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7 Sweet (Free) Ways to Spend a Long Weekend

The weekend’s finally here! It’s time to celebrate! Unfortunately, you’re broke, and payday’s a week away. What are you going to do? Here are some fun, free things to do this weekend (or at least ones that are relatively cheap).

Hike to the Hollywood Sign
hollywood-signImage via Flickr by Gavin Johnson

In the heart of Los Angeles lies the Hollywood Sign. The sign has been featured in many movies, so seeing it up close can be overwhelming. Just make sure not to get too close to the sign. The area is monitored at all hours of the day, so if you try to sneak up to it, you’ll get caught and arrested.

Check out a Show and Support Live Music
Check online and see if anyone is offering a concert in the area. In Nashville, for instance, during the Fall, there’s a free weekly show downtown. These shows feature different guests every week. After the show is over, you can take a stroll downtown and duck into any number of bars that feature live music.

Brush up on Science and History in Washington DC
After browsing rental cars and taking a road trip to Washington, D.C., visit one of the Smithsonian Museums. The Smithsonian Museums, which include the National Zoo, the National Museum of Natural History, and the National Air and Space Museum, are all free to visit. The National Zoo houses over 2,000 animals from 400 different species and includes everything from apes to insects.

Visit Independence National Historical Park
Take a free tour of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The Constitution was drafted at Independence Hall. See the one-ton Liberty Bell, protected by glass. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Betsy Ross also attended a nearby church.

Make a Pilgrimage the Site of the WTC Memorial
While the majority of us witnessed the event on television, you can go to the memorial site in New York City to solidify the event in your mind. While somber, it really makes the reality of what happened sink in. If you find yourself in New York City, you should pay your respect at the memorial. It’s free to attend, but advance reservations are required, so if you’re planning a trip to NYC, make sure to reserve your spot.

Learn About Cable Cars
Head over to Nob Hill museum in San Francisco and learn about the history of cable cars. The museum houses cars all the way back to the 1870s. Learn about how cable cars were saved in the ’40s. You’ll be able to see the cars running and ring one of the real car bells.

Visit a Famous Art Museum
Some art museums, such as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, are free to visit. The art exhibit, located in Bentonville, Arkansas, houses some very important pieces of work. Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter, which inspired many women in the World War II era, is housed here. Andy Warhol’s Dolly Parton is also here.

No matter what city you live in, there’s always something free (or at least relatively cheap) to do. Explore the options in your city. What are some of your favorite free things to do?


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