It’s almost summer, boys and girls! The warm and sunny days bring about trips to the local park, grilled burgers in the backyard and those biking shorts your wife doesn’t love. That’s the good news, but the bad news is gas prices are at their highest point in years. Also, admission prices at amusement parks are rising faster than the temperature on the thermometer. Where is the relief when it comes to vacation costs? That’s where Money Examiners comes to call because we found a few things that will make your vacation memorable. Best of all, they come at a cost of zero dollars and zero cents. Read on for the best things to do this summer that keep that overworked debit card in your wallet.
War and Peace in Old San Antone’. “Remember the Alamo” is perhaps the best-remembered three-word phrase in American history. If you haven’t been to see it already, this is one of the best things you can do this summer. “Fun” isn’t the right word, but we can all use some knowledge of the growing pains that made this country what it is today. After a visit to the old mission, you can walk a short distance to the Japanese Tea Garden. The restored attraction features lush year-round greenery, along with a stunning floral display. Shaded walkways, a 60-foot waterfall (pictured), stone bridges, and Koi ponds abound.
Houston is Bats! No, that isn’t someone from Dallas making fun of a rival city. Actually, Houston is home to thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats! They spend warm (okay, hot) Houston summer days under the Waugh Drive Bridge, but at dusk, they emerge to feed on insects.
Be Awed in Atlanta. Georgia’s capital city is full of things to do, but two of the best things in Atlanta are free! Examine Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and Civil Rights legacy at the national historic site named for him. Its 35-acres include his birth home, as well as his tomb and monuments. Afterward, go to the Anne Frank Exhibit. It’s a free museum that depicts the life story of just one of the many young people sacrificed to Nazi atrocities during the Holocaust.
Science and Elephants in St. Louis. The St. Louis Science Center is hosting a King Tut exhibit, alongside many other special features. Get your science on, then cross the street to the St. Louis Zoo. Admission is always free and there are over 600 animal species on 90 acres.
Mall Walking in the District of Columbia. This isn’t THAT kind of mall, or Money Examiners wouldn’t call it free. Actually, the National Mall is the walkway between the U.S, Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. The many things to see include the Washington Monument, Korean Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Vets Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool.
Walk the Golden Gate. You may have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge by car. Or, you flew into SFO and saw it from the air. All well and good, but you haven’t “done” the Gate until you’ve walked across it. Head to the bridge plaza visitor center on the City end. Take in the view, along with the Golden Lady’s history and walk the 1.7-mile span.
That’s our list, but I’ll bet you have some ideas of your own in your town. Memories don’t have a price tag, but you have to seek them out to find the free ones.