2017’s great Memorial Day escapes

Celebrating the holiday weekend on the fly

You may think you’re cutting it close planning this year’s Memorial Day weekend getaway, but don’t worry! We’ve gathered some great destinations with awesome holiday festivals, quiet hideaways, and good ol’ Americana charm. Plus, you don’t have to spend half of your long weekend in transit, because we’ve found a special escape in each region in the USA. So, pack your stars and stripes and sunglasses, and steal away for a fabulous 3-day weekend.

In the Midwest

Destination: Baileys Harbor, WI
Escape style: outdoor adventures

On the banks of Lake Michigan, Baileys Harbor is about as idyllic as it gets. If you prefer a peaceful place to recharge and observe a somber holiday, make your way to this picturesque peninsula. Each Memorial Day weekend, The Ridges Sanctuary hosts the Door County Festival of Nature, which celebrates the region’s gorgeous landscape and biodiversity as well as the scientists who are hard at work protecting and learning from the local flora and fauna. Join an activity and a field trip into the wild, or simply enjoy the fresh air and beautiful views from a quiet canoe.

In Southern California


Destination: Hermosa Beach, CA
Escape style: family fun

Located just 7 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport, Hermosa Beach is easy to get to, no matter where you start your journey. This cozy coastal town is within easy reach of the big city, but make no mistake, HB throws its own kind of community party. For three days straight, Fiesta Hermosa—Spanish for “Beautiful Party”—fills the downtown streets with local flavors and family-friendly fun. Kick up your heels at this old-school street fair or head to the waterfront for some Golden State sunshine.

In the Southwest


Destination: Las Cruces, NM
Escape style: wine tasting

Can you think of a more relaxing way to while away a long weekend than sampling wine flights? We can’t. Stare out at the gorgeous Organ Mountains as you get your sip on at the Las Cruces Wine Festival—formerly known as Southern New Mexico Wine Festival. From 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on all three days, taste, shop, and socialize with local varietals close at hand. When you’re done day drinking, sneak away for an afternoon at the historic Old Mesilla Village, a conserved community dating back to 1848.

In the Northwest

Destination: Seattle, WA
Escape style: foodie foray

As you might expect from one of the Pacific Northwest’s biggest cities, Memorial Day weekend in Seattle is a nonstop celebration of food, music, and folklore. 2017 includes an Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure all over the city, as well as farmers markets popping up in various neighborhoods, and the Northwest Folklore Festival. The end of May is also a fabulous time to visit Seattle in general, because springtime showers are coming to a close and summer tourism hasn’t picked up speed. You won’t be short on Seattle activities this time of year either.

In the Southeast


Destination: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Escape style: Americana

With glistening beaches and Southern sass, Fort Lauderdale is a spring break favorite among East Coasters. Come Memorial Day, you’ll find casual waterfront fun mixed with reverence and gratitude toward those who lost their lives in military service. On Saturday, join the Great American Beach Party for live music, a kid zone, beach games, an art show, and a tribute to U.S. armed forces. Then, spend the rest of the weekend savoring Southern comfort food and low-key beach vibes. Within easy driving distance from two major airports, Fort Lauderdale is accessible for travelers from all over the Southern states.

In the Northeast

Destination: Portsmouth, NH
Escape style: historical

For a small city, Portsmouth has it all: an international airport, a beautiful river, coastal views, and a beloved Memorial Day parade honoring veterans. For the rest of the weekend, embrace New England’s quiet side with a nostalgic walk through art galleries and bookshops in Market Square. Many of the buildings downtown date back to the 17th century, and guided walking tours are plentiful. You’ll pass by several craft breweries as you amble around. Stop for a refreshing pint or two and toast to the state motto, “Live free or die.”

Where are you planning to relax this Memorial Day weekend?

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Kohleun Adamson

Kohleun is a fan of high tea in Scottish villages and low tide on Coronado Beach, and she can’t get enough of rolling vineyard vistas. These days it’s no easy feat to pull her away from the California coast, but she can be wooed with Moroccan cous cous and ancient palace ruins. As a writer, Kohleun has a passion for sharing the intricate details of a journey well traveled, whether it involves crossing continents or exploring close to home.

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