10 Best Bargain Cities in the US

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10 Best Bargain Cities in the US
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Yes, the economy has seen better days. But everyone needs some R&R. So eHow culled through the latest lists and articles on affordable cities to discover where and when to go to find great eats, unique ambiance and inspiring culture -- all without giving your bank account a major hit.

Providence, Rhode Island
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Providence, Rhode Island

Think of Providence as a smaller, cheaper version of Boston. Both are state capitals and home to Ivy League universities. Both abound in Colonial American architecture, antiques, bookstores, coffeehouses and boutiques. And both are within a short driving distance to ocean beaches. Plus, Providence is only 35 miles away from Newport, the epitome of Gilded Age giltz and glam. Go even easier on your wallet and visit in January, February, March or November.

Savannah, Georgia
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Savannah, Georgia

You know you're in the South in Savannah, with the soft accents of the locals, the Spanish moss hanging off the live oaks, and the scrumptious Southern food that beckons from the city's many fine restaurants. This is a small city with big-time allure, from its pocket parks to its antebellum architecture. Save more money by planning your trip for December, January, July or August.

Nashville, Tennessee
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Nashville, Tennessee

Easygoing, down-home Nashville calls itself Music City. And it's not just whistlin' Dixie. Country music's legendary home is in Ryman Auditorium, but all kinds of music float through the air from bars, restaurants and clubs. The cheapest months to go are January, February, March, August and September.

New Orleans, Louisiana
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New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans' French Quarter lures visitors with its trademark architecture and reputation for letting the good times roll, whether it's Mardi Gras season or high summertime. Jazz and blues create the soundtrack for this city of good eats -- Cajun and Creole -- good fun and good antique shopping in the Quarter and along Magazine Street. When no big events are happening, hotels offer good deals. June through September are the least expensive months to visit.

Memphis, Tennessee
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Memphis, Tennessee

Across Tennessee from Nashville lies Memphis, which bills itself as the Cradle of American Music. Maybe that's because seminal musicians like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison are but a few of the many with connections to this Southern city straddling the Mississippi. Blues clubs line Beale Street in downtown Memphis, and Elvis still draws fans to his Graceland mansion. Then there's the barbecue, so uniquely flavorful it's called "Memphis-style." Save more money by visiting in November through February.

Kansas City, Missouri
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Kansas City, Missouri

Like Memphis, Kansas City's barbecue is so well-known it carries the city's name. The Country Club Plaza, just south of downtown, is known for its winding boulevards, fountains, restaurants and upscale shopping. The Power & Light District, close to downtown, appeals to a young crowd with its trendy bars and restaurants. You'll find culture at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts. If you don't mind some chilly weather, visit in January and February to save additional cash.

Austin, Texas
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Austin, Texas

You can't walk through Austin-Bergstrom International Airport without seeing T-shirts, coffee mugs and all manner of paraphernalia marked with the city's slogan: "Keep Austin Weird." And the locals make sure that happens. Go to Sixth Street downtown for all kinds of music, satisfy your hunger with great (and cheap) Tex-Mex and barbecue and go for a run around Lake Austin or Lady Bird Lake. July and August are generally the cheapest months in Austin.

Denver, Colorado
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Denver, Colorado

For a real Rocky Mountain high, you can't beat Denver. Use it as a base for day trips to Rocky Mountain National Park, about 65 miles away. For the rest of your trip, concentrate on the craft and traditional brewers Denver is known for -- taste tests required. Beer and sports go together, right? Denver has plenty of the latter in the form of the Denver Broncos and the Colorado Rockies. Plan on November through March for maximum savings.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, a virtual Disneyland for adults, might not top the lists of the most affordable destinations, but its wealth of hotel choices and all-you-can-eat buffets give you a lot of bang for your travel buck. If you get lucky, this could be the least expensive vacation of all. When you need a break from gambling, glitzy shows and restaurants beckon. You can find the best deals late November through December.

Portland, Oregon
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Portland, Oregon

Portland, long known for its environmental leanings and outdoors and adventure opportunities, has morphed into the capital of West Coast urban cool, says "The New York Times." If you like cities with microbrews, cafes, bookstores, artisans, street food -- and nice weather in the summer -- this one's for you. As a bonus, it's only about 80 miles from the Pacific Ocean. January through March offer the most savings.

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