spot their favorite marine life. The Newport Visual Arts Center is a perfect day out for those of you who love visual media and the best part is due to its constant changes you will have a new sight to appreciate when you surely return to Newport.
Beachside vacations are without a doubt some of the best family trips out if you plan accordingly. When you are next trying to find an ideal city to visit in the summer you may want to consider popping by Newport, Oregon.
Situated beside the Rocky Mountain national park, the city of Denver perfectly balances city-life alongside the wonders of the natural world. The way to get to this national park is both cheap and fairly straightforward thanks to Denver’s close proximity to the rocky mountains. Either hop on your preferred public transportation type or rent a car, just make sure you visit one of the cheapest national parks in the USA.
If nature isn’t your thing then don’t fret as the city itself offers a plethora of activities for a host of different travelers and tourists alike. Save money at the many incredible restaurants or food markets found at South Broadway or make a round trip around the city proper visiting all the prime spots Denver has to offer.
Trying to find a cheap place to visit in the USA can be extremely difficult, but thankfully with cities like Denver, you no longer need to worry about spending over your budget.
Famous for its high temperatures and year-wide summer, Phoenix is one of the sunniest cities in the USA, it is situated in Valley of the Sun after all. Perhaps most famous for its impressive nightlife and spa resorts, Phoenix is not your typical destination when it comes to family vacations.
If you are looking for a natural experience quite different from others featured on this list so far, then Phoenix is one of the finest cities to visit. With its unique desert environment and it’s own Desert Botanical Garden, if you are sick of trees and shrubbery, then Phoenix can offer you it’s own unique natural take.
Local mountain ranges and South Mountain National Park can offer you a break from the hustle and bustle of Arizona’s most populous city. Lovers of cities though will feel right at home as Phoenix is easily one of the liveliest cities to visit in the USA. Regardless of the time of the year, Phoenix is always a great place to visit. If you are looking for a four-season destination to add to your next vacations, be sure to consider Phoenix, Arizona.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Finding the right cities to visit can depend entirely on personal taste, as there are so many cities to visit around the USA it can be difficult to find the right place to plan your upcoming vacations. If, however, you are looking for somewhere quieter beside the sea, then consider visiting Myrtle Beach today.
Perhaps one of the more seasonal outings on this list, Myrtle Beach is especially great in summer due to its vast array of free outdoor activities. From musical concerts on the beach to pier-walks at night – Myrtle beach is one of the most idyllic places you can visit in America.
Extreme sports fans and adrenaline junkies will also grow to love Myrtle Beach thanks to its high jet-skiing and surf-boarding culture. Be sure to check around for the best prices as hopping on a Jet Ski is perhaps the most memorable part of any vacations. An often overlooked tourist spot, Myrtle Beach will provide you with some of the best memories in your lifetime.
The Grand Canyon, Arizona
It is hard to think of the top places to visit in the USA without at least a passing thought towards The Grand Canyon. Easily one of the most popular and renowned tourist spots in America, and with good reason. The price for a weekly pass starts at around $30 per car, which is only around $4.50 per day for the whole family which is an extremely affordable price!
Campers or families on extended vacations may be wondering where to spend the night, but The Grand Canyon has you covered as tourists can find a host of different camping sites around this wonderful natural attraction. Make sure you plan around this however as you will have to pay to stay there, but at an extremely low price. If you are worried about your budget then be sure to check out travel experts guides as there are specific days where entry is free to the Grand Canyon.
Regardless of what type of tourist you are, the Grand Canyon is not only one of the largest natural attractions in the world but also easily a contender for the most beautiful. Try to make time to visit this wonderful world wonder at least once in your life.
This city was perhaps brought to worldwide attention in part due to the comedy show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and although the city is full of humor it is more than just a comedy sketch. Commonly referred to as a cheaper New York, Philadelphia offers everything that New York is famous for at a much lower cost.
When first arriving in Philadelphia make sure you visit the Independence Visitor Centre for free maps and guides to the city to find the best budget-friendly activities for you and your kids. As the visitor booklet will surely tell you, Philadelphia is packed to the brim with history and renowned landmarks. Sites such as the Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall are ideal spots for history buffs.
Food and art lovers will also find something to love, with an array of public art on display, grab your Philly cheese steak and make sure to check out what Philadelphia can offer.
St Louis, Missouri
Perhaps considered the most influential city in Missouri, St Louis is without a doubt one of the most significant cities to visit in the USA. Sites such as the iconic Gateway Arch, built to commemorate Lewis and Clark’s westward expansions are a sight to behold.
Take a ride down the Mississippi in a replica paddleboat or visit the renowned Soulard district which holds a bevy of blues clubs and street food markets offering you the best local meals. Although not as close to a national park as some of the cities featured in this list, St Louis has its fair share of natural scenery. With the central botanical gardens and a gorgeous riverside walk, St Louis is an ideal location for your next vacation.
Where is the cheapest place to vacation in the US?
Although there are a lot of cheap areas to visit in the US, it is hard to determine a specific place that can be deemed the cheapest. Cities such as Las Vegas and New York will want to be avoided if you are wanting to spend as little money as possible, although if you plan well and stick to a budget they are still well worth visiting.
Cities with a large student population tend to provide cheap restaurants and cheap accommodation options s students are less likely to spend more money. Try to plan before you set off on your next vacation and research the area well to find the best tourist spots to visit that remain within your budget. Free activities such as galleries and or the local state park are a great way to lower your overall spending, so be sure to check them out too!
Where can I go for an inexpensive vacation?
Any of the locations featured today will offer you a cheap vacation, but as long as you plan properly and make sure to do your research there are a variety of different cities you can travel to cheaply. The biggest way to ensure you save the most money when traveling across America is to plan and budget accordingly. Even expensive cities such as New York and LA can be visited at a reasonable price, as long as you find cheap areas to stay and eat, you will always be able to find an inexpensive vacation option.
How Can I Save Before Setting Off?
As you may be traveling for a while to visit all the sites you wish to see in America, you be wondering how can I prevent overspending on things such as luggage and travel essentials. A good budget will take everything into consideration, whether it’s admission prices to the venues you want to visit or backpacks and other carrying bags. If you save money on things before you even set off you will have more money to spend on the things you enjoy.
Root around your house and loft to see if you have any old backpacks or suitcases to help you save on purchasing new gear. If, however, you can’t find your trust hold-all then you may want to check out this list of the best cheap luggage bags. A cheap vacation starts before you set off, finding ways to save you cash can help you appreciate the rest of your holiday more!
What are some cheap ways to travel?
The best way to travel for cheap is to find locations that can offer a low cost to stay per night. Accommodation such as hostels or cheap offerings on Airbnb can save you a lot of money when traveling across America. You may also want to look into renting a low-priced car or relying solely on public transport if you are staying within a single city.
Most cities provide in the USA provide a cheap city-wide bus or metro pass that will allow you to travel for free so always keep your eyes open for such things. Some locales will also feature their own cheap campsite or caravan park specifically tailored for tourists, to help you save the most money. These are most commonly found around sites such as the state park or big natural landmarks such as the Grand Canyon. If you are ok with camping, then it is definitely worth considering.