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These Are The Top 5 Free Attractions To Visit In The U.S. This Fall 

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One favorite thing many of us do while traveling is to visit the local attractions and while some can end up costing you a good bit of your holiday budget, there are many others that won’t cost a thing. 

Across the U.S., you can find free attractions in every state, some worth the trip and others not. From historic sights, natural wonders, quirky concepts, and new-age wonders, there is something to pique anyone’s interest. 

Tree and statue on a battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. copy

It can be hard to know what attractions are worth the trip, and there is nothing worse than arriving after a long drive only to find out that what you wanted to visit is rather disappointing. 

Luckily, a recent report has found the top-rated free attractions across the world to visit this year, based on the average trip advisor reviews. These attractions have been determined by looking at their average 5-star reviews, helping you to gauge how worth a trip they might be. 

Autumn colorful foliage by the creek by the Chimney Tops Trail, Smoky Mountains

Here Are The Top 5 Free Attractions To Visit In The U.S. This Fall: 

National Museum Of The U.S. Air Force

Located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base just outside Dayton, Ohio, The National Museum Of The U.S. Air Force wins top marks with an average of 92.85% of 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor. 

From its start in 1923, this is a museum that evolved from a small collection to what is now the world’s largest military aviation museum. Here, you can see endless photos, documents, and personal artifacts that help to tell the story of the U.S. Air Force. 

In The Area: If you are visiting this important museum, make sure to stop by Dayton, as the city has an important place in the history of many inventions and aviation, and there are other things to see here as well. 

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♬ original sound – American Warbirds

National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center 

In Columbus, Georiga, The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center has an average of 92.32% 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor. This free attraction showcases over 70,000 personal artifacts that date back from the previous 240 years of the history of the American Military. 

While there are numerous exhibits, there are also special features on certain topics, as well as a giant screen theatre and a simulation center. 

In The Area: Columbus is just over the Alabama border,  set along the Chattahoochee River. There is plenty to do here aside from the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center, including the world's longest whitewater course and a zip line crisscrossing the river. 

@monkeygirlcc #3-54 #easycompany #infantry #army #soldier #nationalinfantrymuseum #columbus #georgia #donate #fyp #museum #service #worldwar #foryoupage #thankyou ♬ Hell March – Remastered – Frank Klepacki

The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier 

Arlington is home to The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier, which has a TripAdvisor 5-star review average of 90.59%. Holding the remains of servicemen who perished in The Korean War, as well as World War I and II, this somber monument lies in the largest and most important military cemetery in the country.

One major draw here is to witness the dedicated Tomb Guard and watch their impressive 21-set march as they change guard. Check for the local times as they change with the seasons. 

In The Area: Arlington is home to the National Cemetery, where you can visit JFK’s gravesite. There is also The Pentagon, The 9/11 Memorial, The George Washington Memorial Parkway, and Hemicycle to visit. Not to mention, you are right next to Washington, D.C. as well. 

Change of the guard near the Unknown Soldier tomb at the Arlington national cemetery. It's a United States military cemetery

Gettysburg National Park 

Pennsylvania’s well-known Gettysburg National Park is number three on the list of best free attractions in the U.S., with a TripAdvisor 5-star review average of 89.81%. The site marks the turning point of the Civil War, the most devastating battlefield, and not to mention the reason for Lincoln’s famous “Gettysburg Address”. 

A visit to the park helps people get a feel for the sheer size and scale of this battle, and there is more than enough information to help you be informed about the historical importance 

In The Area: Gettysburg is full of attractions steeped in history, such as the Seminary Ridge Museum, a walking tour of Downtown Gettysburg, The Shriver House, and the Jennie Wade House. 

Monument at the National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park 

Shared between North Carolina and Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountain National Park is well-liked by travelers and scores an average five-star TripAdvisor review score of 89.51%. 

This national park is famous for its southern Appalachian culture, the beauty of the newly 500,000 acres of landscape, the abundance of flora and fauna, and the constant morning fog, hence the smoky nickname. 

In The Area: While there is more than nougat to do to fill your time in the park itself, towns nearby are also worth a visit if you have time. Tennessee’s Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are top choices, as are North Carolina’s Bryson City and Cherokee. 

@alinazbv Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country with over 13 million visitors in 2022. Starting March 1, the park will implement the parking tag program. Any vehicle parked anywhere in the park will need to display a $5 daily, $15 weekly, or $40 annual parking tag. Another measure to improve the visitor experience this year will be an increase in shuttle services, as several local companies will offer shuttles to some of the park's most popular destinations to reduce traffic congestion and enhance parking safety. Visitors can also consider alternative destinations in case desired sites are not available for parking, as the park offers numerous other locations with exceptional experiences such as over 800 miles of trails and more than 380 miles of scenic roadways. Source: #greatsmokymountainsnationalpark #hikemoreworryless #usnationalparks ♬ In My Room – Chance Peña

To round of the rest of the top 10 free attractions in the U.S. are:

  • Marginal Way, Ogunquit, Maine
  • Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, Saint Louis, Missouri 
  • Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio 
  • College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Missouri 
  • Falls Park on the Reedy, Greenville, South Carolina 
Beautiful Place around Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland(MOCA)

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