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20 of the Best Memorial Day Weekend Getaways Gallery

20 of the Best Memorial Day Weekend Getaways from 20 of the Best Memorial Day Weekend Getaways Gallery

20 of the Best Memorial Day Weekend Getaways Gallery

After a long cold winter, summer is (unoffically) finally here! So don’t spend the weekend doing yard work or painting the deck. Get out there and enjoy this great, big, beautiful country.

And remember the reason for this solemn holiday, while you are at it. With that advice in mind, here are 20 of the best Memorial Day Weekend getaways.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dreamstime

America’s first capital city also does the holiday up right. Tall ships line up at Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River waterfront for the Sail Philadelphia festival. Visitors can tour the ships and take short cruises. Or catch local heroes Hall & Oates, plus Train and Fitz and the Tantrums, at the Hoagie Nation music festival.

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

Dreamstime

The nation’s capital is the place to be on Memorial Day weekend. The Rolling Thunder motorcycle ride through the city honors POWs and MIA service members. Hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists participate. The National Memorial Day observance at nearby Arlington National Ceremony always inspires. Then there’s the National Memorial Day Concert, held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building. (But don’t worry if you can’t make it; the concert airs on PBS.)

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Dreamstime

Memorial Day weekend means it’s finally warm enough to get outside in Chicago. The Windy City boasts one of the country’s largest Memorial Day parades. Plus, the city’s beaches open to the public the Friday before Memorial Day. And you can catch the fireworks at Navy Pier on Saturday.

Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach, Florida

Dreamstime

It’s time for fun in the Florida sun! Memorial Day weekend in Miami Beach is highlighted by Urban Beach Week, a loosely affiliated group hip hop concerts and parties. Miami Beach also hosts the military-themed Air and Sea Show, the self-proclaimed “greatest show above the earth.”

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Dreamstime

The Crescent City hosts the New Orleans Wine and Food experience on Memorial Day weekend. Hundreds of restaurants and wineries will be participating, according to nowfe.com. New Orleans is also home to the National World War II Museum, a perfectly patriotic spot to celebrate the holiday. 

New York City, New York

New York City, New York

Dreamstime

New York celebrates Memorial Day with Fleet Week. This is the 30th year for the event, which honors the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The Parade of Ships kicks off the week. Spectators can watch them sail in along the Hudson River. Visitors can also tour ships over the weekend.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Dreamstime

Charleston’s Spoleto Festival is the country’s premier performing arts festival, according to spoletousa.org. The festival kicks off Memorial Day weekend and runs for two more weeks, featuring dozens of performances in theater, dance, opera, classical music and jazz.

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, California

Dreamstime

Here’s a unique way to spend the day: The Palm Springs Air Museum marks Memorial Day with its annual flower drop. As many as 3,000 red and white carnations are dropped from a B-25 Mitchell bomber as a memorial to fallen soldiers. Visitors are encouraged to take a flower home.

Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Dreamstime

The Mile High City hosts the Denver Day of Rock on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. The city’s 16th Street pedestrian mall is transformed into a massive block party. Elle King is the 2018 headliner. The festival benefits the charitable group Amp the Cause, which helps children’s charities in the city.

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia

Dreamstime

Memorial Day brings the Atlanta Jazz Festival to the city’s Piedmont Park. The event is billed as one of the country’s largest free jazz fests. The Piedmont Park event is a culmination of a month-long celebration of jazz music throughout the city.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California

Dreamstime

This year is the 40th anniversary of San Francisco’s Carnaval street festival, celebrating Latin American and Caribbean cultures. It’s a huge event with more than 400,000 visitors expected. A Memorial Day commemoration will take place Monday at the San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio.

Andersonville, Georgia

Andersonville, Georgia

Dreamstime

The Andersonville National Historic Site includes Camp Sumter, an infamous Confederate prison camp, as well as Andersonville National Cemetery and the National Prisoner of War Museum. Weekend events include the raising of the Avenue of Flags, placing of flags at gravesites and a wreath laying.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Dreamstime

The city that saw the most famous battle of the Civil War has been hosting a Memorial Day parade for more than 150 years, making it one of the oldest in the country. Before or after Monday’s parade, visit the Gettysburg National Military Park.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

Dreamstime

Boston honors soldiers on Memorial Day with its Garden of Flags - 37,000 U.S. flags placed in front of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Boston Common. Each flag represents a Massachusetts service member who has given his or her life in service since the Revolutionary War. The city also hosts the Boston Calling music festival over the long weekend. Headliners are The Killers, Jack White and Eminem.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Dreamstime

Tripadvisor ranks Clearwater Beach as the No. 1 beach in America. So how can it get better? Margaritas! Memorial Day weekend brings the Margarita Festival to nearby Tampa. There will be food, music and fireworks. And did we mention the margaritas?

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Dreamstime

Asheville is one of America’s hidden gems, with the beautiful scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a thriving arts scene. So how can it get better? Beer! Memorial Day weekend kicks off Beer Week in Asheville. The nine-day festival will feature more than 30 breweries, plus beer specials and other events.

Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu, Hawaii

Dreamstime

Lantern Floating Hawaii is a beautiful, solemn way to mark Memorial Day. Visitors are encouraged to write remembrances on paper lanterns, then they are placed in the water at Ala Moana Beach, then set out to sea with “wishes for peace and happiness of loved ones past and present,” according to lanternfloatinghawaii.com.

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Dreamstime

It’s the summer playground of the who’s who off the coast of Cape Cod. After you’ve checked out the beaches, check out the art. The island is hosting its 20th annual Memorial Day weekend artisans festival this year. Vineyardartisans.com says it’s a chance to see what island artisans have been working on all winter. They promise great food, demonstrations and fun for kids.  

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dreamstime

Fort Snelling in Minneapolis goes back to its roots for Memorial Day. Built in the 1820s, Fort Snelling’s Memorial Day activities include demonstrations like cannon firings, blacksmithing and more. Costumed re-enactors will also share stories of Americans who served in armed conflicts.

San Diego, California

San Diego, California

Dreamstime

San Diego is the perfect city to enjoy the summer weather and honor the fallen. Spend some time enjoying some of the 70 miles of magnificent coastline or tour the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Then take a tour of the decommissioned USS Midway aircraft carrier and visit the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park.

20 of the Best Memorial Day Weekend Getaways Gallery