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15 Affordable U.S. Cities To Add To Your Bucket List

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    You don’t have to fly to Europe or trek across an ocean to find a fun summer getaway. The U.S. is home to a cool and eclectic selection of cities that won’t cost an arm and a leg to visit. And while places like New York, San Francisco, or New Orleans are always a safe bet, we’ve rounded up 15 destinations that will help you discover something new about our great country.

    Whether it’s the history of St. Augustine, the music of Nashville, or the art of Santa Fe, this list has something for every kind of traveler — plus recommendations on where to stay and what to do while you're in town. Don’t forget to send us a postcard!



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    Denver, CO
    The mile-high city of Denver is a burgeoning, evolving destination with endless things to do. It's close to the Rocky Mountains and less than two hours from several ski towns. In the summer, it's known for its active nightlife and outdoor activities like biking and sporting events. Downtown Denver has something for everyone, from hip bars to museums to shopping to old-school theaters, and it has easy public transportation. Also: Weed is famously legal in Colorado, so...do with that what you will.

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    Denver, CO (Continued)

    Where To Stay:
    The Warwick Hotel, close to downtown’s 16th Street Mall, is nice and budget-friendly, with rooms available for $130 on the hotel’s official website. Got some extra cash to drop? Book the Nativ Hotel instead, which houses hip rooms that are 420 friendly.

    What To Do:
    Hit up some local breweries in the neighborhood around Denver’s Union Station. If the Rockies are in town, the nearby Coors Field is great for a baseball game.

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    Portland, OR
    Portlandia offers a skewed – but sometimes on-point – view of Portland, a small Northwestern city that's exceptionally liberal and laid-back. It draws a lot of weekend guests who come for the good food, the hip vibe, and Voodoo Doughnut's ridiculously delish pastries. It might not be exactly the sort of experience you’ve seen on TV, but Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are shooting the next season of Portlandia in Portland this summer, so it’ll be pretty close.

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    Portland, OR (Continued)

    Where To Stay:
    It’s cliché (and somewhat overrated) to stay at the Ace Hotel when you crash in Portland. Instead, try the funky McMenamins White Eagle Saloon & Hotel (around $65 per night) or Kennedy School, an actual converted school (around $175 per night).

    What To Do:
    The city's full of good bars and restaurants, but it’s also home to one of the country’s best bookstores. No visit is complete without browsing the shelves of Powell’s City of Books. Just make sure you bring an extra suitcase for all your purchases.

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    Baltimore, MD
    Baltimore hasn't always been the hippest city, but the Maryland seaport locale actually has quite a lot to see. There are the obvious ocean-adjacent attractions at the Inner Harbor, as well as ubiquitous crab dishes, but Baltimore also has a thriving nightlife scene and a handful of interesting historical sites. And if you get bored (which you probably won’t), Washington, D.C., is just a quick train ride away.