Best Free Things To Do In America

There’s nothing like the feeling of doing something thrilling without ever opening your wallet. Whether it’s hiking a trail or taking in free entertainment, zero-dollar fun helps you save your pennies for costs you can’t avoid and stick to your budget without resorting to a life of all work.

Our picks range from a charming, picturesque, and quaint fishing village to the world’s largest granite quarry. Some are smack in the middle of a city, while others will take you on an unforgettable journey to the far corners of the country. All will fill you with amazement.

The Great Swamp Sanctuary consists of hardwood flats—a series of streams which braid their way through the area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Great Swamp Sanctuary consists of hardwood flats—a series of streams which braid their way through the area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

While it was tough to pick just six free activities, each featured attraction offers something special that you won’t want to miss.

The Great Swamp Sanctuary, Walterboro, South Carolina

Comprised of over 800 acres of braided creek and hardwood flats, the Great Swamp Sanctuary offers boardwalks, bridges, bike and walking trails for viewing natural Lowcountry wildlife and beauty. Spanish moss drips from Cypress trees and wildflowers abound as you pass a beaver pond, duck pond, and butterfly garden.

From sunrise to sunset, a visit to the sanctuary promises a day full of hiking, canoeing, and cycling through pristine Lowcountry swamps.

La Conner is the kind of community that many of us yearn for; charming and picturesque, with a vibrancy all its own. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

La Conner is the kind of community that many of us yearn for; charming and picturesque, with a vibrancy all its own. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

La Conner, Washington

La Conner is one of those places that people love to visit—time and time again. The reasons are many, but one that stands out is that there are so many things to do in—and around—La Conner. A waterfront village in northwestern Washington, La Conner is nestled beside the Swinomish Channel near the mouth of the Skagit River.

La Conner is a unique combination of fishing village, artists’ colony, eclectic shops, historic buildings, and tourist destination. Relax by the water, enjoy fine restaurants, browse through unique shops and art galleries, and visit the beautiful tulip fields of Skagit Valley.

The Rock of Ages granite quarry is laced with a 15-mile network of cables and derricks to hoist the slabs up to 250 tons out from the depths. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Rock of Ages granite quarry is laced with a 15-mile network of cables and derricks to hoist the slabs up to 250 tons out from the depths. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Rock of Ages Granite Quarry, Barre, Vermont

Breathtaking, natural splendor awaits at the world’s largest deep-hole, granite quarry, a primary place where all things granite are created. The Rock of Ages granite quarry is laced with a 15-mile network of cables and derricks to hoist the slabs up to 250 tons out from the depths.

Climb aboard a shuttle bus for a guided tour of the quarry and watch the process of mining granite. From behind a wire fence, gaze down at the 600-foot-deep quarry.

Colonial Williamsburg , Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum, a colonial American city on the verge of war. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum, a colonial American city on the verge of war. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Explore Colonial Williamsburg in the city of Williamsburg. Visitors typically drop a bit of cash to tour the 18th century buildings in Colonial Williamsburg, but if you keep your wanderings to commercial shops and the city streets, you don’t have to spend a dime.

You’ll be highly entertained as you explore the government buildings, shops, homes, gardens, and taverns of Williamsburg and viewing free outdoor entertainment like re-enactment actors firing cannons. Enter the residents’ homes or learn about their workplaces; see where they sleep, where they eat, and where they socialize.

Mitchell Corn Palace. South Dakota

The Corn Palace is known around the world as a folk-art wonder on the prairie of South Dakota. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Corn Palace is known around the world as a folk-art wonder on the prairie of South Dakota. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The World’s Only Corn Palace is Mitchell’s premier tourist attraction. During it’s over 100 years of existence, it has become known worldwide and now attracts more than a half a million visitors annually. The Corn Palace is more than the home of the festival or a point of interest for tourists. It is a practical structure adaptable to many purposes.

The Corn Palace is known around the world as a folk-art wonder on the prairie of South Dakota.

Bernheim Arboretum, Clermont, Kentucky

Bernheim contains a 600-acre arboretum with over 8,000 unique varieties of trees. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Bernheim contains a 600-acre arboretum with over 8,000 unique varieties of trees. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Are you looking to connect with nature? Bernheim is the place to do it. At 15,625 acres, Bernheim boasts the largest protected natural area in Kentucky. Bernheim contains a 600-acre arboretum with over 8,000 unique varieties of trees. Take a scenic drive through the forest on paved roads, or bicycle around the Arboretum, a living library of trees.

Over 40 miles of trails with varying degrees of ease and difficulty weave their way through the forest at Bernheim; no matter what level you are looking for, there’s a trail for you. Some are handicap accessible.

Worth Pondering…

Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.

—Confucius

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