About this trip idea

You know money can’t buy happiness—or a fabulous trip. For that, all you need is a little know-how, and a willingness to go off the beaten path to find interesting destinations that won’t empty your wallet.

GET SOME PEACE AND QUIET Looking for an inexpensive lodging option? Skip the roadside motel and book a room at  St. Meinrad Archabbey, where no-frills accommodations start at $60. Visitors can explore the chapel and stroll the quiet grounds. (S) 

PHOTO OP!  The Cass County Dentzel Carousel in Riverside Park has been running in circles for more than a century. It costs a mere 75 cents to ride the hand- carved masterpiece, open between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This is your chance to reach out and grab that brass ring! (E)

WANDER AN ARTSY GARDEN For a totally free way to enjoy the  Indianapolis Museum of Art, wander over to 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park on its grounds. There’s no charge to wander the wooded paths between large-scale commissioned art-works, such as Atelier Van Lieshout’s giant Funky Bones skeleton (as seen in the recent hit movie The Fault in Our Stars) or Free Basket by Los Carpinteros. (C)

FREE MUSEUMS - SPENDING A DAY AT THE MUSEUM DOESN’T HAVE TO BREAK THE BANK— POP INTO ONE OF THESE FREE GEMS.

» Indy celebrates a beloved hometown author at the  Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, where you can see the typewriter on which Vonnegut tapped out classics such as Slaughterhouse-Five. (C)

» Spanning 50 acres, the  Ropkey Armor Museum houses a vast collection of tactical U.S. military vehicles, such as World War II–era Sherman tanks. (W)

»  The Carnegie Museum of Montgomery County celebrates local history alongside more modern innovations, such as 3D printers. (W)

» Abraham Lincoln once spent the night at the  Colonel William Jones Home, which is now preserved as a sterling example of Federal architecture. (S)

»  The Dubois County Museum tells the stories of people who made Indiana great, from farmers to soldiers to industrialists. (S)

» With more than 450 unique antique ceiling and desk fans on display, the  Antique Fan Museum is the only museum of its kind in the world. (C)

GO TREASURE HUNTING The 24,000-square-foot  Bloomington Antique Mall is just as quirky as its hometown. More than 120 booths offer bargains on midcentury furnishings, rare books, vintage jewelry and much more. Bonus: It’s right next door to the handy B-Line Trail. (SC)