Alabama: Birmingham Barons
Attending a minor league baseball game is one of the best things to do when you want to save money and see professional-level athletes. The Birmingham Barons is the minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, and for just $14, you can see the team in person. Attend on 50-Cent Hot Dog Night, held every Tuesday during the season, and get a great deal on dinner, as well.
Alaska: Aurora Borealis
Location: Fairbanks offers some of the best views.
The best thing about the aurora borealis is that you don't have to do much to experience it. Look to the night sky around the equinoxes, ideally seven days before and after a new moon, to see this breathtaking natural phenomenon free of charge.
Arizona: Biosphere 2
Price: $20 for an adult ticket
The Grand Canyon is great, but one of the coolest things to do in Arizona for $20 is visit Biosphere 2. Housing multiple artificial ecosystems, Biosphere 2 conducts state-of-the-art research into topics as diverse as growing food on Mars and the effects of drought on the rainforest.
Arkansas: William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum
Price: $10 for adult admission
Location: Little Rock
Little Rock lets visitors explore a presidential library founded by a president who was impeached. The Clinton Presidential Library also offers vast archival collections, as well as research facilities, activities for students and teachers, and exhibits.
California: The Getty Center
Price: $10 to $15 for parking
Location: Los Angeles
Along with the expansive art collection and impressive architecture, The Getty Center — named for J. Paul Getty, president of the Getty Oil Company — offers one of the best views in Los Angeles.
Colorado: Film on the Rocks
Price: $15 for general admission
Location: Outside Denver
There are plenty of things to do in Colorado, but many of them cost a lot more than $20. Held at the legendary Red Rocks venue, Film on the Rocks lets visitors watch classic films in a stadium-style rock amphitheater. Spend $15, and enjoy an incredible movie-going experience.
Connecticut: Gillette Castle
Location: South of Hartford
Medieval castles are hard to come by in the U.S. Along with breathtaking stone architecture, Gillette Castle in Connecticut offers visitors access to affordable camping and hiking.
Delaware: Rehoboth Beach
Price: Free, though some attractions cost money
Location: Rehoboth Beach, south of Dover
Shopping is one of the best things to do in Delaware, thanks to the state's lack of sales tax. However, America's First State also boasts one of the country's top-ranked beaches. Along Rehoboth Beach, you'll find great attractions for kids, such as Jungle Jim's River Safari Water Park and Funland, which charges on a "pay as you go" basis.
Florida: Coral Castle museum
Location: South of Miami
Exploring the Coral Castle Museum is one of the creepier things to do in Florida. For $15, you can take a stroll through the mind of eccentric creator, Edward Leedskalnin, who supposedly built the castle singlehandedly from 1,100 tons of coral — without using construction machinery.
Georgia: Okefenokee Swamp
Price: $19.50 for a guided boat tour
Location: Near the Florida border
After you're done visiting Coral Castle, head across the border to Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp, where you can experience America as it must have looked to early explorers. Take a boat tour to see the wildlife as you travel down one of the waterways that Native Americans used centuries ago.
Hawaii: Lanikai Pillboxes
Location: Island of Oahu
If you want to experience Hawaii's natural beauty, check out the Lanikai Pillbox Hike. Here you can find some of the best views of Oahu's beaches and the surrounding islands, along with relics from World War II. As an added bonus, the hike is reportedly one of the easiest on the island.
Idaho: Bruneau Dunes
Price: $5 per vehicle, with standard campsites starting at $12 per night
Location: South of Boise
Idaho's Bruneau Dunes boasts one of the longest camping seasons in Idaho and features North America's tallest sand dune, standing at more than 470 feet. You can stop by for the day or camp on the grounds for the night.
Illinois: The Second City
Price: Ticket prices vary, but many are under $20.
If you're visiting The Windy City, one of the coolest things to do is spend a night at The Second City, a comedy club whose alumni include Tina Fey, Steve Carell and the late Chris Farley, among others.
Indiana: Studebaker National Museum
Price: $8 per adult ticket
Location: South Bend
There was a time when Studebaker stood alongside Ford and Chevy as American car staples. At the Studebaker National Museum, you can see all the iconic Studebaker cars and trucks that made this country great — and even helped the U.S. win World War II.
Iowa: Butter Cow at the Iowa state fair
Price: $8 for an adult ticket, if purchased before Aug.10
Location: East of Des Moines
Tickets to the Iowa State Fair are only $8, and there's plenty of music and food to go around. However, one of the coolest thing to do on the fairgrounds is view the Butter Cow, an ornate sculpture made every year from about 600 pounds of pure-cream Iowa butter.
Kansas: Kansas Underground Salt Museum
Price: $14 to $19 per ticket
Location: Northwest of Wichita
Kansas is home to the nation's only salt mine that's open to the public. For under $20, you can take a remarkable guided tour deep into the Earth, complete with tons of activities.
Kentucky: Bourbon Trail
Price: Tours vary in price, but most are under $20.
If you’re a whiskey lover, one of the best things to do in Kentucky is visit the state's Bourbon Trail. Kentucky is known as Bourbon Country, and visitors can sample many of the best-known brands of American whiskey, all within the Lexington area.
Louisiana: French Quarter and drive-through daiquiris
Price: The French Quarter Festivals are free. Daiquiris at DBC Bar & Grill cost less than $10.
Location: New Orleans
It doesn’t have to be Mardi Gras for visitors to celebrate New Orleans' vibrant culture. The French Quarter offers Louisiana's largest free music festival, as well as drive-through daiquiris to keep guests cool on hot days.
Maine: Hussey’s General Store
You'll forget all about lobster and expensive boat tours when you see Hussey's General Store in Maine. Billed as Maine's largest general store, Hussey's sells everything from kitchenware and used books to guns and bridal gowns.
Maryland: George Peabody Library
If you can't afford to see a Baltimore Ravens game, visiting the George Peabody Library is one of the cooler things to do in Maryland. The library features beautiful architecture, six floors of books, marble flooring and a massive open-air atrium.
Massachusetts: Martha’s Vineyard
Price: $17 for a round-trip ferry trip
Location: South of Cape Cod
You'll have $3 left to spend on Martha's Vineyard after buying a round-trip ferry ticket. Luckily, you won't have to pay to take in the island's beautiful scenery, beaches and famous cottages.
Michigan: North American International Auto Show
Price: $13 for an adult ticket
Held in January, the North American International Auto Show features the latest concepts, technologies and vehicles in the auto industry. The show kicks off with the luxurious Gallery event before wrapping up with the Public Show, which features electric vehicles, muscle cars and more.
Minnesota: Mall of America
Price: Free, but there are attractions that cost money.
One of the best things to do in Minnesota is check out the landmark Mall of America, located near Minneapolis. Besides being the largest mall in the U.S., the Mall of America houses the biggest indoor theme park and charges no sales tax on clothing or shoes.
Mississippi: Elvis Presley's Birthplace
When you think about Elvis Presley's origins, you probably picture his home in Graceland. Tupelo, however, is the true, modest birthplace of the King, and it'll cost you just $17 for a full tour of the site. Don't forget to check out the “Elvis at 13" statue, portraying the rock star as a boy.
Missouri: Anheuser-Busch Brewery tour
Price: Certain tours are free.
Location: St. Louis
St. Louis, Mo., is home to the flagship Anheuser-Busch Brewery, which features both complimentary tours and paid attractions like the Beer School, where you can try a variety of beers for just $15.
Montana: Glacier National Park
Price: $10 per individual ticket and $15 per vehicle, in winter
Location: Northern Montana, near Canada
The Big Sky State is home to the massive Glacier National Park, occupying a million acres. Featuring plenty of scenic trails, exciting sites and endangered species, Glacier National Park will cost you just $10 on foot or bicycle and $15 if you bring a vehicle.
Location: Western Nebraska
Jim Reinders designed Carhenge to look a lot like the actual Stonehenge site in England and dedicated the monument on the summer solstice in June 1987. Visit this immense car sculpture for free, and be sure to check out the on-site gift shop.
Nevada: High Roller
Price: $18 for an adult ticket during the day
Location: Las Vegas
For $18 you can ride the world's tallest observation wheel — basically just a massive Ferris wheel. Ride at night to see the city lights in all their glory.
New Hampshire: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Price: Tickets start as low as $10.
Location: North of Concord
Even if you're not a NASCAR fan, a day at the races can be a wild time. With tickets to the Sprint Cup Series starting at just $10, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway should certainly be on your bucket list of things to do in the Granite State.
New Jersey: Atlantic City Boardwalk
Location: Atlantic City
Walking the Atlantic City Boardwalk is free to the public. However, thanks to the large number of games, places to eat and, of course, casinos, you could easily end up spending more than $20, if you're not careful.
New Mexico: Taos Pueblo
Location: Northern New Mexico
In New Mexico, one of the coolest things to do is visit Taos Pueblo. One of America's few ancient landmarks, the site features structures built from mud and straw by Tiwa-speaking Native Americans more than a 1,000 years ago.
New York: The Brooklyn Bridge
Location: New York City
An attraction that's both free and trendy to visit, the Brooklyn Bridge is a great walking spot for tourists and New Yorkers alike. Built in the 1880s, the Brooklyn Bridge provides a great view of New York, including the Statue of Liberty, and still carries nearly 150,000 vehicles and people every day.
North Carolina: Blue Ridge Parkway
Price: $16 for a camping site
Location: Virginia and North Carolina
Experience 469 miles of beautiful scenery, natural sites and historic landmarks along North Carolina's Blue Ridge Parkway, America's longest linear park. Campsites start at just $16 a day, so don't hesitate to spend the night.
North Dakota: Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation
Price: $7.50 for an adult ticket
Location: North of Bismarck
Ideal for history buffs, the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation offers affordable tours. Additionally, there are exhibits showcasing art and artifacts from the Native American tribes whom Lewis and Clark encountered on their famous transcontinental trek.
Ohio: Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art features a wide array of exhibits and special events, including the Chalk Festival. Held in September, the event brings together artists from all over to beautify the museum's walkways.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City Thunder
Price: As low as $13 per ticket
Location: Oklahoma City
Oklahoma's only professional sports team of the highest rank, the Oklahoma City Thunder is a relatively young team but a competitive one. You'll likely have to go for the nosebleed section, but seeing an NBA game for $13 is definitely one of the best things to do in Oklahoma.
Oregon: Crater Lake National Park
Price: $10 per person or $15 per vehicle
Location: Central Oregon
Whether you enter on foot or by vehicle, Crater Lake is one of the coolest places to visit in Oregon. Renowned for its natural beauty, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. Created by the collapse of a volcano, it offers multiple activities, includingbackcountry camping, bicycling, fishing and swimming.
Pennsylvania: Reading Terminal Market
Price: $4 for parking
If tickets to an Eagles game are outside your budget, consider taking a trip to historic Reading Terminal Market for a huge selection of food and crafts. If you just window shop, you'll only have to pay the $4 fee for parking.
Rhode Island: RISD Museum
RISD, or the Rhode Island School of Design, is one of the premier, cutting-edge art and design schools in the U.S., and it's no surprise that its museum is top notch. The facility features artwork that runs the gamut from ancient to contemporary and includes costumes, clothing and sculptures.
South Carolina: Fort Sumter
South Carolina history buffs, or those visiting the state from other parts of the country, simply must put Fort Sumter on their list of things to do. After all, it's the military fort on which Confederate soldiers fired in 1861, triggering the start of the Civil War. The boat tour will leave you with just 50 cents of your $20 budget, but you'll get to enjoy a beautiful view of Charleston Harbor.
South Dakota: Deadwood
Price: There are many free activities. Buying into the poker tournament at the casino costs $20.
Location: Western South Dakota, outside Rapid City
Historic Deadwood offers visitors a look at what life was like during the Gold Rush. The city, which was the basis for the HBO show of the same name, offers free and cheap activities — as well as casinos for those who feel lucky — all within driving distance of Mount Rushmore.
Tennessee: First Saturday Art Crawl
Price: Free admission, plus wine and refreshments
As the name suggests, Nashville's First Saturday Art Crawl occurs on the first Saturday of every month. Visitors will get to see diverse artwork from some of the world's best artists all along Fifth Avenue of the Arts, plus score free wine and treats from exhibiting galleries.
Texas: Texas Ranch Roundup
Price: Adult tickets start at $10.
Location: Wichita Falls, near Oklahoma
If you're visiting Texas, a rodeo should be on your list of things to do. The Texas Ranch Roundup hosts some of the best-known rodeo events in the state, at prices that won't break the bank.
Utah: Bryce Canyon National Park
Price: $15 per person, if entering on foot or by bicycle
Location: Southern Utah
For just $15, you can explore Bryce Canyon National Park, either on foot or by bicycle. A ticket covers you for seven days of admission and includes unlimited use of the park’s shuttle.
Vermont: Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour
Price: $4 for an adult ticket
Location: Waterbury, outside Montpelier
Ben & Jerry's Factory is a must-see attraction in Vermont. For just $4, you can learn how one of the most popular ice cream brands creates its frozen treats. The facility also hosts free outdoor movie festivals during the summer.
Price: $7.30 for a Taylor Pork Roll Sandwich and a two-scoop BIG cone of ice cream
If you're a fan of ice cream treats, Norfolk, Va., offers another spot to visit. Founded in 1905, Doumar's is credited with inventing the waffle cone, so it's not surprising that it has some of the best homemade ice cream. Additionally, this eatery serves up classic North Carolina-style barbecue.
Washington: Pike Place Market
Price: Free. Prices vary by store.
A visit to Seattle's Pike Place Market can easily turn into an all-day affair. The market opens at 6 a.m. for breakfast and stays open until all the restaurants close, often as late as 1:30 a.m. Whether you're looking for fresh produce or unique crafts, Pike Place is your go-to spot in Seattle.
West Virginia: Palace of Gold
Price: $9.50 for adult admission
Location: Near the Pennsylvania border
West Virginia’s Palace of Gold looks like an attraction straight out of India, and with good reason. The palace was built for Srila Prabhuapada, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Completed in 1979, the Palace of Gold is an unusual yet popular attraction, bringing in more than 50,000 visitors per year.
Wisconsin: Wedl’s Hamburger Stand
Price: $4.70 for a bacon cheeseburger
The 100-year-old burger shack has gone through some name changes, but Wedl's Hamburger Stand continues to serve up excellent fresh-grilled sliders and ice cream, all at affordable prices.
Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park
Price: $15 to enter on foot, bicycle or skis
Location: Northwest Wyoming
There are many things to do at Yellowstone National Park besides look at the geysers. Yellowstone is perfect for biking, especially during the fall on its pre-set cycling routes. Come winter, the park is ideal for cross-country skiing. Whether you're on foot, bike or skis, you'll only have to pay $15 to enjoy the scenery.