5 Budget Friendly US Vacation Hot Spots
While most of us live with a bucket list waiting to be ticked off, the reality is that there are a couple of roadblocks we need to overcome – budget being the chief of them. However, with the right preparation, everyone might have a shot at making their dream vacation on a tight budget. Check out these destinations to get you planning that budget friendly US vacation.
1. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The seat of the Oklahoma State is known as “The Big Friendly,” and for a lot of good reasons. However, among travelers and bloggers, this friendliness has extended to even their budget plans, with a lot of places to enjoy for just a small fee. Start with Route 66, the historical highway made famous in TV shows, songs, and novels. Its length is home to several attractions such as the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum – a lasting homage to the American culture over the decades with its classic cars and neon signage. Another landmark along Route is the Oklahoma State Capitol, which allows tours and visits for absolutely free.
If you’re planning for a summer vacation, OKC takes The Big Friendly and puts it in your budget. Blue Hole Park in Salina is a famous summer destination with its clear, cool waters perfect for a summer dip. What makes it better is that you only need to pay 10 USD for an entire carload. Another summer destination good for you and your pocket is the Gage Artesian Beach to literally swim in mineral water for just 2 USD per head.
For yet another taste of that nostalgic American feel, try any of the city’s Drive – In Theaters. The most popular are the Beacon Drive – In Theater in Guthrie, the Chief Drive – In Theater in Ninnekah or the Admiral Twin Drive – In in Tulsa. Tickets at these places only cost around 7 USD per movie.
2. Fort Worth, Texas
This historic town in the Lone Star State still keeps most of the lifestyle from the Wild West for visitors to see – and still at humble prices. For those of you interested in experiencing cowboy history firsthand, the Fort Worth Stockyards is definitely the best choice to visit. The cowboys conduct daily demonstrations of cattle – driving as well as holding theater plays. The Stockyard also has a camp for both children and adults to experience a day in the life of a cowboy.
While zoos may appear commonplace, it is still worth noting that there are a couple of these in the United States which stand out from the ordinary fare. Fort Worth Zoo is one of those zoos in the US, mainly because it has been repeatedly featured in travel and lifestyle magazines with its assortment of about 5,000 animals – both exotic and native.
3. Jacksonville, Florida
Florida is, first and foremost, famous for its beaches – from the long stretches of pristine sand and clear waters to the long stretches of parties guaranteed to make everyone feel at home. Jacksonville alone has three well- known beach strips – Jacksonville, Neptune, and Atlantic Beach. Most of the hotels have beachfront rooms available. Still, offering the most bang for your buck will include the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center, the La Quinta Inn and Suites, and the Red Roof Inn.
Another must – see destination in Jacksonville is the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, located close to the city’s River Walk. This rather underrated spot has a museum featuring the works of mostly contemporary artists from the region. The other half, a sprawling outdoor garden also including ponds and statues captures both locals and tourists, especially in the summer and spring, when most of the flowers are in full bloom. Admissions for the Cummer Museum vary, starting from 10 USD for adults down to zero USD for children below 5 years of age. Senior citizens, those in the service, and even students are also entitled to discounts.
4. Phoenix, Arizona
If you’re looking for something new for your next vacation, perhaps a break from the populous tourist destinations such as New York City, Washington D. C, or Miami in Florida, you should try considering Phoenix as your next stop. With its generally subtropical climate, it will make most days of your travel good and memorable with its own picturesque places often having the desert as the background.
Setting your financial woes aside, Phoenix’s public transport will be your biggest ally. Its Valley Metro rail – the local regional transit system – is comfortable, affordable, and is accessible to and from most tourist destinations. Better yet, make use of the hotel rewards card available from most hotels in the city to earn points and enjoy perks. Speaking of hotels, you will never fall short of options if you are looking for hotel and accommodation for less than a hundred dollars a night.
For golfers, Phoenix is one of the top spots in the US. Even though the first thing that comes to mind is the arid climate and the abundance of desert scenery, Phoenix is home to about 200 golf courses and regularly hosts state and national golfing competitions. Another attraction is the Heard Museum, which houses Native American artworks and artifacts from the first settlers of what is now Phoenix and neighboring areas. The museum also hosts events, festivals, and contests – all in its effort to bring the Native American art and life to a wider audience.
5. Las Vegas, Nevada
While this is the city best known for gambling and casinos and the high rolling life in general, it also makes for a budget friendly travel destination – unless you have a separate plan and purse for the betting tables.
For starters, accommodation in Las Vegas can be really cheap since most hotels already turn a good profit from the casinos and there are a growing number of Las Vegas Airbnb rentals you may consider. Circus Circus, for example, starts at just 21 USD per night. Children will definitely enjoy the casino hotel’s circus acts and carnival – type games at the Carnival Midway. There are also theme park rides available for all ages. Also, gambling aside, there are a lot of museums and art galleries near the famous Las Vegas Strip. Start with the Barrick Museum, which showcases five decades of American contemporary artwork capturing a variety of topics for 5 USD. Another venue to look out for is the free admissions Contemporary Arts Center, which has an ever – changing exhibit showing works by contemporary artists.
As a final point for those of you interested in visiting the Sin City, if you do intend to gamble a little bit, try to hold your horses and avoid placing bets right off the bat at the airport. The slot machines are generally not under the Nevada Gaming Commission and therefore, offer less payout. Also, when checking into your accommodation of choice, be sure to check the resort fees – some of them include resort fees which cover amenities you may or may not pursue during your stay.