Looking for weekend trip ideas? Memorial Day weekend is often considered the start of the summer season. Pools open, grills are fired up, and people take off on their first beach getaway of the season. But now Memorial Day is right around the corner, and you still don’t have plans. The good news is it’s not too late! You don’t have to plan a beach vacation–there are a number of trips that are easy to pull together even on short notice.
If road-tripping is your thing, here are five of the best Memorial Day weekend trips that work whether you’re short on planning time or not.
1. Austin, TX
Austin is a city known for its diversity and color, and its catchphrase–“Keep Austin Weird”–is an homage to that. The nightlife there is abundant, attracting a trendy, young crowd, and its diverse selection of restaurants ensures that you’ll never get bored with the food. Boating season begins in full force Memorial Day weekend, so be sure to swing by Lake Travis. From its dedication to small businesses, to its uniqueness from the rest of Texas–there’s always fun to be had, food to eat, and something to discover in Austin.
2. New Orleans, LA
When you think of the Big Easy, what comes to mind is probably its spicy Cajun food, beignets, lively music, and African-French ancestry. But did you know the city typically goes Greek for Memorial Day weekend? There’s a yearly festival in Bayou St. John that celebrates Greek culture. The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience often takes place this weekend as well, adding to the already wide selection of restaurants. And if you’re a history buff, the National World War II Museum has a ceremony honoring the holiday on Memorial Day morning.
3. Washington, DC
To get into the spirit of the holiday, what better way to commemorate it than with a visit to our nation’s capital? There’s a variety of military ceremonies and parades throughout the area, including the National Memorial Day Parade and the Rolling Thunder Run to the Wall biker rally, as well as an abundance of national monuments and museums to learn more about our nation’s history and why we celebrate Memorial Day.
4. Charleston, SC
Take this long holiday weekend to experience the Southern charm of Charleston. This beautiful city is packed with history and salty sea air. Check out the Citadel, an old military college that’s almost two centuries old, where they have parades with full period costumes every Friday. There are a number of Civil War sites to visit throughout town, and if spooky is your thing, be sure to go on one of the ghost tours that this haunted city is famous for.
5. Orlando, FL
This popular vacation destination is great for a Memorial weekend getaway, and with its affordable hotel rates, airfare, and abundance of things to do, it isn’t hard to see why. Disney World, Universal Studios, and Harry Potter World are just a few of the world-famous theme parks in central Florida. There are also great places to eat and a fun downtown to explore.
Before embarking on any road trip, make sure your car is prepared. More preparations beforehand means less maintenance along the way. Bug shields are great especially if you’re headed south, and bed caps will protect your pickup truck from dings and scrapes. Happy travels!