8) Chicago, Illinois
The Windy City is a fast-paced, modern city with plenty to see and do. Chicago is known for its high-quality restaurants and contemporary museums, which can certainly put a dent in the budget. However, it also offers excellent food and art on the cheap. Last minute hotel deals on 3 and 4-star hotels start at well under $100/night. Famous cultural sites like the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Smart Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography are free of charge. Millennium Park is a free and fascinating 24.5-acre area showcasing some of Chicago’s most interesting art and architecture. Here visitors can enjoy free concerts, gardens, and an outdoor sculpture gallery. Grant Park, housing Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Shedd Aquarium, is another must-explore green space. No Chicago tour is complete without a stroll down Magnificent Mile, which boasts high-end shops and impossibly tall sky-scrapers.
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