Many Americans have a narrow idea of a good destination for a vacation. Some families keep it simple with annual trips to Disney World or the beach. Some couples just have to go for that Mediterranean cruise or a romantic getaway to St. Lucia. However, cheaper destinations can offer just as much fun as an all inclusive resort. With the right attitude, a fixed, vacation budget can become an asset. Like binge eating, expensive vacations may stuff the senses, but can leave us with guilt and nasty reminders of overindulgence, such as mountains of credit card bills. Why not save money while exploring all the richness of America with a cheaper destination?
1. St. Augustine, Florida
The oldest city in America is full of charm and boasts a beautiful bay. Attractions include the Castillo de San Marcos, a castle built by the Spanish to defend its claims in the New World and the Hotel Ponce de Leon, located in Flagler College.
2. Huntsville, Alabama
U.S. Space and Rocket Center (including Space Camp)
The Rocket Center is a good value and a visit can make for an engrossing day. Huntsville has affordable lodging and dining.
3. Washington, D.C.
Our nation’s capital has many free landmarks and wonders like the Lincoln Memorial alone make it worth the trip.
4. Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is home to the other big Mardi Gras celebration. The Mardi Gras Museum is cheap and fascinating. Convenient to many great beaches, Mobile’s history and affordability make it a worthy destination.
5. Nashville, Tennessee
The competitive music scene in Nashville ensures that visitors can expect to hear upcoming talents firsthand. With a great zoo, museums, and free attractions like Fort Nashborough and the mall/ lobby of the Gaylord Opryland Resort, Nashville is a great, all-around trip.
6. Asheville, North Carolina
Biltmore, a huge mansion and estate built by a Vanderbilt in the 19th century, is Asheville’s main attraction and isn’t cheap, but Asheville is affordable. After a grand day at Biltmore, the Smoky Mountains will beckon.
7. Fredericksburg, Virginia
A trip to Fredericksburg can be rich for history buffs. From ghost tours to a trip to George Washington’s boyhood home, this city has much to see and do in an affordable way.
8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
From the site of the Continental Congress to beautiful Longwood Gardens, a trip to Philadelphia provides rich memories for years to come. Philadelphia offers a cheaper Northeast experience and is also the home of Rocky Balboa. During my trip to Philly, my mother got an autograph from Philadelphia’s real-life boxing sensation, Joe Fraser.
9. Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore’s seafood, great museums and sunset cruises make it a great trip for an ocean lover.
10. Troutville, Virginia
Troutville is a quaint town in Virginia accessible to the historic Jamestown area. Quiet and affordable, it is a nice respite and is a sentimental favorite to me and my husband.
America is a large nation full of hidden treasures. While Disney World will always make a great trip, sometimes thinking outside the box when planning your vacation can yield rich rewards. With the right attitude and a sense of adventure, any visitor can have a world-class experience right in America.