With the high cost of living, soaring airfare, and ongoing inflation, travelers are looking for ways to balance costs when on vacation.
Typically, the costs associated with plane tickets and accommodations take the biggest bites out of travel budgets and leave travelers with limited options when it comes to finding cheaper rates.
One way travelers can save money when traveling is by looking for activities and attractions that are free.
Recently, the news site USA Today asked its readers to select their favorite places to go in the U.S. that are free to visit.
The results? A fantastic selection of attractions across the country allow visitors to explore without ever needing to take out their wallets.
Saving money on activities leaves more in the bank for dining out, staying at a nicer hotel, or spending more time in your destination.
Here are our 5 favorite free attractions curated from the USA Today Top 10:
Freedom Trail, Boston, MA
One of the great things about visiting Boston is that you can easily walk across the city. Its compact size and the multitude of historical sites make the Freedom Trail a great way to explore the city on foot.
Walking the Freedom Trail is a great way to navigate Boston – not only because it takes you past important sites like the Paul Revere House and the USS Constitution but also because it traverses some of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods that you might otherwise miss.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina And Tennessee
As the country’s most visited National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a wonderland for nature lovers.
Spanning 800 square miles, visitors have plenty of places to roam and recharge away from the stresses of life.
Visitors can explore the park on a bike, foot, car, or even horse, and there are so many different things to do. One of the most popular ways to spend a day is exploring the park’s beautiful waterfalls.
The most popular (and often most crowded) waterfall is the 80-foot Laurel Falls. However, there are plenty of other off-the-path waterfalls to discover, including several where you can stop for a dip along the way.
Independence National Historical Park – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Take a step back in time and experience the nation’s founding at the site of some of the most significant events in American history.
The park has an incredible amount of history to impart to its visitors, which can easily turn into information overload.
Need to recharge and let all you’ve learned to sink in? The park has several gardens that provide the perfect place for quiet contemplation.
One such space is the 18th Century Garden which has been planted with plants that were common in Philadelphia during the 1700s and is a great spot to relax.
Redwood National and State Parks – California
Situated along the Northern California coast, the Redwood National and State Parks are best known for being the home to the world’s tallest trees.
But what people don’t think about are the other landscapes that are protected within the parks. Visitors can explore native prairies, raging rivers, and 40 miles of California’s rocky, rugged coast.
One surprising destination within the park is the Klamath River Radar Station B-71, an early warning radar station and a relic from World War II.
The radar station was disguised as a farmhouse but contained all the necessary equipment for radar detection.
Central Park, New York City
Visitors to New York City could easily spend several days exploring everything contained within Central Park. The 843 acres provide respite from the busy streets and have many hidden gems to discover.
One unique feature worth visiting in Central Park is Cleopatra’s Needle, an Egyptian Obelisk dating back to 1425 BCE. The Obelisk was gifted to the U.S. by the Egyptian government in the 1870s and has been standing proud ever since.
Other Top Free Attractions
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
Venice Beach, Venice Florida
Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Juno Beach, Florida
TECO Manatee Viewing Center, Apollo Beach, Florida
The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com