VACATION IDEAS: MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
12 Best-Ever Affordable Memorial Day Trips
No plans for Memorial Day weekend? No prob: There's still time to nab one of these dreamy escapes (from Palm Springs to D.C.) that won't break the bank.
EASY GETAWAY FROM Los Angeles; San Francisco.
Saint Louis: For the ultimate treasure hunt
Don't miss the largest flea market in the Midwest, Gypsy Caravan, an annual Memorial Day event organized for the 44th year by the St. Louis Symphony Volunteer Association. General admission between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. is $10; Early Bird tickets for early access to sales between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. are $20; Early Bird tickets for early access to sales between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. are $20.
EASY GETAWAY FROM Chicago; Cincinnati; Kansas City, MO.; Memphis.
The Jersey Shore: For family fun and rides along the iconic Boardwalk
Contrary to popular belief, Atlantic City was not hit hard by Hurricane Sandy back in 2012 and was actually back on its feet within a week of the storm—in fact the area still continues to bounce back post-Sandy with new openings and events along its iconic stretch of New Jersey coastline. Steel Pier, Atlantic City's popular oceanside amusement park, debuted eight new rides in 2013. Outside Atlantic City, check out the 31st annual Wildwoods International Kite Festival, the largest in North America, Friday thru Monday, an event that starts Friday at noon with the "Unlocking of the Ocean" media event. There's a lot going on in The Wildwoods this Memorial Day Weekend, including a Boardwalk Craft Show Saturday and Sunday, and a free concert on Sunday.
EASY GETAWAY FROM Philadelphia; New York City; Baltimore; Washington D.C.
Austin: For boating season and outdoor fun
Head to Lake Travis to soak up some of Austin's best weather of the year, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the eighties. Memorial Day kicks off boating season here, so the place to be is the lake. To get in on the action, check out Austin's REI store's schedule of events to find out what classes and events are on offer this weekend or rent a ski boat at Just for Fun (from $75 for one hour). If you'd rather be a spectator, catch a glimpse of the Capital of Texas Triathlon on Memorial Day, an event founded in 1991 that brings in 3,000 participants annually. Things get started with a swim at Lady Bird Lake before athletes break out the bikes for a race through Austin, leading up to a foot race around the southern part of the lake.
EASY GETAWAY FROM Atlanta; Dallas.
Charleston, S.C.: For high art with Southern hospitality
One of the earliest observances of Memorial Day was by a group of freed slaves and took place weeks after the Civil War ended in 1865 in Charleston's Hampton Park. Today, the world-renowned Spoleto Festival starts its two-week run this weekend—this year from May 27th thru June 12th—filling the historic city's theaters, churches, and outdoor spaces with opera, theater, jazz, symphonies, choruses, and visual arts. Highlights this year include performances by the Westminster Choir, Brandi Carlile, and Jason Moran, and productions of Porgy and Bess and The Importance of Being Earnest among other events. Tickets can be purchased on a per-event basis, with prices ranging from $10 to $130.
EASY GETAWAY FROM Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Miami; Washington, D.C.
Columbia Gorge, Ore.: For wine tasting along the river
Over Memorial Day weekend, more than 30 wineries and tasting rooms in the scenic Columbia Gorge area of Oregon, which borders Washington State to the north, will be holding open houses featuring such events as barrel tastings and special releases. Maryhill Winery (on the Washington side) toasts its 15th anniversary with free live music, tasting specials, and major discounts on cases and wine purchases. Outdoors, there are tournament-quality bocce ball courts, an amphitheater, and a vine-covered arbor terrace, all with sweeping views of Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge.