Summer Break Destinations for the Traveler on a BudgetSummer time can be a great experience of relaxing and getting to know your local area better. But an even more enjoyable option is to take a trip to another city and get to know an area you may have never experienced before. The following are some great places to go when you've got enough for a vacation but still want to be reasonable.
Image via Flickr by Art Hill
Chicago benefits from all of the upsides of being coastal except for the price point. While it isn't a cheap city, Chi Town does have a lot fewer European tourists in it than coastal areas. But there are still plenty of things to experience, like Montrose Avenue Beach. There are also tons of great museums, such as the Field Museum of Natural History, the Adler Planetarium and the Museum of Science and Industry. Many of the local museums have entry charges of $10 or less per person, and you can often find a hotel room in the $70 per night range. You may not even have to rent a car, as the train system in the city is excellent and inexpensive.
Manitoba, WPG, CanadaThis is a great city to see and interact with enjoyable things on the cheap. You can interact with re-enactors at the Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, and see how life was in the 1800s around the Hudson Bay. You can also check out a baseball game at Shaw Park. You can often find a decent room for around $100 per night.
Dallas, TXIf you enjoy nature and want to get out of the arid environment for a while, the local aquarium in Dallas features a rainforest with South American wildlife. If you prefer your fun to be a bit more visceral, there is a Six Flags nearby that has both rides and a water park. As one of the faster growing cities in the country, Dallas has a bustling culture that brings high energy without being overwhelming. Finding hotels in the area in the $55 per night price point is reasonably easy.
Denver, COThere is a lot to see and do in Denver that doesn't cost much. Browse around in the Tattered Cover bookstore. Or you can visit the Denver Art Museum and Botanic Gardens. Perhaps the least expensive of all is the sheer volume of physical activities you can do around the area, such as mountain biking and rock climbing. You can often find a good place to stay in the $80 per night range.
Reykjavik, IcelandReykjavik has a lot of things to do that won't break the bank. For instance, The Perlan or "Pearl" is a giant steel and glass dome that gives you amazing panoramic views of the area. You can also get free walking tours of the city, or check out Hallgrimskirkja -- dedicated to Leif Eriksson, the first Viking to set foot in the Americas. There are tons of Iceland hotels, and finding a place to stay from around $100 a night is pretty easy.
Breaking out of your summer habits is no reason to break the bank. The above are all great places to spend time on the cheap.