20 Tourist Attractions Worth the Money
This story originally appeared on money.com
No one likes to waste money, least of all on a vacation. Nothing kills the buzz of a dream trip faster than standing on line for that top tourist attraction, handing over your hard-earned cash, and discovering that it was all a bunch of hyped holiday hooey.
To save you money and time, we’ve compiled a list of 20 sights that are, in fact, worth every dollar. Some are on the expensive side, such as the $50 ticket to the country’s best aquarium. Some aren’t that pricey at all. (Guess where you can take any streetcar you desire for only $1.25?) And how much would you pay for an underground cave that doubles as a bluegrass concert hall? How does $45 sound?
In addition to these worth-it wonders, we’ve added a few that you might call meh. They’re the kind of places you should avoid, either because they cost too much for what you get or they just cost too much, period. You might well disagree—and if you do, please tell us why. Even better, send us a postcard. Just remember to have fun wherever you roam.
P.S.: We’ve organized this photo tour by cost, starting with the cheapest, going forward to the most expensive, and ending with the stuff that’s not worth your money. (Though do check them out here, to save you the trouble on the road.)
Louisiana: Streetcar Ride
$1.25Why It’s Worth It:
For about half the price of a small cup of chicory coffee at Cafe du Monde, you can ride the oldest working streetcars in the world. They run in a 13-mile loop around the city, though they are transporting in ways that can’t be measured in mere distance traveled. Fiery red on the outside, dimly lit mahogany and brass on the inside, they’re both totally brazen and hopelessly romantic, just like their hometown (not to mention that great Tennessee Williams heroine, Blanche DuBois).
Oklahoma: Woody Guthrie Center
$8Why It’s Worth It:
When it comes to the folks who helped make America great, Woody Guthrie (born Woodrow Wilson Guthrie) is at the top of the list. If you’re not familiar with the folk music icon, there’s no better place to get started than at the Woody Guthrie Center.It’s home to his guitars and banjos, his decorated notebooks, and, in a glass case all its own, his handwritten original lyrics to “This Land is Your Land.” Try reading it and not getting chills.
Washington: Ferry to the San Juan Islands
From $13.25Why It’s Worth It:
You can believe it when the San Juan Island ferry service claims that “getting there is half the fun.” If you’re lucky you might spot orcas, bald eagles, and the occasional humpback whale on your 45- to 90-minute ride from Anacortes to the San Juans but the eye-popping scenery is guaranteed.
Texas: Jacob's Well
$9Why It’s Worth It:
Just 36 miles southwest of Austin’s famous Barton Springs pool, you’ll feel like you discovered an insiders-only swimming hole at the spring-fed Jacob’s Well. The water shimmers like green quartz and bubbles up from a 12-foot-wide cylindrical-shaped opening in the limestone creek bed. Good, clean fun for the whole family.
Oregon: Portland Japanese Garden
$9.50Why It’s Worth It:
Old World Japan is nearly 5,000 miles away from Oregon, but you wouldn’t think so when you step into this leafy wonderland, with its koi-filled ponds and carefully raked sand and stonekaresansui (dry landscape) gardens. It’s so beloved by locals that Japanese starchitect Kengo Kuma is currently working on an expansion.
Georgia: Wormsloe Historic Site
Delaware: Fort Delaware
$12Why It’s Worth It:
If you’re a fan of Colonial Williamsburg, grab your best tricorn hat and board the ferry to the 1859 Fort Delaware, a Union stronghold that once housed Confederate prisoners. The guides, decked out in Civil War-era costumes, are happy to let you try your hand at ye olde lifestyle: You can wash laundry using a scrub board and even help load and fire a 32-pounder gun under the watchful eye of a soldier.
Click here for more 20 Tourist Attractions Worth the Money (and 5 That Aren’t)