Larry Bleiberg

(Lonely Planet, $22.99). “There’s a feel­ing around the world that to travel you have to spend a lot of money, but it shouldn’t be off-lim­its to any­body. You can have these fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ences.” She shares some fa­vorite free or low-cost ac­tiv­i­ties with f

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - TRAVEL -

KAYAK­ING NEW YORK

Sure, you can find great views from sky­scraper ob­ser­va­tion decks, but for a com­pletely dif­fer­ent vista of the city, it’s hard to beat the sight of it from the wa­ter. Sev­eral Big Ap­ple boat­ing clubs offer com­pli­men­tary rides from spring through early fall. “You can get a free 20-minute pad­dle on the wa­ter with this mil­lion­dol­lar back­drop,” Cole says. Find de­tails on club web­sites. licboathouse.org, man­hat­tan­com­mu­ni­ty­boathouse .org, down­town­boathouse.org

BAT EMER­GENCE AUSTIN

On sum­mer and fall evenings, crowds gather near the Ann W. Richards Congress Av­enue Bridge to watch the world’s largest bat colony start its day. The one-mil­lion-plus Mex­i­can free­tail bats emerge from their roost un­der­neath the bridge to dine on mos­qui­toes and other bugs. Some vis­i­tors even rent kayaks to watch from the wa­ter or or­der batthemed cock­tails from bars, “It’s a com­pletely nat­u­ral phe­nom­e­non, a free show for any­one to see,” Cole says. austin­texas.org

VIERNES CULTURALES/ CUL­TURAL FRI­DAYS MI­AMI

Mi­ami’s al­ways-bustling his­toric Cuban neigh­bor­hood hosts a huge street party the last Fri­day of every month. “It takes over the heart of Lit­tle Ha­vana and there’s loads go­ing on, and it’s com­pletely free,” Cole says. High­lights in­clude street mar­kets, danc­ing, food ven­dors and walk­ing tours. vier­nes­cul­tur­ales.org

FRE­MONT STREET EX­PE­RI­ENCE LAS VE­GAS

Even in a city known for flash, the hourly Viva Vi­sion light show at Down­town Las Ve­gas’ Fre­mont Street Ex­pe­ri­ence im­presses. Pro­jected on a video screen stretch­ing 1,500 feet long and sus­pended 90 feet above a casi­no­lined pedes­trian mall, the show is ac­com­pa­nied by mu­sic from bands like The Who, Heart and Imag­ine Dragons. “It’s a trippy light and sound show, a real ex­cit­ing thing to do,” Cole says. ve­g­a­s­ex­pe­ri­ence.com

IMPROVBOSTON CAM­BRIDGE, MASS.

For a mere five bucks, vis­i­tors can watch as­pir­ing comics at a weekly Sun­day night Com­edy Jam. “Peo­ple just turn up not know­ing what to ex­pect be­cause the show isn’t writ­ten un­til you ar­rive,” Cole says. For just a few dol­lars more, the the­ater’s Main­stage show fea­tures more sea­soned co­me­di­ans. ImprovBoston.com

NA­TIONAL ARCHIVES WASHINGTON

While they may be some of the most fa­mous doc­u­ments in the world, you don’t need to pay a thing to see the Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence, Con­sti­tu­tion of the United States and Bill of Rights. And that’s just the start. “There are loads of orig­i­nal records, from Lin­coln’s tele­grams to record­ings from the Oval Of­fice. It’s a real hub of amaz­ing stuff,” Cole says. archives.gov

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