You know who loves free stuff? Everybody. Especially when you’re traveling. So whether you’re taking a summer vacation across America or enjoying a staycation in your hometown, you’ll be happy to know that some of the coolest and most iconic attractions are no-cost.
So put your wallets away and bookmark this list of free worldly pursuits from New York City to Los Angeles and many cities in between. You can see my full list over on the TripAdvisor blog, but here’s a sneak peek so you can start checking these American must-do’s off your travel bucket list asap. After all, it’s not like you’ve got anything to lose.
The Freedom Trail, Boston
Many Boston neighborhoods feel like outdoor museums, but the Freedom Trail is the ultimate. Follow the red line and you’re on a 2.5-mile historic trail that leads you past unique historic sites from the American Revolution. The Freedom Trail app isn’t free, but the $4.99 price tag goes to preserve the buildings you’ll see.
The Getty Center, Los Angeles
This complex of art, architecture, and gardens is rated the #1 thing to do in L.A. by the TripAdvisor community. In summertime on Fridays and Saturdays it’s open till 9:00 pm so you can enjoy the sunset and twilight views. The Getty Villa, the collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, is free too. There’s a parking fee of $15 per car, but that fee covers parking at both sites, and the sites are also accessible by public transit.
The National September 11 Memorial, New York City
Entry to the September 11 Museum costs $24, but you can take in the Memorial for free. #4 on TripAdvisor’s list of the most popular landmarks in America, it’s an eight-acre park with twin reflecting pools that sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America.
New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, New Orleans
This is the place for free live educational jazz performances, presented both at the Old U.S. Mint and at the Park’s French Market Visitor Center. Even the park rangers perform! Concerts are live streamed; listen in here and you’ll be itching to book a trip to NOLA.
The Smithsonian Museums, Washington, D.C.
Is there any U.S. city that’s a better bargain for museum lovers than Washington, D.C.? The National Gallery of Art (rated the #1 thing to do in D.C. by TripAdvisor travelers), the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (rated #5), the National Air and Space Museum (#10), and all the other favorites on the National Mall are free, as are top landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial (rated #2), the Washington Monument, and much more.