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If you’ve only ever seen the beautiful Bahamian island of Nassau while downing Aztec Sacrifice shots on the deck of Señor Frog’s, it’s time to get out and explore a bit more. Visit a pirate’s home, make your own wine, down some conch fritters, view underwater sculptures and get your thrills at some of the best water slides you’ll ever scream your way down. Here are 10 things to check out on the two most visited Bahamian islands.

RELATED: 10 cheap things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Photo courtesy of Jan Schroder

Be a winemaker for a day

You’ll have flashbacks to high school science class when you sit down in front of a set of beakers to blend your own private label wine at Nassau’s Bahama Barrels, the country’s first winery. But this class is way more fun—the beakers are filled with several varietals of wine! Pick your favorite mixture, name it, bottle it and cork it with your own private label.

Photo courtesy of Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board

Chow down on Bahamian cuisine

You haven’t really been to the Bahamas until you’ve downed a conch fritter or two—or maybe a dozen. Get an authentic taste of the islands at Bahamian Cookin’ where you can also enjoy island delights like steamed chicken and rice ‘n’ peas. If time allows, take the three-hour Tru Bahamian Food Tour, where you’ll get a little island history as well. For your fill of fish and conch salad, hit the restaurants at Arawak Cay, also called the Fish Fry.

Photo courtesy of Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board

Sip, snorkel and sunbathe—all in one spot

The 2.5-mile stretch of white sand at Nassau’s Cable Beach is perfect for relaxing, snorkeling, paddle boarding or just lounging and taking in the view of the impossibly turquoise water. Upscale resorts line the beach, with plenty of restaurants for lunch and bars to enjoy adult beverages.

Photo courtesy of Atlantis

 

Get soaking wet (and stay that way all day)

Spend a waterlogged day at Aquaventure, a giant waterpark at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort where you can climb to the top of replica Mayan Temples that then take you on a stomach-dropping plunge down various water slides—including one that shoots you safely through a shark-filled lagoon. Explore the park’s 11 pools and a not-so-lazy river featuring rapids, waves and tunnels that threaten to flip your tube. Guests at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort get in free. Non-guests can purchase a day pass, but these can sell out. Tip: Guests at the more budget-minded Comfort Suites Paradise Island get free entrance, too.

Photo courtesy of Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board

Get your glam on at a five-star resort

If you’re ready to ditch the flip-flops for heels and celebrate with a special night out, head to Paradise Island’s The Ocean Club, which recently became a Four Seasons resort. While you can’t access all of the resort if you’re a non-guest, you can still enjoy a drink at The Dune and take in the view of a magnificent stretch of beach. Also, stop by for a martini at library bar where James Bond enjoyed one in the movie “Casino Royale.”

ALSO: See it all for less with CheapCash—here’s how

Photo courtesy of People to People

Tour with a local (for free)

Hit Nassau’s hot spots, attend a sporting event and even enjoy a meal in a home with a local Bahamian with People to People, a free program offered by The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.  Just submit a request online including your interests and you’ll be paired with a Bahamian ambassador who’ll escort you around the island and show you the sites. If you don’t have time to take advantage of the program, you can still enjoy a complimentary afternoon tea party at Government House, which is the state home of the Governor General. Tip: Submit your request at least two few weeks in advance.

Photo courtesy of BREEF Lily Wagner

View an underwater sculpture garden

Nassau is home to the world’s largest underwater sculpture, an 18-foot-high, 60-ton piece of art called “Ocean Atlas” by artist Jason deCaires Taylor. Snorkel or scuba to see it in the Sir Nicholas Nuttall Coral Reef Sculpture Garden, behind Clifton Heritage Park and reachable by boat or by land.

Photo courtesy of JJan Schroder

Toast to Nassau’s pirate past 

Take a free tour of John Watling’s Distillery, then belly on up to the bar at this 1789 estate to try a signature Bahamian cocktail made with island rum. Don’t settle for just one: Try a flight of rums and make a toast to Watling who was referred to as the Pious Pirate because he didn’t gamble and observed the Sabbath. 

Photo courtesy of Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board

Watch flamingos march

Catch these shrimp-pink birds while they march around their pen at the Flamingo Experience show at Ardastra Gardens near downtown Nassau. These wading birds live nearly twice as long in captivity. 

Photo courtesy of Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board

Spend a day at a famous pirate mansion

Maybe a stay at a five-star hotel isn’t in your budget, but you can enjoy all the amenities of one with a day pass at Graycliff, a 300-year-old property that dates back to the time when Nassau was a hideout for pirates. Enjoy a welcome drink, a tour of the property, access to its gorgeous pool and a three-course lunch. The property includes the Graycliff Chocolatier and Graycliff Cigar Company, where you can view Cuban cigar rollers at work and even take a class and learn to make them yourself.

Tagged: Caribbean

Jan Schroder

Jan Schroder

An award-winner writer based in Atlanta, Jan is also an editor, book author, publisher of Girl on the Go and a really pathetic packer for a travel writer. She is also editorial director of The 100 Companies, a publishing platform with 100-word stories and 100-second videos.
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“America’s Finest City” really does have it all. Not only does this seaside metropolis boast some seriously enviable weather, but this once-sleepy destination has become a bona fide mecca for foodies and culture vultures thanks to its thriving theater scene, chef-driven eateries and the largest cultural complex west of the Mississippi. But San Diego‘s surrounding areas are equally blessed. Beyond the city limits lay breezy coastal communities, tucked away mountain towns and breathtaking desert vistas.

RELATED: 6 cheap hotels in San Diego you’ll actually want to stay in

Spring Wildflowers In Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California

Anza-Borrego State Park (Approx. drive time: 2 hours)
California’s largest state park—and the country’s second largest—is, oddly enough, one of its least known. But if you’ve got a bit of desert wanderlust, Anza-Borrego’s unlimited treasures are a manageable drive from the city. The best time to visit is spring, when wildflowers turn the stark desert landscape into a giddy kaleidoscope of vivid colors. But the landscape is fascinating all year round, even during the scorching-hot summer. Borrego boasts numerous plants and bird species, more than 100 metal art sculptures and the possibility of spotting desert critters like bighorn sheep, coyotes, roadrunners and rattlesnakes. Nighttime stargazing is phenomenal.

Flickr CC: atramos

Julian (Approx. drive time: 75 mins)
The mountain town of Julian is as wholesome and American as apple pie. In fact, apple pies are their specialty. Because this charming village of 1,500 residents is located at 4,235 feet above sea level, it experiences four true seasons, and thus enjoys a climate conducive to apple growing. Visit in fall and revel in cider, pies and other treats during the Julian Apple Harvest. If you’re hankering for a winter wonderland, Julian gets roughly 9 inches of snow annually. Once you’re finished making snow angels, dash back to sunny San Diego for an al fresco dinner wearing little more than shorts and a T-shirt.

Rocky coastline with sea cave at La Jolla, California

La Jolla (Approx. drive time: 20 mins from downtown)
Many of its residents would likely call La Jolla the crown jewel of San Diego, and in a way, they’d be right—in Spanish, the name literally means “the jewel.” Its compact and approachable downtown district is filled with galleries, upscale shops and chic eateries. This San Diego community is also home to the University of California at San Diego, and its Mandell Weiss Center for the Performing Arts and “Fallen Star” art installation. All of this is just steps from La Jolla Cove, which is equally as worth admiring as it is diving into. At nearby Torrey Pines Glider Port, you can paraglide while enjoying coastal views. And, if you hike the treacherous path down to Black’s Beach, you’ll find yourself smack in the middle of one of the busiest nude beaches in the U.S. Word to the wise: Mind those stingrays!

Salton Sea State Park Welcome Sign in Southern California

The Salton Sea (Approx. drive time: 2.5 hours)
An admittedly ambitious day trip, the Salton Sea is nevertheless a one-of-a-kind adventure. The largest lake in California, the Salton Sea was formed in 1905 by accident when engineers attempting to divert water from the Colorado River accidentally flooded the Salton Basin and thus created the Salton Sea. By mid-century, the area had become a weekend playground for Southern Californians, but sadly that didn’t last long. Today, you can step back in time at Bombay Beach and Salton City, two of several nearly abandoned towns left to decay during the downfall of the region’s popularity. Also nearby is the colorful Salvation Mountain folk-art installation, as well as the equally odd, off-the-grid squatter site Slab City.

Temecula

Temecula (Approx. drive time: 60 mins)
You don’t actually have to make the trek to Northern California to swill vino and picnic in the countryside. Although it’s often overshadowed by Napa, Sonoma and the increasing prestige of the Central Coast, the town of Temecula boasts more than two dozen wineries whose best yields include Rhone varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Best of all, it’s located less than 60 miles northeast of San Diego, making for a perfect afternoon excursion. Temecula’s downtown plays up its frontier past, but the ersatz Wild West vibe nevertheless creates a welcome diversion from boozing.

Tijuana (Approx. drive time: 30 mins)
No longer the easy, breezy border crossing it once was, a day trip to this infamous Baja California destination is still quite doable, provided that you bring a passport, fill out an entry form and are prepared to wait in line when entering and exiting Mexico. One of the easiest ways to visit is via the underrated San Diego Trolley’s Blue Line, which picks up passengers in downtown San Diego and drops them off 30 minutes later at the border, in suburban San Ysidro. Once in Tijuana, head to Avenida Revolucion, a magnet for tourists prowling for souvenirs and nightlife. Want to get a more authentic taste of the city? Make a beeline for Calle Sexta, the city’s emerging hipster haven, where you can revel in local live music, mezcal cocktails and authentic, modern Mexican art.

Tagged: California, Destinations

Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

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If you haven’t explored Washington, D.C. beyond middle-school field trips or history textbooks, you may not realize that our nation’s capital is a thriving travel hot spot. And not just because of the National Mall. There are countless ways to experience the city that don’t involve walking tours that shuffle between monuments and museums. Whether you’re in the mood for salsa lessons or some tasty ethnic cuisine, here’s where to go.

RELATED: 7 design-forward hotels we can actually afford—two are in DC!

Foggy Bottom

Ever heard of the White House? It’s Foggy Bottom’s—and possibly the world’s—most famous residence. Meaning you may see the president out and about. Either way, you’ll definitely see plenty of young people and restaurants, thanks to the nearby George Washington University. Check out the cheekily named Founding Farmers for a hearty brunch before hitting the neighborhood’s museums. Or head to Tonic, an old-fashioned pharmacy-turned-restaurant for some tater tots and other casual fare—it’s just a few blocks from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Georgetown

Welcome to the city’s shopping hub. In Georgetown, you’ll find high-end fashion along M Street, and plenty of local boutiques on Wisconsin Avenue. The neighborhood itself rivals the beauty of all those baubles and new outfits. Take a leisurely stroll down serene, tree-lined streets to discover historic buildings and stately old homes, as well as a waterfront park. If all that exercise makes you hungry, this district is also teeming with cafes, restaurants and bars.

U Street Corridor

Before Harlem sashayed onto the country’s jazz stage, there was U Street. During the 1920s, it was home to the country’s largest black, urban community, and was known as “Black Broadway” thanks to the iconic jazz clubs that helped launch the careers of Duke Ellington and Billy Taylor. The neighborhood’s lively spirit has been revived in recent years with a nightlife renaissance, and bustling bars—as well as some palatable Caribbean and soul food—once again lining the streets. You can still get a taste of old U Street at Ben’s Chili Bowl, an old-school chili dog stand and neighborhood institution.

Adams Morgan

If you find yourself with a taste for Ethiopian, Vietnamese or Ghanaian cuisine, the culturally diverse Adams Morgan neighborhood is your best bet. Its nightlife is also among the city’s funkiest. Colorful street art adorns its ample live-music venues, dive bars and late-night restaurants. The neighborhood is also something of a hipster mecca, though you’re just as likely to stumble upon salsa clubs and quaint cafes as you are ultra-trendy cocktail bars.

Woodley Park/Cleveland Park

Woodley Park offers a break from the city’s usual bustle. This affluent neighborhood is sandwiched between the Smithsonian National Zoo and Rock Creek Park. At the zoo, you can see giant pandas, lions and flamingos (the zoo is free, parking isn’t). Little ones can even meet alpacas and goats at the onsite kid’s farm. Rock Creek Park, meanwhile, offers miles of running and biking trails, as well as a planetarium—so plan ahead for a stargazing session.

Southwest Waterfront

This neighborhood is nestled along the Potomac, just beneath the National Mall. This makes it an ideal spot for checking out the DC Wharf, a revitalization of the open-air fish market that also includes eateries, bars, hotels shops and more and been all the buzz in the District since its 2017 opening. If you’re more interested in hitting the water, you can rent a paddleboat or kayak—it’s also a great way to get an up-close look at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

Chinatown

Washington’s Chinatown does have the usual smattering of Chinese and Asian restaurants, but this district offers more than just good food. After a filling lunch, you can easily walk to Madame Tussauds to see wax replicas of your favorite presidents past, or test out your sleuthing skills at the International Spy Museum. Across the street, you’ll find the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the slightly more offbeat Crime Museum. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s all within walking distance of the National Mall.

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Tagged: Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, Destinations, Washington DC

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You don’t have to spend a fortune living the high life somewhere cool. There are plenty of places where you can live large on a budget! These cities offer great food, amazing outdoor experiences and plenty of culture. While they may take you far from home, you’ll have money in your pocket to spend on the good life. Whether you’re looking for adventure in South Africa or history in Kiev, we’ve found the 10 coolest cities where you can live for dirt cheap.

RELATED: The 13 best budget destinations for 2018

Johannesburg, South Africa
Sure, Johannesburg lacks the dramatic coastline and picturesque wineries found in Cape Town, but South Africa’s largest city beams with vibrant character, hipster-driven coolness, and a new sense optimism after decades of troubled times. The city is evolving at a wildly rapid pace and some areas that were once decrepit seem to have been revitalized over night. Taste funky street food, dance to live music and sip espresso in Maboneng, a neighborhood that was once home to the shells of forgotten warehouses and a whole lot of trouble. On the cusp of hopeful change, Johannesburg still offers exceptionally affordable living. A spacious apartment in the most upscale neighborhoods will run you around $1,100/month. With a lot of expats and tech-focused youth attracted to the city, there are more and more up-and-coming areas to call home where you can find a perfectly nice apartment for $800/month.

Bucharest, Romania
There are plenty of reasons to live in Romania’s capital city, a place that has been bustling since the 15th century. For a while, the Old Town area looked—and felt—pretty run down. These days, new life pulses through the neighborhood, buildings are being revamped and businesses are coming are pooping up everywhere. A $4 cab ride will drop you at Bran Castle, once home to Vlad the Impaler who later inspired the Dracula tale by Bram Stoker. Bucharest was once called the “Little Paris of the East” and French artists and architects were brought in to design the city’s structures. Art and history are easily accessible and there are miles of beautiful parks that are free to explore. Carturesti Carusel is widely considered one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world and an apartment just down the street will run about $450/month, leaving you plenty left over to use on books!

Mumbai, India
Mumbai is a tornado of sights, sounds, smells and colors. A simple trip from point A to Point B can be an overwhelming experience with rickshaws and motorbikes zipping around cars, people walking on the side of the street rather than the sidewalk, and the occasional cow casually meandering through. While most either love it or hate it, no one can dispute that Mumbai is alive. Embrace the vibrancy and you will have no trouble falling in love with the City of Dreams. Enjoy a 1,000-square-foot apartment in a good neighborhood for around $850/month. To top it off, a personal driver and daily house cleaner will only set you back $200 monthly. Life in Mumbai is busy, beautiful and surprisingly budget-friendly!

Kansas City, MO
Closer to home, smack in the middle of the US, Kansas City is a surprising melting pot of flavors, cultures and history. The city straddles the Kansas-Missouri border and is known for its jazz music, finger lickin’ good BBQ (which you can enjoy for less than $10), and craft breweries. Outside of the downtown area, an apartment will cost about $680/month and you’ll only be minutes from all there is to do in the city center. City Market (founded in 1857) is one of the longest running farmers markets in the country and a great place to shop for produce and local goods from more than 30 local merchants year-round. There are lots of museums in Kansas City, including the Arabia Steamboat Museum and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Meanwhile, the Boulevard Brewing Company offers free tours that includes samples of the local brews!

Quito, Ecuador
In Ecuador’s capital, you can eat lunch like a king for less than $5. Nosh on items like traditional seafood, grilled meats, empanadas and yucca fries to international fare like jambalaya, Dutch pancakes and Asian noodles. The city, located high in the Andes Mountains, has amazing weather, beautiful scenery, kind people and a low cost of living—plus a lot of chocolate! Cacao is one of its most famous and prevalent exports.  Ready to up and move to Quito right now? A fully furnished apartment will only cost between $450-$600/month. Not a bad price for a thousand square feet of prime property. Find a place near Old Town and live within walking distance of the first location in the world to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Old Town covers 800 acres alone, while the Parque Metropolitano spans a jaw-dropping 14,000! That’s just about the size of Manhattan, so if you’re a nature lover, you’ll be in heaven. Hiking, biking and strolling forested paths are all free options here that will leave you feeling satisfied you’ve gotten all your steps in for the day!

ALSO: Sign up for CheapCash and live even larger when traveling the world!

Kiev, Ukraine
In a time when going to the movies in the States can cost you what feels like a week’s pay, Kiev is keeping it real! Taking your date to see the new summer blockbuster flick? In Kiev, it’ll only cost $7 for both tickets! Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Speaking of which, a good meal for two on the town will run you around $13. You’ll enjoy things like borshch,  varenik (hand pies with various fillings), schnitzel and pampushk (soft rolls soaked in crushed garlic and oil). Straddling the Dnieper River, the city was badly damaged in World War II, but has been beautifully restored. While Kiev is full of rich heritage, it is currently experiencing a wave of a patriotic fever that’s behind a cultural boom as big as any since the country became independent in the post-Soviet era (think hot art scene, vibrant cafe culture and jumping nightlife). A spacious apartment in a nice part of town costs around $750/month. Looking for something a little cheaper? A similar place in a less expensive area will cost around $450/month—that’s a price hard to beat!

Almaty, Kazakhstan
Okay, we’re not saying pack up for a move right this instant, but Almaty has an eccentric beauty about it and an insanely low cost of living. With the Alatau Mountains in the distance, the city uniquely embodies two seemingly contradictory lifestyles: traditional nomadic juxtaposed against a new modern metropolis. Average monthly rent in Almaty for a good-sized apartment hovers around $450/month. If you want to splurge on a fancy, upscale apartment in the nicest neighborhood in town, it will run you about $850/month. Spend your weekends visiting glitzy shopping malls, skiing in the nearby mountains, or perusing food markets where horse meat can be found alongside beef!

Da Nang, Vietnam
If you’re looking to shake things up a bit, move to an exotic location and enjoy a little more leisure life, we have the perfect city for you. The vibrant coastal city of Da Nang in Vietnam is known for its postcard-perfect beaches and French colonial influences. Shack up in a simple apartment for $360/month or live in luxury in a palatial pad for $549/month, the choice is yours! Spend your days strolling the sandy shores and slurping up noodles from a savory bowl of pho at a local café. The food, the culture and palm-tree laden beaches make this affordable city one-of-a-kind.

Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
Imagine streets lined with tasty street-food stalls snaking through a maze of modern, glitzy skyscrapers. Malaysia’s largest metropolis is a melting pot of cultures, and a wonderful home base for exploring Southeast Asia. Spend less than $750/month on rent and enjoy delicious flavor-filled lunches for less than $4 a day. Live near the city’s retail center Bukit Bintang if you’re a lover of designer shopping or set your roots a little further out of town in the upscale suburb of Bangsar, where charming streets are lined with boutique shops and hip cafés. Admittedly, traffic in Kuala Lumpur can be a nightmare, but the city’s multi-cultural charm and impressive march of modernity make it a compelling place to call home.

Mexico City, Mexico
Any city where you can feast on al pastor tacos, stroll artisan street markets on the weekends, indulge in art and culture with world-class museums and embark on a 20-minute Uber ride for less than $2 is a place we want to be. Pony up for a cozy, but furnished apartment for $775/month in the posh Polanco neighborhood, where quiet tree-lined side streets branch off of buzzing, boutique-lined main arteries. You’ll be near big, brand name shopping but also just steps away from farmers markets where merchants hock local goods. Mexico City maintains surprisingly cool temps (it’s the same elevation as Denver) so it seems worlds away from the Mexican beach towns you may be familiar with. Yes, tourists visits Mexico City, too, but in a city this big, they just seem to blend in.

Tagged: International, Mexico, Tips & advice, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

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When you visit Los Angeles, there are a few obvious tourist boxes to check—Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Walk of Fame, Griffith Observatory, Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica Pier to name a few. But, the city is filled with quirky and lesser-known spots to make your visit one to remember—and you won’t go broke because all of these are free!

RELATED: Best bargain shopping in Los Angeles

Drive the Pacific Coast Highway
Hit the ocean-hugging Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) with the windows down, take in the fresh air and sunshine and make some stops along the way. There are plenty of pull-over areas in Malibu where you can admire the views, buy fresh fruit from vendors and find some hidden gems. El Matador State Beach and the shops at Malibu Country Mart are two of our favorites.

Entrance to Malibu Beach | Photo by Lidia Ryan

Discover hidden entrances to Malibu’s best beaches
The entire California coastline is free and open to the public, but Malibu beaches are mostly behind private homes and parking is often expensive. Not to worry, though: Along PCH there are little hidden walkways down the cliffs that offer free access and very beautiful. Dan Blocker County Beach and Big Rock Beach are two good ones to try.

Flickr CC: Joe Wolf

Revel in the magic of the movies
A trip to Los Angeles wouldn’t be complete without taking in a little Hollywood history. You’ll have to head underground to experience this hidden Hollywood gem: The Metro station at Hollywood and Vine has two original film projectors from Paramount Pictures and tiles that symbolize the Yellow Brick Road from the Wizard of Oz. Movie reels cover the ceiling. Best of all, the subway stop offers easy access to attractions like Universal Studios and Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA).

View from Pepperdine University | Flickr CC: Kristina D.C Hoeppner

Explore Pepperdine University’s campus
Driving north along PCH through Malibu, you’ll come across an expansive, impossibly green lawn–that’s Pepperdine University. Take a quick detour through the clifftop campus to find magnificent views of the coast. You can also visit the Heroes Garden built in memory of 9/11.

Flickr CC: Sean Davis

Tour the Arts District
Art lovers should head to Hauser & Wirth art gallery where they’ll find a chicken coop, public garden, bookstore, education lab–and, of course, plenty of art. The gallery serves as an anchor the bustling Arts District, a walkable ‘hood boasting all kinds of cool little shops, galleries and eateries like Blue Bottle, Pie Hole and Wurstküche.

Topanga Living Cafe | Photo by Lidia Ryan

Chill in Topanga State Park
Topanga State Park is a free-admission desert mountain area for hiking and exploring (there’s also a state beach). It’s mostly an artists community with a cool history—Bob Dylan and others used to record music in Topanga and the Kravitz family also lived here. There is a quirky vintage shop called Hidden Treasures and a Balinese café and gift shop called Topanga Living Café worth checking out.

Santa Monica Incline | Flickr CC: Jonathan Wilson

Walk the Santa Monica Incline
The Santa Monica incline is an urban “hike” via a very windy and steep walkway from the beach over the highway and to a park offering and overlook with views of the cliffs and ocean. You can also drive up it.

Flickr CC: Neon Tommy

Celebrate Mexican heritage
There is a deep-rooted Mexican heritage in Southern California and Mariachi Plaza celebrates it. Located about a mile from DTLA, the small plaza has served since the 1930s as a place for Mariachi bands in full traditional garb to gather, play music and wait to be hired for parties.

Lady of the Lake at Echo Park Lake | Flickr CC: indigioMood

Admire Echo Park Lake
The Eastside’s Echo Park neighborhood has long been a scruffy place. But in recent years, the neighborhood has been cleaned up and Echo Park Lake has gotten a makeover. Take a stroll along the lake, take in the LA skyline and visit the Art Deco-style statue, Lady of the Lake.

ALSO: The best things in life are free, but cheap ain’t bad either. Sign up for CheapCash and start earning rewards instantly!

Snap a few Insta-worthy pics
No trip is complete without a few good grams, and Los Angeles is full of cool street art that serves as a great backdrop. Here are a few of our favorites:

Culver City Love wall | Photo by Kristie Wing-Smith

Culver City Love Wall
Artist Curtis Kulig created this public art on Higuera Street in Culver City as part of his “Love Me” campaign, which includes walls like this in major cities around the world. No filter needed here.

Flickr CC: ccharmon

Paul Smith Pink Wall
The single-toned bubble gum pink wall on one side of the Paul Smith store on Melrose is another Instagram sensation. For 2017 Pride weekend, one wall of the building was painted over in rainbow stripes (pink still remains) and is just as Instagram-able.

Instagram CC: @yelllowstefanie

Micheltorena Stairs
Strike a pose in front of the heart painted onto these rainbow steps on Sunset Blvd in the Silver Lake neighborhood, and then be sure to check out the neighborhood’s trendy hangouts. Hit the farmers’ market to browse vintage clothing, records and, of course, produce. Head to The Satellite (formerly Spaceland) to see up-and-coming band. Or hit the Chandelier Tree, a 100-year-old sycamore decorated with about 30 illuminated chandeliers. It’s such an attraction that food trucks gather nightly to feed gawkers.

California Dreaming Wall | Instagram CC: @jaclyngem

California Dreaming Wall
Located at the Chinese Laundry headquarters on La Cienega Blvd, a photo of this dreamy pastel wall will beckon you back to the city long after you’ve departed.

Tagged: California, Destinations, L.A.

Lidia Ryan

Lidia Ryan

Lidia Ryan

Latest posts by Lidia Ryan (see all)

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He may tease his fans with retirement plans, but Jay-Z never seems to quit. After taking a few years off, the hip-hop mogul recently released his 13th studio album, 4:44. Naturally, he’s hitting the road in support of the album, bringing the 4:44 Tour to arenas across North America this autumn (get your tickets right here on CheapTickets.com).

RELATED: These are the best metal bars in every city on the GnR and Metallica tours

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Jay-Z’s verses are peppered with references to the city where he got his start. If you want to experience the Big Apple via the dense lyricism of one of New York City’s most acclaimed artists, get in an Empire State of mind with these Hova-inspired destinations.

Yankee Stadium | Flickr CC: Dex

Lyric: “Catch me at the X with OG at a Yankee game”
Song: Empire State of Mind

In case you didn’t notice the baseball cap that he’s been sporting for the better part of his career, Jay-Z is a longtime Yankees fan. While you might not be able to afford the primo seats he usually occupies at Yankee Stadium, you can still find a spot in the stands (get baseball tickets on CheapTIckets.com, too) and enjoy America’s pastime in the middle of the Bronx—don’t forget to root for the home team.

Lyric: “And I sip fine wines and spit vintage flows”
Song: Can’t Knock the Hustle

Owned by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and famous for its appearance in the most recent season of Master of None, the Four Horsemen is a wine bar with some clout. That makes the Williamburg spot the perfect place to sip a glass of one of Jay-Z’s preferred beverages, choosing from a curated menu of more than 200 bottles from France, Italy and Spain.

Colorful amusement park carnival architecture at Coney Island in Brooklyn

Lyric: “…you better roll deep goin’ through Coney Island”
Song: BK Anthem

Growing up in Brooklyn, there’s little doubt that a young Jay-Z caught the Q train to Coney Island, a beachfront escape frequented by residents and tourists alike. If you’re not enjoying the sand and waves, you can take a stroll on the boardwalk, ride the famous Cyclone roller coaster or grab a hot dog from Nathan’s.

Brooklyn Bridge Park right before sunset. Brooklyn, New York City. Shot in June, 2016.

 Lyric: “I coulda bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo/For like 2 million”
Song: The Story of O.J.

Tech startups and luxury condos have taken over Dumbo, but the neighborhood under the Brooklyn bridge still has plenty to offer, even if you can’t afford to live there. Go for a walk in the nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre waterfront recreation space that boasts basketball courts, a roller rink and stunning views of the New York skyline.

 ALSO: Live large when you sign up for CheapCash!

The Museum of Modern Art | Flickr CC: Jon Rubin

Lyric: “Christie’s with my missy, live at the MoMA”
Song: Picasso Baby

After making several hip-hop masterpieces, Jay-Z revealed himself as an art lover on a track from his album Magna Carta… Holy Grail. You might see pieces by some of the rapper’s favorite artists when you visit the Museum of Modern Art—this autumn’s lineup of exhibitions includes a survey of Surrealist artist Max Ernst and a show exploring the creative process of sculptor Louise Bourgeois.

Buildings on Riverside Boulevard and Manhattan view over Hudson River

Lyric: “Look for me! Young, B, cruisin’ down the West Side Highway”
Song: ’03 Bonnie & Clyde

Want to see the sights that set Jay-Z’s and his then-girlfriend Beyoncé’s hearts a-flutter? Hail a cab and ask your driver to take the scenic route along the West Side Highway, which runs along the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan. You’ll pass points of interest like the High Line pedestrian path and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum—plus, you might catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty.

Lyric: “Who be, in a Japanese restaurant, eating sushi/Drinking sake”
Song: (Always Be My) Sunshine

You can find some of the most painstakingly authentic sushi in New York, but if you’re looking for something a bit more innovative, try Sushi Seki. With locations in Chelsea, Times Square and the Upper East Side, this Japanese restaurant is upscale, but not to the point where you’ll be forced to blow an entire paycheck. There’s delicious yellowtail, tuna and salmon on the menu, as well as a robust list of sake—Jay-Z would approve.

Tagged: Destinations, Events, Music, New York City

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There’s no better time to visit New England than the end of summer and early fall. The crowds have died down and the quietness of nature envelopes you and forces relaxation. In late summer, you’ll still enjoy warm temperatures and long days, perfect for exploring beaches. Come early fall, the trees will burst with colors and the temperatures will slowly start to lower. You’ll be in a perfect position to take advantage of hundreds of mountainous hikes, small town explorations and walks along the beautiful Atlantic coastline. Best of all, it won’t cost you a fortune. We’ve rounded up the 8 best budget inns—and found rates for as little as $160/nightly on CheapTickets.com—for your next New England visit. 

ALSO: 8 awesome hostels for travelers over 35

 

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Photo by Cedar Crest Inn

Cedar Crest Inn: Camden, ME
Located in Camden, the Cedar Crest Inn is just a few blocks from the beach. At just $159 nightly, you’ll pay a small price for a great family beach trip!

 

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Photo by Glenmoor By The Sea

Glenmoor By The Sea: Lincolnville, ME
You’ll get ocean views for as low as $159 nightly at Glenmoor By The Sea. Set in the charming town of Lincolnville, the property is oceanfront and near plenty of outdoor activities. 

 

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Photo by vtskiandride.com

Killington Mountain Lodge: Killington, VT
In winter, Killington is swarming with snow bunnies eager to hit the slopes, but this town is just as popular in the off season. Stay at the Killington Mountain Lodge for $134 nightly and spend your days lounging by the pool or hiking nearby trails.

 

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Photo by The Stowehof 

The Stowehof: Stowe, VT
Stowe is perhaps the most charming town in Vermont and like many ski towns, it’s a great place to visit in the off season. At the Stowehof, you can explore the town and hit up locally owned boutiques and great restaurants for as little as $99 nightly. Our favorite is Prohibition Pig, just 10 minutes away in nearby Waterbury. 

 ALSO: You’ll be inn good spirits when you sign up for CheapCash and start earning points toward hotel stays.

 

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Photo by Nantasket Hotel at the Beach 

Nantasket Hotel at the Beach: Hull, MA
The only thing standing between you and sand between your toes at the Nantasket Hotel at the Beach is a short walk acrorss the street. Ocean views greet you each morning at this inn for only $155 nightly. 

 

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Photo by innpartners.com

The Inn at Thorn Hill
A charming inn and a spa? You can’t beat that! Sure, it’s a little over the $160 marker but with rates as low as $179 nightly, The Inn at Thorn Hill & Spa is worth the extra dough. 

 

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Photo by Admiral Weaver Inn

Admiral Weaver Inn
Newport is easily one of the cutest waterfront towns in the country. Sailing is a way of life here and you’re sure to find an outfitter eager to take you out on the water. Stay at the Admiral Weaver Inn for $149 nightly and spend the weekend exploring the town from land and from sea. 

 

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Photo by The Spa at Norwich Inn

The Spa at Norwich Inn: Norwich, CT
For $151 nightly, enjoy this charming boutique inn and spa. Sidewalks lined with flowers wind through The Spa at Norwich Inn and white adirondack chairs are peppers about, luring visitors to sit, sip a cocktail, and relax. 

CheapTickets.jpg

 

Tagged: Beach, Family, Off-season

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Looking to travel on trend and on the cheap? Below are nine destinations that are currently bastions of cool that won’t break the bank.

RELATED: How to live out of your suitcase for a week or even a month

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

Enjoy one of the cheapest countries in Western Europe | Flickr photo by Francisco Oliveira

Porto, Portugal
The trendy travelers are trading in their Spanish Red for a glass of port in the stunning coastal city of Porto. Those looking for a little something different will find that Portugal has everything from delicious seafood to fairytale castles to offer. With more than 1,100 miles of stunning coastline and sights like the Quinta da Regaleira, Portugal will have you wondering why you waited so long to visit.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

The arch may have fallen but Malta is still stunning | Flickr photo by Juan Antonio Segal

Malta
Even a year or two ago most people might have had trouble pointing Malta out on a map. However, over the past few years, scenes from this small Mediterranean island nation have been frequenting our social media feeds. Earlier this year, the country’s most iconic landmark, the Azure Window, crumbled into the sea. Only time will tell if the number of visitors will fall along with the giant stone arch.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - GettingStamped

Mexico is always a good idea, no matter what your budget is | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Tulum, Mexico
People are trading in the same old Cancun mega resort holiday for a smaller and chicer Tulum getaway. It has been building a reputation in the Yucatan as the destination for young travelers and while hardly undiscovered these days, it remains a favorite. Tulum blends stunning beaches, tasty tacos and a relaxed chic vibe. 

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

Hangout in trendy Asheville for your next vacay | Flickr photo by Ken Lane

Asheville, NC
In the past year Asheville made the top cities in the U.S. list on at least 10 major travel publications, and accolades like these are sure to bring in new visitors. Asheville is situated at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and filled with trendy dining spots. The city is a perfect blend of both urban and outdoors-inspired activities. No matter what you’re into, you’ll find it in this up and coming gem.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

Lake Tahoe isn’t just for Californians anymore | Flickr photo by wilco737

Lake Tahoe, CA
A long time favorite of West Coasters, Tahoe is starting to attract visitors from other parts of the country. With no shortage of activities in all seasons—everything from skiing, tubing and sledding in winter to beach, biking and kayaking in warmer months— it’s easy to guess why people are loving it right now. Lake Tahoe is the kind of place where you can play hard during the day and then chill in comfort at night, which is something that really appeals to young travelers.

ALSO: Tourists are also flocking to CheapTickets to sign up for CheapCash so they can earn hotel discounts.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

Find yourself on the shores of San Diego this year for an amazing trip | Flickr photo by peasap

San Diego, CA
It’s debatable if San Diego was ever out of style, but there’s no denying the city is red hot right now. With year-round great weather and thousands of things to do, it’s hard not to love San Diego. In recent years the city has embraced the healthy living lifestyle, adding another element to the already vibrant city. However, San Diego still knows how to have fun and is on the leading edge of the craft beer movement with no shortage of places for great suds.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

The famous Stari Most Bridge in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina Flickr photo by jaime.silva

Bosnia and Herzegovina
An overnight Instagram sensation with its old stone circular arch bridges, Bosnia and Herzegovina burst onto the scene a few years ago and lately has tourists flocking to it. It addition to its famous bridges, Bosnia ha an interesting history both recent and ancient. Experience an Eastern European hospitality and culture that is worlds away from the other side of the continent.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

Think out of the box and plan your next city break in Detroit | Flickr photo by Mike Fritcher

Detroit, MI
Motor City isn’t dead. Detroit is in the process of an urban revival with trendy restaurants popping up all over, a new streetcar line that was unveiled in May and hungry entrepreneurs taking full advantage. Detroit is definitely on the upswing for travelers looking for a new place for a city break.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - GettingStamped

Ride off into the desert with a trip to Morocco | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Marrakech, Morocco
What is old is new again. The old classic, Marrakech, has seen a spike in visitors recently. Art Deco-era riads and the country’s exotic culture are bringing in a new generation of travelers. With mesmerizing, intricately patterned tile covering buildings and markets full of interesting goods piled high, it doesn’t get too more visually appealing than Morocco. We suggest at least 3 days in Marrakech to fully explore the city. 

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Tagged: California, Caribbean, Destinations, Mexico

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Atlantic City may never hold a card to the likes of Las Vegas, but that’s quite all right. Gambling isn’t the only reason to visit this hard hit Jersey Shore city. In fact, add these non-gaming attractions to your must-do list, and you’re sure to come away a winner.

RELATED: These are the best locals’ casinos in Las Vegas

Absecon Lighthouse, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Absecon Lighthouse | Photo courtesy of Do Atlantic City

Absecon Lighthouse
Although there may be prettier lighthouses, this one stacks up as the third-tallest in the country and still serves its original purpose. We wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t make it up the 228 steps, but the views of the ocean and shore from the top are spectacular.

Atlantic City Aquarium
Part of Atlantic City’s charming Historic Gardner’s Basin, the aquarium opened in 1999 and has become the enclave’s star attraction. Check out the Ocean Oddities exhibit for unusual sea creatures; pet a shark in the Tropical Shark Touch Tank; and catch the Live Diver Feeding Show at the 25,000-gallon Fish of the Mid-Atlantic exhibit.

ALSO: Looking for a safe bet? Sign up today for CheapCash and start earning towards hotels!

Atlantic City Boardwalk, New Jersey

Atlantic City Boardwalk | Photo Courtesy of Do Atlantic City

Atlantic City Boardwalk
Of course, no trip to Atlantic City is complete without a stroll along its famous boardwalk, built in 1870 and still attracting throngs of visitors to its shops, restaurants and food stands. Get your smart phone out for photo ops including in the “heart” of the boardwalk at the award-winning “Heartwalk” heart-shaped sculpture, created from hundreds of wooden planks salvaged after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the shore; it’s illuminated every night.

Atlantic City Miniature Golf
Located right on the Boardwalk at Mississippi Avenue, this family-owned, 18-hole course is pretty small, but not altogether easy. Try it at night when the lights and energy of the Boardwalk add to the appeal.

Arcades
Sure, the casinos may tempt with big payouts, but at least the arcades reward almost every player with some kind of souvenir, and at a smaller, more family-friendly pace. Hit Central Pier Arcade for the games, as well as for the go-kart speedway. Also on the Boardwalk is Playcade Amusements, which claims to be the longest-established arcade in town and gets points for its enticing prize selection.

ALSO: Hit me! Get this week’s promo code and other travel deals right there

beach, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Photo courtesy of Do Atlantic City

Beach fun
Who needs slots when you’ve got surf? Three beaches allow surfing and offer lessons; at Jackson Avenue Beach, kayaking and windsurfing are popular; from Gardner’s Basin, Atlantic City Parasail offers dry take-off and landing parasailing; and beach volleyball, boogie boarding, jet-skiing and fishing are also available at various beaches. If you’re looking to soak up a cool, 1950s atmosphere, head to Wildwood Beach.

Storybook Land
Closed only in winter, this kiddie magnet opened in 1955 and prides itself on being clean and well-maintained. Admission includes access to play areas themed around stories like Mother Goose, Snow White and the Three Little Pigs, kid-sized coasters, a Santa Claus house (the jolly guy and the misses visit during Christmastime), shady picnic areas, and a popular train that loops the park.

Lucy the Elephant, Atlantic City

Lucy the elephant | Flickr photo courtesy of Jim McIntosh

Lucy the Elephant
Of all the quirky things about Atlantic City, you can’t miss this one—literally. Lucy, the larger-than-life wooden elephant, was built in 1881 in Margate (formerly South Atlantic City) and has served as a private home, a restaurant and, since she was restored in the 1970s, a museum. Take the stairs to the “howdah” (canopied pavilion) on Lucy’s back to get a panoramic view.

Boat cruises
Several ocean cruise outfits such as Atlantic City Cruises and Cape May Whale Watcher offer skyline tours, booze cruises and sightseeing boat tours that focus on getting you those Instagram-worthy pics of dolphins and whales.

Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, Atlantic City, hotels

Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club

Golfing
More than 20 public golf courses dot the landscape within about a half hour’s drive of the Boardwalk. A few of the top courses include the Atlantic City Country Club, founded in 1897 and one of the country’s oldest golf clubs (it claims to have coined the terms “birdie” and “eagle”); the beautiful Ballamor Golf Club; and the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, which features both a links-styled course and a forest-lined course. Vineyard Golf at Renault Winery combines a championship course with the option to continue your day with a winery tour and tasting.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium
Along the Boardwalk and behind a façade that looks like it’s been cracked in half by a giant globe are oddities like the apropos roulette table made from 14,000 jelly beans, authentic shrunken heads and a wax replica of the world’s tallest man. Also here is a Laser Maze Challenge where would-be spies or thieves try to maneuver under, over and through a room crisscrossed with laser lights.

Tagged: Beach, Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, Destinations, Family, Types of Travel

Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

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Hotel Deals for New York
Amsterdam Court Hotel
NY, USA
Jun 20 - Jun 20, 2018
per night from
$ 309
$ 185.4

New York City‘s nickname is “the city that never sleeps,” so it comes as no surprise that there’s plenty to do here up through the wee hours of the morning. And while it’s a no-brainer that the bars here are open until very late (or early, depending on what your body thinks about 4am), there’s more to do in the Big Apple than pre-dawn imbibing. If you’re a night owl in New York City, here are some must-do activities:

RELATED: New York’s best cheap date-night restaurants

Juvenex Spa
Finding a moment of zen at 3am isn’t a problem at this Midtown spot. New Yorkers drop by Juvenex Spa at all hours of the night (and day—it’s open 24 hours) to sweat it out in the different on-site saunas, such as the baked-clay room, a jade igloo sauna and a traditional steam room. The communal hot and cold soaking ponds offer additional ways to detox in the middle of night. Plus, you can book treatments such as manicures, facials and other traditional spa fare around the clock.

New York style pizza

New York style pizza

Steve’s Pizza
It’s not difficult to find a late night slice of pizza in NYC—there’s practically a slice shop on every block. But Steve’s Pizza, located in the Financial District, is a fan favorite for its top-notch New York-style pizza which is way better than the dollar slice shops located around town. Plus, this small pizza parlor (which is open until 4am) offers upstairs seating, perfect for late night people watching over a slice of the popular white pizza or grandma’s pie.

IFC Center
If popcorn is one of your favorite midnight snacks, consider visiting this art house movie theater in Greenwich Village. The IFC Center plays midnight flicks on Friday and Saturday nights. The films are usually classics; recent offerings have included titles like Taxi Driver, Fight Club and The Big Lebowski.

UCB, New York, comedy, NYC, theater

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre | Flickr photo by Marcin Wichary

Upright Citizens Brigade Theater
Speaking of midnight shows, the UCB is another spot where you can find late-night entertainment. The improv theater (which has outposts in Chelsea and in the East Village) offers midnight shows on Friday and Saturday nights that range in price from free to around seven dollars. Amy Poehler, as well as many stars from shows like Broad City and Veep are alums of this theater, so there’s a good chance you’ll catch a comedic actor performing right before they become famous.

Times Square, NYC, after hours

Times Square | Flickr photo by Heath Cajandig

A walk in Times Square
Yes, this is one of the busiest areas in the Big Apple. Try to walk through Times Square in the middle of the day, and you’ll wind up sandwiched between a throng of tourists, unofficial Disney mascots and New Yorkers just trying to get to their next destination. But it is a site worth checking out, and the best time to do it is actually in the middle of the night. The crowds are way thinner, and thanks to the illuminating billboards overhead, this is a very well-lit part of New York. Unlike the Times Square of the 1970s and ‘80s, the latest iteration is pretty safe at all hours.

ALSO: Don’t let the Big Apple take a bite out of your checking account. Sign up for CheapTickets Rewards and start saving!

Empire State Building, NYC, New York

Empire State Building

Empire State Building
Manhattan is just as spectacular to look at in the evening as it is while the sun’s up, and one of the best places to take in views of the city is from the top of the Empire State Building. Many people are surprised to discover that the landmark is open until 2am every night. If you’re planning a late-night trip to the top floor, though, be advised that the last elevator up is at 1:15am. And if you’re visiting on a Thursday night, you’ll find a live saxophonist playing until 1am.

Roosevelt Island Tram, New York City, Manhattan

Roosevelt Island Tram

Roosevelt Island Tram
Another fun way to get a different view of the city is by riding the Roosevelt Island Tram. The elevated tramway spans the East River and connects the Upper East Side with Roosevelt Island, a small sliver of land between Manhattan and Queens. The tram run until 2am during the week and 3:30am on weekends. But be warned: There aren’t many things to do on Roosevelt Island in the middle of the night, so you’ll be making a quick round trip back.

Boho Karaoke
If you ever dreamed of belting out your favorite song in front of a New York audience, this karaoke spot is a good place for you. The bar, with locations in the West Village and Lower East side, offers an extensive catalogue of songs which patrons take turns singing until 4am. But if you have stage fright, you can rent one of Boho’s private rooms for a more intimate singing session.

Citibike, New York City

CitiBike | Flickr photo by Tom Marvel

Citi Bike
Riding a bike around NYC is a great way to experience its streets, and this bike sharing program makes it very easy to do so. You’ll find bike stations all around Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, and they’re open 24/7. A day pass costs $12, and you can use the bikes in 30-minute increments. It’s the perfect amount of time to take a quick neighborhood tour. Want to keep riding? Trade in your bike at a new kiosk and get a different one for an additional 30-minute window of riding.

Staten island Ferry, NYC, New York City

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry
During rush hour, this free ferry is pretty packed. But at night (the last ferry departs from Manhattan at 11:30pm on weekends), it’s much more relaxed. Hop on the boat at the South Ferry terminal in downtown Manhattan (the ferry takes off at least once an hour during off-peak times) and enjoy the ride to Staten Island, which includes great views of the city as well as the Statue of Liberty. Bonus: The ferries feature concession stands and free Wi-Fi.

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Tagged: New York City