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Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

The United States is home to a wide range of vacation spots that offer plenty of things to do at reasonable prices. U.S. News, with the help of expert opinion and user votes, ranked the best value vacations America has to offer. Use this list to help pick your next affordable domestic destination, and don't forget to vote for your choice getaway below to help shape next year's list.

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#1 Grand Canyon

#1 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

It doesn't get more affordable than camping, and the views from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon are priceless. Save even more by visiting on one of the National Park Service's free entrance days. Read More »

Grand Canyon at sunset View 35 photos
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#2 Glacier National Park

#2 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

A favorite destination for hikers, Glacier National Park borders Canada from the northern edge of Montana. After paying the nominal entrance fee, you can hike, swim and climb to your heart's content. There are nature centers and small parks to rest in after you've exhausted yourself. Read More »

Glacier National Park View 23 photos
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#3 Anchorage

#3 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

Anchorage is home to more than 40 percent of Alaska's population, and many of the state's visitors pass through Anchorage on their way to the northern wilderness. Exploring the nature to the north is free (if you already have gear), but be sure to take advantage of the interesting shops and reasonably priced museums in town as well. Read More »

The city of Anchorage View 19 photos
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#4 Gatlinburg

#4 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

It's all about the outdoors in this Tennessee town. Home to three entrances to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg shines in the fall when the leaves change colors. If the weather doesn’t support outdoor activities, take in the views from the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram or spend the day at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Read More »

Gatlinburg Main View 14 photos
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#5 Williamsburg

#5 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

This Virginia town is both affordable and educational. Step back in time at Colonial Williamsburg and then head to the Williamsburg Premium Outlets for a discounted shopping spree. Visit in the fall or spring to avoid extreme temperatures. Read More »

Colonial Williamsburg View 29 photos
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#6 Olympic National Park

#6 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

With nearly 1 million acres to explore, Olympic National Park in northwest Washington state offers visitors panoramic views of glacier-capped mountains and temperate rainforests. The best time to visit the park is between July and August, when the weather is warmest. Read More »

Olympic National Park View 24 photos
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#7 Portland, OR

#7 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

Portland, Oregon, is home to countless craft breweries and boutique shops, but this Pacific Northwest destination also offers many budget-friendly activities to keep you from breaking the bank. Powell's City of Books is free to peruse, while the 5-acre International Rose Test Garden offers free tours at 1 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Read More »

Portland in the Fall View 50 photos
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#8 San Antonio

#8 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

Home to the legendary Alamo and River Walk, San Antonio is continuously buzzing with things to do. While hotels and restaurants in the heart of the city will charge a pretty penny for their convenient location, room rates here are still cheaper than other Texas travel destinations. Read More »

San Antonio River Walk View 20 photos
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#9 Memphis

#9 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

Immerse yourself in musical history in Memphis, Tennessee. Visit Elvis Presley's kingdom at Graceland, tour the birthplace of rock 'n' roll at Sun Studio and groove to the live music along Beale Street. Read More »

Beale Street View 46 photos
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#10 Sequoia National Park

#10 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

This park in central California is known for its giant sequoia groves, and you're guaranteed to see hundreds of the massive namesake trees just driving through the park. Make the most of your modestly priced park pass by leaving the car and exploring Crystal Cave and the variety of hiking trails. Read More »

Sequoia National Park View 17 photos
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#11 Colorado Springs

#11 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

Sitting on the border of the Colorado Rockies and the Great Plains, Colorado Springs is easily accessible from all around the country. Once you arrive in town, you can enjoy the bevy of free attractions. Picnic between the red rocks that make up the Garden of the Gods or take a dip in the creek within North Cheyenne Cañon Park. Read More »

Colorado Springs View 31 photos
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#12 Albuquerque

#12 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

Visit Albuquerque, New Mexico, for one of its many festivals, such as the unique International Balloon Fiesta or the monthly ARTScrawl free gallery tours. Or, stay grounded and visit the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum (free Sunday mornings and the first Friday of every month). If you can stand the heat, you'll find even deeper discounts in the summer. Read More »

Mass Ascension View 34 photos
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#13 Salt Lake City

#13 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

With average hotel prices hovering around $150 per night or less, an inexpensive trip to Salt Lake City is possible year-round. Save money on activities by participating in free events in Temple Square. Read More »

Red Temple View 21 photos
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#14 Nags Head

#14 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

Spending time in the sun is the main reason to make the trip to Nags Head, part of the Outer Banks region of North Carolina. In addition to lounging on the sand, visitors can explore Nags Head's piers and lighthouses. Fall and spring are the best seasons to visit, thanks to fewer crowds and lower prices for accommodations.

Nags Head
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#15 Greenville, SC

#15 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

Greenville has a surprising number of free and unique attractions that make it an appealing vacation spot for budget-friendly travelers. Visitors can partake in activities like hiking Falls Park on the Reedy or perusing art at the Greenville County Museum of Art. All this will leave your budget intact to feast on local dishes in this under-the-radar foodie destination.  Read More »

Greenville Aerial View 22 photos
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#16 Killington

#16 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

Known for its downhill ski resorts, Killington, Vermont, attracts East Coast skiers who don't want to break the bank to travel west. And it offers travelers more than affordable lift tickets. The famous Appalachian Trail (free to access) cuts through town, so hikers and backpackers will instantly feel at home here. Mountain biking and adventure sports are fun summer activities, while skiing and snowshoeing are popular in the winter.

Killington
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#17 The Finger Lakes

#17 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

The 11 Finger Lakes of upstate New York are an outdoor enthusiast's playground. There are numerous state parks to explore for a low entrance fee, or visitors can visit the nearby museums. Money saved will be worth it because travelers can spend it at the wineries in the region. Read More »

Finger Lakes View 23 photos
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#18 Raleigh

#18 in Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

You can take advantage of free admission at most museums in North Carolina's capital as well as access to public green spaces such as Pullen Park and the Neuse River Trail. What's more, you'll find distinct barbecue at affordable prices. Read More »

Pullen Park View 18 photos
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