The best free attractions in the US


You don’t have to spend a fortune to see some of America’s best sights and sounds. There is a plethora of attractions which are free to enjoy, from some of the country’s most famous landmarks to fascinating museums and art galleries. We’ve searched the US for its best free attractions and grouped them into this handy list for your enjoyment.

Smithsonian Museums, Washington DC

It’s impossible to tour the Smithsonian museums and leave without having learned a wealth of interesting facts. There are various museums and art galleries to peruse in Washington, D.C, including the African Art Museum, Natural History Museum and Portrait Gallery. However, if you’re after an out of this world experience than look no further than the National Air and Space Museum, where you can learn about various aircraft and spacecraft artefacts.

Smithsonian Museum

Staten Island Ferry, New York

Journeying between Manhattan and Staten Island, the Staten Island Ferry is a wonderful way to gain perspective of the Big Apple. You’ll be able to admire New York’s cityscape from aboard the ferry, as well as receive a greeting from the world famous Statue of Liberty. The ferry operates twenty four hours a day, meaning you can enjoy the splendour of New York at night if you so choose.

Staten Island ferry

Freedom Trail, Boston

Learn about how Boston played a vital role in America’s history as you journey along the city’s Freedom Trail. The trail spans 2.5 miles and marks some of Boston’s most notorious landmarks, including Boston Common, the Benjamin Franklin statue and USS Constitution. The Freedom Trail was conceived by journalist William Schofield in the 1950s, with the mayor of Boston swiftly backing the idea. Nowadays thousands of people can be seen walking along the Freedom Trail. Guided tours are a brilliant way to learn about this city’s rich history as you view its historical icons.

Freedom Trail

San Francisco Cable Car Museum, San Francisco

San Francisco has many celebrated landmarks, though none as iconic as its cable car system. For years, the city’s cable cars have ferried both locals and tourists around some of its famous sights, helping to boost tourism. Although many of San Francisco’s cable cars have been put into retirement, you can learn about their history at the interesting San Francisco Cable Car Museum. You’ll find out about how the people of San Francisco fought to keep the cable car in operation, and how they actually operate.

Cable car

Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

View some of the world’s most incredible animals at the fantastic Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The zoo spans over 35 acres, and is home to creatures such as bears, penguins and sea lions. As well as a menagerie of animals, the zoo is also home to an ancient burr oak tree, which dates back to 1830, three years before Chicago was founded. As you wander around the expansive zoo, keep your eyes peeled for some of the world’s rarest animals – including the mesmerising polar bear – and learn about them in a friendly and fun environment.


Matthew Coe is Online Marketing Manager for Wanderforth.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Kristen Bor says:

    Great post. Just a quick tip. I lived in DC for several years, and while the museums are world class, they do get busy. I recommend visiting during the week and avoiding holidays. You’ll have a much more enjoyable time when there is less traffic. Also, don’t miss the second Air and Space Museum out near Dulles Airport. It’s one of my favorite museums of all time!

  2. Barbara Murphy says:

    The Lincoln Park Zoo is especially great during the Christmas holidays. The “Zoo Lights” were just lit last night: over 2,000,000 lights decorating all parts of the zoo.

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