What are some of the best free attractions this summer?

USS Constitution

Travel can be expensive but there are a multitude of free attractions across the country that can help cut the costs of sightseeing.

>> Read more trending news

USA Today is asking for readers to cast their votes for the top 10 free attractions.

This year’s ballot includes:

The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. It was a Roman Catholic missionary in the 18th century and was at the center of the Battle of the Alamo in 1936. You need timed tickets to see the church but they are free.

Cape May County Park & Zoo has giraffes, zebras and lemurs among its residents. Admission and parking for the zoo are free.

Visitors to New York City can stroll through Central Park. The Great Lawn has free live performances. If you want to work out, the trails are perfect for logging a run. There are also playgrounds, boating and Shakespeare in the Park.

Chicago Cultural Center has free exhibits and programs, but even if you don’t have time for a show, you can gaze upon the Tiffany dome in Preston Bradley Hall.

If you want to save your money for the slots (or if you lost it all) Las Vegas still has a free experience at the Bellagio. The resort’s fountain spews water 460 feet in the air set to music. The fountain show is performed every half hour during the day and every 15 minutes once the sun goes down.

You can learn for free in Boston on the city’s Freedom Trail. It starts at Boston Common but you can join the walk anywhere along the designated pathway. Stops include Park Street Church, the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House and the USS Constitution. Keep in mind, you can walk the trail for free, but some of the stops on the way do charge admission fees.

The Golden Gate Bridge spans the Golden Gate, the strait connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. To see the bridge, you can visit either Golden Gate National Recreational Area or Golden Gate Park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee is the most visited national park in the U.S. You can see wildlife, visit historic buildings and bike and hike the trails. You will need a parking tag however that are $5 (daily), $15 (weekly) or $40 (annual).

Griffith Observatory is an icon of Los Angeles and gives visitors the chance to see the stars up close through telescopes. You can also see the Hollywood sign and walk around Griffith Park.

Independence National Historical Park is the birthplace of the U.S. where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. It is also the home of the Liberty Bell. Most of the sites at the historical park are free, but you do need a timed ticket for Independence Hall which has a $1 per ticket handling fee. There are also fees at The Benjamin Franklin Museum and the National Constitution Center.

If flowers are your thing then the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon, should be on your list. The Washington Park garden has more than 10,000 individual rose bushes of 600 varieties. There is a fee to park at Washington Park.

Another spot for plant lovers is the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, North Carolina where you can learn about gardening and plants or just walk around the grounds.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, Floria, helps with ocean and sea turtle conservation by rescuing and returning wildlife to their natural habitats.

Visit the resting place of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the National Historical Park in Atlanta. Its 35 acres are free and open to the public and include his birth home, church and grave.

National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center in Columbus, Georgia, has guests walk “The Last 100 Yards” exhibit that highlights big infantry battles with the museum spanning the Revolutionary War through current military operations. While there is no admission fee, the museum does ask visitors to consider a $5 per person donation.

There’s no shopping on the National Mall, instead, it is several city blocks of greenspace in the heart of Washington, D.C. lined with museums and memorials including the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and the Washington Monument.

Redwood National and State Parks have some of the tallest trees in the world along with prairies, oak woodland and a rugged coastline. You can also camp and bike if walking or driving through the forest are not your style.

While the pandas are no longer there, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo still has more than 2,200 animals including lions, sloth bears and red pandas. Admission to the zoo is free, but you do need a ticket. Parking costs $30 if you drive to the zoo.

You may not think of visiting an area near a power plant to see wildlife but the TECO Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach, Florida is a protected marine sanctuary that allows people to see manatees in the wild and up close. The Tampa Electric Company’s plant takes water from Tampa Bay, uses it to cool through the system, then releases it into the bay where the manatees like to gather during Florida’s cooler winter months. There’s also a butterfly garden, observation tower and walking trails. Keep in mind it is open seasonally from November to April.

U.S. Mint in Philadelphia is where you can learn the history of our coins. It’s a 45-minute, self-guided free tour. You can see the first coin press from 1792 during the tour and may even see new coins being produced. No reservations are needed, but there may be a small line in the summer.

0
Comments on this article
0
On AirSTAR 94.5 - Orlando's Only R&B Logo


STAR Cares is an exclusive Community Affairs initiative of STAR 94.5, committed to enriching the lives of African-Americans in our community who need to be informed and benefit from programs targeting Education, Health and Financial Literacy


mobile apps

Everything you love about star945.com and more! Tap on any of the buttons below to download our app.

amazon alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!