The Fru-gal

Fru-gal: 50 cheap things to do in 50 states

Contributing columnist,Deborah MorrisJuly 5, 2014 

In the Land of the Free, travel our 50 states and visit these free or low-cost attractions.

Alabama: Honor the memory of those who died during the civil rights movement at the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery.

Alaska: Stop in Juneau, Alaska's capital city, and visit Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, overlooking the Mendenhall Valley. Families can enjoy simulated ice cave, interactive exhibits, and free kids' programs.

Arizona: Tempe Beach Park is home to a huge water-filled play area, Splash Playground.

Arkansas: One of the greenest buildings in the nation is located in Little Rock. Find out what makes Heifer International Headquarters so green and just what it means to be "green."

California: At historic Sutter Home Winery, located on Highway 29 in the heart of Napa Valley, the visitors center in the original winery building offers complimentary and reserve tastings and self-guided tours of the White Zinfandel Garden.

Colorado: Learn the history of the United States Mint and how it produces coins for the American public at the United States Mint in Denver.

Connecticut: Quassy Amusement Park is a local favorite especially for Fifty Cents Fridays. Hot dogs and small sodas are also fifty cents.

Delaware: During WWII, the 4146 Base Unit in Dover was involved in secret rocket development. Check out the Air Mobility Command Museum located in Hangar 1301 where these military secret operations took place.

Florida: From November to March, watch winter manatees assemble at Blue Springs State Park in Orange City.

Georgia: Witness the birth of a hand-sculpted Cabbage Patch Kid at BabyLand General Hospital in Cleveland.

Hawaii: Check out the Byodo-In Temple, which was built in the 1960s to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrant worker and has been a location for the ABC drama Lost.

Idaho: Craters of the Moon National Monument in Shoshone is miles of flattened lava fields once visited by astronauts in order to get an idea of what to expect when visiting the moon.

Indiana: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame is home to the largest collection of race cars and is the starting point for a bus tour that takes guests around the 2½ mile oval.

Iowa: Experience the magic of Field of Dreams, a baseball diamond in Dyersville for ghost players designed by Hollywood.

Illinois: Downtown Chicago's Millennium Park is a state of the art collection of architecture, landscape design and art that is the backdrop of dozens of free cultural programs.

Kansas: Get the Heck into Dodge City! Travel back in time to the wild west.

Kentucky: Sample some of the great taste of Original Recipe Kentucky Fried Chicken at the Harland Sanders Museum and Café located in Corbin.

Louisiana: Tour the Tabasco Pepper Sauce Factory located on Avery Island.

Maine: Packed with fun, educational and interactive exhibits, the Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland brings puffins to life for you to enjoy.

Maryland: Learn about naval history at United States Naval Academy Museum at Annapolis.

Massachusetts: Walk the Freedom Trail, a 2 1/2 mile, brick-lined route that leads you to 16 historically significant sites.

Michigan: Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum in Farmington Hills is listed in the World Almanac's 100 most unusual museums in the United States.

Minnesota: A state fair tradition for 75 years, visit Cafesjian's Carousel consisting of 68 hand-carved horses and two chariots, located in Saint Paul.

Mississippi: Hear the distinctive voice of Kermit the Frog at the Jim Henson Museum in Leland.

Missouri: You can see more than 5,000 animals at the Saint Louis Zoo. Admission to the zoo is free but there are fees for additional attractions.

Montana: Visit the location of the famous Battle of the Little Big Horn at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument located within the Crow Indian Reservation.

Nebraska: Watch the water jet and light show and check out the Lewis & Clark interpretive exhibits in Omaha.

Nevada: Take the 12-mile Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive at the Great Basin National Park and see 5,000-year-old bristlecone pine trees grow on rocky glacial moraines.

New Hampshire: Discover how one of the nation's most popular beers is crafted by following it through the steps of the brewing process at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery tour in Merrimack.

New Jersey: Enter a hollow tree to view live box turtles at Trailside Nature & Science Center in Mountainside.

New Mexico: Check out the history of the biggest air balloon festival at the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.

New York: Manhattan's Central Park is filled with statues, free events, and sites like Strawberry Fields, an "Imagine" mosaic near the Dakota, where John Lennon was killed in 1980.

North Carolina: Take yourself back to Mayberry at The Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy.

North Dakota: Walk the Walk with more than 110 celebrity signatures, handprints and footprints from Garth Brooks to Bill Gates at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center.

Ohio: In Dayton, tour the building where Wilbur and Orville Wright operated Wright & Wright Job Printer and Wright Cycle Company.

Oklahoma: Dig for unique selenite crystals or visit endangered whooping cranes at Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge in Jet.

Oregon: Visit Multnomah Falls in Portland, one of the largest waterfalls in the United States.

Pennsylvania: See the chocolate-making process from the cocoa bean harvesting to milk chocolate candy at Hershey's Chocolate World in Hershey.

Rhode Island: Kenyon's Grist Mill includes free tours of the mill and grinding process, free Johnny cakes, and local food samples.

South Carolina: See amazing animals from Bengal tigers, Siberian tigers, Golden Tabby tigers and more at T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach.

South Dakota: Walk the Presidential Trail to get up close and personal with the mountain sculpture at Mount Rushmore.

Tennessee: Tour the Jack Daniel's Distillery, the nation's oldest registered distillery, in Lynchburg.

Texas: Tour the Mary Kay Cosmetics corporate offices and museum in Dallas.

Utah: View the 2002 Olympic Cauldron Park located at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains commemorating the XIX Olympics Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

Vermont: Learn the manufacturing process of making Ben and Jerry's ice cream in Waterbury.

Virginia: Salute a hero at the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk.

Washington: A former's World Fair location, visit the Seattle Center, which has everything from museums to free festivals.

West Virginia: The National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank is home to the 328-foot Green Bank Telescope, the largest movable radio dish in the world.

Wisconsin: Hop on board the Jelly Belly Express Train to see how they make candy corn, jelly beans, gummies and more at Jelly Belly Warehouse in Pleasant Prairie.

Wyoming: Explore Castle Gardens near Worland, where carvings in the sandstone are thought to date as far back as 1250 A.D.

Deborah Morris' weekly column, The Fru-Gal, can help you get through these economic hard times a little more easily. If you know of a way to save some money, feel free to share it on The Fru-Gal blog on and visit her Web site,

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