Air Mobility Command Museum
Clayton Parlor, Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
A little American Kestrel at the New Jersey Raptor Trust, May 5, 2012.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta, Georgia
Yale Center for British Art, fourth floor, Long Gallery following reinstallation
The USS Constitution is escorted by a tugboat in Boston Harbor as a crowd looks on from the shore in Boston, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012. The USS Constitution, the U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned war ship, sailed under her own power during the event Sunday for the first time since 1997. The sail was held to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the ship's victory over HMS Guerriere in the War of 1812.
Geek out on Edgar Allan Poe history at Baltimore’s Edgar Allan Poe Collection at Enoch Pratt Free Library—you’ll see everything from his original manuscripts and letters to his 13-year-old future bride to a lock of his hair (because that’s not creepy at all).
The House at Snee Farm was constructed circa 1828 on the site of Pinckney's plantation house. Today it is the park's visitor center and museum. 2013-02-27
Budweiser brewery tour in Merrimack New Hampshire
Mark Cline stands before "Foamhendge", his full-sized foam and fiberglass recreation of Stonehendge, located on Rt. 11 near Natural Bridge, Va., April 26, 2016. Cline must move the monument before Aug. 1 because Foamhenge sits on property that will become part of the new Natural Bridge State Park.
Downtown Boathouse
Duke Homestead State Historic Site
Beavertail Lighthouse, built in 1749, is a lighthouse for entrance into Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus), the State Bird of Vermont
See the reconstructed single-room log cabin our sixteenth president was born in at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace, in Hodgenville. Don’t miss a look at Sinking Spring, the natural underground spring that made the Lincoln’s water source.
Clingman's Dome mountaintop observatory in the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
An overhead gallery view of the fourth building aircraft at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio, May 2016. The fourth building includes more than 70 aircraft in four new galleries -- Presidential, Research & Development, Space and Global Reach.
Take a ranger-led tour of New Orleans’ 18th-century French Quarter history via Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Every building in the neighborhood has a story (for example: 417 Royal Street, where painter Edgar Degas’ grandfather lived—and where General Andrew Jackson went to dinner parties.
Catch an old timey Deep River Grinders Baseball game; they play by the original 1858 rules of baseball (no mitts!) in Indiana’s South Shore.
L.Q.C. Lamar House Museum
See leopards, lions, and lowly leaf frogs at Lincoln Park Zoo, open 365 days a year. Don’t miss the Farm-in-the-Zoo Dairy Barn where you can meet and greet goats, cows, chickens, etc.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham, Alabama
Pretend you’re a Light Keeper at Lubec’s 1858 lighthouse at West Quoddy Head Light Keepers Association, keeping your eyes out for seals and humpback whales along the coastline.
Branson Landing Light Show, Branson, Missouri
View from gallery bridge to north lawn with Lowell’s Ocean, steel sculpture by Mark di Suvero, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.
Thunder Bay Exhibit, November 2009, Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center
Look for alligators (from a distance, of course) at Big Cypress National Preserve. Keep your arms inside your vehicle at all times on 27-mile loop road; the reptiles are rife along this cypress-lined drive.
Swimmers on a hot day in Barton Springs Pool. Barton Springs Pool is a man-made recreational swimming pool located on the grounds of Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. The pool exists in the channel of Barton Creek and is filled by water from Main Barton Spring, the fourth largest spring in Texas.
Explore Hollywood history at The Field of Dreams movie site (“If you build it, he will come”), on farmland just 25 miles west of Dubuque. Bring baseball gear—you’re welcome to play.
Jelly Belly Candy Company located in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, Thursday May 1, 2003.
Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California
Frank Gehry's Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus on May 21, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Multnomah falls, Oregon
Take a full moon walk or a fly-tying class at Wichita’s Great Plains Nature Center, where you might spot everything from great horned owls to prairie voles on the grounds.
This Thursday Oct. 29, 2015 photo shows Justin Chafin as he brings water-droplet shaped glass to the oven for firing at Blenko Glass Company, in Milton, W. Va. Barrie Kaufman is partnering with the company on a special collaborative project focusing on clean water and sustainability.
Silverton Casino Aquarium, Las Vegas, Nevada
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument Diorama Reflections
Denver rang in the new year with free skating in Skyline Park on the 16th St. Mall Tuesday night, December 31, 2013.
Bison at Sullys Hill National Game Preserve in North Dakota.
Western figures play poker inside Wall Drug store in Wall, South Dakota.
Overlooking the University of Montana campus in Missoula is Mt. Sentinel and Missoula's huge "M". It's a popular hike up to the "M" and on to the top.
Center for Wooden Boats, Lake Union, Seattle, Washington
Spot sturgeon, salmon, and trout from the underwater viewing windows at Morrison Knudsen Nature Center, in Boise. There’s also an informative “stream walk” where you’ll everything from tiny waterfalls to a beaver dam.
Extreme Tubing, Utah Olympic Park
Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge
Petroglyph National Monument, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Downtown trolley on West Main Street, Old Town, Scottsdale, Arizona
Two-time Iditarod Champion Norwegian Robert Sorlie's dog handler, Frenchman Beniot Gerard, exercises Sorlie's dogs through a practice trail in Wasilla, Alaska, 28 February 2007 prior to the 2007 Iditarod sled dog race which begins 03 March 2007.
Watch Polynesian hula dancers get down near the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, at the waterside Kuhio Beach Torchlighting and Hula Show. Just don’t forget to say mahalo.
Ford's Theatre
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The Best Free Thing To Do in Each State (and DC)

May 26, 2016

When you're on vacation and nearly every step you make takes a bite out of your wallet, the most beautiful sight may just be a four-letter word: FREE. Of course, sometimes you get what you pay for, but there are plenty of truly cool and totally gratis attractions out there. In fact, MONEY pulled together a list of the best free thing to do in each of the 50 states. We even threw in one for Washington, D.C.

There are plenty of surprises in store, from an unusual way to explore New York City to the jellybean tour in Wisconsin. A few of these free gems are a bit off the beaten track, but if you want to hang out with Iditarod sled dogs in Alaska or sip a Budweiser with the Clydesdales in New Hampshire, you've got to take a few less-traveled roads. Still, you'll find one thing at each of these destinations: a great way to skimp on cost, not on fun.

By the way, if you're looking for your state here, don't bother searching alphabetically. The list runs in the order of when a state entered the Union. Just think of it as a free history tour.

MONEY may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

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