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Cheap Travel Destinations In The USA


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Marabel Senn



Exploring new destinations and embarking on exciting adventures doesn’t have to break the bank. The United States is home to countless affordable travel destinations, offering a wide range of experiences for budget-conscious travelers. From stunning natural wonders to vibrant cities teeming with culture, there are plenty of options to satisfy your wanderlust without draining your savings.


In this article, we will take a closer look at ten cheap travel destinations in the USA that offer a balance between affordability and unforgettable experiences. Whether you prefer breathtaking landscapes, lively music scenes, delicious cuisine, or historical charm, there is something for everyone on this list.


Each destination has its own unique appeal and highlights, making it a must-visit for budget travelers. So get ready to pack your bags, grab your camera, and embark on a memorable journey without worrying about breaking the bank.


Without further ado, let’s dive into our list of cheap travel destinations in the USA, where you can create lifelong memories without emptying your wallet.


Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon National Park, located in Arizona, is a natural wonder that offers breathtaking views and endless opportunities for adventure. Not only is it a bucket-list destination, but it is also surprisingly affordable for travelers.


One of the best aspects of visiting the Grand Canyon is that you can experience its magnificence without spending a fortune. Entrance fees for the park are reasonable, and there are numerous affordable camping and lodging options available within and nearby the park, making it an ideal destination for budget travelers.


Once you’ve arrived at the Grand Canyon, you can enjoy a variety of activities without breaking the bank. Hiking and exploring the trails are free, and the park offers ranger-led programs and talks that provide insightful information about the park’s geological history and natural wonders. Furthermore, the Grand Canyon has several free shuttle bus routes that allow visitors to navigate through the park easily.


For an unparalleled perspective of the Grand Canyon, consider taking a helicopter or airplane tour. While these experiences may come with a cost, they offer a breathtaking experience that is worth every penny.


In addition to its natural beauty, the Grand Canyon also offers affordable dining options and souvenir shops within the park. Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch with a view or opt for reasonably priced meals at the park’s restaurants and cafes.


Overall, the Grand Canyon National Park is a budget-friendly destination that allows visitors to immerse themselves in one of nature’s most remarkable wonders. Whether you choose to hike the trails, take in the panoramic views, or simply relax and soak in the serene atmosphere, a visit to the Grand Canyon is an experience that will leave you in awe, without breaking the bank.


Austin, Texas

Austin, the capital of Texas, is a vibrant city known for its live music scene, eclectic culture, and delicious cuisine. Despite its popularity, Austin remains an affordable destination for budget-conscious travelers.


Exploring the music scene is a must-do when visiting Austin. Many bars and venues offer live music performances with little to no cover charge. From local bands to renowned artists, you can immerse yourself in the diverse music culture without spending a fortune. Make sure to check out the famous Austin City Limits Music Festival which showcases both established and emerging artists.


When it comes to outdoor activities, Austin doesn’t disappoint. The city is home to several beautiful parks and green spaces, such as Zilker Park and Lady Bird Lake. Take a stroll, have a picnic, or rent a kayak to explore the scenic waterways. The best part? Most of these outdoor activities are either free or very affordable.


Austin is also renowned for its food scene, offering a mix of traditional Texan cuisine and international flavors. Food trucks and local eateries are scattered throughout the city, providing delicious and budget-friendly options. Don’t miss the chance to try some mouthwatering barbecue, Tex-Mex dishes, and unique fusion cuisines.


Exploring Austin’s cultural side is also a must. Visit the Bullock Texas State History Museum or the Blanton Museum of Art, which both offer free admission on certain days. Additionally, explore the vibrant street art scene by taking a walk around the famous Graffiti Park or the South Congress Avenue district.


When it comes to accommodations, Austin offers a wide range of affordable options, from budget-friendly hotels to cozy Airbnb rentals. Look for accommodations in the areas surrounding downtown to find affordable prices without sacrificing proximity to the city’s main attractions.


Austin’s friendly atmosphere, diverse culture, and budget-friendly offerings make it an excellent choice for travelers seeking an affordable and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a music lover, a food enthusiast, or an outdoor adventurer, Austin has something to offer for everyone, without breaking the bank.


New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana, is a city rich in history, culture, and vibrant energy. It is known for its lively music scene, unique cuisine, and captivating Mardi Gras celebrations. Despite its reputation as a popular tourist destination, New Orleans offers plenty of affordable options for budget travelers.


One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the culture of New Orleans is through its music. Walk down the streets of the French Quarter, where you can enjoy live jazz performances in bars and clubs, many of which have no cover charge. The annual French Quarter Festival and other free music festivals throughout the year are also great opportunities to experience the city’s music scene without spending a fortune.


No visit to New Orleans would be complete without trying its famous cuisine. Indulge in delicious and affordable dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, beignets, and po’ boys from local eateries and food stalls. For budget-friendly options, head to the local markets and food halls, such as the French Market and St. Roch Market, where you can find a variety of mouthwatering meals at reasonable prices.


Exploring the historic neighborhoods of New Orleans is a must. Take a walk through the charming streets of the Garden District or the colorful houses of the Bywater neighborhood. Visit the historic Jackson Square and stroll along the picturesque Mississippi Riverfront. Most of these activities are free and offer a glimpse into the city’s unique architectural and cultural heritage.


Another budget-friendly activity in New Orleans is exploring its vibrant street art scene. From the colorful murals in the Marigny neighborhood to the eccentric creations in the Bywater area, you can spend hours admiring the city’s artistic expressions on a self-guided walking tour.


For affordable accommodations, consider staying in guesthouses or bed and breakfasts located outside of the French Quarter. These options can provide a unique and affordable experience while still being within easy reach of the city’s main attractions.


New Orleans’ rich history, vibrant culture, and unique charm make it an ideal destination for budget travelers looking for an immersive and affordable experience. Whether you’re enchanted by the music, tantalized by the cuisine, or captivated by the city’s historical sites, New Orleans offers a vibrant and unforgettable experience without breaking the bank.


Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee, is renowned as the “Music City” and is a hub of country music and Southern hospitality. It’s a city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment, making it an exciting and affordable destination for travelers.


One of the main attractions in Nashville is its music scene. Numerous venues throughout the city offer live performances, ranging from iconic honky-tonks on Broadway to intimate songwriters’ nights. Many of these performances have no cover charge, allowing you to enjoy the city’s musical talent without spending a fortune.


While in Nashville, make sure to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, which provides insight into the history of country music and offers interactive exhibits. The best part is that the museum offers free admission on certain days, allowing you to explore this iconic attraction without breaking the bank.


Nashville is also a city with a rich culinary scene. Indulge in Southern cuisine, such as hot chicken and barbecue, at local eateries and food trucks. For those on a budget, the city offers a variety of affordable dining options, including “meat-and-three” establishments that serve home-style meals at affordable prices.


When it comes to enjoying the outdoors, Centennial Park is a must-visit destination. This urban park, located near the Parthenon replica, offers green spaces, walking trails, and even a full-scale replica of the ancient Greek temple. It’s a perfect spot for picnics, enjoying nature, and even attending free outdoor concerts and events held throughout the year.


Nashville’s rich history can be experienced through a visit to the Historic RCA Studio B, where legendary artists such as Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton recorded their music. The studio offers guided tours at an affordable price and provides a fascinating glimpse into the city’s music heritage.


When it comes to accommodations, Nashville offers a range of budget-friendly options, including affordable hotels, cozy guesthouses, and budget-friendly Airbnb rentals. Consider staying slightly outside the city center to find more affordable options while still being within easy reach of the main attractions.


Nashville’s charm, vibrant music scene, and affordable offerings make it a fantastic destination for budget travelers. Whether you’re a music enthusiast, a foodie, or someone looking to explore the city’s history and culture, Nashville has something for everyone without breaking the bank.


Asheville, North Carolina

Located in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Asheville is a hidden gem that offers a mix of natural beauty, vibrant arts scene, and unique Southern charm. Despite its growing popularity, Asheville remains an affordable destination for budget-conscious travelers.


One of the main attractions in Asheville is the breathtaking natural scenery. The city is surrounded by picturesque mountains and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. Explore the Blue Ridge Parkway, hike through the lush trails of Pisgah National Forest, or visit the cascading waterfalls of Dupont State Recreational Forest. These outdoor adventures are not only affordable but also provide an unforgettable experience in the heart of nature.


Asheville is also known for its thriving arts and music culture. Take a stroll through the River Arts District, where you can admire local artists’ work at their studios. The city also hosts numerous art galleries and music venues that offer live performances, many of which are free or have a minimal cover charge. Don’t miss the vibrant drum circle that takes place every Friday evening in downtown Asheville.


When it comes to dining, Asheville is a food lover’s paradise. The city is home to a vibrant culinary scene, showcasing a range of cuisines from farm-to-table fare to international flavors. Visit the local farmers markets to sample fresh produce, or explore the many affordable restaurants and food trucks that offer delicious meals at reasonable prices.


Exploring the historic Biltmore Estate is a must-do when in Asheville. While the entry fee is a bit pricier, it offers a full day of exploration with access to the stunning mansion, manicured gardens, and winery. Plus, there are often discounted tickets available online or during certain times of the year.


Asheville also offers a range of affordable accommodations, including cozy bed and breakfasts, budget-friendly hotels, and rustic cabins. Consider staying in the outskirts of the city or in nearby towns to find more affordable options while still being close to Asheville’s attractions.


With its natural beauty, vibrant arts scene, and affordable offerings, Asheville is an ideal destination for budget travelers seeking a unique and captivating experience. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, an art lover, or a food connoisseur, Asheville offers a perfect blend of adventure, culture, and relaxation, all without breaking the bank.


Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon, is a city renowned for its quirky charm, stunning landscapes, and thriving food and drink scene. It’s also a destination that offers plenty of affordable options for budget-conscious travelers.


One of the best things about Portland is its emphasis on sustainability and outdoor activities. Explore the city’s extensive network of parks and trails, such as Forest Park and the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, which offer beautiful scenery and recreational opportunities. Biking is a popular mode of transportation in the city, and you can easily rent a bike to explore the many bike-friendly routes and attractions.


Portland is known for its vibrant food scene, featuring a wide array of food carts, farm-to-table restaurants, and craft breweries. Food carts are a unique and affordable way to indulge in different cuisines, making it easy to find budget-friendly meals that cater to your taste buds. Likewise, the city’s breweries offer tours and tastings at reasonable prices, allowing you to sample the local craft beers without breaking the bank.


Exploring Portland’s neighborhoods is a must-do when visiting the city. Take a stroll through the charming streets of the Pearl District, known for its art galleries and boutiques, or explore the quirky shops and cafes in the Hawthorne and Alberta neighborhoods. The city’s eclectic mix of independent bookstores, vintage shops, and unique stores ensure there is something to discover around every corner.


Portland is also a haven for coffee lovers, with an abundance of cozy cafes and roasteries scattered throughout the city. Sip on a delicious cup of locally roasted coffee while enjoying the city’s vibrant atmosphere and unique coffee culture.


For accommodations, Portland offers a range of affordable options, including budget-friendly hotels, hostels, and Airbnb rentals. Consider staying in neighborhoods like the Alberta Arts District or the Mississippi Avenue District to find more affordable options while still being close to the city’s main attractions.


With its vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes, and affordable offerings, Portland is a fantastic choice for budget travelers seeking a unique and laid-back experience. Whether you’re exploring the city’s neighborhoods, indulging in its culinary delights, or immersing yourself in its creative scene, Portland offers a perfect blend of affordability and unforgettable experiences.


San Antonio, Texas

Located in the heart of Texas, San Antonio is a city known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and iconic landmarks. It’s also a budget-friendly destination, offering a variety of affordable attractions and activities for travelers.


One of the main highlights of San Antonio is the historic Alamo. This iconic Spanish mission played a significant role in the state’s history and is now a popular tourist destination. The Alamo offers free admission, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the stories and heritage of Texas without needing to spend money.


Another must-visit attraction is the famous River Walk. This scenic network of walkways along the San Antonio River is lined with shops, restaurants, and charming cafes. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the river, or opt for a boat ride to explore the area. The River Walk is free to access and offers picturesque views of the city.


San Antonio boasts a vibrant food scene influenced by its Mexican and Tex-Mex heritage. Sample delicious tacos, enchiladas, and other traditional dishes at affordable local eateries and food trucks. Market Square, also known as El Mercado, is a great place to experience the flavors of San Antonio without breaking your budget.


For a cultural experience, visit the Pearl District, a vibrant neighborhood filled with shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Explore the Farmers’ Market at the Pearl, where you can find fresh produce and local treats. The district also hosts free concerts, art exhibitions, and other events throughout the year.


San Antonio is home to several beautiful parks, including Brackenridge Park and the Japanese Tea Garden. These green spaces offer opportunities for picnics, walks, and relaxation amid nature’s beauty, all at no cost.


When it comes to affordable accommodations, San Antonio offers a range of options. From budget-friendly hotels to inexpensive guesthouses and hostels, there are plenty of affordable places to stay in the city. Consider staying outside the downtown area to find more budget-friendly accommodations.


With its fascinating history, vibrant culture, and affordable attractions, San Antonio is a city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re exploring the historic sites, indulging in delicious cuisine, or enjoying the scenic beauty of the River Walk, San Antonio allows you to experience the charm of Texas without breaking your budget.


Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, is a city brimming with Southern charm, rich history, and beautiful architecture. It’s also a destination that offers affordable experiences and a captivating blend of culture and natural beauty.


One of Charleston’s main attractions is its historic district. Take a leisurely stroll through the cobblestone streets as you admire the well-preserved architecture and charming pastel-colored houses. Many historic sites, such as Rainbow Row and the Nathaniel Russell House, offer affordable guided tours, allowing you to delve into the city’s captivating history and cultural heritage.


Exploring the city’s natural beauty is a must-do when in Charleston. Visit the stunning Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, where you can walk through beautiful gardens, see unique wildlife, and learn about the area’s history. The entrance fee is reasonable and includes access to the gardens and several exhibits.


Charleston is also known for its mouthwatering cuisine, particularly its seafood and lowcountry dishes. Sample shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and other Southern delicacies at local restaurants and seafood markets. For budget-friendly options, venture away from the tourist hotspots and explore the neighborhoods where the locals dine.


The city’s vibrant arts and culture scene is also worth exploring. Visit the Gibbes Museum of Art, which features a variety of exhibitions showcasing the works of local and international artists. Additionally, the city hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, many of which are free or have a nominal admission fee.


Charleston’s beautiful beaches are another draw for visitors. Sullivan’s Island and Folly Beach offer the perfect opportunity to relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the ocean breeze. Access to these public beaches is typically free or has a small parking fee.


Charleston offers a range of affordable accommodations, from budget-friendly hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts. Consider staying in the surrounding areas of the city to find more affordable options while still being within a short drive of the main attractions.


With its historic charm, culinary delights, and affordable attractions, Charleston provides a memorable experience for budget travelers. Whether you’re exploring the picturesque streets, savoring the flavors of Southern cuisine, or enjoying the coastal beauty, Charleston offers a perfect blend of affordability and Southern hospitality.


Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri, is a vibrant city known for its rich jazz history, delicious barbecue, and thriving arts scene. It’s also a budget-friendly destination that offers a mix of cultural attractions and affordable experiences.


One of the highlights of Kansas City is its jazz heritage. The city has a thriving jazz scene, and many establishments offer live performances for little to no cover charge. Head to the 18th and Vine District, where you can visit the American Jazz Museum and the historic Blue Room jazz club to immerse yourself in the city’s musical history.


When it comes to barbecue, Kansas City is a foodie’s paradise. Indulge in mouthwatering ribs, burnt ends, and other delicious barbecue dishes at the city’s numerous smokehouses and restaurants. Many local barbecue joints offer affordable lunch specials, making it easy to savor the flavors of Kansas City without breaking the bank.


Explore the city’s art scene by visiting the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which offers free admission to its permanent collection. This world-class museum showcases an impressive collection of artwork from various periods and cultures. The outdoor sculpture park, which is also free to access, is a perfect spot for a leisurely walk and to admire incredible works of art.


Kansas City has several beautiful parks and green spaces that offer the perfect opportunity to enjoy nature. Loose Park, Swope Park, and the Kauffman Memorial Garden are just a few examples where you can take a stroll, have a picnic, or even attend free outdoor concerts and events during the summer months.


For affordable accommodations, Kansas City offers a range of options, including budget-friendly hotels and budget-friendly accommodations. Consider staying near the Country Club Plaza area for convenient access to attractions and amenities.


With its rich cultural offerings, delicious cuisine, and budget-friendly experiences, Kansas City is a fantastic choice for travelers seeking an affordable and memorable destination. Whether you’re immersing yourself in the city’s jazz heritage, savoring the mouthwatering barbecue, or exploring its vibrant arts scene, Kansas City offers a perfect blend of affordability and cultural richness.


Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah, is a hidden gem nestled in the stunning backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains. Known for its outdoor recreational opportunities, rich history, and vibrant arts scene, Salt Lake City offers affordable experiences for budget-conscious travelers.


One of the main draws of Salt Lake City is its proximity to exceptional outdoor adventure. Within a short drive, you can explore the breathtaking landscapes of Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon, which offer hiking, skiing, and mountain biking opportunities. The best part is that many of these outdoor activities can be enjoyed free of charge or for a nominal fee.


No visit to Salt Lake City is complete without venturing to Temple Square. This iconic landmark serves as the headquarters for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and offers free guided tours of its historic buildings and gardens. Explore the grounds, learn about the city’s pioneering history, and admire the stunning architecture without spending a dime.


Salt Lake City is home to a burgeoning arts and culture scene. Visit the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, located on the University of Utah campus, which offers free admission on certain days. Additionally, you can explore the galleries and studios in the downtown area, where you’ll find a wide range of art exhibitions and events.


For a taste of local cuisine, try the city’s famous fry sauce or savor a delicious pastrami burger. Salt Lake City has a variety of affordable dining options, including food trucks, local cafes, and family-owned restaurants. Visit the historic Salt Lake City Public Market to sample local produce and artisanal goods.


When it comes to accommodations, Salt Lake City offers a range of options to suit all budgets. From budget-friendly hotels to affordable vacation rentals, you can find comfortable and affordable places to stay in various neighborhoods within the city.


With its stunning natural surroundings, cultural attractions, and affordable offerings, Salt Lake City is a hidden gem for budget travelers. Whether you’re exploring the outdoors, immersing yourself in the city’s history and culture, or indulging in delicious local cuisine, Salt Lake City offers a balance between affordability and unforgettable experiences.



Traveling and exploring new destinations doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. The United States offers a plethora of affordable travel destinations that provide an abundance of unique experiences. From natural wonders to vibrant cities, there is something for everyone, even those on a budget.


Throughout this article, we have highlighted ten cheap travel destinations in the USA that offer a balance between affordability and unforgettable experiences. From the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon to the lively streets of Nashville and the historic charm of Charleston, these destinations provide a range of cultural, culinary, and outdoor adventures that won’t break the bank.


Many of these destinations offer affordable or free attractions and activities, allowing you to immerse yourself in their unique offerings without spending a fortune. Whether it’s enjoying live music performances, exploring historic sites, indulging in local cuisine, or experiencing the great outdoors, these destinations cater to a variety of interests and budgets.


Additionally, these destinations often provide budget-friendly accommodation options, including budget hotels, cozy guesthouses, or affordable vacation rentals. By strategically planning your trip, exploring local dining options, and taking advantage of free or low-cost attractions, you can create an unforgettable and affordable travel experience.


Remember, budget travel doesn’t mean sacrificing quality or missing out on incredible experiences. By choosing one of these cheap travel destinations in the USA, you can explore new places, create cherished memories, and make the most of your travel budget.


So, pack your bags, embrace adventure, and embark on a budget-friendly journey through the diverse and captivating landscapes of the United States. Happy travels!