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15 Wonderful Free Places to Visit

5. Cape Cod’s Great Island Trail

Great Beach Hill on Cape Cod's secluded Great Island Trail

Cape Cod, a peninsula in the Easternmost portion of Massachusetts, is an amazingly beautiful area of the country. The beauty and solitude of the area is extraordinary. Lush forests, beautiful beaches, quaint inns and bed and breakfasts, and plentiful outdoor activities make it one of the best choices for a quiet New England escape.

You’ll find no shortage of natural recreation, from the wonderful Cape Cod Rail Trail (22 miles of scenic biking along an old railroad route), to the Great Island Trail (7 miles of hiking through diverse natural landscapes). If you only have time for one activity, be sure to make it a walk along Cape Cod’s Great Island Trail.

Secluded beach on Cape Cod's Great Island Trail

This peaceful, yet difficult hilly trail, takes you past all the wonderful natural landscapes of the region: forests, marshes, and beach are just a few of the magnificent sights to take in along your journey. Above all, the primary highlight is a walk along one of the longest stretches of undeveloped beaches. The journey is long and rough, although completely spectacular and memorable. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a solitary experience along this natural masterpiece.

6. Marvin Braude Bicycle Path

South Bay bike path in Southern California

The best way to visit L.A.’s many wonderful beach towns is not by visiting each one separately, but rather by enjoying a leisurely ride along one of the country’s best bicycle paths: the 22 mile South Bay trail. This smooth, attractive, entertaining ride takes you on a wonderful trek past a handful of Southern California’s most iconic beach towns: Redondo, Hermosa, Manhattan, Venice, and Santa Monica each hold their share of interesting attractions.

Santa Monica beach in Southern California

Along the journey, you will encounter some famous, historic sights such as the Manhattan Beach Pier, the Venice Boardwalk, the end of Route 66 sign, and the Santa Monica Pier. Be prepared for some fun people watching opportunities. On this trail, you will see an assortment of diverse people enjoying diverse activities including surfers, volleyball players, joggers, walkers, bikers, rollerbladers, street performers, sunbathers, and tourists. Not only is the Marvin Braude trail the best way to explore the diverse coastal towns of L.A., it also happens to be the best free attraction in town.

7. The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail in Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is one of America’s favorite tourist towns and for good reason; the beautiful architecture, perfect summer weather, interesting historical sights, and plethora of things to do year-round are hard to match anywhere else in the country. One of the most popular activities in the city, the historic 3 mile Freedom Trail, takes you on a self guided journey through Boston’s important past. You will explore many sights of historical significance, learn some interesting historical facts, explore old cemeteries, and of course enjoy gazing up at the incredible architecture immersed all around you.

Old State House on Boston's Freedom Trail

Faneuil Hall on Boston's Freedom Trail

Skyline views from Boston's Bunker Hill Monument

It’s a wonderful path in a wonderful city. Best of all it is completely free! There is no need to spend money on other pricey attractions when you can have a little bit of it all on this trail; history, entertainment, and photography all rolled into one! What’s even better, this fantastic free activity doubles as an invigorating workout. Be sure to make room for an intense climb 294 steps up to the top of Bunker Hill Monument; here you will be treated to panoramic views of the city.

8. The Chicago Lakefront Path

Chicago skyline views from the Adler Planetarium

Although many tourists visit the majority of Chicago’s top attractions like the city’s well regarded museums, Navy Pier, and the Lincoln Park Zoo, most never even consider a walk, jog, or bike ride along the fabulous path which connects all the city’s main attractions. All too often visitors come and go with no knowledge of this great urban trail; no doubt one of the best in the country. What a wonderful way to explore this beautiful city and the amazing architecture found here!

Beautiful skyline views on Chicago's Lakefront Path

During your ride, you will pass Chicago’s top museums, Soldier Field, Buckinghan Fountain, Navy Pier, and Lincoln Park (be sure to check out this little zoo – one of the only free options in the country). All the while, you are treated to magnificent views of Lake Michigan and Chicago’s amazing skyline. Whether you choose to complete just a few miles or the entire 19 mile course, one thing’s for sure: you will create everlasting memories.

Views of Navy Pier from Chicago's Lakefront Path

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