VACATION IDEAS: MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

12 Great Memorial Day Getaways

From Palm Springs to D.C., we've rounded up 12 convenient Memorial Day escapes from coast to coast to ensure that you spend more time enjoying your jazz festival (or pool party) than you do deciding where to go.

EASY GETAWAY FROM Los Angeles; San Francisco.

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Saint Louis: For the ultimate treasure hunt

Don't miss the largest flea market in the Midwest, Gypsy Caravan, an annual Memorial Day event organized for the 43rd year by the St. Louis Symphony Volunteer Association. General admission between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. is $10; Early Bird tickets for early access to sales between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. are $20; a special ticket that includes access the night before and all day admission on Memorial Day is available for $30.

EASY GETAWAY FROM Chicago; Cincinnati; Kansas City, MO.; Memphis.

The Jersey Shore: For family fun and rides along the iconic Boardwalk

Contrary to popular belief, Atlantic City was not hit hard by Hurricane Sandy back in 2012 and was actually back on its feet within a week of the storm—in fact the area still continues to bounce back post-Sandy with new openings and events along its iconic stretch of New Jersey coastline. Steel Pier, Atlantic City's popular oceanside amusement park, debuted eight new rides in 2013. Outside Atlantic City, check out the 30th annual Wildwoods International Kite Festival, the largest in North America, Friday thru Monday, an event that starts Friday at 9 p.m. with a beachfront illuminated night kite fly on Rio Grande Avenue. There's a lot going on in The Wildwoods this Memorial Day Weekend, including a Boardwalk Craft Show Saturday and Sunday, a free concert on Sunday, and a Memorial Day  parade Saturday at 4 p.m. commemorating the 5th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Wildwood and the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. A candlelight vigil will also be held Saturday at sunset at the Wildwood Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on Burke Avenue, just outside Fox Park, where families can enjoy free entertainment following the ceremony.

EASY GETAWAY FROM Philadelphia; New York City; Baltimore; Washington D.C.

Austin: For boating season and outdoor fun

Head to Lake Travis to soak up some of Austin's best weather of the year, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the eighties. Memorial Day kicks off boating season here, so the place to be is the lake. To get in on the action, check out Austin's REI store's schedule of events to find out what classes and events are on offer this weekend or rent a ski boat at Just for Fun (from $75 for one hour). If you'd rather be a spectator, catch a glimpse of the Capital of Texas Triathalon on Memorial Day, an event founded in 1991 that brings in 3,000 participants annually. Things get started with a swim at Lady Bird Lake before athletes break out the bikes for a race through Austin, leading up to a foot race around the southern part of the lake.

EASY GETAWAY FROM Atlanta; Dallas.

Charleston, S.C.: For high art with Southern hospitality

One of the earliest observances of Memorial Day was by a group of freed slaves and took place weeks after the Civil War ended in 1865 in Charleston's Hampton Park. Today, the world-renowned Spoleto Festival starts its two-week run this weekend—this year from May 22nd thru June 7th—filling the historic city's theaters, churches, and outdoor spaces with opera, theater, jazz, symphonies, choruses, and visual arts. Highlights this year include performances by the Westminster Choir, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Madeleine Peyroux, and theater productions of Romeo and Juliet and Sleeping Beauty among other events. Tickets can be purchased on a per-event basis, with prices ranging from $10 to $130.

EASY GETAWAY FROM Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Miami; Washington, D.C.

Columbia Gorge, Ore.: For wine tasting along the river

Over Memorial Day weekend, more than 30 wineries and tasting rooms in the scenic Columbia Gorge area of Oregon, which borders Washington State to the north, will be holding open houses featuring such events as barrel tastings and special releases. Maryhill Winery (on the Washington side) toasts its 14th anniversary with free live music, tasting specials, and major discounts on cases and wine purchases. Outdoors, there are tournament-quality bocce ball courts, an amphitheater, and a vine-covered arbor terrace, all with sweeping views of Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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