Raise your hand if you want to travel but don’t have enough money…Ok, now put your hand down.
Maybe you aren’t approaching travel the right way. Instead of fantasizing about exotic destinations that will bury you in credit card debt for years, why not focus on some of the best cities we have right here in our country? Then, focus on the best free things to do as you travel.
We’re on to something here, right?
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The best part is – megabus.com services all of these cities (and 115 more cities total across North America), making it more affordable than ever to travel. You can even find fares as low as $1!
From now until December 20th, you have the chance to create a jingle for the megabus #MegaJingle contest. Winners have the chance to grab 4 free bus tickets and $500, plus they could be featured in the next megabus promotional video.
Jingles should be between 30 seconds and a minute and a half. Upload original songs here for a chance to win.
If you win, which city will you visit? Not sure? We’ve gone ahead and done some of the hard work for you. Here are five awesome US cities and five of the coolest free things to do in each destination.
New York City, New York
Grand Central Terminal – You can’t visit NYC without experiencing this world-famous landmark. Built in 1871, its beautiful architecture is captivating. Explore this historic station and check out the large variety of shopping and dining it has to offer.
High Line – Above the streets of Manhattan, the high line is a former freight rail line that was saved from demolition and turned into a park. It is just under a mile and a half, and a must see when in the city.
Central Park – This urban park covers more than 800 acres, and it has plenty to see and do. From playgrounds, lakes, castles, statues, and even a chess and checkers house, it is urban adventuring at its finest. The park also holds plenty of free events throughout the year. Spend a day or two exploring the most visited urban park in the United States.
Green-Wood Cemetery – This cemetery dates back to the 1830s and spans more than 400 acres. The haunting gravestones make for a interesting tour. There are books for self-guided walking tours and even a mobile app for tours.
Rockefeller Center – Get a glimpse of this iconic building and do some window shopping. In the winter you can take photos of one of the world’s most epic Christmas trees or enjoy some hot chocolate while watching the ice skaters.
San Francisco, California
Golden Gate Park – Enjoy the lovely scenery and spend the day exploring all this park has to offer. There are multiple gardens including a Japanese Tea Garden, windmills, free events, playgrounds and much more.
Cable Car Museum – It isn’t often you find experiences for free, but this museum provides a complete history of cable cars all at no cost! This is a great place for an fun family afternoon.
San Francisco City Guides – Local volunteers lead free walking tours of the city. From art to city hall, get some local insight into the history and best places in San Francisco.
Sea Lions – Get some great photos from the sea lions that hang out at Pier 39.
Fort Point – You can get great views of the Golden Gate Bridge from this and take a free guided tour of this fort built between 1853 and 1861.
Governor’s Mansion – Tour the historic home that has housed Texas governors since 1856. All tours are free!
Barton Creek Greenbelt – Hike or bike here and take in all the natural beauty of Texas including the Twin Falls and limestone bluffs.
Austin Nature and Science Center – With both indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as recreation activities, this has plenty to occupy the whole family for the day.
Blanton Museum of Art – Get a taste of culture and browse the works of art at the museum which has free admission every Thursday.
Lady Bird Lake – Hike along this scenic lake and enjoy an afternoon picnic in Austin.
Lincoln Memorial – Visit this massive National Monument that honors our 16th president.
Washington Monument – This obelisk built in 1848 shoots skyward and stands in remembrance of the very first president of our country.
Smithsonian – As the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, it has something of interest to everyone. With 19 FREE to enter world class museums, galleries and gardens, you could spend a solid 2 weeks here and have something to do all day, every day! What a remarkable place to learn and be intrigued by history and cutting-edge technology.
National Zoo – Part of the Smithsonian, you can check out the wide variety of animal exhibits at the zoo…all for free!
National Arboretum – Walk among the array of gardens and collections including the friendship garden, the bonsai trees, dogwood and azalea collections.
Navy Pier – Stroll along Lake Michigan on the 3,300 foot pier and check out amazing views of the city and over 50 acres of attractions.
The Lincoln Park Zoo – This zoo is open 365 days a year, and it is free! Visit some the cities cutest animals.
Chicago Cultural Center – This landmark is beautifully built and a wonderful place to tour. Visitors can also enjoy free art and music at the center.
Millennium Park – There are free events, tours, and exhibits at the park that capture some of the most unique architecture and art in the city.
Jane Addams Hull House Museum – View this historic settlement house that Jane Addams helped establish to provide support and care for immigrants and the poor during the 1890s. Its goal of peace helped initiate many other similar settlements created to help those in poor urban neighborhoods.