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USA Today / Life - Entertain

30 best cities for cheap winter travel

Want to get away but can't justify the expense? These cities are still affordable this winter.

30. Charleston, S.C. (Average hotel cost: $211, average flight cost: $676):The charming city of Charleston is ripe for exploring even during the cooler winter months. Catch a show at the Charleston Stage Company or watch a performance of the Charleston Ballet. If it's your first time visiting, take a carriage tour of the city to explore the historic downtown area.  SeanPavonePhoto, Getty Images/iStockphoto

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29. Savannah, Ga. (Average hotel cost: $190, average flight cost: $662):Taking a self-guided tour of this historic city is one of the best ways to see famous landmarks and venues free of charge. Visit the 22 public squares and see the General Casimir Pulaski monument. And don't forget to get your picture taken at the same bus stop bench used in the movie "Forrest Gump," in Chippewa Square.  Sean Pavone, Shutterstock.com

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28. San Francisco, Calif. (Average hotel cost: $445, average flight cost: $352):A notoriously expensive place to live, San Francisco is ripe for a winter vacation. Between the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf, this is a remarkably affordable city to tour. Visit art galleries, catch live entertainment or take a bike ride through this waterfront metropolis. As an added bonus, average January temperatures in San Francisco are a mild 57 degrees.  stellalevi, Getty Images/iStockphoto

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27. Santa Fe, N.M. (Average hotel cost: $163, average flight cost: $623): Enjoy an artistic excursion to the country's third-largest art market and visit almost 300 galleries. The oldest U.S. capital city, Santa Fe is a hotbed of culture and home to the Santa Fe Opera.  Davel5957, Getty Images/iStockphoto

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26. Nashville, Tenn. (Average hotel cost: $200, average flight cost: $581):Another Southern city that made the list of affordable destinations for winter, Nashville is the place to explore historic sites on a budget. There's free music everywhere you go, too. Make your way to the Music City Walk of Fame Park or Centennial Park and Gardens for a brisk walk.  digidreamgrafix, Getty Images/iStockphoto

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25. Memphis, Tenn. (Average hotel cost: $224, average flight cost: $529):Whether you want to see Graceland or visit the Pink Palace, Memphis is the place to enjoy traditional Southern barbecue. As a bonus, you can listen to rock 'n roll along the banks of the Mississippi River.  f11photo, Shutterstock.com

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24. Playa del Carmen, Mexico (Average hotel cost: $188, average flight cost: $526): If the beach is calling your name, consider a winter getaway to the balmy Playa del Carmen. Along with the usual warm-weather activities like swimming and scuba diving, you can stroll along La Quinta Avenida, a beachside walkway packed with souvenir shops, restaurants and bars. And with average daily temperatures of 83 degrees, the weather is perfect for getting in a quick nine holes of golf.  posztos, Shutterstock.com

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23. San Diego, Calif. (Average hotel cost: $124, average flight cost: $552): San Diego can be pricey to visit during the warmer months. But when the weather cools in this coastal city, so do prices. Find your corner of happiness at Balboa Park, which offers free admission to the grounds, Timken Art Museum and botanical gardens. You can also stroll through Seaport Village or go people-watching in the Gaslamp Quarter while you enjoy a drink.  sandiegoa, Getty Images/iStockphoto

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22. Seattle, Wash. (Average hotel cost: $160, average flight cost: $511): If the Pacific Northwest is your dream escape this winter, make your way to Seattle for a budget-friendly trip. Foodie tours will give you a taste of some of Seattle's top culinary neighborhoods. You can even take a tour of Pike Place Market for the ultimate farmers market experience.  Joecho-16, Getty Images/iStockphoto

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21. Portland, Ore. (Average hotel cost: $150, average flight cost: $494): Microbreweries, coffeehouses and tax-free shopping await in Portland. You'll also find free attractions like the historic Powell's City of Books. You'll save plenty of money on food while traveling around this city, which boasts pizzerias, sandwich shops, Asian restaurants and waffle houses for hungry travelers on a budget.  GarysFRP, Getty Images/iStockphoto

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20. Phoenix, Ariz. (Average hotel cost: $234, average flight cost: $402): Escape to a desert paradise, where the hiking is better in the winter. Stop by Echo Canyon, the Desert Botanical Garden or the Phoenix Zoo. From November to January, Phoenix will also host its Lights of the World Festival.  Davel5957, Getty Images/iStockphoto

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26. Nashville, Tenn. (Average hotel cost: $200, average flight cost: $581):Another Southern city that made the list of affordable destinations for winter, Nashville is the place to explore historic sites on a budget. There's free music everywhere you go, too. Make your way to the Music City Walk of Fame Park or Centennial Park and Gardens for a brisk walk.(Photo: digidreamgrafix, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

With the holidays coming up, it can be hard to budget travel costs for a vacation or just a weekend getaway. To help you plan, GoBankingRates.com has put together a list of the 30 best cities to visit during the winter, breaking down the average cost by airfare and hotel. Looking for more cost-cutting ideas? They've also put together a list of free tourist attractions in each state: 

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