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These Are The 7 Cheapest Destinations To Visit In The U.S.

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It’s been a long, hot, and, in some cases, expensive summer – especially if you enjoyed a few international trips.

Now that fall is just about here, it’s time to enjoy cooler temperatures, quieter destinations, and travel that has less impact on your wallet.

But despite fall being the shoulder season for many locations, you may still need to be savvy and seek out off-path locations to find an affordable getaway.

woman walking along a beach at great salt lake utah

If you’d like to visit an interesting and inspiring travel destination but don’t have a huge budget, then a recent study that revealed the least expensive destinations in the United States may be the help you’re looking for.

Considering factors such as the cost of food, accommodation, transport, and attractions, these are the seven cheapest destinations in the U.S. right now:

Kansas City, Missouri

The most affordable destination in the study, Kansas City has plenty to offer the curious traveler on a budget.

There’s a wealth of museums, including the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the National WW1 Museum, and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum.

JC Nichols memorial fountain in kansas city missouri

After the museums, you can cruise around some of the famous fountains dotted around the place – it is sometimes known as ‘the City of Fountains’ after all.

There is also a free streetcar to help you get around.

Average cost: $3,208

Pensacola, Florida

If you’re just not ready to let go of summer just yet, then this Gulf Coast beach paradise in northwest Florida is a great option.

pier at the beach in pensacola florida

The brilliant white sands of Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key could be among the best you’ll ever sink your toes into, and there’s also a beautiful state park at the latter of these locations.

Average cost: $3,269

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

A city packed with charming culture and fantastic food; Oklahoma City is fast becoming a trendy destination in the United States.

There’s a host of highly-rated cafes to enjoy brunch, as well as unique experiences such as catching the Bricktown water taxi or enjoying a picnic in Scissortail Park.

skydance bridge in oklahoma city

Free museums include the Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum and the Oklahoma Railway Museum.

Average cost: $3,311

Little Rock, Arkansas

This underrated city has a fantastic riverfront downtown area on the Arkansas River with a host of stylish bars and restaurants as well as the tranquil Julius Breckling Riverfront Park.

Cross over the river to North Little Rock and take in the many craft breweries, a stylish art district, and its famous and appropriately named minor league baseball team the Arkansas Travelers.

little rock arkansas

Alternatively, you could use Little Rock as a base to explore the rest of the state, which has recently broken tourism records.

Average cost: $3,348

Raleigh, North Carolina

Prepare your tastebuds before heading to this surprisingly great location for foodies.

With its own unique twists on southern classics such as fried chicken and barbecue, Raleigh is most definitely a town where you’ll need to put the diet on hold.

Raleigh skyline in the summer with crepe myrtle trees in bloom

It also has its own famous dessert, the Angus Barn chocolate chess pie.

Average cost: $3,501

Salt Lake City, Utah

A gateway to the outdoors, Salt Lake City seems to consistently appear on best-in-travel lists in the United States no matter how they are ranked.

The city itself has plenty of attractions to keep you entertained, such as the Historic Temple Square, but one of the real draws for Salt Lake is how easily you can use it as a base to explore the natural wonders that surround it.

city with mountains

The Great Salt Lake should certainly be on your list – it can be visited via either Great Salt Lake State Park or Antelope Island State Park.

On the opposite side of the city, you will find impressive mountain resorts great for hiking and skiing such as Gobblers Knob, Twin Peaks, Solitude, and Alta.

Average cost: $3,545

San Antonio, Texas

Enjoy a true taste of the Lone Star State in San Antonio, where you’ll find great food, friendly folks, and plenty of festivals and events throughout the year.

The city has a particularly impressive Día de los Muertos celebration and has no shortage of great food markets that go on right throughout the fall.

Aerial view of the San Antonio River Walk at dusk

Another interesting reason to visit San Antonio is that the city will experience an annular solar eclipse on 14 October 2023 and a total solar eclipse on 8 April 2024.

Average cost: $3,594

(Average costs from the study cited are based on a 7-day trip for a family of four, including flights.)

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

A Cutter

Friday 22nd of September 2023

Did everyone miss the last line, Average costs from the study cited are based on a 7 day trip for a family of four,including flights?

Get it together

Tuesday 19th of September 2023

Reporting is a lost skill. Price for what, how long? It's like saying the organic turkey slices are cheaper at Publix (5oz) than at Costco (32Oz). Urrrgh.


Saturday 16th of September 2023

"Yes, definitely check out the great salt lake!" said no Utahn ever.


Saturday 16th of September 2023

Ummmm... These are prices are NOT cheap. I just took my family of four (4) on a ten day vacation to Rome, Italy in November 2022 for ~$3,750.00 USD. I booked through Expedia, and that cost included RT airfaire and our B&B in the Prati District of Rome, which is near the Vatican.


Tuesday 19th of September 2023

@Felicia, Exactly. I live in the Kansas City metro. If you are paying $3200 to visit, you must have flown in from the coast with a family of four and are staying only in 5star hotels and eating only at top rated restaurants.


Monday 18th of September 2023

@Felicia, no way!!! I’m going to check it out. Thanks for the idea!!


Sunday 17th of September 2023

@Felicia, exactly... and the prices have no explanation. For how many people? For how long? If these are the prices for a family of 8 for three weeks, hurrah, but...


Friday 15th of September 2023

Totally missed the cheapest of all... Myrtle Beach SC. Great place and cheap condos.