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5 Travel Ideas for Memorial Day Weekend

Have you made your Memorial Day Weekend plans?

Yep, me neither…that’s why I’m deep in thought about some places to spend a fun three-day weekend.  I really envy the families that have a regular Memorial Day tradition, because they can plan ahead and book in advance and do all the things I never do. Maybe this year I’ll start a tradition.  It could happen, but somehow I don’t think I’m the type to travel to the same place year after year. We’ll see!

Here are the finalists on my “maybe” list:

Urban Bike & Beach in Chicago

The beach will probably be a zoo over Memorial Day, but one of the things I find most tempting about Chicago is the urban beach scene. I also love to rent a bike and ride up and down the Lake, it’s such a fun way to see the city and stop at all the incredible destinations (like the Navy Pier) along the way. I would find something else fun to do while the beach is crazy and then plan to enjoy it off-hours when everyone else is either eating or had too much sun for the day.  Be sure to check out the city’s Memorial Day Parade and find your seat for the Navy Pier’s fireworks set to music, which takes place every Saturday night starting (you guessed it) Memorial Day weekend!

5 Travel Ideas for Memorial Day Weekend

Toes in the Sand at Folly Beach, South Carolina

This one has been on my list for a good, long time. Right outside of Charleston (about a 20-minute drive) is a charming little beach community called Folly Beach.  Seems like the perfect place to unwind, eat some seafood, do a little paddle-boarding and relax and watch the waves tumble in.  You can rent a beach cottage or camp nearby at the 643-acre James Island County Park’s campground and vacation cottages.  Spend the day hunting for beach treasures, fishing, or kayaking and then head out for some fun on Center Street or live music at Loggerheads or the Sand Dollar.

5 Travel Ideas for Memorial Day Weekend

Patriotic Parades & Memorials in Washington, D.C.

After the cherry blossoms have blown away and the crowds leave D.C., you can find yourself spending fun and a rather inexpensive weekend in the nation’s capital.  If the weather stays cool, it may just be one of the best times of the year to enjoy the city and all it has to offer.  Be sure to rent a bike and start out early in the morning.  You can visit all the memorials where they usually have special ceremonies scheduled to pay tribute to soldiers from multiple wars.  Bike over to Arlington Cemetery where you can enjoy the grounds, see a fabulous view of D.C. across the river and pay your respects.  When you’re done, find a good shady spot to enjoy the parade.  If you enjoy motorcycles, be sure to line up a little early to check out Rolling Thunder.  Thousands upon thousands of bikers get together and roll through the streets of D.C. every Memorial Day.

5 Travel Ideas for Memorial Day Weekend

Music and Outdoors in Nashville, Tennessee

Made (even more) popular by the recent TV show, Nashville is a great place to entertain your whole family.  Country music’s capital is a fun place to visit and pretty easy on the wallet.   There are plenty of things to do in Nashville:  the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Ryman Auditorium.  If you’re looking to splurge a little, treat your family to a stay at the Opryland Hotel.  This massive hotel has 85-foot waterfalls, winding rivers, 2 outdoor pools, and 14 restaurants, and it’s conveniently located near the airport.  If you want to get out of the city for a little adventure, go biking on the Natchez Trace Parkway or catch some waves at the popular Wave Country water park.

5 Travel Ideas for Memorial Day Weekend

Wine Tasting & Wilderness in Columbia Gorge, Oregon

Where else can you get dramatic landscapes, incredible waterfalls, windsurfing on the river, and great wine all in one place?  Stretching east from Hood River to The Dalles, the Gorge’s wineries have been slowly growing into one of the nation’s most esteemed regions.  The winemakers know how to treat visitors and while you’re swirling and sipping, you’ll also learn how wine is produced in this unique region.  So after you’re done with your morning adventure in the wilderness, head out to find the nearest winery and enjoy a nice tour, glass of wine, and lunch on the patio.


More from Samantha Brown:

National Parks Near San Francisco

8 Breathtaking Bike Tours

7 Amazing Tree House Resorts

6 Hilarious SkyMall Products

Off the Beaten Path Honeymoons



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