• Museums, zoos highlight the best free attractions in the U.S.

    2013-05-31

    If there's one thing better than traditional United States travel, it's getting to see the country for free. There are a surprisingly large number of attractions throughout the U.S. that won't put a dent in your pocket, and hitting them during your journey throughout the country is a must. Whether you're an art enthusiast, nature lover or simply enjoy immersing yourself in the local culture, there are plenty of opportunities for you to do so, according to Travel Leisure magazine.

    New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
    The Big Easy and Jazz are inextricably linked, and nowhere is that more apparent than at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. At just four acres, the park certainly isn't the largest in the country but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in cultural and historic significance. For starters, it's located in the city's famous French Quarter, and there's live music around seemingly every corner six days a week. You can also educate yourself on the history of jazz with free talks, documentaries and exhibits - all for free.

    Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo
    Most big cities are home to impressive animal parks, but few combine affordability and biodiversity better than Lincoln Park Zoo. Founded in 1868, this Chicago staple is among the oldest zoos in the country and has a stunning array of animal life. Visitors can check out everything from polar bears and penguins to reptiles and big cats. Not only that, but it provides the perfect respite from the bustling streets of the Windy City.

    The Getty Center
    Located in Los Angeles, The Getty Center is regarded as one of the best art museums in the country, and according to USA Today, it is completely free. The museum was built in 1997, making it one of the more modern institutions in the U.S., but it has some of the most impressive exhibits around. Staples such as Van Gogh's Irises and Monet's Sunrise are permanent fixtures, and it also welcomes many touring exhibits. Aside from the art, however, there is also an impressive garden located in the museum's center that is home to an estimated 500 different species of plants, which is certainly a good way to end your time there.

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