Get the most bang for your budget in these five Western U.S. cities.
San Jose, Calif.
Consider this city San Francisco’s equally fun, smaller and less expensive little sister. Located in the middle of Silicon Valley, it’s no surprise the city touts impressive Wi-Fi, but the best part is it’s complimentary. Thanks to the city’s “Wickedly Fast Free Wi-Fi” program, attendees can stay connected from Mineta San Jose International Airport to downtown to the convention center. With more than 130 daily flights, the airport is easily accessible through budget-friendly carriers like JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines. And if you want to take a peek at the City by the Bay, it’s a quick hour’s drive away.
While you may not have given Boise much thought in the past (it was rated as one of the best under-the-radar destinations of 2015 by Huffington Post), it’s a charming city with budget perks. Boise came in fourth on Forbes’ list of best places to save money in 2015, and it took top honors on WalletHub’s list of best-run cities in America in 2016, meaning it scored highest on financial stability and budgeting efficiency. There’s all that, plus the fact that Boise Centre recently wrapped a major expansion project that added 36,000 square feet of space.
One of America’s sunniest cities (350 days of sunshine per year) is also one of its most budget-friendly. Tucson (shown above) has an average hotel room rate of $103, one of the lowest on SmartAsset’s list of best cities for conferences in 2015, and the average three-course meal costs $19, nearly $10 less than the average in nearby Phoenix. The convenience of Tucson International Airport, with nonstop flights to 18 major U.S. cities, allows attendees to avoid the nearly two-hour drive from Phoenix. To explore the city’s five major hubs (The University of Arizona, Fourth Avenue, Main Gate Square, downtown and the Mercado District), a one-way trip on the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar will set attendees back only $1.50.