Certain images constitute a version of the United States and have been in the collective mind of the world for a long time. Although you have seen these places countless times on screens and photos, there is obviously something special about visiting them in person. This is a feeling worth remembering.
We combed the streets of some of the top American locations and listed out some iconic destinations. The best takeaway? You can enjoy this destination and have a great time without spending a single penny!
Niagara Falls, New York, and Ontario, Canada
When 3,160 tons of water from the four Great Lakes flooded more than 200 feet of Lake Ontario, three parts of Niagara Falls were formed: Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the border, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls on the American side.
Although there are beautifully manicured parks on the Canadian side, Niagara Falls State Park in New York, where there are lush green parks, five islands in the river, and more than 400 acres of the natural landscape, bicycle paths, etc.
There is no entrance fee, but the parking fee is $10. On the Canadian side, a series of beautiful promenades extend along the main observation deck and are planted with flowers in summer. At night, the waterfall is illuminated by colorful lights.
Hotels in spring and fall are much cheaper. (Note: If you decide to buy a cruise, choose the original Maid of the Mist. It invented the hot tub ride, but now only operates on the New York side. It lost its concession to Hornblower Cruises on the Canadian side.)
Visit for free these 8 amazing American locations
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, this monument has huge heads of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. It includes a visitor center, a close-up walkway, and a sculptor’s studio. It is closed in winter and includes more information about how it was built. The free seasonal ranger program describes this monument in more detail.
The Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota Heritage Villages on-site are also free. The venue is open every day from 5 am. At 9 pm, the monument is illuminated at night until 9 am in autumn and winter, and 11 am in spring and summer.
The National Park Service does not charge for admission to Mount Rushmore, but the parking fee is $11. Before you go, rent a copy of Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” from Netflix or your local library and see some interesting movie shots of the reconstructed monument.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens, AL
Some botanical gardens charge up to $ 20 per person. But in Birmingham, you are truly free to wander among over 12,000 different plant species, over 25 themed gardens, and over 30 outdoor sculptures spread across 67.5 acres.
A traditional Japanese tea house, free science activities for kids, and a vegetable garden where visitors can learn how to grow greener thumbs on a visit. There’s even a licensed, wheelchair-accessible garden with raised flower beds, so there’s no need to bend or stoop.
Staten Island Ferry, New York City
Even if you’ve never taken this iconic ferry, you’ve seen it in countless movies and TV shows. But did you know that traveling here is completely free? It takes about 25 minutes one way and is best enjoyed during off-peak hours when the ferry is not much crowded with travelers.
It also offers beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty, America’s most iconic attraction. The ferry operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, generally every half hour, more frequently during peak hours. The Manhattan terminal is located at 4 Whitehall St., New York.
Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado
All nature lovers dream to visit this beautiful 1367 acre natural park with towering red rocks and 15 miles of scenic trails, from easy hikes to 3 miles of hiking. The Perkins Central Garden Trail is an easy-to-lay 1.5-mile loop that can be used by wheelchairs and strollers, with an elevation gain of fewer than 30 feet. Free entrance and parking.
There are free guided nature walks every day. The Nature Center offers free colorful trail maps. Open every day at 9 am in the winter. Until 5 pm, summer starts at 8 am and 7 pm Location: 1805 N. 30th St.
P.S.: Don’t forget your trekking poles!
9/11 Memorial, New York City
New Yorkers were naturally offended when they heard this was described as an attraction, but in fact, it is a grim monument to one of the country’s worst tragedies. On the site of the former World Trade Center, this monument is a moving tribute to those who died and those who tried to save them.
There is a 9/11 commemoration mobile app available. Please note that the monument is free to visit, but the adjacent museum requires a fee. Around the double memorial pool are engraved in bronze with the names of all the victims in the terrorist attack on February 2. February 26, 1993, and September 11, 2001.
Manzanar National Historic Site, California
A large Japanese detention camp during WWII, the former site of the Manzanar War Relocation Center is being restored. It was one of 10 camps where 110,000 Japanese American citizen men, women, and children, and Japanese citizens were held in remote military camps during the war.
There is no charge to enter, park, or participate in a 3-mile drive. There are replicas of barracks and cafeterias.
The visitor center includes exhibits from 1885 to the present, especially the relocation of Japanese Americans during WWII and their arrest in Manzanal. There is a camping model, photos, artifacts, and a short film. The stop is on Highway 395, 9 miles north of Lone Pine.
Getty Center, Los Angeles
This huge complex of white buildings sits on top of a hill overlooking West Los Angeles. The tour is free, except for parking fees. Built on the heritage of the oilman J. Paul Getty, it is the work of the famous architect Richard Meier. The construction cost more than $1 billion and requires a tram from the parking lot to the top.
They went out of their way to make this complex kid-friendly and there is a section specially designed for children.
The collection includes Van Gogh’s “Irises” and paintings by European masters such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Rembrandt, as well as antiques and antique statues, decorative furniture, illuminated manuscripts, and a host of photographs.
On clear days the garden is beautiful and you can always see Catalina Island. There is a cafeteria, they have special events and are generally free.
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