Four Affordable Cities to Visit on Your Next Road Trip

When it comes to taking a road trip, it’s clear these days that cost remains one of the highest priorities before booking. There are quite a few considerations to make when planning your trip to a big city. Often times you’re left with the conundrum of choosing based on the city’s appeal and just how much it will take to make it a reality.

Here are four cities for a fun road trips on a budget. 


You don’t have to be a cowboy to enjoy this city; it won’t hurt either. The people of this southern city are hospitable to say the least.  Great food and a vibrant night life make Nashville a fun city to visit, but don’t let its country roots deceive you from its big-time city splendour. 

nashville postcard

Walking the streets of Nashville is entertaining in itself, with beautiful views of downtown and easy access to most venues. Eating in Nashville won’t break the bank, either.  At East Nashville’s Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden — where toppings include wasabi aioli, stroganoff béchamel, and “beer gravy”— the local-beef burgers start at $7.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

The twin cities are a hit for the outdoors enthusiast with more than 200 lakes and easy access to hiking and biking trails. If winter weather is your idea of a good time, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied, including ice skating and ice fishing.


Bundle up and go watch amateur and pro athletes compete in the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships in January on Lake Nokomis. Or try rock-climbing indoors at Midwest Mountaineering for free. No matter what time of the year, most agree that it’s always entertaining to grab some vino in uptown Minneapolis and people watch.


In terms of affordability, Houston just may be your best bargain. According to Zagat, restaurant meals are $3 less than the national average. And hotel room accommodations are also affordable with luxury hotels fetching less than $160 a night. As the country’s fourth largest city, Houston offers plenty to do for free thanks to this Houston for free resource page.

One of the best scenes in Houston is at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Open from March through November, the venue hosts a range of performances including classical music, ballet, dance, film, Shakespeare and more.  The theatre, set inside Hermann Park, also allows patrons to BYOB.

While many business trips are planned in Houston, and many who visit the area call Houston home shortly afterwards. Who knows, you just may want to stay and need to help with housing options in this bustling town.

Portland, Maine

I know what you may be thinking – lobster is expensive. New England cities in general are expensive. Well, Portland does a great job of evening out the sticker shock on seafood with free live music events and extended happy-hour prices. You will cut costs by showing up here in winter, when you can still enjoy Portland’s highly ranked microbrew coffee.

Also, make sure to visit the Old Port (sometimes known as the Old Port Exchange), which is a district of the city known for its cobblestone streets, 19th century brick buildings, and fishing piers. The area is also littered with boutique shops, restaurants and bars.

If you’re looking to visit a city for a road trip, all four of these cities have plenty to offer. Most importantly, they all include deals to make your stay worthwhile without depleting your bank account.