As we approach spring, we start thinking about vacation with the kids. They’ll finally have more than two days off from school, and we can go somewhere a little farther away. We want fun places to go but we also need cheap places to stay and play.
Here’s our list of the best vacation spots in North America. All of these places are budget and family friendly.
Cheap Destinations in North America
Vacation Spot 1: Nashville, Tennessee
You can grab a cheap hotel or Airbnb room in Nashville, Tennessee, and have an exciting, inexpensive vacation with the whole family. There are tons of things to do. Here are just a few of them.
1. Country Music Hall of Fame Museum
You can’t say you’ve been to Nashville if you haven’t experienced some of the country music culture there. The Country Music Hall of Fame is one of the best ways to get a feel for the history and experiences of that legendary town, and the artists that have come out of one of the most prolific genres of music in America.
2. Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art
With a greenhouse, sculpture trail, gardens, and art museum all in one location, the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens is a great spot for taking the family to experience the culture of Nashville while getting in some exercise.
3. Adventure Science Center
The Adventure Science Center is specifically designed for kids and families to experience some hands-on, educational fun. Try the flight simulator or face-warping mirrors exhibit.
Vacation Spot 2: Yosemite National Park, California
Being one of the nation’s oldest National Parks, established in 1890, Yosemite National Park is one of our top picks for an inexpensive family vacation. Not only will you experience national history, but you’ll explore some of the most incredible natural beauty on the North American continent.
There are something 750+ miles of hiking trails at Yosemite National Park. Trails range in lengths from about half a mile to over 200 miles. If you’ve got small kids, try the easy-going Bridalveil Fall Trail, and branch out from there as the day progresses.
You can book an all-day tour, two hour tour, or four hour tour for your family’s trip to Yosemite. These tours lead through the park on buses, so they’re easier for families with kids, physical disabilities, or elderly family members.
3. Interpretive Programs and Conservancy Talks
These free tours are available most days of the year, and are led by local volunteers and park rangers who know their stuff. One of the favorite walking tours is the photography walk offered by the Ansel Adams Gallery.
Instead of staying inside the park, we highly recommend you purchase a multi-day pass, and stay in neighboring towns. You may have to drive a little farther, but the savings will be worth it.
Vacation Spot 3: St. Louis, Missouri
You might not think of the Gateway to the West as a hot destination spot in the Midwest. But there are a thousand things to do in St. Louis — exciting places to visit, and lots of entertainment to be had on a budget.
St. Louis is particularly a great city for vacationing with your kids. The museums, St. Louis Zoo, and parks are amazing spots that safely allow your kids to explore, play, and learn.
1. St. Louis Zoological Park
The St. Louis isn’t like other free zoos that kind of leave you wanting more. In fact, the St. Louis Zoo is one of the top-rated zoos in America, and hosts a variety of critters the whole family will love, as well as offering great picnic grounds and loads of fun activities.
2. City Museum
The City Museum of St. Louis isn’t your standard history museum. It’s actually a place of climbing and playing, and always Instagram worthy.
Indoors, a slide going from the top floor to the bottom welcomes guests to take a quick ride. There are holes, and cubbies, and narrow passages to explore and climb up through, including a life-size whale that leads through to other parts of the museum. Don’t forget to explore the outdoor aerial climbing area.
3. The Gateway Arch
Of course, you can’t visit the Gateway to the West without visiting the Gateway Arch. The most famous structure in St. Louis is open to the public most days, and holds a free museum at the bottom. Visitors may also go to the top of the arch via little tram capsules. You’ll get a great view of the city and river from up there.
Planning Your Trip
If you’re ready to plan your vacation, remember to check out these cheap places to travel, and you’ll have more than enough fun places to go for this year and next. Do some research into hotels, youth hostels, Airbnb, and some travel consolidation sites to find your best lodging. Or, if you’re traveling only with adults, try couch surfing and meet some locals.
Feature image via InPark Magazine