As much as I love a good Netflix marathon, I can only binge-watch for so long. And with summer coming to a close, I know I’ll be itching to get out and make the most of these warm sunny days.
The only catch? I live in New York City, where tickets to Hamilton are $350 (if you’re lucky) and chocolate chip cookies can cost $4 apiece. With price tags like these, even sensible staycationing can be a major budget buster.
Of course, consuming prohibitively expensive entertainment and artisan desserts aren’t the only ways to tour big cities, which can also be beacons of free and low-cost activities if you know where to look.
To prove it, we asked big-city dwellers to tell us how they’d spend a day off in their hometowns for less than $50. Here are five budget-friendly itineraries, starting with my own Big Apple guide.
I’d kick off the morning in Brooklyn Bridge Park, taking in the Manhattan skyline and window-shopping in the surrounding DUMBO district. A quick peek at the park event calendar typically reveals a bonus freebie—a fitness class, kayaking, maybe even a music festival. (City park and library calendars are gold mines for finding freebies.)
Then I’d walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall and grab a $12 day pass for NYC’s bike-share program, Citibike. After a quick ride north to Astor Place, I’d spend some time exploring St. Marks Place and the many thrift shops and cultural treasures of the East Village. The 99-cent pizza joint offers the most budget-friendly lunch, but nearby Mamoun’s falafel is hard to beat with a hearty, healthy meal for less than $5.
From there, it’s a straight shot west to Washington Square Park, a perfect resting spot to people-watch. A few more minutes west, you’ll hit the Hudson River and the beautiful waterfront bike path, which I’d follow northbound to midtown. I’d make a right in the 40s and find a spot to dock my Citibike on 8th avenue, then try my luck at a Broadway show lottery. If I win, I’d enjoy my front-row theater seats for as little as $30. If I lose, I can head to the restaurants on 9th avenue in Hell’s Kitchen for happy hour to close the day out on a high.
Page 1 of 3 >>