8 Low Cost Attractions in the United States
1. The Golden Gate Bridge-San Francisco, California
Probably one of my favorite places in the world is San Francisco; being a California native has its perks for sure. It costs nothing to stroll up and down the east sidewalk of the bridge. The Ocean, Pier 39, and tons of interesting people around makes this one of the best places to go and collect yourself. Not to mention it is free to enjoy a beautiful sunset with a loved one in front of the bridge. It does get chilly though, so don't forget to bring a sweater!
Night at the Museum
2. Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum-Washington, D.C.
This giant museum is home to the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. At an extremely large 161,145 square feet, this attraction would take up a day or two of free vacation entertainment. Inside this building you can learn everything from aerobatic flight to human spaceflight. They have war planes, space equipment, and commuter planes. Definitely a place I plan on visiting in the near future!
3. Mount Rushmore-South Dakota
Although you do need to pay for parking, this breathtaking site is completely free. This historic 60 foot site features the heads of four American presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lincoln. Carved from granite this monument gets nearly 3 million people each year to visit. Being South Dakota's top attraction, how could you pass it up?
Deep in the Heart of Texas!
4. The Alamo-San Antonio, Texas
Originally established in 1718 near the headwaters of San Pedro Creek, this mission is the heart and soul of Texas. After being moved a couple more times it's present location in San Antonio is where the Alamo has been since 1724. Being 300 years old this place is under constant restoration analysis and treatment to make sure it's as close as it can be to "original." This landmark attraction is the heart and soul of Texan independence, holds tours and has exhibits that are very educational and free.
5. Mardi Gras-New Orleans
Other than the cost of a hotel and maybe some great food you want to pick up, enjoying the sites and sounds of Mardi Gras is completely free. Popular practices of Mardi Gras is wearing bright costumes, masks, music, and making a complete fool of yourself. This is one site you don't want to miss during your lifetime.
The City that Never Sleeps
6. Museum of Modern Art-New York
Although it isn't always free, if you wait until a Friday night between the hours of 4pm to 8pm the admission fee is waived. Make sure you get there early because the free admission is on a first come first serve basis; needless to say you cannot book tickets in advance. This free attraction moves fairly quickly and includes tons of paintings and photography. More well known paintings by famous artists like Picasso and Van Gogh are also in display. Worth the crowd if you ask me!
Lights, Camera, Action!
7. Hollywood Walk of Fame-Los Angeles, California
This is one attraction you have to visit if you ever find yourself in the City of Angels. A stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame costs nothing, but is so fascinating. Going down Hollywood Boulevard you will find yourself looking at the stars belonging to famous actors and actresses, musicians, and even Kermit the Frog. Marilyn Monroe's star is on the most southern corner of Hollywood Boulevard, and that is one you surely don't want to miss!
Awake In Seattle
8. Pike Place Market-Seattle, Washington
Seattle's Pike Place Market covers 9 acres of land and was established in 1907, making it one of the oldest markets of it's kind in the U.S. It is free to roam around the farmer's market and you'll be able to enjoy free samples at the different food stands while watching street performers that provide entertainment. Sounds like a great place to have an easy going day.
In a world where everything costs something, it's nice to know that there are still free or low cost sites where people can congregate, have a good time, or learn some history. Someday when I retire and want to travel the U.S. these eight places will be at the top of my to do list!