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The 10 Best Places for a Memorial Day Weekend Getaway

SmarterTravel

Still trying to figure out where to go for Memorial Day? We’ve got a little something in here for everyone across the U.S. Whether you’re looking for a beach, the mountains, history, architecture, adventure, or you’re just looking for a deal, here are some ideas for a fantastic start to the vacation season.

Southeast

Clearwater, Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida
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Clearwater boasts the most beautiful beaches in the world—crystal clean with white sands. There are scads of hotels for every traveler. If you get bored of the perfect, blue water, you can breeze on over to Disneyworld just an hour and a half away. 

Memorial Day Weekend Deals: Since the area is very desirable, you’ll see higher prices—unless you book one of Hotwire’s mystery hotels, which include highly-rated hotels on the beach for under $200 per night. 

New Orleans, Louisiana

Horse-drawn carriage in New Orleans
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New Orleans offers balmy weather in May with a moderate amount of tourists. A stroll through the French Quarter or the Garden District will have you pining after a wrought-iron balcony and checking real estate listings on your phone. The National World War II Museum is the top-rated attraction for New Orleans, an apt fit for Memorial Day. Travelers rave about the interactive, unforgettable experience where they’re completely immersed in history. 

Memorial Day Weekend Deals: You can book the 4-star Le Meridien for just $75 per night. That’s more than a 55 percent savings for this chic, downtown hotel belonging to the Marriott chain of hotels. 

Southwest

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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You’ll feel the essence of the Southwest with a stay in Santa Fe, New Mexico. You can stroll through the galleries, take a wine tasting tour, book an appointment at a spa, visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, or simply admire the Spanish and Puebloan-inspired architecture all around. Be sure to also take some time to visit the nearby Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Historic Landmark. 

Memorial Day Weekend Deals: Stay at a hotel or a bed and breakfast full of personality, such as La Posada or Four Kachinas to enhance your experience without blowing your budget. The charming Inn and Spa at Loretto is also offering stays from $179. 

Durango, Colorado

Train in Durango, Colorado
Nick Fox | Adobe Stock

The towns of Southwest Colorado are flanked by gorgeous mountains, steeped in history, and teeming with charm. You can walk and shop the historic district of Durango just before you jump on the train for a ride over the mountains to Silverton. 

Memorial Day Weekend Deals: You’ll find a room in Durango for every budget, but if you’re looking for a special experience at a cheap rate, try booking a nearby cabin with views of the mountains. 

Northeast

Block Island, Rhode Island

North Lighthouse on Block Island, Rhode Island
Michael | Adobe Stock

In just the right light, you may mistake the waters and sand of Block Island for those of the Caribbean. And while you can spend the whole weekend on the beach or reading a book on the large wraparound porch of your bed and breakfast, you may also want to spend time scavenging for a glass float. Five hundred and fifty glass floats (glass orbs about the size of an orange) are hidden on the beaches and Greenway trails for visitors to search for. If you’re lucky enough to find one, you can keep it.  

Memorial Day Weekend Deals: You’ll likely need to book directly with your hotel or bed and breakfast on Block Island, but there are still bargains to be found. Check out Block Island’s deals here.

Stowe, Vermont 

Stowe, Vermont
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While Stowe, Vermont is known more as a ski getaway destination in cooler seasons, spring-goers will appreciate the location without needing to bundle up in layers. You can take a carriage ride, wander through a sculpture garden, learn how to make chocolates, fly in a hot air balloon, go ziplining, and hike through the beautiful forests. 

Memorial Day Weekend Deals: If you’re looking to make the trip to Stowe, the highly-rated Green Mountain Inn has rooms for $135 on Expedia. The area also offers many other vacation rentals, hotel rooms, and bed and breakfast accommodations. 

West

San Juan Islands, Washington

San Juan Islands, Washington
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If you love natural wildlife encounters, the San Juan Islands should be on your bucket list. Orca whales (killer whales) live in the islands year-round, making this the best place in the world to see them in the wild. You’ll have a great chance of seeing them on a whale watching tour, but if you just want to relax in a cozy cabin with calming views of the water, no one will blame you. 

Memorial Day Weekend Deals: This whale watching tour costs $59 for nearly four hours on the water. 

Santa Barbara, California 

Santa Barbara, California
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Santa Barabara is known for its upscale hotels, dining, shopping, wineries, architecture, beaches, and well… everything. If you’re looking for a place to indulge in luxury, this is it. You can also admire the historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse, take a glass-blowing class, tour one of the many wineries, or stroll down State Street for some window shopping and gallery viewing. 

Memorial Day Weekend Deals: Dozens of hotels in Santa Barbara are offering the third night free if you stay by June. You can take a look at the list of hotels offering this promotion here

Midwest

Deadwood, South Dakota

Deadwood, South Dakota
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A visit to Deadwood will take you back to the days of the Wild West, yet the town is more than a relic. Live entertainment, re-enactments, gaming, outdoor activities, wildlife viewing, shopping, and experiential tours keep this destination hopping. Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial are just over an hour away, too.

Memorial Day Weekend Deals: If you want to spend a few extra days exploring South Dakota, this guided tour to Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park includes six nights of accommodation and offers 50 percent off the second guest. Departures for May 28 are still available. 

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island, Michigan
Michael | Adobe Stock

There are no motorized vehicles on the island and you’ll welcome the slower pace. You can’t miss the horse-drawn carriages trotting through town or the bevy of bicycles. You’ll even have a carriage ride between holes if you book a time on the island’s Jewel Golf Course! You can learn how to make fudge, charter a sailboat, explore the island by kayak, explore the boutique shops, visit a butterfly garden, or book a spa service.

Memorial Day Weekend Deals: The best way to find accommodations in Mackinac is on the official website here, where each of the hotels, inns, and vacation rentals is listed. You’ll find deals for 30 percent off, ferry packages, third night free offers, and more. 

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