The Best Memorial Day Weekend Getaways
Apart from Thanksgiving and Labor Day weekend, Memorial Day weekend is easily one of the most traveled weekends of the year. Everyone loves a three-day weekend on the road! To point you in the right direction, we looked for getaways offering something for everyone, whether you’re looking for an easily accessible location or something a little more exotic. And, because we know traveling can sometimes set you back some, we’ve also gathered all the free activities you can enjoy in these various Memorial Day destinations!
Consider this your guide to budget-friendly, three-day weekend bliss.Busbud
Cheap travel options for your Memorial Day weekend getaways:
- Bus tickets to Denver
- Bus to Las Vegas
- Cheap bus to Seattle
- Take the bus to San Francisco
- Bus tickets to Washington DC
- Travel to Portsmouth, NH
- Cheap bus tickets to New Orleans
- Bus tickets to Charleston SC
- Head to Key West by bus
- Bus to Atlanta
1. Outdoor buffs, the best Memorial Day weekend getaway is in Denver, Colorado.
Forget classic getaways and opt for an original destination: Colorado! The city of Denver is not only easy to access, but it also features a ton of things to see and do. From a bustling food scene to transcending art venues and exciting outdoor activities, both locals and visitors agree: the Mile-High City should be on every bucket list. Plus, it’s the ideal destination if you love the outdoors and are looking to step out of your comfort zone and rejuvenate your senses out in the wild. While in Denver, make time to see the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Vail Mountain Resort, two amazing spots you won’t regret visiting.
Resource yourself at the Denver Botanic Gardens
Located in the Cheesman Park neighborhood in Denver, Colorado, the Denver Botanic Gardens boast a 23-acre park, filled with breathtaking gardens and a conservatory. This refreshing spot features North America’s largest collection of plants growing in cold weather. It’s also home to seven amazing gardens featuring local plants. The gardens offer a peaceful setting, which you’ll enjoy if you’re looking to recharge your batteries in the great outdoors during the Memorial Day weekend.
- Where is it? The Denver Botanic Garden is located at 1007 York St, Denver in Colorado (80206).
- How to get there? Simply take the bus (line 10) and stop at 12th Ave & York St. Then, walk two minutes to the main entrance of the botanic gardens.
- When to go? Opening hours are:
- Monday through Saturday, from 9 AM to 8 PM
- Sunday, from 9 AM to 3 PM
- How much time to visit? If you don’t want to miss anything, count a good three to four hours to wander the gardens!
- How much does it cost? Admission is $12.50 per person.
Insider tip: If you get hungry as you’re surrounded by gorgeous plants, you can bring a picnic and stop along the way, or enjoy a meal at one of the two fancy restaurants on-premises, who serve mouth-watering, quality delicacies.
Go wild at the Vail Mountain Resort
If you’re a nature lover, you just can’t spend a Memorial Day weekend in Denver without heading to the Vail Ski Resort! It’s the third-largest single mountain ski resort in the USA and a quaint little place to explore. In fact, the Village of Vail is modeled on Bavarian villages and loaded with lovely pedestrian streets to discover. The Mountain Resort in itself is filled with fun activities, such as hiking, biking, rock climbing, camping, boating, fishing and much more. Oh yes, the outdoor buff in you will just adore this destination. It’s a 2 hour and 20-minute bus ride away from the city of Denver so you can plan an overnight trip—or even a day trip to explore the location.
- Where is it? The Vail Mountain Resort is located approximately two hours away from Denver in Vail, Colorado.
- How to get there? To get to the Vail Ski Resort, you can take the bus from Downtown Denver at 1055 19th St. Oh, and don’t forget to book your Vail bus tickets with Busbud!
- When to go? The resort is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM.
- How much time to visit? Enjoy a full day at the resort—or even better: an overnight stay if your schedule and budget allow.
- How much does it cost? Count around $15 for your bus tickets. As per access to the park, it all depends on the activities you plan to do! Check out the full list right here.
Insider tip: Don’t worry about bringing your bike or your mountain climbing equipment, everything can be rented directly at the resort. Yes, this means you can head to the Vail Mountain Resort on a whim and still have the time of your life!
Now, if you’re visiting Denver on a tight budget, you’ll prefer fun and free activities. Thankfully, we’ve got a great list for you too, check it out.
Free things to do in Denver Colorado during Memorial Day weekend
Don’t let a skimpy budget stop you—if you love the outdoors and plan to visit Denver on Memorial Day weekend, there are still loads of things you can see and do!
- Check out the Colorado State Capitol. On weekdays, during business hours, you can also explore the inside of the building!
- Visit the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater. It’s the perfect place to combine exercising and culture, by gazing at a historic amphitheater with close to 10,000 seats and strolling through one of the two pedestrian trails in the surrounding Red Rocks Park.
- Discover Cherry Creek State Park. Known as Denver’s backyard, the Cherry Creek State Park is a locally renowned green space. Possessing natural wetland and prairie plains, this popular Denver destination offers some 35 miles of multi-use trails within its borders. Head to the reservoir to boat, fish and even swim during the summer months.
2. Party animals: head to Las Vegas, Nevada on Memorial Day weekend!
Known worldwide as a great party destination, Las Vegas is the place to be if you crave raucous parties and love to dance the night away. Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas is one of the busiest times of the year, along with New Year’s Eve. Most hotels offer daytime pool parties, complete with DJs. You can even enjoy a day trip to the Grand Canyon! In any case, be sure to stop by one of the famous pool parties or attend a concert in LA for a memorable weekend getaway.
Attend one of the Las Vegas Memorial Day weekend pool parties
During Memorial Day weekend, most resorts in Las Vegas host amazing pool parties, featuring famous DJs and cold drinks by the pool. Definitely a go-to destination for some all-day, early summer fun.
- Where is it? Most—if not all—Las Vegas resorts host a special pool party for the Memorial Day weekend.
- How much time to visit? Memorial Day weekend parties are usually an all-day event!
- How much does it cost? $$-$$$
Insider tip: As you can imagine, day clubs and pool parties sell out super fast on the Vegas strip—so be sure to get your name on the guestlist early!
Shake your booty at one of the many Memorial Day concerts in Vegas
Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas is jammed packed with exciting events and concerts. Over the weekend, you can catch one or more concerts around town, featuring music of all genres. The complete lineup for 2020 hasn’t been released yet, but we hear Shania Twain, Santana and Sting have already confirmed their presence!
Yes, we know… While these crazy cool activities are sure to please, your wallet won’t be such a fan. So, to top off a fabulous Memorial Day weekend in Vegas, check out these free activities.
Free things to do in Vegas during Memorial Day weekend
Who says you can’t have the time of your life on a tight budget? Not us, sometimes, the best things are free! Check out these awesome free things to do in Las Vegas and get the most out of your Memorial Day weekend.
- See the light show at the Fremont Street Experience. What is the Fremont Street Experience? Well, it’s one of the best things to see in Vegas, thanks to its superb overhead light show known as Viva Vision—which is a magical display of lights and technology. If you walk up and down the few blocks under the canopy, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of a festive carnival!
- Take a selfie at the Fountains of Bellagio. Yes, the Bellagio Fountain is one of Las Vegas’s most iconic attractions! Gaze at the water jets shooting hundreds of feet into the sky, swaying gracefully in the air and creating patterns on the surface of Lake Bellagio… And while you’re at it, take a tourist selfie!
- Stroll along the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. Located on the Las Vegas Strip, the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian are a great place to be entertained by the many singers, performers, and living statues lined up on the street.
3. Seattle, Washington: the ultimate Memorial Day weekend Getaway for Foodies
If you like sipping amazing coffee, enjoy the great outdoors and don’t mind the rain too much, then Seattle is the right destination for you! Home to hundreds of local coffee shops as well as being the birthplace of Starbucks, Seattle will not disappoint you. What’s more, thanks to its thriving food scene, Seattle is a foodie’s paradise. Being surrounded by water, the city is home to many great seafood and fish restaurants. And whatever you’re in the mood for, most venues offer a daily happy hour during non-peak hours so you can enjoy a delicious meal at half price. Who says you can’t eat well on a budget?
If you’re traveling with a foodie, note that during Memorial Day weekend, you can also attend the Northwest Folklife Festival & Independent Showcase, one of the largest free folk festivals in the US, or you can visit the Memorial Day weekend Trains Salute America’s Military. After eating your body weight at the delicious food stalls of the Folklife Festival, you can urge your friend to take a day trip out to beautiful Mount Rainier, an active volcano and icon in the Washington landscape, and hike one of its many trails.
Yes, you get it. There’s something fun to do for everyone in Seattle!
Enjoy a feast at the RockCreek Seafood & Spirits
While in Seattle, you have to head to the RockCreek Restaurant to sample the best seafood in town! Renowned across the country, the RockCreek menu features globally sourced seafood from well-managed fisheries, with offerings of local Northwest such as crab, oysters, and mussels. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, brunch and even late at night… So no excuses! Any time is good to head to the RockCreek Seafood & Spirits.
- Where is it? The RockCreek Seafood & Spirits is located at 4300 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103-7224.
- How to get there? To get there, take the Bus line 3 to N 43rd St & Fremont Ave, then walk for 3 minutes.
- When to go? The restaurant is open daily from 9 AM to 11 PM.
- How much time to visit? Plan one to three hours, depending on your appetite!
- How much does it cost? $$-$$$
Insider tip: The RockCreek Restaurant boasts a great selection of beer on tap and many different cocktails. Be sure to ask your waiter for a recommendation!
Take a Seattle food tour
A food tour may seem a little over the top, but we promise: it’s not! You don’t even have to be super hungry to attend one. Seriously, who needs an appetite to feast on CHOCOLATE? Discover the many food tours the city has to offer, from sweets to brewery tours, and of course, more classic formulas. You can explore the Seattle food scene according to your interests—and your budget.
- How much time to visit? A good food tour typically takes two to four hours.
- How much does it cost? Tours start at $60… Check out the best ones on TripAdvisor.
Insider tip: Some tours can also be combined with a cooking class, so read up before booking anything!
Once you’re full, you may be looking for a little action to digest, or to give your wallet a well-deserved break from spending. To get you started, here are three cool and free activities to do while visiting Seattle.
Free things to do in Seattle during the Memorial Day weekend
- Explore Pike Place Market. Not only is the entrance fully free, but this Seattle market is also absolutely charming. It’s a great place to people watch, and if you need to pick up a few things along the way, you can stop at one of the many stalls including fishmongers, florists, food and much more.
- Take an urban hike at Discovery Park. The Seattle Discovery Park offers a vast terrain to those craving a bit of outdoor time. If you’re feeling up to a hike, pick one of the many forest trails, or head down to a rocky beach and explore the West Point Lighthouse.
- Tour the Frye Art Museum. Completely free, the Seattle Frye Art Museum proposes a rotating collection featuring 19th and 20th century American, French, and German paintings and sculptures.
4. San Francisco, California, for an action-packed getaway!
San Francisco is booming with activities, no matter the weekend. However, Memorial Day weekend is particularly packed in the Bay Area! A Memorial Day Ceremony takes place at the National Cemetery and there is the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival around the same dates, an admission-free festival offering music, circus, theater, and dance.
Now. If you’re a sports fan, and more specifically a baseball buff, you’ll be very happy!
Catch a baseball game in San Francisco… or in Oakland
With two local baseball teams, you’re sure to catch at least one playing while you’re in town and soak up the strong baseball culture the Bay Area is famous for! If you’ve opted for a San Francisco getaway on Memorial Day weekend, you’ll be glad to hear that games feature special programs to celebrate, with activities planned for everyone before and after the game.
- Where is it? It all depends on the team you want to cheer. The Giants play in San Francisco and the A’s play across the Bay in Oakland.
- To catch the San Francisco Giants, head to AT&T Park, located at 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107.
- For the Oakland A’s, look for the Oakland Coliseum, located at 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, CA 94621.
- How to get there?
- Oakland Coliseum: head to the Coliseum BART Station via BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) or by bus. The stadium is right in front of the station!
- AT&T Park: go to the King St & 2nd St Rail Station.
- When to go? Check the MLB website for the schedule.
- How much time to visit? A game usually lasts three to four hours.
- How much does it cost? The price of tickets varies according to available seats and can be purchased online via StubHub.
Insider tip: If catching a game while you’re in San Francisco, head to the stadium early, as it gets quite crowded with baseball fans. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy many activities at the stadium before the game, which are well worth it.
Baseball and water may be all you need to survive, but it would be sad to visit San Francisco without enjoying other things the city has to offer. To help you save money, we’ve identified the best free activities you shouldn’t miss out on during the Memorial Day weekend.
Free things to do in San Francisco
- See the Sea Lions at Pier 39. These funny and charming sea animals have chosen Pier 39 to lounge away in San Fran. While you’re there, make sure you explore the rest of Fisherman’s Wharf!
- Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge. Completely free, this breathtaking walk offers the best views of the San Francisco Bay.
- Hike to Coit Tower. You’ve guessed it: San Francisco’s got many amazing viewpoints that you shouldn’t miss out on, one of which can be enjoyed as you hike up towards Coit Tower! Perched on a hill located just a few blocks from Pier 39, the San Francisco Coit Tower provides a great vantage point to see Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Pssssst—hiking up to the tower is free, and the view is incredible from the bottom of the tower, but if you want to climb up to the top of the Coit Tower, you’ll have to spend a few dollars.
5. Washington, DC: for a true traditional Memorial Day weekend
DC is known as one of the most patriotic places to celebrate the holiday! The capital comes alive during the Memorial Day weekend, with the National Memorial Day Parade and plenty of unique and meaningful events and exhibits to attend. If you manage to get to Washington early, you can catch the soldiers at the Arlington National Cemetery as they place a flag on each gravestone, on Thursday. On Memorial Day, a ceremony happens at the Tomb of the Unknowns and the U.S. Army Band performs. If you have to choose, be sure to include the Washington Memorial Day Parade and the famous Memorial Day concert in your plans.
National Memorial Day Parade
The Memorial Day parade in Washington DC is undoubtedly the biggest one in the country! Every year, the parade takes place along Constitution Avenue, representing American military history through a moving timeline and honoring those who have served their country and sacrificed themselves since the American Revolution.
- Where is it? The Memorial Day parade route follows Constitution Ave from 7th-17th Street, NW.
- How to get there? It’s quite simple: multiple metro stations are located within walking distance of the parade. Head to Archives-Navy Mem’l-Penn Quarter Station, Federal Triangle Station or the Smithsonian Station.
- When to go? The DC Memorial Day parade takes place on the Monday of Memorial Day weekend, starting at 2 PM.
- How much time to visit? Count two full hours to enjoy the parade.
- How much does it cost? The best part is… It’s absolutely free!
Insider tip: Like most popular Memorial Day weekend events, try to get there early to secure a good vantage point on Constitution Ave.
National Memorial Day Concert
Ah, Memorial Day… There is no better time to enjoy uplifting musical performances and documentary footage honoring military service. Every year, a spectacular Memorial Day concert takes place in Washington DC.
- Where is it? The concert is held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
- How to get there? The nearest stations are Federal Center SW (Orange/Blue line) and Union Station (Red line).
- When to go? The Memorial Day concert takes place on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. The gates usually open at 5 PM, but the concert begins at 8 PM and lasts about one hour and a half.
- How much time to visit? Get there early and immerse yourself in the festive mood! All in all, a good three hours should be scheduled to get the most out of your evening.
- How much does it cost? The Washington Memorial Day concert is completely free and no reservations or tickets are required.
Insider tip: Be smart and take public transport to get to the concert, as many streets are closed around the area on that evening. Taking a taxi, Uber or Lyft isn’t recommended either, as circulation will be slow and complicated in the area.
Other free things to do in Washington DC during Memorial Day weekend
You may have noticed, traditional Memorial Day events in Washington DC are totally free! Aside from these super popular activities, you might want to explore the city and make the most out of your getaway. Here are a few other things to add to your Washington bucket list.
- Visit the Smithsonian Museums: the Smithsonian Institution presents 17 museums across the DC Metro area that you can visit absolutely free! These include the Natural History Museum, the American History Museum, the Air and Space Museum and many more. You’re sure to find one that you’ll enjoy.
- Check out the 130-year-old Eastern Market. Featuring loads of yummy treats, including fresh produce stalls, butcher shops and prepared items in the indoor food hall, the market is also home to a selection of impressive arts and crafts shops. There’s also a flea market full of antiques and collectibles on-premises. We bet you’ll have a great time browsing the various stalls… On a full stomach!
- Take a free walk-in tour of the Library of Congress. Free to visit and open Monday to Saturday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, the library of congress hosts guided tours and gallery talks. You can also take a self-guided tour of the building and the exhibitions if you wish. In any case, your best bet is to go early in the morning, since the venue is quite popular! No reservations are needed, simply show up during opening hours.
6. Portsmouth, New Hampshire: the ideal getaway for beer and spirits lovers.
Portsmouth keeps popping up on lists of hip small towns to visit. On Memorial Day weekend, when locals and visitors alike come out to honor the troops, there is no better time to explore the area. Every year, the U.S. Navy conducts a ceremony at the USS Albacore Museum & Memorial Park and allows you to be both patriotic and enjoy the seaside. But that’s not all. Portsmouth has a plethora of breweries serving local craft beers, in which you can enjoy a convivial atmosphere and great food. If you’re planning a Memorial Day getaway hanging out with friends, this might just be the perfect place to be.
Earth Eagle Brewings
Known as one of the best New Hampshire breweries, the Earth Eagle Brewings is a compact brewpub featuring craft beers, with outdoor seating and live music. They carry both bottled beers and tap beers and offer an extensive menu put together with flair and local produce.
- Where is it? Earth Eagle Brewings is located at 165 High St, in Portsmouth, NH 03801
- How to get there? This lovely brewery is a four-minute walk from Market Square and Portsmouth Historic district.
- When to go? Earth Eagle Brewings opening hours are:
- Sunday through Thursday, from 11:30 AM to 10 PM
- Friday and Saturday, from 11:30 AM to midnight
- How much time to visit? Plan two to three hours to sample a few beers and grab a bite to eat!
- How much does it cost? $-$$
Insider tip: Not a beer fan? No problem! Earth Eagles Brewings also have an extensive list of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails as well as many delicious local ciders to taste.
The Portsmouth Brewery is a popular place, thanks to its great food, outstanding handcrafted beers, and a lively, friendly atmosphere. The venue was rated “Best Brewpub in New Hampshire” by ratebeer.com—a title you’ll soon be agreeing with. With some 1200 barrels brewed every year, you’ll find loads of beers on tap to sample, and a very diverse menu to pick from if you suddenly get the munchies.
- Where is it? Portsmouth Brewery is located at 56 Market St, Portsmouth, NH 03801.
- How to get there? The brewery is located in the historic district, right off Market Square.
- When to go? Portsmouth brewery hours are:
- 7 days a week, from 11:30 AM to 12:25 AM.
- How much time to visit? Forget your schedule for a moment, and allow yourself two to four hours to sample the amazing beers!
- How much does it cost? $-$$
If you’ve splurged on beer, it might be time to check out some cheaper Portsmouth attractions.
Free things to do in Portsmouth during your Memorial Day getaway
- Wander around Prescott Park. This beautiful waterfront park has a great vantage point on the harbor to watch the boats. It’s a great place to unwind after a busy day!
- Hit up Market Square. Located in the heart of downtown, Portsmouth market square is the meeting point for several free walking tours and a good place to head to see a great variety of authentic 17th-century buildings.
- Take a stroll down the Portsmouth Harbor Trail. For some outdoor fun, mixed with a cultural experience, visit this scenic walking route that includes important historic landmarks in the Portsmouth area.
7. New Orleans, Louisiana: for music enthusiasts looking for a memorable Memorial Day weekend getaway
There is truly no better way to enjoy a Memorial Day weekend than celebrating by feasting on jambalaya and reveling in local festivities in New Orleans. The city not only has a vibrant nightlife, but it also has a diverse and ever-evolving art and music scene. New Orleans is considered to be the birthplace of jazz, dating back to the late 19th century. Other than its enviable music scene, New Orleans has something to offer for everyone including families, with attractions like the Aquarium of the Americas, The Insectarium, and The Audubon Zoo. The National World War II Museum not only offers outstanding exhibits; it commemorates the holiday with a performance by the Marine Corps quintet. Back to you, music lovers, here are two amazing venues to add to your New Orleans bucket list.
The Spotted Cat in New Orleans
One of the best, if not THE best Jazz club in town, is the Spotted Cat. Located just steps away from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter, it’s been a local favorite for ages, bringing many types of live music to New Orleans fans, from jazz to klezmer, including blues and even traditional tunes. What’s more, the venue hosts live music every night, with no exception.
- Where is it? The Spotted Cat is located at 623 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116.
- How to get there? It’s a five-minute walk away from French Market Station.
- When to go? The Spotted Cat Music Club is open every day from 2 PM to 2 AM.
- How much time to visit? Plan two to three hours to catch a live music show!
- How much does it cost? $$
Insider tip: The Spotted Cat Jazz Club does not accept reservations, so get there early. Also, it’s a “cash-only” place, so make sure to have some on you!
House of Blues New Orleans
The awesome thing about the New Orleans House of Blues is that there are simply no bad seats in the house. Known by locals as the “HOB New Orleans”, the place has amazing acoustics and presents live music every day. Its yummy food menu inspired by southern cuisine is also worth sampling.
- Where is it? The House of Blues is located at 225 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130.
- How to get there? The venue is located in the heart of the French Quarter, within walking distance from Toulouse station.
- When to go? House of Blues hours are:
- Monday through Saturday from 11:30 AM to 11 PM
- Sunday from 12 PM to 10 PM
- How much time to visit? 2-3 hours
- How much does it cost? $$
Insider tip: Catch Happy Hour every day from 3 PM to 6 PM and enjoy cheap drinks! Oh, and if you have a specific music taste, check out the House of Blues schedule to pick the perfect music show before you head down.
Livin’ la vida loca at night sure has its perks, but it can become quite costly, rather quickly. You might soon be wondering if there are any free things to do in NOLA for the remainder of your getaway. The answer is yes! Check it out.
Free things to do in New Orleans during the Memorial Day weekend
- Ride the Algiers Ferry. From the banks of the French Quarter to the neighborhood of Algiers, travel across the Mississippi River and make sure to bring your camera along for the ride! You’ll get a good peek of both the oldest parts of New Orleans and a view of the downtown skyline.
- Catch the Street Performers at Jackson Square. Jackson Square New Orleans is a popular hangout gathering artists and street performers all year long. The square is lined with talent and you can even get a sketched portrait done, an alternative to the classic selfie as you play tourist!
- Tour the Saint Louis Cathedral. Also known as the Jackson Square cathedral, the Saint Louis Cathedral stands directly behind Jackson Square. Its impressive architecture makes it worth the detour.
8. Charleston, SC: the best weekend getaway for architecture aficionados!
If you’re passionate about architecture, Charleston is a fantastic Memorial Day weekend destination as it’s like an open-air architectural museum. Featuring more than 2,800 historic buildings, the city regorges with amazing things to see and do. What’s more, the entire Charleston Historic District is a National Historic Landmark.
If you’re traveling with friends, know that art and music lovers who want to enjoy famous Southern hospitality might also want to consider Charleston. One of the first official celebrations for Memorial Day is known to have taken place in Charleston’s Hampton Park, led by a group of freed slaves, shortly after the end of the civil war, in 1865. Nowadays, the world-famous Spoleto Festival spreads out over two weeks including the holiday weekend, livening up Charleston’s many cultural venues, including churches, theaters and outdoor spaces with a great number of artistic performances. The Citadel, a nearly 200-year-old military college also offers full-dress parades every Friday afternoon, while various Civil War sites can be seen throughout the city.
Back to you, architecture fans. If hitting Charleston on Memorial Day weekend, be sure to take a tour!
Charleston Architecture Tour
By far our favorite Charleston tour, this walking tour will ensure you see the best sights and styles of architecture. We promise you’ll get loads of local insight and wonderful memories to bring home with you.
- Where is it? Charleston Architecture Tours begin at the SE corner of Church Street and Linguard Street, next to Tommy Condon’s Restaurant.
- How to get there? The meeting point is located in the heart of the Historic District and the closest bus stop is at the corner of Meeting St and Cumberland St.
- When to go? There is a tour every Friday at 1 PM: the perfect way to kick off your Memorial Day weekend getaway!
- How much time to visit? The tour takes roughly two hours since you’ll be walking about 1.5 miles.
- How much does it cost? Tours are quite cheap! Count $3 to cover admin fees and city tax.
Insider tip: Reservations are mandatory! Click here to book your spot.
Charleston probably hasn’t left you broke at this point, but it’s not a reason to miss out on all the great, free activities the city has to offer.
Free things to do in Charleston SC for Memorial Day
- Head down to Riverfront Park in North Charleston. If you’re visiting the city during Memorial Day weekend, go see Charleston’s Naval Base Memorial which honors both civilians and militaries having served their country!
- Walk the Battery: Once a defensive seawall, the Charleston Battery area is now known for its historic and typical, charming southern homes.
- Browse the Charleston City Market. Stretching from Meeting Street to East Bay Street, the Charleston City Market features dozens of stalls showcasing artwork, jewelry, and sweetgrass baskets. It’s the perfect place to shop for souvenirs!
9. Key West, Florida: for a magical Memorial Day weekend beach getaway
Get a sweet taste of summer by hopping on a bus and cruising all the way down to mile 0 for Memorial Day weekend. Yes, Key West offers the perfect getaway for beach bums. Lounging on the beach sipping on a cold drink, fishing, boating or sampling the multiple eateries sounds like the perfect weekend. With a long weekend to enjoy it, we’re convinced that Key West will provide you with the most relaxing getaway.
Insider tip: If you’re considering a beach getaway for Memorial Day, note that Key West is one of the most popular destinations for Memorial Day weekend every year! Be sure to book your bus to Key West and accommodations well in advance, as hotels and buses tend to get very pricey or even sold out, as Memorial Day weekend approaches.
Known by locals as the best public beach in Key West, Smathers Beach boasts a two-mile-long shoreline with the softest sand on the island. It’s the perfect place to set up shop and feel completely secluded from the outside world. But, if you’re in need of food and drink, you’ll be glad for the various stalls lining the coast, even selling chairs and rafts for some serious beach fun. The beach’s public amenities include restrooms, lounge chairs, and several shops to rent water sports gear and equipment. You guessed it – Smathers Beach is also a great place to swim, snorkel, kayak, parasail, play beach volleyball… And sunbathe!
- Where is it? Smathers Beach is located at 2601 S Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040.
- How to get there? Take the green or LKS bus line down to the S Roosevelt – La Brisa bus stop. The stop marks the beginning of the beach.
- When to go? The beach is open every day from 7 AM to 11 PM.
- How much time to visit? You’ll want to spend four to five hours at Smathers Beach, to swim, sunbathe and perhaps have a go at some water sports or simply grab a bite.
- How much does it cost? Access to Smathers Beach is free!
Insider tip: Bring a picnic if you want to keep your travel budget in check.
Fort Zachary Taylor
Centered on a civil war era fort, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is located near the southern tip of Key West. This beautiful wild space features a lovely beach, with many rentals available. You can also take a tour of the fort, starting at 11 AM every day.
- Where is it? Fort Zachary is located at 601 Howard England Way, Key West, FL 33040.
- How to get there? Take the blue bus line down to Emma & Petronia, you’ll find yourself right at the entry of the state park!
- When to go? The Fort Zachary Beach is open daily from 8 AM to 7 PM. The fort itself is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM.
- How much time to visit? You’ll need at least four hours to fully enjoy Fort Zachary Taylor State Park!
- How much does it cost? Entrance to the State Park, beach and fort will set you back $2.50 per person.
Insider tip: Try the Cayo Hueso Café for some fine Key West beach cuisine, open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM.
There are so many cool things to do in Key West, that you’ll want to pack in as much fun as you can during your Memorial Day weekend getaway. Here are a few free activities to add to your Key West bucket list!
> Free things to do in Key West during Memorial Day weekend
- Visit the Key West rum distillery. This distillery is the first legal rum distillery in Key West and hosts free tours so you can see the production floor and enjoy a mojito class, also free of charge. Head there at 4:30 PM on the Saturday of your Memorial Day weekend getaway.
- The Southernmost Point Buoy. This colorful, red and yellow cement buoy located on the corner of South Street and Whitehead Street marks the Southernmost Point in the continental USA. You’ll want to snap a shot of this iconic spot!
10. Atlanta, Georgia: the perfect Memorial Day weekend getaway for the indecisive.
The city may be known for its sweltering summer heat, nicknamed “Hotlanta” and home to the world’s busiest airport, but a Memorial Day weekend getaway in Atlanta is well worth it. Why? Because in Atlanta, you can enjoy a great variety of activities over Memorial Day weekend. Atlanta is the home of many historic sites and attractions like Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthplace. It is also a great city filled with vintage performance venues like the Fox Theatre and displays a vibrant nightlife scene and an eclectic range of restaurants. Oh yes, Atlanta is perfect for travelers looking for a bit of everything: sun, nightlife, and cultural activities.
This Atlanta aquarium is the largest indoor aquarium in the western hemisphere! The place is committed to bringing awareness to the ocean and aquatic creatures worldwide and is home to more than one hundred thousand different animals. The venue has more than a hundred distinct habitats for wildlife, including sea lions, belugas, penguins and many more.
- Where is it? Georgia Aquarium is located at 225 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313.
- How to get there? Head to the Centennial Olympic Park station and walk 10 minutes down to the aquarium.
- When to go? Georgia Aquarium hours are 10 AM to 9 PM every day.
- How much time to visit? There is so much to see at the aquarium, you’ll want to spend two to four hours to take it all in!
- How much does it cost? Tickets start at $27, but prices vary according to the time of visit. More details here.
Insider tip: If you’re on a tight budget, note that the lowest-priced tickets can be bought if visiting after 4 PM. What’s more, there are usually fewer crowds at that time of the day!
The Shops at Buckhead
The Atlanta Shops of Buckhead round up six city blocks of shopping and eateries, featuring many restaurants and shops. If you love to shop, you’ll be served, as it’s known as one of the best places to shop in the USA!
- Where is it? The Shops Buckhead Atlanta are located at 3035 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta, GA 30305, USA.
- How to get there? Take the bus down to Peachtree Rd and Pharr Rd NE.
- When to go? The Shops at Buckhead are open daily from 10 AM to 7 PM, except on Sundays, when they’re open from 12 PM to 6 PM.
- How much time to visit? Shop till you drop – or plan two to four hours touring the shops!
- How much does it cost? $$$
Insider tip: The Buckhead Library, located in the middle of the shopping area, is a beautiful building and a great place to unwind if you need a moment to catch your breath.
If you’ve followed our recommendations, we’re pretty sure you’ve had the time of your life so far, but you might be running out of cash. Thankfully, Atlanta also offers many free activities you won’t want to miss out on!
Free things to do in Atlanta
- Check out the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site. Visit Martin Luther King’s tomb and get a tour of where he lived growing up, completely free!
- Tour the Sweet Auburn district. Birthplace of the Civil Rights movement, the Sweet Auburn neighborhood is filled with memorials and cultural venues focused on Atlanta’s African American community.
- Relax in Piedmont Park. The Atlanta Piedmont Park is a huge park, in which you can simply take a walk, go for a run or enjoy a picnic.
So, are you ready a Memorial Day getaway? Let us know where you’re planning to get away and share your travel stories below!