4) Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. may pose more of a challenge as far as finding budget-friendly accommodations, but it makes up for it in the activities category. The capital city offers a plethora of free sites and museums, including the Smithsonian, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History, U.S. Capitol, Ford’s Theatre, and the National Mall. White House tours are also free, but requests must be made well in advance through your congressman. DC by Foot offers free (gratuity welcome) walking tours of the city. The National Zoo is home to pandas, orangutans, elephants and sea lions and is free to visit. Zoo parking is not free, however. Public transportation via the metro system is a viable alternative in a city known for gridlock in the streets and in Congress.
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