Top six patriotic destinations for summer travel savings - Page 2

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on June 17, 2003. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Boston, destination, Molly Feltner, Philadelphia, St. Louis, vacation package, Washington, D.C., Williamsburg.

Finally, budget-minded travelers will be happy to know that many of Philadelphia's top patriotic attractions are free year-round, including Independence National Historic Park, home to Independence Hall; the Liberty Bell; Christ Church Burial Ground (where Ben Franklin is buried); and many other important Revolutionary War buildings.

1. Washington, D.C.

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The nation's capitol is our top pick, simply because it has the greatest number of patriotic attractions, most of which are free, and because it has the most travel deals that are accessible to all visitors¬óno strings attached. Travelers can save on accommodations, food, transportation, and other travel services thanks to the Washington, D.C., Convention and Tourism Corporation's "Summer FREEdom Savings" season which runs until August 31.

D.C.'s Convention and Tourism Corporation website details this city-wide savings program by dividing its city guide into two sections: a "blue" section which lists all the travel-related discounts in the city, and an "orange" section, which includes general attractions, event listings, and more.

You'll find that more than 60 hotels in the city and surrounding area are offering special rates and packages, with prices starting at $69 a night. All packages include free passes to the new City Museum, a personal travel journal, and a city savings guide. Some hotels offer extra perks that might include free meals, free parking, or room upgrades.

The blue section also lists restaurants, attractions, shops, and transportation services that give discounts or special perks. For example, you can learn how to get four tickets for the price of two on the Capitol Hill Walking tour, or reduced admission to performances at the Kennedy Center.

In terms of general savings, you could literally spend weeks visiting all the free museums, monuments, parks, and historic sites in the city and neighboring Virginia. A small sampling of these impressive attractions include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the National Gallery of Art, the U.S. Capitol building, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. You might as well take in all the free sights you can on a trip to D.C.: They're all funded by your tax dollars.

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