America is the land of the free—and that applies to many of the country's star attractions as well. Make the most of your summer by visiting these famous spots around the United States; you won't have to pay a penny to do it.
The Freedom Trail
Learn history, see the city, and get some exercise all at the same time with a walk along Boston's Freedom Trail. This two-and-a-half-mile path highlights 16 sites that are historically significant to the American Revolution, and they are all free. Visit the Freedom Trail's website to read up on the Bunker Hill Monument and the Paul Revere House, among others, and prepare yourself for a self-guided tour. Best of all, for the directionally challenged, the trail is clearly marked the whole way by a red painted line or a brick path.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
North Carolina and Tennessee
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the few major American national parks that doesn't charge admission (and there's actually a deed restriction on the land saying that no toll or fee will ever be imposed). The park has so much to offer. Into wildlife? Come here to spot hundreds of species, from bears to deer. Looking for a more cultural experience? Learn about the history of the southern Appalachian region. Active visitors will be endlessly entertained as well, with many options for hiking, biking, and riding.
The National Mall
From the new Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial to the famous Smithsonian Castle, some of America's most iconic sights can be found on the National Mall. Everything along this open-air national park is free, from world-class museums in the Smithsonian complex to historical sites, such as the Capitol. There's even a free app you can download to help you find your way, learn facts, and create your own self-guided tours.
Golden Gate Bridge
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, so why not celebrate with a visit? Don't spend money on a tour; instead, download a free app (available for iPhone and Android) and learn behind-the-scenes trivia, get expert advice, and even listen to recordings of bridge workers' oral history. Walk or bike across the bridge and take in the fabulous views of San Francisco. Begin or end your visit with a stop in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which can be accessed on either end of the bridge.
Independence National Historical Park
See America's second birthplace, Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park. Although most people think of Washington, D.C., as the nation's capital, Philadelphia was the home of Congress and the Supreme Court for 10 years while the District was being built. Explore the remnants of that history at this large national park, where you can view the Liberty Bell, tour Old City Hall, or just enjoy the public green spaces. Everything is free except for the National Constitution Center. You will need tickets for tours of Independence Hall, but they won't cost a thing.
The Getty Center