Travelling on a budget can seem like a near impossible feat especially when travelling to such a large country like the United States. For those of you that wish to see all, yet not spend all, we have done the work and have put together the top ten things to do during your visit to the States. From national parks to cultural landmarks we have you covered. The following places span the whole of the US and offer a great selection of historical, cultural and oh so free things to do.
1. Boston Common, Massachusetts
Famed as America’s first park, Boston Common is historically significant because it is the first stop on the Freedom Trail which can be explored along with the field of flags. There lives Frog Pond which doubles as a splash pool in the summer and an ice rink in the winter, and it offers ample grassy areas for people to relax, hang out and play various sports.
2.Millennium Park, Chicago
Located in the center of Chicago, Millennium Park is home to various interactive art pieces such as the Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate commonly known as “The Bean”. There is an ice rink in the winter, a skatepark and two outdoor music venues where artists put on free performances for the public. It has all this and it’s only steps away from Lake Michigan which is another great spot to visit.
3.Grand Canyon, Arizona
Famed for making grown men cry this gargantuan hole in the ground is a must see for anyone planning on visiting the States. Gaze upon layers and layers of red rock revealing millions of years of geological history that will make you feel both insignificant and inspired. Argued to be the aftermath of the very same meteorites that killed off the dinosaurs make a day and gaze upon an overwhelming and humbling work of nature, preferably during sunset.
4.Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California
80,000 acres that not only offers an incredible view of the famous red suspension bridge, but also centuries of history spanning from the Native American settlement of California to the bustling metropolis of modern day San Francisco. The Golden Gate national Recreation area is located just north of the Marine Headlands and depending on the season offers whale watching at the Muri Beach Overlook. You can hike, bike, or ride to the ocean on the Tennessee Valley Trail, and camp at Kirby Cove with a panoramic view of the infamous Golden Gate Bridge.
5.Salvation Mountain, California
Deep in the California desert is an incredible hillside visionary environment which will just stun you. Completely man-made and 28 years in the making Salvation Mountain is the pinnacle of folk art. With various dome like structures that encompass numerous murals and areas painted with Bible verses and various intricate designs that is just so profoundly strange you won’t be able to keep your eye off it.
6.Pike Place Market, Washington
This market is one of the oldest running markets in the United States, having been open since 1907! Located in Seattle it overlooks the Elliot Bay waterfront and hold various events throughout the seasons. Events include art walks, cabaret shows, improv performances and so much more. Once you’re there you can also walk through the gum wall and even add to the mighty collection just a few feet away from the market.
7.Central Park, New York
Central Park is an iconic element which has become one of the aspects that defines New York City as being a one of best in the world. Famed as being one of the biggest parks in the world it also offers much to do without so much as a price tag. You can visit the zoo, stop by the Alice in Wonderland statue, and take a stroll through the conservatory garden among so much more.
8.The Heidelberg Project, Michigan
The Heidelberg Project is widely unknown, but is an incredible outdoor art installation created in the late 1980’s which transformed abandoned buildings in the McDougall-Hunt neighbourhood of Detroit, Michigan. On the streets you can find salvaged items and kids toys pinned to trees and park fences. Sculptures made of found objects in grassy fields, and old storefronts covered in hand built clocks. It spans several streets, parks, and houses and is a must see for anyone that finds themselves in the midwest.
9.Yosemite National Park, California
You can’t make a list of must see sights in the States and not include the most epic national park it possess. It really is as incredible as everyone describes it with its famed giant sequoia trees, iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Fall, and granite cliffs. It is truly incomparable as far as parks and is the best place to go camping. Beyond that there is hiking, biking, rock climbing, and so much more that is readily available for those that wish to connect with nature.
10.French Quarter Festival, Louisiana
The French Quarter Festival is a free music event that takes place every year in New Orleans and lasts for four days. Stages are set up on every corner and food is provided by local restaurants. The festival kicks off with a parade down Bourbon Street. It offers dance lessons, lectures, a children’s STEM zone, crafts, art vendors, and more!
By Laurentina Garcia