VACATION IDEAS: MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
12 Great Memorial Day Getaways
We've rounded up 12 convenient Memorial Day escapes from coast to coast to ensure that you spend more time enjoying your blues festival (or pool party) than you do deciding where to go.
Thinking about taking a break for Memorial Day? Now is the time to start planning. To point you in the right direction, we looked for celebrations across America that offered something special in honor of the Memorial Day holiday, be it a unique patriotic tribute, a celeb-worthy pool party, an epic blues festival, or a vineyard tour. But reading about a party that's taking place miles and miles from home is frustrating, not fun. That's why we highlighted places that are easily accessible no matter where you are in the U.S. (all of the cities called out under "easy getaway" are within either a 1.5-hour flight or four-hour drive from the featured destination). Consider this your guide to three-day weekend bliss.
Palm Springs, Calif.: For guaranteed summer weather
While most beach seasons are just beginning, Memorial Day marks the end of bearable temps in the desert, so hotels and operators are running specials for the holiday. Though other parts of California will be in the midst of "May Gray" and "June Gloom," Palm Springs still has nonstop sunshine—plus dozens of vintage shops, acclaimed restaurants such as Copley's on Palm Canyon (where celebrity chef Andrew Copley whips up So Cal comfort food like lobster pot pie) and an enduring love for all things mid-century (its hotels and private homes offer some of the best examples of 1950s modern architecture in the country). It also makes a great base camp for exploring the striking desert landscape of Joshua Tree National Park through hikes, mountain biking, or rock climbing—don't miss a scenic ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, one of Budget Travel's most beautiful cable cars in the world.
WHERE TO STAY Book one of the 157 pet-friendly rooms, with pool or mountain views and complimentary use of the hotel's desert cruiser bicycles, two pools, hot tub, cabana beds, BBQ area, and fire pit, at The Curve Palm Springs. From $129 per night. Call and mention "Budget Travel" for 20 percent off bookings over the weekend.
EASY GETAWAY FROM Los Angeles; San Francisco; Phoenix; Las Vegas.
Washington, D.C.: For patriotism, pomp, and circumstance
As you might guess, Washington D.C. is the most patriotic place to celebrate the holiday, with a parade and plenty of pomp and circumstance taking place during special military ceremonies. The Thursday before Memorial Day, soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery put flags before each gravestone, while a wreath-laying ceremony happens on Memorial Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns accompanied by performances from the U.S. Army Band. Men in uniform also march in the National Memorial Day Parade along the National Mall at 2 p.m. Don't miss the National Memorial Day Concert Sunday on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
WHERE TO STAY Kimpton Hotels is running a Memorial Day weekend special at two of its hip properties—check in Thursday or Friday and you'll save 20 percent on two-night stays and 30 percent on three-three night stays between May 23rd and 28th. From $125 a night at the Monaco Baltimore and from $143 a night at the Lorien Hotel & Spa in Alexandria.
EASY GETAWAY FROM Baltimore; Boston; Charleston, S.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Hartford, CT; Louisville, Ky.; Nashville; New York City; Providence.
Las Vegas: For only-in-Las-Vegas-style parties by the pool
Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas is one of the busiest times of the year, along with New Year's Eve. Parties held around the resorts' elaborate pools are the big event, and become daylight nightclubs with DJs, drink carts, bottle service, cabanas, and more. To get in on the action, grab a chaise at the Venus Pool Club at Caesars Palace—ladies always get in free, while admission is free for men Monday thru Thursday, with reduced rates before 2 p.m. Friday thru Sunday. The Tropicana Las Vegas opened its Bagatelle Beach & Nightclub last Memorial Day weekend, featuring Mediterranean food and comfy daybeds to lounge in by day, with poolside dining and a new nightclub by night—admission is $30 for men, $20 for women, and Nevada residents get in free with a valid ID. The XS Nightclub at the Wynn Las Vegas & Encore Resort will host DJ Afrojack Saturday night and David Guetta on Sunday night among other electronica superstars over the weekend—tickets can be purchased ahead of time starting at $55 for men and $25 for the ladies.
WHERE TO STAY The Orleans Hotel & Casino is just off the main drag and offers free shuttle service to and from the Strip every 30-45 minutes between 9 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. The hotel offers its own casino, comedy club, cabaret lounge, Irish pub, movie theater, bowling alley, as well as playgrounds and arcades for the kiddies. From $115 per night over Memorial Day weekend.
EASY GETAWAY FROM Los Angeles; San Francisco.