Enjoy Your City On A Shoestring

Budget too tight to get away?  Here are 5 great ideas that can help a single gal enjoy a new corner of her favorite city, on the cheap or free.

1) See Art For Less

Depending on where you live, it pays to join the local fine or modern art museum--and get in for free all year.  Rotating exhibitions and member perks make for a fun night out at least once a month.  Alternately, look for free days or specials held once or twice a month.  The Metropolitan Museum in NYC has a recommended price of admission, but you can also pay-what-you-can and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is free the first Tuesday of every month.  Many big cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Seattle, and Arizona are hosting monthly Art Walks on the first Thursday of every month.  Art Walks are a great way to get out into your community, explore local galleries and find upcoming, local artists.

2) Park It For Free

If the weather’s fine, pack a lunch and get out to your local park.  Between local street food, entertainment and people watching, you can’t beat a park.  It’s also a free way to get your workouts done—from walking to running, cycling or even bouldering.  Getting out into nature can definitely add some variety to the classroom/gym experience.

3) See It With Your Own Two Feet

Head to a neighborhood you've never been to but always wanted to check out and explore.  Commute by walking if you can or cycling - clearly cheap and healthy ways to get around .  But also the best way to find hidden gems - restaurants, boutiques or architecture - on unfamiliar streets.

4)  Not Just For Book Worms

From free readings, art shows, wifi access, yoga or classical music, the  local library is not just a place to find great reads.  Look for “Living Library” events which are fun and social.  Library visitors can book half-hour meetings with real people who have special interests, beliefs, or experiences  on a certain topic.  Started in UK, these events are slowly popping up in the U.S.  At a Santa Monica, California library event, some of the "living books" that could be checked out included:  Buddhist, Nudist and Homeless Person.

5) Music Libero

Tour Symphonic Hall in Boston, or attend Buffalo’s Thursdays at the Square or how about an organ concert in Seattle’s Benaroya Hall?  Free concerts are to be had in all cities, especially in summer.

Enjoy!