Memorable Places to Visit in the US

I talk a lot about the traveling I do and how I travel cheaply to different countries, usually using Skyscanner, and in fact, I'm leaving on a trip abroad in two days. People who live in the US sometimes get envious of my traveling, because international travel can be expensive from the US. I was asked to write a post about travel in the US, so put together a list of memorable places my family visited on trips to the US.

If you're an American citizen, depending on where you live in the US, these trips are usually doable at a relatively low budget, either through budget airlines, or via car trips, or a combination of the two. If you're a non American, you might need to apply for and get a visa to visit, but if you're from one of the countries that are part of America's visa waiver program, you can circumvent that process and file an ESTA application, applying for a Electronic System for Travel Authorization which will allow you to visit the US for work or for pleasure for up to 90 days visa free.

Growing up, my family went on lots of trips. I would say we were relatively well traveled. But I'd never been to any country other than the country where I live now and Canada. However, we did a decent amount of touring within my country. Much of them were via road trips from North East Ohio, but again, some we flew to and then rented a car there. These places are all really amazing, and if you can have a chance to visit them, definitely do it. Some of these I was quite young when we were there, but they stuck out in my mind.

Niagara Falls. 

These giant waterfalls are some of the most spectacular in the world, and while you can cross the border to Canada to see them, there is still plenty to see on the US side. The most memorable parts of these are the Maid of the Mist boat ride where you ride nearly under the falls (wearing ponchos, of course!), and the hike at the base of the falls from Cave of the Winds, (also with ponchos). Since I grew up only a three hour drive from Niagara Falls, this is a place I visited multiple times in my life and enjoyed every single time.

Mammoth Caves. 

Mammoth Cave tour

This is a complex of some of the longest cave system known in the world. To be honest, I was quite young so my memories from this trip are mostly of the motel stays, but I do remember that it was an amazing trip and would love to go back now as an adult.

Churchill Downs.

This is the home of the Kentucky Derby, where we learned much about horse racing, being a jockey, and many other related things. More than anything, though, I remember the green pastures of the horse farms nearby where we also visited.

Washington DC. 

There are so many things to do in Washington, DC! We went on a road trip here and saw so many wonderful and important things. The memorable parts were the White House, the Capitol,  Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian, the Holocaust museum, and nearly everything was free.

New York City. 

Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building were the cool touristy places I went as a child and remembered fondly. Though when I lived in New York an entire year, I didn't manage to get to either of these places even once.

Hoover Dam. 

We did this all on our trip to the Grand Canyon. We flew into Las Vegas (much cheaper flights here than to most places in the region) then had a road trip including Hoover Dam and the following places. The Hoover Dam was a spectacular place to behold.

Bryce Canyon. 

I feel like this place doesn't get nearly the credit that it deserves. We went here on the same trip to the Grand Canyon and it was so incredibly beautiful. We went on many different hikes here, with orange colored stone. The elevation is quite high, which meant that when we went in the winter it was covered in snow.

The Grand Canyon. 

My father is obsessed with this place since we were there, and has been back multiple times with other relatives. We hiked down to the bottom and stayed in the Phantom Ranch at the bottom, then hiked back up the next day. This was quite a pleasant hike in the winter, as it was much cooler at the bottom than it was at the top.

Disney World. 

I went here in second grade and would love to go back one day. Though, to be honest, if I do go to Disney, it'll likely be to Euro Disney, as I can get cheaper tickets there. My favorite part of Disney World actually was the Great Movie Ride, which has since closed, and Splash Mountain.

Those of you who've toured around the US, what would you say are your favorite places you've been to? Bonus points if they're frugal!

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Mount Rushmore - both wonderful! And relatively inexpensive. North and South Dakota end up being lost gems. I'd also say Mackinac (pronounced Mac-in-awe) Island in Michigan. No cars allowed but absolutely lovely and a wonderful place to visit. I believe all of these have camping, if you are so inclined, or hotels/motels for housing.
    Great Suggestions! Lea

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