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 celebrations across America, both eastern and western destinations that offered something special in honor of the Memorial Day holiday.
We‘ve highlighted places that are easily accessible no matter where you are in the U.S. (bus ride under five hours).
Consider this your guide to three-day weekend bliss!
Travelers looking for an original weekend destination, take note: Denver is easier to access and has more things to do than ever before. From a bustling dining scene to renowned art to outdoor activities, locals and visitors alike are realizing that the Mile-High City should be on every vacation bucket list.
On Memorial day, Denver will bring two huge events. First, the annual Veteran’s Memorial Day Tribute, honoring all veterans and fallen Colorado heroes and their families, where there will be music, storytelling and ceremonial activities. Then, for the tenth year in a row, the 16th Street pedestrian mall will be transformed into a massive block party with more than two dozen free rock concerts on five stages for the annual Denver Day of Rock. Food and beer gardens will be set up throughout downtown for the event, which is a fundraiser for Amp the Cause, a Denver-based non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 50 children’s charities.
Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas is one of the busiest times of the year, along with New Year’s Eve. Parties held around hotel pools are the big event, and become daylight nightclubs with DJs. You can catch a concert by rapper French Montana on Sunday at Marquee Nightclub or enjoy a day trip to the Grand Canyon!
If you feel like dancing the morning, afternoon and night away in great weather and great company, Vegas is definitely where you should head to.
EASY GETAWAY FROM: Los Angeles, for an average price of 60USD for a round trip.
If you like sipping amazing coffee, 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. During Memorial Day weekend, you can attend the Northwest Folklife Festival & Kindiependent Showcase, one of the largest free folk festival in the US, or you can visit the Memorial Day Weekend Trains Salute America’s Military.
After eating your own body weight at the delicious food stalls of the Folklife festival, why not take a day trip to beautiful Mount Rainier, an active volcano and icon in the Washington landscape, and hike one of its many trails.
San Francisco is booming with activities, no matter the weekend. However, Memorial Day weekend is particularly packed in the Bay Area! Young and old will be able to find an activity for them. There will be a Memorial Day Ceremony at the National Cemetery, and the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, an admission-free festival offering music, circus, theater and dance.
This year is your lucky year, as the famous Carnaval San Francisco falls on Memorial Day weekend. Carnaval San Francisco celebrates the diverse and colourful Latin American and Caribbean culture of the Bay Area. On its 40th year, the carnaval will blow you away with its Grand Parade on May 27th.
You should catch a baseball game from the Oakland A’s, who will be in town for Memorial Day weekend.
As you might guess, D.C. is the most patriotic place to celebrate the holiday, with the National Memorial Day Parade and plenty of monuments and museums to go around.
The Thursday before Memorial Day, soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery put flags before each gravestone. On Memorial Day, a ceremony happens at the Tomb of the Unknowns and the U.S. Army Band performs.
Washington also offers free museums, so make sure to go visit one of the Smithsonian Museums!
Portsmouth keeps popping up on lists of hip small towns to visit, and Memorial Day weekend, when locals and visitors alike come out to honor our veterans, is a great 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.
What better way to spend the long weekend celebrating than reveling in fun festivities and feasting on mouthwatering jambalaya? New Orleans offers something for everyone, including families, with attractions like the Aquarium of the Americas, The Insectarium and The Audubon Zoo. The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience also takes place over Memorial Day Weekend, combining the city’s fabulous cuisine with fine wines.
The National World War II Museum not only offers outstanding exhibits; it commemorates the holiday with a performance by the Marine Corps quintet from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Monday May 28th.
Art and music lovers who want to enjoy famous Southern hospitality might want to consider Charleston. One of the first observances of Memorial Day was said to be held here by a group of freed slaves, taking place just weeks after the Civil War ended in 1865 at Hampton Park. Today, known as the world-famous Spoleto Festival, it begins a two-week run over the holiday weekend, filling Charleston’s theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with opera, theater, jazz, symphonies, choruses and visual arts.
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.
Prices fluctuate daily. Book your tickets on Busbud!