When you focus your travel plans on the cheapest American cities to visit, you get to see “Home Sweet Home” in a brand new light! Whether you focus your travel on a theme (like finding all the best sandwich shops!) or on seeing as much of the country as you can (from Texas to California to the Eastern coastline!) you’ll find that all kinds of amazing adventures await you in some of the cheapest cities to travel to in the US this year.
So if you’re trying to feed your travel bug while sticking to a budget, be sure to consider all of the cool things to do in your own backyard — or in the new and interesting backyards of any of the cheapest US cities to visit!
Take a look at the list below, complete with suggestions about things to do in these extraordinary places, and then get ready to learn how to make your trip to see cheap American cities even easier to afford!
Did someone say #staycation?! 10 cheapest US cities to visit
1. San Antonio, Texas
We know that San Antonio’s neighbor to the Northeast (Austin) gets a lot of positive press, but San Antonio has become a tourist destination of its own — and it happens to be one of the top ten cheapest places to travel to in the US! What’s even better is that San Antonio offers history, food, and all kinds of innovation along its beautiful Riverwalk to keep you busy!
Cheap things to do: See The Alamo; go to the San Antonio Missions National Park; pedal your way from restaurant to park to coffee shop on the super-affordable SWell Cycle bikes; and, take in any number of seasonal celebrations, like April’s Fiesta San Antonio!
2. San Diego, California
San Diego is known as having some of the most perfect weather systems in the US. When it comes to the cheapest cities in America to visit, you can’t go wrong with this gorgeous city right on the Pacific Ocean. You might think that the heavy tourism makes it hard to afford travel here, but it’s just the opposite, with hotels and accommodations for every budget!
Cheap things to do: Go to any of the beautiful beaches; bike, hike, rollerblade, surf, or walk along the coast, visit places like LEGOLAND or the San Diego Zoo; ride the ferry excursion from San Diego to Coronado; or just gaze at the water with the wind in your hair!
3. Kansas City, Missouri
There is so much more to Kansas City than its world-famous BBQ! While the food here is definitely top-notch, the art scene, and the abundance of free things to do here make it one of the most enjoyable, fun, and cheap cities to travel to in the US!
Cheap things to do: Take tours of any number of the breweries or distilleries in town; visit the Crossroads Art District for galleries and shops; or, spend some time volunteering with KC children at places like Kaleidoscope, helping school-aged children discover the wonders of art!
4. Atlanta, Georgia
Yes, the ATL brings us all kinds of pop-culture references, but there’s so much more to this Southern town! One of the cheapest US cities to visit, it’s also perfect for people who enjoy outdoor fun in the day, but also like to spend time dining and dancing at night! If you’re looking for a location that offers a balance, Atlanta could be just the place for you.
Cheap things to do: Grab a mountain bike and hit the trails; find your way to Stone Mountain Park; visit the childhood home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the National Park that bears his name; explore Centennial Olympic Park and attend an event there; see some art; make some puppets; and generally just have some fun with a discounted CityPASS to guide you!
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Are you ready for cheese-steaks, Liberty Bells, and some pretty great American history? If so, you’ll be glad to know that Philly is one of the best and cheapest American cities to visit — and offers something to view, see, and do for every budget! You can even use a CityPASS to save 40% on all kinds of otherwise costly attractions.
Cheap things to do: Grab a free ticket at the Philadelphia Visitor’s Center for a tour to Independence Hall; eat, drink, and do some merry-making at the Reading Terminal Market; get a cheese-steak at Geno’s and one at Pat’s King of Steaks and vote on which has the better sammy; or, go to the Constitution Center and participate in a civil debate!
6. Houston, Texas
What makes Houston one of the more fabulous (but also cheapest) cities to travel to in the US? Well, aside from the affordable hotel rates (including places like the Wanderstay Hostel with nightly rates of about $35!) you can get there easily, get around easily, and even travel from the city center to beaches of Galveston Island within an hour!
Cheap things to do: Get some playtime in at the Discovery Green Park; grab a blanket and attend an open-air concert at the Miller Outdoor Theater; pay tribute to history at the Holocaust Museum Houston; or, meditate and center yourself at the Rothko Chapel.
7. New Orleans, Louisiana
You might not immediately think of the “Big Easy” when you research cheap cities to travel to in the US, but with entertainment on every corner — and from one corner to the next — there are so many things to see, do, and eat in New Orleans, it’s bound to be an exceptional experience!
Cheap things to do: Get some beignets and coffee at Café du Monde; realize you could spend a whole year on Magazine Street alone; get yourself lost at City Park New Orleans; hop on the New Orleans Ferry; or pick any of the other places from the New Orleans Guide.
8. Denver, Colorado
Another one one of the cheapest places to travel to in the US is found high in the Rocky Mountains. A trip to Denver (AKA Mile High City) will have you on your way to food, fun, and all kinds of outdoor adventures. If you enjoy skiing, hiking, or biking, you’ll feel just as much at home as you will if your idea of a perfect vacation is taking tours and dining out!
Cheap things to do: See where the money gets made and take a tour at the United States Mint; check out the super cool Denver Story Site Tour; or, you can even travel to Pikes Peak for any number of big adventures; and, you can check out the deals on things to do, see, and eat using the resources posted to Denver’s tourism “Deals & Discounts” page.
9. Phoenix, Arizona
If you’re someone looking for a great destination for a road trip, be sure to put Phoenix on your list of cheap American cities — especially if you’re hoping to find a driver-friendly winter destination! It can be blazing hot in summers, and the absolute best deals can be found then, but if you’re not someone who loves the desert heat, then snag yourself an affordable RV rental, and get rolling!
Cheap things to do: Visit the Heard Museum to take in some exceptional Native American art and culture; learn and linger at the South Mountain Environmental Education Center; the desert is beautiful, and camping is both cheap and fun — but just remember that those hot days become cold, cold nights, so pack smart!
10. Memphis, Tennessee
Don’t let the thought of visiting the home of the blues give you the blues, especially when a trip to one of the cheapest cities in America to visit awaits! Memphis is located right along the Mississippi River and offers historical significance, food, music, art, and a large number of cultural festivals and carnivals all year-round.
Cheap things to do: Trace the footsteps of civil rights pioneers; go to Mud Island or any of the Memphis River parks; see the hippos at the Memphis Zoo; go to concerts, Beale Street or Sun Studios, or even take a trip to the glittery Graceland!
Use FundMyTravel to stay home OR go abroad
No matter what destination you choose among the cheapest American cities to visit, you can make your trip even more affordable by launching a targeted travel campaign on FundMyTravel! From the toolkit of free resources to the access to other successful campaigns for inspiration, it’s the perfect solution to helping you pay your way to the cheapest US cities to visit this year!
And, when you partner with the FundMyTravel platform, it’s just a matter of four easy steps to launch your campaign — and you’ll be on your way to some of the best cheap American cities, from those on this list to many more!
You don’t have to go far to find the cheapest cities in America to visit
Sometimes the best place to visit is just down the road, or right around the bend! When you look at the long list of things you can do in various places across the United States, you will see that there are all kinds of great reasons to consider the cheapest American cities to visit among your top picks for travel. And, when you post your campaign on FundMyTravel.com, you’ll maximize the potential for your budget-friendly opportunities.
In fact, if you consider these incredible options for travel right within the United States, you can satisfy your desire to see the world while keeping your budget on track. And, if you add volunteer opportunities to the mix, you can save even more!
For example, why not consider fishing volunteer trips in the US if you love to fish? Or, intern as part of your travel plans; or, teach English in a TEFL program right here at home. Not only will you find that the cheapest places to travel to in the US offer wonderful opportunities to build your travel portfolio, you’ll also find that you can discover things about America that inspire even more adventures.
So get your list, make your budget, create a campaign, and get started today!
This article was written by Andi Sciacca. Andi is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and their four-legged family. She works with inspired professionals who are expert practitioners, experienced educators, and well-known contributors to their field. Andi helps them take ideas and put them into practice. When not working or writing, she loves to experience music, see the world, and learn new things. Andi’s favorite places to travel include anywhere she can eat good food—and swim.