18 last-minute Memorial Day escapes

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Laura Brown

​It’s official: travel is back with a vengeance.

According to the AAA Memorial Day holiday travel forecast, 37 million people are expected to travel over the long weekend this year, up 60% from last year. That said, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends not traveling unless you’re fully vaccinated — as in, it’s been at least two weeks since your last dose — following local guidelines about mask-wearing and social distancing and taking extra precautions if you haven’t been vaccinated yet.

If you’re up for a local escape or road trip this holiday weekend, there are still deals to be had. Here’s where to celebrate Memorial Day weekend this year, with all hotels within driving distance of major U.S. cities and all prices under $260 a night (based on a three-night stay from Friday, May 28, to Monday, May 31).


Catch up on all the fun holiday moments you missed last year at Club Getaway, an adults-only summer camp in the Berkshire Mountains just 90 minutes from New York City. Themed events over Memorial Day weekend include a New Year’s Eve toast, Valentine’s Day dance, Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day festivities, a camp-wide Easter egg hunt, 4th of July BBQ, Halloween costume party, Thanksgiving feast and a holiday themed ugly sweater party. Rates for the entire three-night four-day weekend start at $499 per person — which breaks down to $166 per person per night — including accommodation in a shared four-person cabin, nine meals, two BBQs and all onsite events and entertainment. Note that all campers must be over 21 and fully vaccinated in order to attend.


Now through December 31, your third night at Loews Philadalphia is free when you book two nights, bringing Memorial Day weekend rates down to $152 a night.


Whether you’re in town to see the Orioles play at Camden Yards, indulge at Phillips Seafood or visit The National Aquarium, the Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor makes a great base for checking out the city this weekend, with rates from $134 a night.

Washington, D.C. 

While you’ll still need to book free tickets ahead of time if you’re hoping to visit any of the Smithsonian’s recently reopened museums or the National Zoo, there’s still plenty to do in D.C. this weekend, whether you want to take a monument-filled stroll along the National Mall or enjoy some of the city’s best bars and restaurants.

Across from the National Portrait Gallery in chic Penn Quarter, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington D.C. is offering rates from $259 a night, including two welcome drinks and Courtyard BBQ for two at Dirty Habit on Sunday when you book with promo code MemorialDayBBQ.

Closer to the U.S. Capitol, you’ll score complimentary parking and nightly rates from $170 with Yotel Washington D.C.’s YO Park & Play Package when you book with promo code YOPARK. Nearby, on The White House side of town, the Capitol Hilton has nightly rates from $172 including daily breakfast. 


Just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., the Embassy Suites by Hilton Alexandria Old Town’s Family Fun package gives you nightly rates from $178 with complimentary breakfast, premium Wi-Fi and late check-out.

Want to get out of town? Head to George Washington and Jefferson National Forests for access to more than 2,200 miles of hiking and cycling trails, 2,300 miles of streams for kayaking or canoeing, and a chance to really get back to nature just 3.5 hours from D.C.

Spend some time relaxing on the beaches of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, checking out quaint towns like Cape Charles and Chincoteague, home to a National Wildlife Refuge where the wild ponies roam free

Venture out to Virginia’s southwest, roughly 4.5 hours from D.C., for hiking, fishing and camping adventures near Philpott Lake and New River Valley, gateway to the legendary Appalachian Trail.

South Carolina

In Columbia, Hotel Trundle’s Sunday Night package lets you save 50% on Sunday night stays, bringing rates down to $212 a night over the holiday weekend.


Sign up for a free Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program membership to access rates at the Orlando World Center Marriott from $165 a night — or from $216 a night through the Park Stay & Play package, which includes free parking and 4 p.m. check-out. Stick around for the Memorial Day fireworks show on Sunday night.


 Save 50% on your third night at The Westin Dallas Stonebriar Golf Resort & Spa, and score a $50 dining credit to use at any of the property’s restaurants, with rates from $181 a night over the holiday weekend.


Pay your respects to those who have fought and died for our country with a visit to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, which is offering free admission on Memorial Day this year — admission is normally $17 for adults, $12 for students, $10 for children ages 5–17 and free for children under five, all U.S. military Veterans, active-duty members of the military and Gold Star families. Stay at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel’s, which has rates from $162 a night and perks like 20% discounts at The Market and late check-out as part of its Escape Your Way Staycation package.


If you’re visiting Denver this weekend, base yourself at The Curtis, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, a retro-chic hotel offering pop-culture themed rooms and rates from $146 a night. If you’re ready for a reunion with friends and family, the hotel’s Choose Your Own Adventure package lets you rent out an entire floor and includes group activities like laser tag, murder mystery activities and silent disco dance parties, among other group experiences.


In Tucson, use promo code LONGWEEKEND to score free drinks and save 25% on your stay of at least two nights at Hotel McCoy. Rates this weekend include complimentary breakfast and start at $139 a night — or $125 a night if you can report an act of kindness you’ve done that day when you check in. 


Escape to Big Sky Country at the Red Lion Hotel Kalispell, a mountain lodge located near Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana, with rates from $166 a night over Memorial Day weekend. Spend your days hiking, kayaking or taking on water slides at Big Sky Waterpark, and your nights checking out local restaurants, craft breweries and distilleries. 


About an hour and 45 minutes south of Portland, Eugene makes a great long weekend getaway spot if you’re looking for a blend of nature and culture, with art galleries, local cafés and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy at Fern Ridge Lake and along the McKenzie River. The Gordon Hotel is offering 20% discounts with rates from $162 a night, while nearby, the Signature Inn Eugene has rates from $102 a night.

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