Florida Keys
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The best Memorial Day weekend getaways in the U.S. to book right now

There's still time to book a last-minute Memorial Day weekend getaway and skip town this month.

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Memorial Day is a national day of remembrance in America, but it's also the unofficial start of summer—a glorious few months filled with weekend getaways, family vacations and summer camp (if you're lucky). It also means an extra day off from work for many—and what's not to love about a three-day weekend? Before you think it's too late to book your Memorial Day getaway, let us be the first to tell you it's not. There's still time to book, whether a quickie trip to a nearby town or a cross-country escape with help from a can't-miss flight deal. Below, we've highlighted 10 great destinations where you can unwind, honor and remember our soldiers and spend time with loved ones this Memorial Day.

Where to go for Memorial Day Weekend in the U.S.

1. Lexington, Kentucky

Centrally located, Lexington is one of those rare places that’s reachable by car for more than half of the country. Known as the “Horse Capital of the World'', this under-the-radar destination is great for families looking to spend some time outside. Get acclimated by learning about the deep horse racing history at the historic Keeneland Racecourse, popular for Kentucky Derby-qualifying races or explore the Kentucky River Palisades via a self-guided hike or by soaring 185 feet above the forest at 40mph with Boone Creek Outdoors’ Zipline Canopy Tours. Rent bikes and ride through Kentucky’s famed rolling Bluegrass hills, passing by lush landscapes, historic bourbon distilleries and thoroughbred horse farms.

Where to stay:

Book a room at the Inn at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (located just outside Lexington), where you’ll find several restored Shaker guesthouses and private cottages surrounded by 3,000 acres of outdoor adventure space.

2. South Padre Island, Texas

Situated right off the southern tip of Texas, South Padre Island is the only tropical island oasis in the Lone Star State. This budget-friendly destination features 34 miles of coastline, 300-plus days of sunshine and a variety of activities and entertainment. The clear gulf waters are perfect for guided trips where you can scuba, snorkel, fish (and take advantage of a local Cook Your Catch program), and experience bottlenose dolphin sightings. As the “Sandcastle Capital of the World,” visitors can explore Sandcastle Trail, where stunning works of sand art are always on display. If nature is more your thing, check out the SPI Birding, Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary and say hello to beloved residents, Big Padre and Lady Laguna.

Where to stay:

When it’s time to turn in, the shores of South Padre Island are dotted with vacation rentals as well as beachfront hotels and resorts—including the festive Margaritaville Beach Resort South Padre Island.

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3. Telluride, Colorado

Telluride is a great spot to spend a winter vacation, but ask any local, and they’ll probably tell you it’s the Colorado summers that’s kept them there. Telluride and Mountain Village are linked by the Telluride Mountain Village Gondola, a free 13-minute ride that’s the first public transportation system in the United States, providing access to tons of hiking and biking trails. As far as water activities, float through town on inner tubes, soar through the air on bungee trampolines at Mountain Village, or travel the waterways by kayak or stand-up paddle board. Known for non-stop festivals, Telluride hosts Mountainfilm over Memorial Day, which showcases documentary films that celebrate adventure, activism and social justice, among other topics.

Where to stay:

The Madeline Hotel & Residences, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, is the perfect base for adventure in this area.

4. Boston, Massachusetts

For many northeastern cities, Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and Boston is no different. It’s the start of patio dining at local restaurants, outdoor activities and other warm-weather pursuits—including Boston Calling, a massive, three-day music festival featuring headliners Ed Sheeran, The Killers and Leon Bridges, among others. Not into music? What about a Red Sox game? Or perhaps a visit to the Garden of Flags, where more than 37,000 flags will be planted in front of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Boston Common to commemorate Massachusetts service members over the weekend.

Where to stay:

Book a room at Four Seasons Hotel Boston, which overlooks America's first botanical garden.

Find more things to do in Boston

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5. Park City, Utah

A quick 35-minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport, Park City is ready to dive into summer with an abundance of events, experiences, and outdoor activities for guests of all ages. For the active traveler, this is an IMBA-certified Gold Level mountain biking destination with over 400 miles of open trails, plus hiking, hot air ballooning, horseback riding, paddle boarding, fly-fishing and more. For the eco-conscious traveler, Park City welcomes back the seasonal launch of e-bike share to get around the town without needing a vehicle, making the destination the only place in the U.S. offering an all-electric bike-share system.

Where to stay:

After a full day of exploring, rest and relax at Westgate Park City Resort & Spa—a luxury resort in a prime location at the base of Canyons Village.

6. Palm Springs, California

Summer is in full swing here, meaning the temperatures are perhaps a bit too warm for most, causing it to be easier to find great deals on stays over the holiday weekend. Ideal for those who are looking to explore and rock climb, we definitely recommend finding accommodations with a pool to lounge by. The real highlight for visiting a post-Coachella Palm Springs is the Annual Memorial Day Air Fair and Flower Drop hosted by the Palm Springs Air Museum. Visitors will get the chance to experience the emotional moment when a B-25 aircraft drops thousands of red and white carnations from the sky, commemorating those who gave their lives fighting for our country in World War II.

Where to stay:

ARRIVE Palm Springs boasts an over-21 policy, so expect a vibey pool and bar scene to match the grown-up crowd.

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7. Washington, D.C.

Easily the most patriotic destination to visit during Memorial Day weekend, our nation's capital is filled with places to honor our soldiers. Spend time visiting memorials like Arlington National Cemetery, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and World War II Memorial; there’s no end to powerful places to pay your respects. On Sunday, May 26th, the 35th Annual Memorial Day Concert will take place on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol with an all-star performance by the National Symphony Orchestra.

Where to stay: 

Plan to stay at the historic Waldorf Astoria Washington, D.C., located inside an old post office. Grand and welcoming, it even boasts a spa if you want to unwind after a day of sightseeing.

Find more things to do in Washington, D.C.

8. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Steps away from two of America’s most treasured national parks—Grand Teton and Yellowstone—Jackson Hole beckons travelers with endless outdoor experiences, including wildlife safaris, whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, four-wheeling, horseback riding, hot air ballooning and scenic gondola rides. In the heart of it all, you’ll find the quintessential alpine town of Teton Village, bustling with tons of dining, shopping, and music festivals (like Memorial Day’s free Million Dollar Music Fest), and the annual Old West Days Festival, complete with costumes and parades.

Where to stay:

When it comes to lodging, check out Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa, located just one mile from Grand Teton National Park, which is the epitome of classic mountain elegance and laid-back style. 

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9. Florida Keys, Florida

Stretching 125 miles, The Florida Keys are a coral cay archipelago where a four-hour drive from Miami can allow you to experience several different vacation vibes—from super chill and relaxed, no-frill motels to high-end resorts. The two-lane highway allows for a slow-paced adventure where you’ll find restaurants, fisheries, marinas, and lots of kitschy shops plus very few instances where the dress code requires more than a pair of flip-flops. As you make your way south, find an exclusive escape with the utmost privacy and seclusion: hop aboard Woodson, an antique motor yacht off of Little Torch Key that takes you to Little Palm Island Resort & Spa—the only private island in the U.S. that is only accessible via seaplane or boat. Or travel farther down to southernmost Key West, just steps away from picturesque Mallory Square and rambunctious Duval Street, which is filled with bars, restaurants and nightlife.

Where to stay:

Travelers who want everything in one place should check out the area’s first and only all-inclusive adults-only resort, Bungalows Key Largo.

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10. Greenville, South Carolina

Nestled up against the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the heart of South Carolina's Upcountry, you'll find Greenville conveniently located just about halfway between Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. This quaint town’s charming Main Street is home to local shops, galleries, award-winning dining and breweries, plus it boasts a sprawling scenic park in the city’s center. For the best views, all you have to do is cross the Liberty Bridge and you’ll get to experience Greenville’s dramatic waterfalls. The Scots will be taking over Greenville for Memorial Day weekend with a Gallabrae and Greenville’s Scottish Games celebrating all things Scottish history.

Where to stay:

Stay at Grand Bohemian Lodge Greenville, a seven-story boutique lodge right by Falls Park on the Reedy River, home to 32 acres of walking paths.

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