How I'd Spend a Perfect Day in My City for Under $50
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Make Tacos and Beach-Lounging Your Mission in Los Angeles

Jackie Lam, 34, founder of Cheapsters.org

“I love mission-based staycations—to hit all the best ice cream parlors, curio shops or hotel pools you’ve been dying to visit in your city. In this case, I’d go on the hunt for the best tacos. In L.A., tacos are relatively cheap at places like Kogi Taqueria in West LA and Cerveteca in Venice beach, so you can try a variety. Each meal, including a drink, would cost roughly $8 to $12.

After lunch at Kogi, I’d hop on my bike and ride down to Santa Monica and Venice (for my second round of tacos later that afternoon) to enjoy the afternoon at the beach for a while. From Santa Monica, I’d ride down the beach bike path another 15-20 minutes, over to the Annenberg Community Beach House, where you can check out the work of resident artists at the Marion Davies Guest House. You don’t need to make reservations to visit the house itself, but you do need to reserve a spot if you want to take a dip in the pool or lounge poolside. (Cost: $10 for each adult.)

I’d then head over to the Santa Monica Pier. If the pier isn’t too packed, I’d also go for a quick ride on the ferris wheel, which offers a beautiful view of the ocean and is just $5 for a single ride.

I’d probably be worn that from all that biking, swimming and taco-eating, so I’d take the Metrolink back home ($1.75 for a single fare).”

Go Museum- and Landmark-Hopping in Chicago

David Winchell, 39, financial planner and founder of Winchell’s Wealth Management

“I would center my day around checking out the (free!) Lincoln Park Zoo and a trip to one of the amazing museums in Chicago. They’re all very reasonably priced, and many even offer special free days.

I have three young children, so after the zoo, we’d take the bus ($2 each) to Millennium Park to enjoy a picnic lunch before walking over to Chicago’s famed Navy Pier to stroll through the gardens and along the waterfront while taking in the downtown horizon. On summer Wednesdays and Saturdays, there’s also a free fireworks show.

I’d then walk over to Michigan Avenue’s ‘Magnificent Mile’ for prime window-shopping and a visit to the free Richard H. Driehaus Museum, where we’d check out the art and architecture of America’s Gilded Age right in downtown Chicago.

Finally, we’d stop into Chicago-based burger joint M Burger for some delicious, cheap eats (you can get a burger for as little as $4.50) and a milkshake ($3.50) to round out the day.”

August 30, 2016

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