Spend your time (not your money) exploring these inexpensive U.S. cities.
“Norfolk once had a bad reputation as a Navy Town,” says one Travel + Leisure reader from the Virginia port city. “While we still are a Navy Town (and proud of it!), we’re so much more.”
Indeed, Norfolk is home to a strikingly full calendar of events. The best part? Most of them are free to attend.
In our annual America's Favorite Places survey, we ask T+L readers to dish about their hometowns — the place they grew up or have lived in and know better than anywhere else on Earth. Unlike the World's Best Awards, which encourages readers to weigh in on travel experiences across the globe, the America's Favorite Places survey is a way for locals to share what their hometowns do best.
And when it comes to scoping out the best free things to do in a destination, who better to turn to than locals? They selected Norfolk as one of this year’s favorite cities for an affordable getaway, thanks to its wealth of free events. Yet coastal Norfolk is an outlier. Eight out of 10 high-scoring cities are located inland, with a plurality in the Corn Belt states of the Midwest.
Regardless of region, each of these cities offer a priceless combination of standout attractions at low to no cost. So read on for this year’s picks of America’s favorite cities for affordable getaways — and put away your wallet.