17 Memorial Day Trips That Won’t Break the Bank from 17 Memorial Day Trips That Won’t Break the Bank
17 Memorial Day Trips That Won’t Break the Bank
The 3-Day Memorial Day weekend May 27-29 is the unofficial start of the summer. The holiday honoring people who have died in service of the country has become synonymous with amazing sales on cars, clothes, home appliances, and hitting the beach. The places on the following list offer a combination of rich history, bustling local culture, lively entertainment, and adventure opportunities.
Death Valley National Park, California
Visiting a national park is never expensive. You may have to pay an entrance or possibly a camping fee but, for the most part, you have a vast amount of land open to the public. You obviously don’t want to go to the hottest place on the planet in the summer, when temperatures can easily reach 120 degrees. The spring is the best time to visit Death Valley Park because it’s comfortably warm. You will find many opportunities for sightseeing, camping, hiking, and tours.
San Juan Island, Washington
Memorial Day weekend happens to be at a time when it’s not high season in San Juan Island yet, which means you’ll get better rates and no crowds. Have lunch or dinner at some of the farm-to-table restaurants in the city and taste real fresh produce. Get out in the water with a kayak to watch the whales. Don’t miss the Traditional Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony on May 29. The event is free.
Why not combine the patriotic holiday with an active vacation? This once-obscure adventure travel mecca is a must-visit mountain town for anyone who loves the great outdoors. Bend is set in the middle of Oregon, making it accessible for travelers around the state. Hiking, fishing, rafting, rock climbing—you’ll likely find it there. Kicking-off Memorial Day weekend, Central Oregon pubs, restaurants, breweries, markets, and brewers convene throughout Bend for 10 days – May 19-28.
Camp out with friends or family for a small fee. Explore the famous parks and trails in Montana that offer plenty of options for thrilling adventures. Before you go into the wild, though, get up close and personal with the bears in the zoo. If you feel like staying in the outdoors, Bozeman offers many fly fishing tours and safaris. Bars have live music and standup performances, amateur open mic nights, cheap beer, pool tables, and poker. On May 29, enjoy a breakfast at the Legion Club for a small donation, and then see the parade down Main Street.
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Lined with diverse shops, restaurants, business, and family amusements, the boardwalk is one of the reasons Rehoboth Beach was named “The Best Family Beach on the East Coast.” It was fourth in the East Coast for kids. Many love it for its amazing food and various sweet treats. Hop on over to the nearby Dewey Beach for some skimboarding lessons. You can fly from New York for around $400 or you can take the train for a more exciting experience and save money.
Santa Monica, California
How about a trip to the beach for the unofficial start of the summer? Santa Monica State Beach is an iconic destination in the city. It is three miles long and covers 245 acres of sand along Santa Monica Bay. The sand, waves, bike paths, and stunning views make for a perfect Memorial weekend trip destination. You even have the options to play chess and test your volleyball and beachside gymnastics skills. Many Memorial Day events are free and take place outdoors.
There are many, many reasons to want to be in Austin and its love for celebrations of all kinds of occasions is one of them. Camping, fishing and golfing are some favorite outdoor activities for this holiday (other than the tradition of gathering with families for BBQs). You can count on the city to have live music events all over. Enjoy a Shakespeare in the Park performance at Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theater for free on Saturday; visit the Texas Military Forces Museum; and go to Austin Flea for beer extravaganza.
Visiting the nation’s capital for Memorial Day is the ultimate patriotic trip. The grand parade and the many special military ceremonies are totally free for spectators. Since the National Cherry Blossom Festival in April is over, hotel rates tend to drop. Don’t miss the iconic, and free, National Memorial Day Concert on the Capitol's West Lawn. When else are you going to see the National Symphony Orchestra without paying a cent?
The Mile High City is boasts 2,500 acres of urban parks, offering many chances for free recreational adventures. Don’t miss the Denver Day Rock on May 27 when the 16th Street pedestrian mall will be transformed into a massive block party with more than two dozen free rock concerts on five stages throughout the day. You can also go to the free Colorado Remembers concert that day at the Springhill Community Park. There are also fresh museum exhibits and theater performances scheduled.
Charleston, South Carolina
Go to the capital of the Old South, which is a city you must see in your lifetime, to honor all the people who have given their lives in service to the country. See the plantation and stately homes, roam the colorful streets, and learn about the architectural remnants, some of which go back to before the Revolutionary War. Explore the cobblestone streets on a horse carriage. Be there for the beginning of the Spoleto Festival, starting on May 26.
Spring Break is over and that means Miami is not as crowded. That leads to discounted hotel prices. You can find good airline deals. A roundtrip from New York to Miami for the weekend is $270.The weather is still comfortably warm, so spending all day outside to see the March of Colors and the wreath-laying ceremony at Miami Beach Police Headquarters, as well as attending beach parties and music shows, will be a nice experience.
Lake Placid, New York
Lake Placid, which is set in the Adirondacks, has a rich winter sports history but it also offers many summer activities. Summer is when the area gets more crowded and prices begin to rise. You can find hotel rooms for around $110 per night around Memorial Day. Hiking is the most popular activity when it gets warm, with trails for every skill level. Many nearby waterways are perfect for paddling—whether that be by canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Stay at the Mirror Lake Inn and enjoy paddling around Mirror Lake; then relax in one of the city’s many spas and wellness centers. On May 26, the Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake will kick off the most exciting year in its 60-year history.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
A road trip away (which means spending less money for traveling since gas is still cheap), This natural beauty in northern Michigan has 1,700 miles of shoreline on three Great Lakes, and that’s just the beginning of its outdoor offerings. On top of all the water sports you could enjoy on lakes Superior, Huron and Michigan, the UP also has expansive forests, mountains, lakes, streams, waterfalls, beaches, bluffs and islands nearby. Visit the remote Isle Royal National Park where moose and wolves usually outnumber humans or seek out shipwrecks in Lake Superior.
Zion National Park, Utah
You will just have to pay a required fee of $30 to enter the park. This is for a private vehicle with 15 or fewer people, and is valid for seven days. Spend the time camping. Zion National Park has three campgrounds. South and Watchman Campgrounds, where reservations are recommended, are in Zion Canyon. The Lava Point Campground is about one-hour drive from Zion Canyon on the Kolob Terrace Road, according to NPS.
New York City, New York
It’s hard to believe but New York can be quite affordable around Memorial Day. Make sure you don’t miss Fleet Week, a unique chance for people to meet sailors, marines and coast guards. You’ll be able to attend military band concerts and witness amazing aerial demonstrations for free. You can also tour the ships, free of charge. Other free events include a performance by the New York Philharmonic and the Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade in the Bay Ridge. This is also a good opportunity to go shopping in the city – everything is on sale.
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Sin City is one of the most affordable destinations year-round. Airfare is cheap (about $300 from New York around Memorial Day), and you can find hotel rates for around $100 per night. You get even better rates if your dates are flexible and you are able to travel on weekdays. The weather is also perfect for people who don’t like too high or low temperatures and the variety of adventures (other than gambling) are endless.
The Music City is always very entertaining. You can expect concerts (many of which are free), art exhibits, unbelievable shopping deals, and awesome special events. Go hiking, boating, fishing, and relaxing at any of the area’s urban parks. Visit the Adventure Science Center and discover the wonders of the universe. The cheapest flights are around $220 and hotel rates start at around $120.