MONEY Travel

163 Free Things to Do in America’s Top Travel Destinations

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Travelpix Ltd—Getty Images San Francisco skyline at sunset as seen from the Bay Bridge.

Great spots to visit that don't cost a dime.

They say the best things in life are free, and for every avid traveler, it’s a sentiment worth keeping in mind. We combed the streets of some of America’s biggest tourist destinations, keeping a list of our favorite gratis activities in each one. The biggest takeaway? You can enjoy the spoils of just about anywhere without spending a dime.

Read on for our ever-expanding list, or jump ahead to your city of interest: Chicago; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Nashville; New York City; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C.

Chicago

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Izzet Keribar—Getty Images

1. Get up close and personal with the new Mangalitsa piglets at the Lincoln Park Zoo’s “Farm-in-the-Zoo.”

2. Experience the sounds of the Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park.

3. Squeeze in a workout in the sun on Saturday mornings, with free yoga, tai chi, and pilates classes on the Great Lawn in Millennium Park.

4. Check out one of more than 200 free concerts that the Chicago Cultural Center hosts every year.

5. Make an appointment with a Chicago Greeter, and get one of three dozen insider tours of neighborhoods throughout the city.

6. Look over the three millennia of Middle Eastern treasures at the Oriental Institute, part of the University of Chicago in Hyde Park.

7. Learn about social reformer Jane Addams at the Hull-House Museum on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus.

8. There’s flora for everyone at the Garfield Park Conservatory, which contains spectacular aroids, a lush fern room, and a fine children’s garden, complete with play area.

9. Experience a sunset along The 606, Chicago’s elevated park, which has excellent views of the skyline.

10. From ancient Chinese pottery to Picasso, the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago is a great place to spend an afternoon.

11. Located just north of the Lincoln Park Zoo, theAlfred Caldwell Lilly Pool is a perfect respite from the surrounding bustle in any season.

12. With galleries profiling everything from North Korean society to monumental architecture from around the world, the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College is a gem.

13. To explore the National Museum of Mexican Art is to know the breadth of the Latino experience, in Chicago and beyond.

14. Visit the Crystal Gardens on Navy Pier. Look up and view 80-plus palm trees, “leapfrog” fountains, and a range of distinctly non-native foliage.

15. The original Water Tower’s City Gallery is a tiny marvel on Michigan Avenue, and you might find a photographic tribute to Charlie Trotter or an exploration of Chicago’s printmaking traditions within.

16. Inside the Harold Washington Library Center, visitors can make their way through more than 50 pieces of public art.

17. You can hear John C. Reilly as Abraham Lincoln or David Schwimmer as the Bean (a.k.a. Cloud Gate) via the Statue Stories Chicago program. Just swipe your phone on the statue’s tag to hear more than two dozen sculptures come to life as you visit them around the city.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

Nashville

18. The honky tonk bars on Lower Broadway offer live music daily. Favorites like Robert’s Western World, Rippy’s, and Legend’s rarely, if ever, charge a cover.

19. Hike the high trail at Radnor Lake—the site has 1,200 acres and hosts canoe floats, wildflower walks, and aviary tours, all free and open to the public.

20. Located within the Country Music Hall of Fame, the legendary letterpress studio Hatch Show Print offers tours for $15 a person, but if you stop by the shop, you can see right into the work space and watch the posters printed, free of charge.

21. Built in 1897 as part of Tennessee’s centennial celebration Nashville’s Parthenon is an exact copy of the Athenian one. While there’s a charge to enter the museum inside, viewing the façade is free.

22. Take in the Bluebird Cafe Early Show. Reservations are free and tickets become available online about a week before the show.

23. Meet your favorite author at Parnassus Books, Ann Patchett’s neighborhood bookstore. Free readings, signings, and children’s events happen near daily.

24. Make the pilgrimage to CMA Music Fest, a weekend-long celebration of country music’s biggest fans that offers of a plethora of budget-friendly things to do, from free concerts to meet-and-greets, giveaways, and more.

25. Open-house days at Vanderbilt’s Dyer Observatory (the first Tuesday of every month, from 9 a.m. to noon) offer visitors the chance to try out the site’s solar telescope, free of charge.

26. Stop by a practice of the Nashville Predators, the city’s hockey team, at the Centennial Sportsplex, which are always open to the public.

27. Live on the Green happens every summer in Public Square Park, and features established performers as well as emerging artists.

28. The Tennessee State Museum is a must-see for Southern history buffs. It’s open six days a week, and admission is always free.

29. Nashville’s Centennial Park has several free entertainment offerings, from plays to outdoor film screenings.

30. Come the holidays, keep your eye on the Nashville government website. In early December, that’s where they’ll announce the winners of the Ann Chapman Holiday Lights Contest, which you can visit for free.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

Los Angeles

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Naphat Photography—Getty Images/Flickr RMGriffith Observatory Museum

31. Immerse yourself in art and music at LACMA, where during the summer they offer open outdoor jazz concerts on Friday nights, as well as gratis access to the museum on the second Tuesday of every month.

32. Indulge your inner birder and take a complimentary bird walk with the L.A. Audubon Society in the city’s many woodlands, lakes, shrubs, and salt water marshes.

33. Pay a visit to the magnificent Central Library in Downtown L.A.

34. Ears will be happy and wallets will be full, thanks to the countless free concerts offered during the summer all across town.

35. Take a stroll or bike ride down a portion of theMarvin Braude Bike Trail—a mostly-flat, well-paved 22-mile beach path running along the Pacific from Will Rodgers State Beach to Torrance.

36. Hit up one of the many donation-based yoga classes around the city, like those at Runyon Canyon or Bryan Kest’s Santa Monica studio.

37. At the Downtown L.A. ArtWalk the blossoming community convenes on the second Thursday of the month to showcase art, music, and more.

38. You can help counteract the effects the local car culture has on the environment by planing trees with the folks at Tree People, then spend the afternoon hiking Fryman Canyon.

39. Head over to Venice for Abbot Kinney First Fridays, to support locally owned businesses and peruse one of the city’s top art walks in one of its hippest neighborhoods.

40. Crane your neck at the historic Watts Towers, a series of 17 interconnected sculptural structures built over 33 years by Italian immigrant Simon Rodia.

41. There are free Metro Station art tours put on by the department of transportation called Metro Art Moves, which highlight murals, architecture, digital installations, and more.

42. Zen out at the donation-based morning meditations at Zenshuji Soto Temple in Little Tokyo, then stroll the 120-year-old neighborhood’s streets to see its restaurants, galleries, and indie clothing shops.

43. Capitalize on the complimentary, docent-led tours that take visitors through the interior space and gardens at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry.

44. Take a self-guided tour of the up-and-coming galleries in the unassuming alleyways of Chinatown’s Chung King Road on various Saturday nights, when they fling their doors open to the public.

45. One of the city’s most-filmed commercial buildings is also one of its oldest. The Bradbury is recognizable by its open cage elevators, marble stairs, and ornate iron railings.

46. The Los Angeles Conservancy website offers plenty of maps for self-guided walking architectural tours of the city, from locations spotted in “500 Days of Summer,” to the DTLA Arts District and more.

47. Built in 1899, the Hollywood Forever Cemeteryis the resting place for some of Hollywood’s greats, like Johnny Ramone, Cecil B. DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, and more.

48. The Annenberg Space for Photographyshowcases digital and print photography from some of the world’s most renowned photographers alongside up-and-comers.

49. Angelenos love to climb the city’s staircases—originally designed to connect steep-streeted communities in the 1920s—to fit in a workout. Use the Secret Stairs app to get sweat like the locals in Echo Park, Silverlake, Santa Monica, and beyond.

50. The sights and sounds at the Original Farmers Market are a feast for the senses, and entry is free.

51. The stunning Malibu property at the Getty Villa, part of the Getty Center, focuses on Greek, Roman and Etrurian art, is also free to visit.

52. The La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park are home to the largest discovery of Ice Age fossils in the world. You can always wander the outdoor grounds, and on the first Tuesday of the month, they also offer free museum and active archeological site visits.

53. Griffith Park is the largest municipal park with urban wilderness area in the country. They offer free access to the building and grounds, as well as complimentary entry to their star parties and guided sunset walks.

54. The Broad Museum in Downtown L.A. opens September 20 and plans to make art democratic by extending complimentary general admission.

55. Get a dose of local Latino culture and history atOlvera Street while shopping, listening to mariachi music, and watching traditional folkloric dances.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

New York

56. The Museum of Modern Art offers free admission every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 pm., and you can visit the sculpture garden for free every morning from 9:30 to 10 am.

57. The Financial District’s Federal Bank of New York holds more than 6,500 tons of gold. Anyone can sign up for a free tour of the gold vault on weekday afternoons.

58. Visit the bucolic Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Tuesdays, when its admission fee is waived

59. For a peek inside a preserved historic home, head to Hamilton Grange in Harlem, Alexander Hamilton’s former home.

60. The Dia Foundation has several art installations in New York City, but the most impressive are the New York Earth Room and the Broken Kilometer. Though closed for the summer, they will reopen in September.

61. You can go stargazing on the High Line every Tuesday starting at dusk. The Amateur Astronomers Association sets up telescopes on the section between West 15th and West 16th Streets.

62. Bryant Park is one of the city’s liveliest spots during the summer, with lots of free activities. Yoga fans should head there on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m., or Thursday evenings at 6 p.m., for free classes.

63. A handful of NYC parks offer free outdoor movies during the summer. There’s still time to catch the end of the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival and Syfy Movies with a View at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

64. During the summer, there are few things more pleasurable than taking a ride on a boat, and theStaten Island Ferry is absolutely free.

65. There are hundreds of art galleries in Chelsea, mostly located between W. 14th Street and W. 29th Street around 10th and 11th Avenues. They’re free to visit during opening hours, and many put on museum-quality exhibits (check out Gagosian, David Zwirner, Milk Gallery, and Pace).

66. New York has plenty of public beaches that are free to visit. Brighton Beach, is near Coney Island, but is more under-the-radar and full of Russian restaurants. The Rockaways draw surfers to Queens, and Fort Tilden is a favorite among hipsters.

67. It’s easy to overlook the public library, but the Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street and 5th Avenue is one of the city’s architectural gems. It’s not only free to visit, but it also hosts exhibits, docent-led tours, and talks with acclaimed authors.

68. One of the most alluring aspects of Grand Central Terminal is the Whispering Gallery under the Guastavino-tiled arches near the Oyster Bar. When two people stand at diagonal arches and whisper to each other, their voices ring through like an old game of telephone.

69. Central Park is free and open to the public, but not many people know that the Central Park Conservancy offers free guided tours of Manhattan’s largest park.

70. SummerStage concerts in the city’s parks are ending soon, but the Harlem Meer Performance Festival will continue into September.

71. Occupying 8 out of 16 acres where the World Trade Center once stood, the 9/11 Memorial honors the lives of those lost during the terrorist attacks on the site in 1993 and 2001. While the museum is complimentary only for 9/11 survivors and their families, the outdoor memorial is always free.

72. Brooklyn Bridge Park curves around the waterfront in DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights, and is chock full of activities, from basketball to bocce, and a pop-up pool made of recycled shipping containers.

73. Stop by the pioneering Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg to learn about the fine art and science of beer making. There are free tours every half hour on the weekends.

74. One of Brooklyn’s best craft distilleries, the New York Distilling Company, opens its doors to the public for free tours and tastings on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

75. Fans of the Tonight Show can watch a taping with Jimmy Fallon at NBC’s studios in Rockefeller Center with a bit of advanced planning. Free tickets are released a month in advance, though if you’re lucky you can get standby tickets the night of the event.

76. Until mid-October, you can take a kayak out on the Hudson River at Pier 26 in Tribeca, or the Manhattan Community Boathouse locations at Pier 96 in Midtown and in Riverside Park at 72nd Street.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

Washington, DC

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Henryk Sadura—Getty Images/Tetra images RFUSA, Columbia, Washington DC, Thomas Jefferson Memorial at dusk

77. Nearly everyone who comes to D.C. plans to stroll around the city’s famous National Mall and Memorial Parks. While the monuments are free anyway, you might not know that the National Park Service offers free tours at most of these sites on the hour.

78. One of the best things about visiting the city is its abundance of free museums. The Smithsonian Institution operates 17 museums in the D.C. Metro area that offer free admission.

79. The drum circle at Meridian Hill Park is one of the city’s longest-running traditions.

80. Just north of Georgetown, the Washington National Cathedral is one of the more recognizable landmarks in Washington; tours are free on Sundays.

81. Rock Creek Park spans more than 2,000 acres in Northwest D.C. with hiking trails, picnic grounds, an ampitheatre with a summer concert series, bicycle paths, a tennis center, and more.

82. Another key member of the free museums in the Smithsonian Institution is the National Zoo, located in the southern end of Rock Creek Park.

83. For a quick fix of nature and beauty, the U.S. National Arboretum has colorful azalea gardens in the spring, a holly and magnolia garden in the fall and winter, the Bonsai & Penjing Museum, and the National Grove of State Trees.

84. The most popular spot for watching planes land at Reagan National Airport is Gravelly Point, located just next to the airport in Arlington, Virginia.

85. Anyone can take a free tour of the White House with some advance planning.

86. The Shakespeare Theatre Company shares the famous playwright’s work with as many Washingtonians and visitors as possible through its Free For All shows.

87. Tucked among the Smithsonian museums near the Capitol building, the U.S. Botanic Gardenfeatures plants from all over the world, from desert-friendly succulents to a tropical rainforest, to regional mid-Atlantic plants.

88. Free outdoor movies are a favorite summer event in the city, especially the 17-year-old Screen on the Green on the National Mall, which generally shows classic movies.

89. The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center also offers tours of the Capitol, including the Crypt, the Rotunda, and the National Statuary Hall.

90. The Folger Shakespeare Library offers free tours of its collection, reading rooms, and Elizabethan garden.

91. Just across the Memorial Bridge from the Lincoln Memorial lies Arlington National Cemetery, which honors America’s fallen men and women of the military.

92. For an especially scenic tour of Georgetown, hop on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Trail.

93. Every summer, the National Gallery of Art hosts a concert series in its sculpture garden called Jazz in the Garden.

94. At the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, there’s a free performance very day at 6 p.m. at The Millennium Stage; there are also free guided tours of its theaters, artworks, and the Hall of Nations.

95. One of the most beautiful buildings in town is the Thomas Jefferson building at the Library of Congress, open since 1897. Free walk-in tours discuss the art and architecture of the building, its contents, and more.

96. See the original Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and Bill of Rights at theNational Archives, which houses all three as well as exhibit rooms, a theater, and a learning center.

97. Located on the National Mall, the National Gallery of Art and its various events are free to the public, as are guided tours of the museum’s many collections.

98. There aren’t any guided tours of the Supreme Court, but visitors can hear arguments, walk around the first and ground floors of the building, and on weekdays can attend free 30-minute Courtroom Lectures.

99. Many Washingtonians have a serious love for the free Fort Reno summer concert series that features local punk bands in a relaxed park in Tenleytown.

100. As part of Passport DC, countries including Japan, Belize, Qatar, Ghana, and Costa Rica offer free admission to their embassies in the city, along with exhibitions, performances, and cooking demonstrations that highlight their culture and traditions.

101. It’s free to enter two of D.C.’s major marketplaces. There’s the more than 130-year-old Eastern Market, and newcomer Union Market in the NoMa neighborhood.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

San Francisco

102. Catch Off the Grid’s popular Twilight at the Presidio campfire party every Thursday, from April through October from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

103. Every Tuesday at 6:15 p.m., Grace Cathedralfloods with urbanites toting neon yoga mats for a soothing, free yoga class that sprawls throughout the entire cathedral.

104. Several free film screenings happen in parks across the Bay Area each summer, spanning from the Mission to Napa.

105. Once a month the city’s globetrotting literati convene at the Hotel Rex bar for Weekday Wanderlust, a chance to mingle and swap stories of their travels.

106. One of the most renowned museums in San Francisco, the de Young, is free on Friday evenings.

107. There are many urban hikes throughout the city. One of the best is the Lands End trail, which begins near the ritzy Sea Cliff neighborhood, then winds around the craggy coast along the Pacific.

108. From Sansome Street, make your way up the Filbert Street Steps, a steep wooden staircase that leads to to the top of Telegraph Hill, where you’ll find Coit Tower and a 360-degree view of San Francisco and the Bay.

109. At Oakland’s monthly Art Murmur event, dozens of local galleries open their doors to the art-curious, while food trucks and street performers take over the streets.

110. Not many people know about the Wave Organ, an acoustic metal sculpture that the Exploratorium installed nearly 30 years ago.

111. In the Outer Sunset district, the aptly named Grandview Park provides vistas that span downtown to the Golden Gate Bridge and, on a clear day, even Pt. Reyes.

112. Giants Stadium is the only stadium in the U.S. that offers a designated space where fans can watch the games for free.

113. The Cal Sailing Club hosts an open house almost every month, giving free rides on their fleet from the Berkeley Marina.

114. Local figure Deleano Seymor is famous locally for his immersive and informative free tours of the Tenderloin (by appointment; donations appreciated).

115. Inside the Presidio are stunning works of art crafted from natural materials by famed artist Andy Goldsworthy.

116. You’ll find frequent live readings by best-selling authors from across the country (and globe) at City Lights, Green Apple Books, and Book Passage.

117. Every second and third Tuesday of the month,Milk Bar, a small trendy bar in the Upper Haight, hosts a free comedy night with local and national comics.

118. From July to October, the annual People in Plazas festival kicks off at squares across the city, offering more than 140 free lunchtime micro concerts.

119. The best way to see the Bay Area’s bounty of heirloom produce and flowers is at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.

120. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is coming up October 2 through 4 in Golden Gate Park. The annual festival sets up multiple stages for three days of totally free musical fun.

121. Get a free crash course in the lore of San Francisco’s most Instagramable transport system at the Cable Car Museum.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

Las Vegas

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Mitchell Funk—Getty Images

122. Beginning in late August, the KA Theatre in MGM Grand opens its doors to the public every Tuesday between 11 a.m and 11:30 a.m. for the ultimate insider tour of the mechanics of this $165 million production.

123. The world’s largest permanent circus can be found at Circus-Circus, where you can watch death-defying stunts by unicyclists and acrobats high above the casino floor at no charge every half hour.

124. On weekends starting at 7 p.m., join the Carnival-like parade of dancers and acrobats dance down the Rio’s main course hourly during the Masquerade in the Sky at Rio.

125. The largest gold nugget in the world is right here in Las Vegas—at The Golden Nugget.

126. Local chocolatier Ethel M sits right in one of the largest botanical cactus gardens in the world, and you can take factory tours (free samples!) after a stroll of the unusual gardens.

127. Don’t want to leave the strip? Don’t missM&M’s World, a four-floor chocoholic’s haven, with a free 3-D movie starring Red and Yellow.

128. Right across the street, Hershey’s Chocolate World has opened in New York-New York, a two-story flagship featuring an 800-pound chocolate Statue of Liberty.

129. Incredible public artworks on the 67-acre CityCenter campus include 15 works by artists such as Nancy Rubin, Claes Oldernburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

130. Within Crystals, CityCenter’s high-end mall, light artist James Turrell has installed Shards of Color—four recessed geometric shapes lit in neon.

131. But the best secret in Crystals is Turrell’s Akhob—an enormous permanent installation inside the Louis Vuitton Maison flagship.

132. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas houses some of the best free art around: there are the so-calledWallworks—murals by artists like Kenny Scharf and Shepard Fairey—on the concrete walls of the parking garage, and much more.

133. P3 Studio has hosted artists from Fab 5 Freddy to Shelter Serra, who work there for several weeks; passersby can wander in and often take part in an interactive art piece.

134. At Wynn Las Vegas, look for the 7-foot-tall, 2,000-pound Popeye sculpture by Jeff Koons right on the shopping esplanade that Steve Wynn purchased for $28 million.

135. Love Pawn Stars? Line up early to get a look inside the real Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Downtown Vegas.

136. This fall, Rick Harrison opens a kingdom for his devoted followers in the form of Pawn Plaza, a giant shopping center made out of shipping containers with retail and restaurant tenants.

137. You could hold your dream nuptials at Denny’s, on Fremont Street, or just gawk at it with your family between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 p.m., when kids eat free.

138. The best way to drink for (nearly) free is to play the slots at older downtown casinos, such as El Cortez, Golden Nugget and The D, where the play amounts are lower. (Still, make sure you tip, or your server will mysteriously become unavailable.)

139. The 9-foot-tall chrome Lucky Cat at the Cosmopolitan dispenses fortunes free to those who put their hand on his paw. They vary from fortune cookie messages to free drinks and room nights.

140. You’ll inevitably end up at the Fountains of Bellagio, which recently added a three-song electronic medley by Tiesto to its lineup of Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and Tony Bennett.

141. Some of the best gawking in Las Vegas happens inside the Bellagio’s 14,000-square-foot, skylit conservatory, where 120 horticulturalists, engineers and designers create incredible displays.

142. Similarly, the waterfall atrium at Palazzo, with a two-floor waterfall and seasonal flowers, is a great place to experience imagineered nature, at the entrance of the Grand Canal Shoppes.

143. Inside the Forum Shops at Caesars, the newly revamped Fall of Atlantis show’s giant talking statues and pyrotechnics are fun to watch …

144. … but the nearby 50,000-gallon aquarium is even better. Enjoy this water-tainment without guilt: Vegas resorts account for just seven percent of the Las Vegas Valley’s water use: overall, some 80 percent of the Strip’s water is returned to Lake Mead.

145. The open-air Grand Bazaar Shops has opened across the street from Bellagio, mashing up the outdoor dining and retail concepts from Seattle to Marrakesh.

146. Don’t miss the massive new Swarovski Starburst, a 14-foot LED-lit crystal starburst that lights up the Grand Bazaar Shops at night.

147. Nearby you can stroll along the new LINQ entertainment corridor, which runs perpendicular to the Strip, all the way to the High Roller.

148. Don’t miss The Polaroid Fotobar, one of the best free hidden gems in Las Vegas—a museum open until 2 a.m. on the weekends, and midnight on other days, that showcases great work of photographers working in the format.

149. On the south end of the Strip, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, a symbol of excess once perched on a perilous median, is now solar powered and has plenty of convenient parking.

150. There’s the spewing volcano in front of the Mirage—now with flame shooters, a soundtrack, and water and lighting effects. It starts each night at 5 p.m., erupting every 30 minutes until 11 p.m.

151. Check out the Downtown Container Park, a retail, dining and play park made entirely of shipping containers. Find the free entertainment calendar, including a new outdoor family movie series, on the park’s website.

152. Do a self-guided tour of the Fremont East Entertainment District, whose refurbished vintage neon lights include the famous horseback rider from the Hacienda Hotel, a red slipper and a martini glass—and the newest addition: a new neon sign of a 30-foot-tall Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Portland, Oregon

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Cultura RM/Wonwoo Lee—Getty Images/Cultura RMShop sign for Outdoor Store, Portland, Oregon, US

153. Hike in Forest Park, one of the largest natural areas in any city in the U.S., filled with fiddlehead ferns, 112 bird species and 62 types of mammals.

154. Tour the International Rose Test Garden, inhaling blooms that are being developed and evaluated for scent and color, and can’t be seen anywhere else in the world.

155. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening is from Portland, and named some of the show’s major characters after streets in Northwest Portland. From NW 2nd Street to NW 24th Street, and from Burnside to Vaughn, there are roads named Flanders (Ned Flanders), Lovejoy (Reverend Lovejoy), Quimby (Mayor Quimby), and Kearney (one of the bullies).

156. Flip through hardbacks in the Rare Room at Powell’s City of Books, the country’s largest independent bookstore.

157. Mount Tabor is a volcanic cinder cone that’s now home to a city park, where you can walk on paved or dirt trails, enjoy a picnic, or take kids to the playground. On a clear day, you can see Mt. Hood from the top.

158. Tour the Oregon Rail Heritage Center; there’s no entrance fee to see the museum’s vintage steam locomotives.

159. With 140 vendors, the Portland Farmers’ Market on the grassy campus of Portland State University is one of the largest and best greenmarkets in the country, running every Saturday of the year.

160. Tilikum Crossing opens September 12, the first bridge in the country made to carry walkers, bikers, and public transportation—but no cars.

161. Pop into galleries with the First Thursday Gallery Walk each month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with more than 20 participating galleries downtown.

162. The beloved young adult author Beverly Cleary grew up in town, and Grant Park has bronze sculptures of three of her characters: Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Henry’s dog Ribsy.

163. Cruise along the Eastbank Esplanade, a paved 1.5-mile path with awesome downtown views. It runs along the river and links up to the 20-mile Springwater Corridor trail, if you want to go farther.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure and was written by Andrea Bennett, Max Grinnell, Caroline Hallemann, Laura Itzkowitz, Amy McKeever, Jenna Scatena, Krista Simmons and Sarah Z. Wexler.

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TIME Culture

Why One Woman Poses Topless in Times Square

Times Square Topless
Tanya Basu Lucky, center, poses in Times Square in New York City on Aug. 19, 2015.

“I’m having fun and making good money. You can’t beat that"

Walking through New York City’s Times Square at night, it’s hard to miss Lucky.

The 21-year-old has blue-streaked blonde hair and wears skimpy black underwear, silver stilettos and—aside from red, white and blue body paint—nothing else. On a recent evening, she waved to passersby, flashed a grin, and asked, over and over: “Do you want a picture?”

“I’m having fun and making good money,” Lucky, who asked to be identified by her performance name, said as she took a break from her work. “You can’t beat that.”

Lucky is one of the desnudas, women who stroll topless in Times Square, attracting hoots and cheers from tourists and posing for photos in exchange for a tip. She’s from the South Bronx and began working as a desnuda shortly after she turned 18, drawn to the thrill of parading without clothes in one of the busiest intersections in the world.

But her livelihood, along with that of the other Times Square densudas, is now under threat. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo both spoke out this week against the topless entertainers, objecting not to their exposed breasts but instead to allegations that they harass tourists to hand over tips.

On Thursday, de Blasio announced a taskforce to investigate the desnudas, saying he would look for “legislative and regulatory solutions.” Cuomo separately told a reporter, “This activity is illegal.”

Lucky is not too worried about a potential crackdown yet; topless women have been legally protected in New York City since 1992, and she said she never pressures any of her customers for tips.

“The mayor actually helped us, if anything,” Lucky said of the wave of publicity that has accompanied de Blasio’s attack on her trade. “I don’t know if he thought it would stop us in Times Square—it’s actually going way better than before the mayor even acknowledged us, to be honest.”

When Lucky first started as a desnuda, she worked with a handler, who took up to 70% of her earnings. She soon tired of handing over hundreds of dollars at the end of each evening shift and struck out on her own, painting her body herself and keeping all the money she earns.

She’s learned the ebb and flow of the business, taking off Mondays or Tuesdays because they’re slowest.

“After a weekend, people are pretty much broke,” she said. “Nobody wants to pay a naked girl.”

She fights back against anyone who thinks she doesn’t work hard, and said she budgets carefully to make the money last through the year.

“You can have a bad day when you go home only with $100. You can have a really good day when you go home with $1,000,” she said. “In the summertime, I save all the money. It’s impossible to spend $1,000 a day. In the wintertime, that’s my backup plan right there.”

Although Lucky is a little concerned about the “bad apple” desnudas who are more aggressive ruining the Times Square scene for everyone, she said she’s planning to just keep doing her job.

And with that, she stomped out her cigarette and stripped off her oversize “I Love NY” shirt, ready for another shift.

“I love it. I do,” Lucky said, heading back to her busy corner in the center of Manhattan. “I like the expressions on people’s faces when they see me.”

Read next: New York Mayor Launches Task Force to Address Topless Women in Times Square

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TIME Race

Read TIME’s Report on the Crown Heights Riots of 1991

Police officers try to calm Hasidim during confrontation wit
New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images Police officers try to calm Hasidim during a confrontation at Utica Ave. and President St. during Crown Heights riots in August of 1991.

"It was the city's worst racial violence since the outbreak that followed Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968," TIME noted

The incident that set off the 1991 Crown Heights riots was easy to pinpoint: on Aug. 19, a car driven by a Hasidic Jew hit and killed a young black child. As a private ambulance took the driver away from the scene and emergency responders worked to free the victim and another child pinned under the car, the area’s black and Jewish residents–who had long been tense neighbors–erupted in anger. As TIME later noted, the result was the worst episode of racial violence in New York City city since 1968, after the death of Martin Luther King.

But as with any cataclysmic event, the underlying causes of the riots were far more complicated than a single moment.

As TIME’s story on the riots explained, the side-by-side life of the two communities in Crown Heights was already tense—and the fighting did little to diffuse the situation:

Behind the violence lay decades of uneasy coexistence between local blacks and members of the Lubavitcher sect, who established their world headquarters there in 1940. Lubavitcher Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky claims that ”Crown Heights is a model community of integration where whites and blacks live in peace together.” But blacks describe a different atmosphere. ”The Hasidim set up an apartheid situation in Crown Heights,” says Dr. Vernal Cave, a black dermatologist who has lived in the area for 36 years. Cave claims that the Lubavitchers have long received preferential treatment from police and city authorities. In particular, he says, the sect caused resentment in the past by pressuring Jewish shopkeepers in the neighborhood to close their doors on Saturday and by prevailing on police to block off the streets near their synagogues during the Sabbath. Said another local black man: ”You’ve got to be blind, deaf and dumb not to know about the problems here with the Hasidim.”

One thing is clear: there is little common ground between the two groups. Nor have leaders from either side reached out to the other in an effort to defuse the situation. Instead they have engaged in a bitter public debate in which heated rhetoric far outweighs the language of reason and compromise. While blacks like Cave speak of apartheid, Lubavitcher leaders evoke visions of pogroms and Kristallnacht.

Read more from 1991, here in the TIME Vault: An Eye for an Eye

 

TIME Infectious Disease

Don’t Worry, There’s Probably No Bubonic Plague on NYC Subways

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The findings of a widely publicized study may have been overblown

If you gave up riding the New York City subway after a study suggested it might be hosting bubonic plague, then it’s time to buy yourself an MTA card — the study’s conclusion has been walked back by its authors.

The research, which was published in February in the journal Cell Systems, suggested that there were possible traces of bubonic plague and anthrax on New York City subways in addition to other microbes. In a correction added to the study on July 29, the researchers underline the very speculative nature of their findings.

In reference to the bubonic plague and anthrax findings, the researchers write, “there is minimal coverage to the backbone genome of these organisms, and there is no strong evidence to suggest these organisms are in fact present, and no evidence of pathogenicity.”

When the researchers’ findings were first published several months ago, medical experts at the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York City Department of Health took issue and publicly called them into question. In the wake of the study’s release, the researchers admitted they could not be completely certain the bacteria they found was indeed bubonic plague, but the findings were not updated until last Wednesday.

Despite the correction, the research has not been retracted.

TIME Infectious Disease

What to Know About Legionnaires’ Disease

Four people in New York City have died from Legionnaires’ disease. Here's everything to know about the outbreak:

How serious is this outbreak?
The latest numbers suggest there are now around 65 cases of the disease reported in the South Bronx area of New York City, and four fatalities.

What is Legionnaires disease and how does it spread?
Legionnaires’ disease is a bacterial ailment classified as a type of pneumonia. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Legionnaires’ can be contracted by breathing in water mist that contains the bacteria but does not spread person-to-person.

The New York City Department of Health says the disease is generally traced to plumbing systems like hot tubs, humidifiers, cooling towers and large air conditioning systems. In this case, authorities have determined the disease has spread via five local cooling towers.

How common is it?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 8,000 to 18,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease each year. Those most at risk of infection are men and women over age 50, smokers, people with chronic lung disease and those with weak immune systems, according to the NIH. The New York Times reports that cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the city increased to 225 in 2014 compared to 73 cases reported in 2004.

Can it be treated?
Yes. Most people recover with antibiotics, but the disease can be severe, and in some cases, fatal. The fatality rate for the disease can be as high as 30% depending on the outbreak, according to the CDC.

What’s it like to have Legionnaires’ disease?
Most people who are infected will not get sick, but those who do can experience respiratory issues like fever, cough and chills. Symptoms of the infection usually do not emerge until two to 10 days after exposure. The Health Department has warned New Yorkers who experience these symptoms to seek medical attention.

How can I protect myself?
Be wary of sources of water vapor. Hot tubs are one of the more common carriers of Legionnaires’ bacteria, and the CDC recommends hot tub owners be especially diligent about disinfecting their tub’s water. The Times reports many New Yorkers in the affected area are drinking bottled water, though the city has said tap water is safe.

TIME animals

See Cecil the Lion and Other Animals Light Up the Empire State Building

Images of endangered animals were projected onto the New York City landmark

Images honoring Cecil the lion and other endangered species illuminated the south side of Empire State Building on Saturday evening, broadcasting the plight of mass extinction onto one of New York’s most iconic landmarks.

The one-day show, called Projecting Change, is part of a promotion for the upcoming documentary Racing Extinction, which is set to air on Discovery Channel in December, according to the film’s official Facebook page. Projections of birds, tigers and bears were featured on the building, in addition to images of Cecil the lion, whom authorities say was killed illegally by an American dentist on July 1.

endangered wolf on ESB. #racingextinction amazing movement #cecilthelion #empirestatebuilding

A photo posted by craig hatkoff (@chatkoff) on

TIME Food & Drink

This Is the Best Pizza City in America

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Getty Images

Sorry, New Yorkers

New York City pizza lovers, it’s time to defend your honor as pizza capital of the U.S.

TripAdvisor released a list of the top 10 pizza cities in the U.S. this week, based on the quality and quantity of users’ reviews. The No. 1 city: Chicago.

“Travelers come from all corners of the country to sink their teeth into Chicago’s deep dish, the big cheese of pizza destinations according to reviewers on TripAdvisor,” Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor, said in a statement.

The ranking comes as a blow to New Yorkers, who have long defended their pizza as superior to Chicago’s deep dish. New York City did, however, come in the second spot, followed by New Haven, Conn., Orlando, Fla., and San Francisco.

The method behind TripAdvisor’s pizza madness was based on three factors: the quality of pizza restaurant reviews, the number of restaurants and reviews and the ratio of pizza restaurants and reviews compared to all restaurants in the city. In other words, a city with a higher proportion of good pizza restaurants might edge of a city with fewer pizza restaurants selling higher-quality pizza.

TripAdvisor’s ranking of the best pizza restaurants in the U.S. will soothe the bruised egos of New York pizza lovers, with Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Juliana’s Pizza topping the list. To quantitatively calculate the best of the best in pizza joints, TripAdvisor focused on restaurants with at least 500 reviews, at least 10 percent of which had to mention “best pizza.”

Here’s TripAdvisor’s full list of the 10 best pizza restaurant in the U.S.:

1. Juliana’s Pizza, New York City

2. Pizza Time of St. Augustine, Saint Augustine, Fla.

3. Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria, Anchorage, Alaska

4. Keste, New York City

5. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco

6. Pizzeria Regina, Boston

7. Antico Pizza Napoletana, Atlanta, Ga.

8. Bill’s Pizza, Palm Springs, Calif.

9. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven, Conn.

10. John’s Pizzeria Bleeker St., New York City

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com

More from Entrepreneur.com:

TIME Uber

Uber Wins Round 1 In Fight With NYC Mayor

The Hamptons Lure Uber Top Drivers Amid NYC Slow Summer Weekends
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Th Uber Technologies Inc. car service application (app) is displayed for a photograph on an Apple Inc. iPhone in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. For San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc. which recently raised $1.2 billion of investors' financing at $17 billion valuation, New York is its biggest by revenue among the 150 cities in which it operates across 42 countries. The Hamptons are a pop-up market for high-end season weekends where the average trip is three time that of an average trip in New York City. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

After days of a political battle, de Blasio's administration has temporarily relented on plans to cap the number of Ubers on NYC streets.

After an aggressive fistfight over New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed cap on the number of cars ride-hailing companies can add annually, Uber and the city government have reached a sort of compromise.

On Wednesday, the city agreed to temporarily drop its plan to cap the number of cars and will instead conduct a four-month study on the effect of services like Uber on city traffic and environment, according to the New York Times, citing multiple sources close to the situation.

Capping the number of cars could still be a possibility down the line, however, depending on the study’s findings.

The City Council was originally scheduled to vote on the bill, which would have capped companies like Uber and Lyft to growing its fleet by no more than 1% annually, on Thursday. Currently, about 20,000 of the city’s 60,000 for-hire vehicles are Ubers, according to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Over the past several days, Uber has waged a bitter battle, including staging a protest, putting out television ads, releasing data on hourly Uber rides in the city, and even adding a demonstrative new option in its mobile app to illustrate the delays de Blasio’s proposal would cause for riders according to the company. On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo gave his support for Uber in a radio interview.

De Blasio has been accused of siding with the taxi industry because of the large donations its leaders have made to his campaign.

TIME Uber

Uber’s Latest Supporters in its Fight Against New York: Celebrities

An Uber driver navigates the streets of Brooklyn?s Crown Heights neighborhood.
SAM HODGSON—SAM HODGSON/The New York Times/R

Some actors are publicly coming out in favor of the ride-hailing company

Uber is at war with the city of New York and its mayor, Bill de Blasio. A tough fight, you might think, but the ride-hailing company has one thing on its side: support from celebrities.

At the center of the debacle is de Blasio’s proposal that the city cap the number of new cars ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft can add to their networks every year. Uber, naturally, is not pleased, as the proposal would put a major wrench in its aggressive expansion plans.

So far, Uber has taken a multi-pronged approach to protesting de Blasio’s plan: It has added a “de Blasio” option in its app for New York City riders with information about the potential consequences of limiting driver supply. It has also protested in front of city hall, put out television ads arguing against the proposal, and on Wednesday even released data on hourly rides taken in the city.

And now it’s getting support from celebrities:

Note that Ashton Kutcher is an investor in Uber

Also, note that Neil Patrick Harris is a customer of UberSky, a promotion Uber offered for last year’s Valentines Day that let customers order custom skywriting for only $500.

(We will update this story if more celebrities jump on the Uber support wagon.)

TIME Food & Drink

This Is Every City’s Favorite Food, as Told by Instagram Hashtags

New York loves sushi more than any city in Japan, but London is the burger capital of the world

Other than selfies and cute cat photos, photo-sharing app Instagram is known for pictures of one other thing: food.

But photoworld.com decided to dig a little deeper and find out which cities like what kind of food, through an interactive project called “The Food Capitals of Instagram.” The project features a series of maps, taking 18 popular dishes from various countries to see — through hashtag numbers — which city shows them the most love.

New York City loves bacon the most, contributing nearly 8% of all bacon photos on the social network.

Photoworld.com

It also loves the quintessential Caribbean dish jerk chicken more than the Jamaican capital city of Kingston, and (along with three other cities) loves sushi more than anywhere in the Japanese delicacy’s country of origin.

It also has more pizza lovers than Italy.

There are other surprises, however, such as the fact that (based on Instagram at least) London is the burger capital of the world:

Photoworld.com

As for macarons, the delectable French pastries that are a favorite dessert of many — they’re most popular in Thailand’s capital city Bangkok followed by South Korean capital Seoul (the two cities account for 15% of all tagged macaron photos):

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Canada, however, can take heart from (or be offended by) the fact that its signature potato-based dish poutine remains very much its own:

Photoworld.com

Check out the full interactive here.

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