Do you desperately need to get away and go somewhere? You might have daydreams of exotic tropical cruises or sightseeing in Europe, but your tight-budget reality may demand a dirt-cheap vacay.

Luckily for you and your wallet, the U.S. has many fun and affordable places to visit, maybe one that's just a short road trip away.

Check out America's top low-cost travel destinations, according to U.S. News. Its ranking is based on an analysis of opinions from experts and readers.

17. Biloxi, Mississippi

Biloxi lighthouse as night falls with passing automobile traffic in Mississippi
CrackerClips Stock Media / Shutterstock
The lighthouse is a popular attraction in Biloxi.

When you think of gambling destinations, Las Vegas or Atlantic City might come to mind first. But Biloxi, on the U.S. Gulf Coast, has no less than a dozen casinos right along the water that offer cheap hotel accommodations and entertainment.

Grown-ups can bar-hop down Fishbone Alley, visit a brewery or take a tasting tour at Boggy Creek Vineyard. For family fun, there are plenty of free parks and museums, and admission to the popular Biloxi Lighthouse is just $5 for adults, $2 for kids.

16. Oklahoma City

Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Dave Newman / Shutterstock
When in Oklahoma City, you'll want to visit the state Capitol.

Oklahoma City is nicknamed “The Big Friendly,” and visitors will find it budget-friendly. Historic old Route 66 runs through the city and is dotted with landmarks and museums you can visit for free, including the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Other interesting and relatively inexpensive attractions include the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and the American Banjo Museum. Kids will enjoy Frontier City, a Wild West-themed water park. Look for coupon codes online.

15. Branson, Missouri

The Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri
Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau / Flickr
The Titanic Museum in Branson looks like a replica of the ship, complete with an iceberg!

Never heard of Branson? Well, how about the Titanic? Branson has a museum built like a replica of the “unsinkable” ship, where you and your significant other can pose for once-in-a-lifetime photos and see actual items saved from the wreckage.

But your kids may not enjoy listening to Celine Dion on repeat or watching you get teary about some guy named Jack. Make it up to them with a visit to the World’s Largest Toy Museum or one of the many amusement parks in the area.

14. Daytona, Florida

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEB 20: Kurt Busch (22) takes his Pennzoil Dodge down the frontstretch during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
Action Sports Photography / Shutterstock
The speedway is one of the main attractions in Daytona.

Fans of NASCAR will already know that this Florida beach town is the home to the Daytona International Speedway. Racing tickets aren’t exactly cheap, though Groupon usually has good deals.

If you would rather take it slow while you’re on vacation, soak up some sun with a good book on Daytona Beach. When you’re done, you can visit one of the area's many beautiful museums or see a live show at the Daytona Playhouse.

13. Raleigh, North Carolina

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - AUGUST 22, 2015 - View of the Raleigh skyline from near the Western Boulevard exit
outdoorimages / Shutterstock
A vacation in Raleigh will keep your family busy.

You'll find so much to do in Raleigh that you won’t be able to accomplish it all in one trip.

North Carolina's capital city has several free museums, including the North Carolina Museum of History, and museums that do charge admission all tend to have free or discount days.

If you’re ready to spend a little bit of cash, you could see a game or concert at the PNC Arena or shop at the ginormous Crabtree Valley Mall.

12. Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas

Fort Worth, Teas, USA, - March. 23. 2012: Fort Worth Herd Longhorn Cattle Drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District
T photography / Shutterstock
You can experience an authentic cattle drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards.

The Dallas area offers big-city attractions at small-town prices. If you stay in the heart of Dallas, you can hop on a free trolley to get around town. The city also is home to the Texas State Fair, JFK historic sites and the football Cowboys.

If you'd rather see authentic cowboy history, visit the Fort Worth Stockyards. You can experience free historic demonstrations of cattle-driving, a Wild West show and a “cow camp” where kids and adults can learn to be cowboys and cowgirls.

11. Jacksonville, Florida

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 5, 2015: Downtown Jacksonville skyline viewed over St. Johns River. The city is the largest in the state by population.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock
Kids and adults will find a lot to love in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville is a sprawling city with so many affordable attractions, you’ll have plenty to keep you entertained after you’re done tanning in the North Florida sun.

The Cummer Museum has beautiful artwork and a lovely outdoor garden. Craft beer lovers will find multiple breweries, and kids will love the Jacksonville Zoo and Sweet Pete's, a candy shop featured on CNBC's "The Profit."

Hotels offer deals for under $100.

10. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA town skyline in the Smoky Mountains.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock
Gatlinburg offers beautiful mountain scenery -- and quirky attractions.

At the gateway to awesome Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is a city rich in natural beauty. But if you have kids who'll yawn at the scenery, there are quirky museums, a chair lift ride and even a mountain coaster.

Grownups will enjoy the hiking trails, skiing (in season), whisky distilleries, breweries and wineries. On Airbnb, you'll find dozens of options to rent an entire house or apartment — maybe even a romantic log cabin — for less than $100 per night.

9. Phoenix

Phoenix Arizona
Andrew Zarivny / Shutterstock
Phoenix is a desert city with plenty of things to see.

Within its city limits, Phoenix offers several legendary golf courses and interesting sights, such as the historic Tovrea Castle and the odd and man-made Mystery Castle. The Desert Botanical Garden is a gorgeous tribute to the local landscape.

A budget traveler can rely on Phoenix's decent public transportation — Valley Metro rail and bus. And, you'll find numerous hotel options for under $100 per night. Use a hotel rewards credit card to rack up points from your stay.

8. Salt Lake City

Scenic view of Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island in Utah.
InnovativeImages / Shutterstock
The Great Salt Lake is a great reason to visit Salt Lake City.

As the name suggests, one of the biggest attractions when you visit Utah's capital city is the Great Salt Lake, which spans an impressive 1,700 square miles. Admission to Great Salt Lake State Park costs just $3 per car.

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the Hogle Zoo are worth visiting, too, and are fairly inexpensive, and if you go in the winter, you'll find great ski resorts in the surrounding area. An adult lift ticket can cost as little as $39.

7. Williamsburg, Virginia

Horse and carriage in Williamsburg colonial town in Virginia in the United States of America
Rui Serra Maia / Shutterstock
Williamsburg is steeped in colonial history.

For history buffs looking for an All-American vacation, Colonial Williamsburg allows you to step back in time to the 1600s. This family-friendly village offers both guided and self-guided tours, plus authentic entertainment and food.

The Busch Gardens theme park, also in Williamsburg, has amazing roller coasters for adrenaline junkies. Plus, you could take a drive and see the free national landmarks in Washington, D.C, a city that's budget-friendly — even when the politics get nasty!

6. Memphis, Tennessee

Graceland - Memphis, Tennessee
Malgorzata Litkowska / Shutterstock
In Memphis, you can tour Elvis Presley's iconic Graceland mansion.

Music lovers looking for a cheap vacation should head to Memphis. You can visit the Beale Street blues clubs and Graceland, the home of the late, great Elvis Presley.

Tours inside Graceland can get pricey, but a little-known tip is that if you show up between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m., entry to the outdoor meditation garden is absolutely free. You can see the exterior of the house and pose for pictures.

Memphis has tons of free things to do, like musical performances at Overton Park, the Art Museum of the University of Memphis, and the Pink Palace Museum, which doesn't charge admission Tuesday afternoons.

5. Albuquerque, New Mexico

The home in Albuquerque that served as Walter White's house on
penjelly / Flickr
On a "Breaking Bad" tour of Albuquerque, you see "Walter White's house" and other local sights.

You may want to time it just right if you visit Albuquerque so you can take in one of its spectacular annual events, like the hot air balloon festival or the Native American Gathering of Nations Powwow.

If you’re a fan of Breaking Bad, you could take a free self-guided tour of locations from the TV show, such as the local house that doubled as Walter White's home (above). Lonely Planet has a good do-it-yourself tour connecting locations with episodes from BB.

In Albuquerque, it's not too difficult finding a hotel room for $50 a night.

4. Tucson, Arizona

Old West Street and Hotel outside of Tucson, Arizona.
Jim Feliciano / Shutterstock
Visiting Tucson is like getting a taste of the Old West.

If you've been through a rough winter and want a warm vacation retreat, don’t head to Florida with the rest of the snowbirds. Go west to Tucson for its sunshine and temperatures that never dip below 60s.

You'll find free or cheap historic sites, museums and parks (including iconic Saguaro National Park), plus delicious authentic Mexican food. There's even a movie set called “Old Tucson” that will transport you back to the Old West.

When you tool around Tucson, be sure to use a gas credit card to earn cash back from your fill-ups.

3. Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS - AUG 06 : View of the strip on August 06 , 2013 in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately 4.2-mile (6.8 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada.
Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock
Glittery Las Vegas can be surprisingly cheap.

Staying at a casino can be very cheap in Las Vegas, because those establishments earn most of their money from gambling. Rooms at Circus Circus start at just $21 per night, and kids will love the hotel's theme park rides and free circus show.

If you can restrain yourself from gambling, it’s possible to get away with a very cheap Vegas vacation. There are loads of free attractions, including art galleries and the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, featured on the History channel's Pawn Stars.

2. San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - JANUARY 7: The Alamo, originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero, with the Crockett Hotel neon sign in the background on January 7, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock
Remember the Alamo if your travels take you to San Antonio.

San Antonio is where you go to remember the Alamo. The historic mission offers guided tours, historic reenactments and occasional lectures and book signings — and admission is free.

The city's famed River Walk is lined with shops and restaurants, and you can take a boat tour to enjoy the sights. San Antonio has several gorgeous luxury hotels, but if you’re on a budget Airbnb is probably your best option.

1. The Grand Canyon

GRAND CANYON, USA - APRIL 3, 2014: People visit a viewpoint Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. 4.56 million tourists visited Grand Canyon in 2013.
Tupungato / Shutterstock
The Grand Canyon will take your breath away -- but leave your wallet intact.

The best deal on this list is a road trip to the stunning Grand Canyon to experience one of the most beautiful natural attractions in all the world. You can enter the park on a weekly pass for only $30 per vehicle.

If you’re on a serious budget, you can visit on any of the free entrance days. Overnight campground rates range from just $12 to $50 per night, and there are showers, laundry facilities and dog kennels available for small fees.

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