Top Budget Travel Destinations for 2010

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Glacier National Park's 100th anniversary is in 2010. It's a moment to get a little misty-eyed: Only 26 of the park's namesake glaciers exist today, down from 150 in 1850—and if current warming patterns continue, the park's namesake glaciers may disappear entirely by 2020.
Courtesy National Park Service
One of the preliminary events planned for Glacier National Park's centennial in 2010 is a Roadshow Hootenanny at Many Glacier Hotel (, July 29–Aug. 1, free).
Darrell Gulin/Corbis
Las Vegas makes our list in 2010 because all signs point to another year in which its hotels and casinos will heavily discount room rates. As of December 2009, 43 casino hotels offered rooms for less than $40 a night, and seven had rates under $20.
In Las Vegas, head downtown for the wild light-and-laser show at the Fremont Street Experience, a seven-block open-air pedestrian mall (, free).
Long beloved by Pacific Northwesterners, Portland, Ore., has recently been busy exporting its signature cool, quirky style throughout the country via game-changing companies like Stumptown Coffee Roasters and ecofriendly clothing line Nau.
The renowned Portland Classical Chinese Garden marks its 10th anniversary with 10 days of free admission (, Jan. 2–11).
Courtesy Portland Classical Chinese Garden
In Buenos Aires, the stately Teatro Colón opera house (built in 1908) is set to reopen—after almost three years of renovations—with a star-studded gala, followed by a season packed with opera, ballet, and orchestral music (, May 25–Dec. 22, from $24).
Larry Mulvehill/Corbis
Enjoy a post-theater pizza along Buenos Aires's answer to Broadway—Corrientes Avenue—at 11 p.m. or so (i.e., dinnertime)—for as little as 66¢ a slice.
Discover the new San José del Cabo, just 20 miles south of resort-filled Cabo San Lucas. In the last two years, it's become the place to go if you want culture with your beach vacation, with Thursday gallery nights, new restaurants serving locally accented new Mexican cuisine, and the renovated Plaza Mijares central square.
Mark A. Johnson/Corbis
Hanoi is celebrating its 1,000 birthday this year. Join the celebration and circle around verdant Hoan Kiem Lake, where old ladies practice tai chi and teenagers canoodle on park benches.
Hanoi is affordable for American travelers right now. The Vietnamese dong has just been devalued by more than 5 percent, and the dollar is stronger than ever against the local currency. Even during the popular spring season when flowers bloom, this city remains a bargain to visit.
Rio de Janeiro is already famous for the flamboyant parade floats that flash through its streets during the annual Carnaval celebrations. In 2010, the city will rev up to show off even more fantastical displays as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. But you ought to see the city now before manic construction and price-gouging kick in.
Demetrio Carrasco/JAI/Corbis
Vienna, which will see a spike in visitors this year (partly because of concert tributes to composer Gustav Mahler), is hosting the Opera Ball on February 11 (
Hans Klaus Techt/epa/Corbis
End your day in Vienna at the art deco bathhouse Amalienbad, with inside and outside pools and sauna facilities open daily at affordable rates (
Courtesy avid/Flickr
Take advantage of the varied restaurant scene in Las Terrenas on the Samaná Peninsula in the Dominican Republic. Enjoy down-home Dominican comida criolla, starring dishes such as sancocho, a tasty meat stew, and mangú, a hearty green plantain puree.
Atlantide Phototravel/Corbis
Sydney will be a hotspot in 2010. A fare war on transpacific flights means that plane ticket prices are down 20 percent. Going Down Under to see the Sydney Opera House and other sights has become more practical than ever.
Steve Allen/Brand X/Corbis

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