New York City
New York is the most expensive U.S. city to spend the night in, with average nightly hotel rates reaching $190.46 in 2011, according to data gathered from Hotels.com. But high hotel rates can couple with a wealth of free activities to strike an affordable balance for travelers to the Big Apple. City parks, music shows, galleries, breweries, famous stores, monuments, and museums that charge zilch abound in the city—you need only know where to look. We recommend browsing through the listings on Time Out New York or Lonely Planet. If you're looking for even more savings, beat those notorious New York hotel rates by booking alternative accommodations on sites like Airbnb and Flipkey. We found one-bedroom apartment rentals in Manhattan listed on Airbnb for as little as $100 per night for high-season summer stays.