Here are the 10 U.S. vacation spots that offer the best bang for your buck

It’s fun to have travel plans in the summer when the weather is nice and the kids are out of school. Unfortunately, summer travel tends to be more expensive as it’s during peak season. However, that does’t mean you should throw all your vacation plans aside and wait until fall to jet off somewhere exciting. There are a number of cities the United States that are both fun and affordable, so you don’t have to stress about breaking the bank with a trip to a tropical island.

WalletHub looked at data to compare 80 of the most popular U.S. vacation spots. They analyzed factors like cost of the cheapest flight, number of attractions and weather to calculate which cities are worth visiting on a budget.

Here are the top 10 U.S. destinations from that list with the lowest travel costs and fewest hassles.

1. Minneapolis-St. Paul

The Minneapolis area is your best bet when it comes to spending as little money as possible, but still having a good time. There are plenty of things to do in the Twin Cities, including lots of parks and trails, hiking, and course, the Mall of America.

minneapolis photo
Star Wars

2. Detroit

The Detroit–Warren–Dearborn Metropolitan is another great option when it comes to affordable travel. Detroit has rebranded itself as “The Comeback City,” and it does have many attractions to offer, including new hotels, restaurants and nightlife, and a number of museums—not to mention cruises down the Detroit River.

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3. Denver

Thinking about heading to Colorado? You’ll want to visit Denver. There is plenty to do near the capital of Colorado, especially if you like the sunshine. Enjoy a show at the Red Rocks Ampitheatre, go on a brewery tour or check out one of the city’s many art museums.

red rocks ampitheatre photo

4. Atlanta

The weather may be hot, but there’s a lot to do in this Southern city. There are plenty of concerts in the parks and outdoor movies to enjoy on the warm summer evenings and theme parks to visit if you’re traveling with the kids. Or, if it’s just adults, you can check out the many restaurants and bars in the capital of Georgia.

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5. Oklahoma City

Get back to our country’s Western roots in Oklahoma City. Whether you’re kayaking or paddle-boarding along the Oklahoma river, visiting one of the many historical museums, or checking out a horse show, there’s no shortage of activities in this city.

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6. Chicago

If big urban areas are more your speed, you’re in luck. Chicago is a major city that still remains affordable. Not only is there plenty of great food, museums and parks, but this Midwestern city offers plenty of music, shopping and free public beaches.

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7. Houston

Houston has something for everyone, whether you’re going on a family vacation or a romantic getaway. There’s the Space Center, plenty of beer and a ton of museums, not to mention all that Tex-Mex food. If you prefer, you can go to a park, check out a zoo, go golfing or take a drive to a nearby beach.

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8. San Antonio

This Texas hot spot is home to the San Antonio Missions, an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a walk along the San Antonio River for some views, cafes, and shopping, or head to one of the city’s many gardens, art museums and amusement parks.

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9. Cincinnati

There’s no shortage of summer activities to do in Cincinnati and nearby Northern Kentucky. You can check out a baseball game, head to a waterpark, stroll along the river and indulge in some classic American food in this major Ohio city. There’s also plenty of shopping to be done, whether it’s a flea market, an antique store or a high-end designer shop.

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10. Phoenix

If you can handle the desert heat, you’ll enjoy the capital of Arizona. Unwind in the city’s many resorts and golf courses, or indulge yourself in nature by checking out the Desert Botanical Garden. In addition to its mountainous scenery, the city also boasts a number of art museums along with plenty of dining options.

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Flickr | kevin dooley