Best Cities for a Weekend Getaway (Without Breaking the Bank)

Play dates, meetings, appointments and meetings fill our daily lives, devouring every moment like an insatiable monster. Most of us would love to get away from the daily grind occasionally, but, more often than not, the cost of vacationing makes “Netflix and chill” more attractive than hitting the open road.

A fun weekend getaway doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, however. If you crave a couple of days taking in the sights, sounds, and cuisine of the big city, here are a few cheap travel tips that will tempt your wanderlust.

St. Louis, MO

The Lou isn’t really known as being a tourist destination, but this Missouri city offers a lot more than meets the eye. Situated on the beautiful Mississippi River, St. Louis is a metropolis with a small-town attitude.

Popular attractions that aren’t too pricey include a trip to the top of the Gateway Arch – an experience well worth the $13 price tag. $12 buys you a stroll through the Botanical Gardens, which is one of Missouri’s most beautiful attractions.

If beer is your beverage of choice, take a tour of the historic Budweiser Factory, where your $35 ticket even gets you free beer samplings! A stroll along the river at the Landing won’t cost you a dime, where you can watch the ferry boats glide by with the gorgeous Arch as an iconic backdrop to close out your day of exploring.

If you want to have a great experience while traveling on the cheap, St. Louis is the city for you.

Washington, D.C.

Are you a history buff with a limited budget? Washington D.C. is a fantastic destination for the frugal traveler. Aside from shelling out a little cash for lodging and food, there are many attractions in our nation’s capital that cost you nothing but a little wear and tear on your sneakers.

Tour the National Mall, visit the Smithsonian or any of a dozen landmarks that tell the story of our history. Grab a hot dog from a local vendor and hang out by the reflection pond. Love posting photos on social media? Washington D.C. is an Instagrammer’s dream!

There’s so much to see and do even on a limited budget, you will want to visit D.C. again and again..

Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Ohio may not be the first city you think of when you dream of the perfect weekend getaway. However, if you want a cheap place to travel that will be memorable, Cleveland offers some low-cost hidden gems to tickle your fancy.

Take a stroll down a musical memory lane at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, which overlooks beautiful Lake Erie. A ticket will set you back $26, a small price to pay for the wealth of historic displays of memorabilia you will get to view.

Just outside the doors, you can take in the breathtaking sights of one of the nation’s most stunning bodies of water – and it won’t cost you a dime! If you want to do a little exploring and grab a snack, check out the Westside Farmer’s Market located in the Ohio City District.

The Westside is a must-see historic building – it is like no other market you’ve ever seen. Choose from hundreds of farm-to-table options from every corner of the world; you definitely will not leave hungry! From unique architecture to eclectic cuisine, Cleveland Rocks!

Nashville, TN

The south isn’t all just cowboy boots and grits, y’all. While Nashville, TN has plenty of southern hospitality, the ‘Ville offers a little something for everyone. If you are packing your bags for Nashville, be prepared to spend a day enjoying a city full of art, great dining and yes – lots and lots of music. There are plenty of attractions in Nashville that keep your pennies in your pocket.

Check out the Parthenon – a full-scale replica of the original Greek Parthenon in Athens. You can explore this amazing landmark for only ten dollars. A $26 ticket to the Country Music Hall of Fame is a great way to learn the history and culture of the music of the south for a cheap price. If you want to get your groove on, Music Row features one of the best “pub crawl” destinations in the country.

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge has featured some of the greatest names in country and rock ‘n’ roll music, and still host up and coming acts every night. After your night of tunes and bright lights, head over to the Pancake Pantry for breakfast.

Ten bucks will get you the best stack of classic pancakes you’ve ever tasted in your life. Nashville is a cheap place to travel that will be a treat for both your ears and your taste buds.

Final thought

Too often, the word “vacation” makes us think of tourist traps, theme parks or lavish resorts that inevitably will empty your wallet. However, you can have a vacation full of memorable experiences without making your bank account cry. Tuck a few bucks in your pocket, grab your friends and head to one of these great American cities for an affordable adventure you’ll never forget.




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