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 Portland, Ore.; Seattle; San Francisco.
Denver, Colo.: For fine art and music in the 'Mile High City'
Fine art and pop culture descend on the Rockies over Memorial Day weekend. The Downtown Denver Arts Festival kicks off its 18th year on Saturday, June 18, hosting more than 135 local artists from all over the state. The free festival lasts all weekend at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, and everything from 3D mixed media to jewelry to photography will be featured. If live music is more your style, try the 7th annual Denver Day of Rock all day on Saturday, May 28th, when more than 20 bands and musicians—including A Great Big World, Popfilter, and Coin, among others—treat audiences to a series of free concerts from 2:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. at the 16th Street Mall. Best of all, the concerts benefit Amp the Cause (formerly known as Concerts for Kids), a local organization dedicated to fighting child hunger—everyone is asked to bring canned food to drop off at designated spots around the venue. Click here to see why Denver was listed as one of Budget Travel's best places to visit in 2015.
EASY GETAWAY FROM Salt Lake City; Albuquerque; Las Vegas; Kansas City, M.O.; Phoenix; Dallas; Minneapolis.
New York, NY: For free Memorial Day concerts, films, and a parade
Don't miss Fleet Week in New York City, a Memorial Day weekend tradition. From May 25th thru the 31st, you'll be able to see military band concerts, aerial demonstrations by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, and search and rescue demonstrations by the U.S. Coast Guard. You'll also be able to tour the ships (for free) at Pier 92, Pier 88, and Pier 86 in Manhattan and at The Sullivans Pier in Staten Island between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. May 26th thru Memorial Day. Catch a free musical performance by the New York Philharmonic at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, one of Budget Travel's most beautiful churches in America—tickets for the 8 p.m. show are free and available on a first-come first-served basis starting at 6 p.m. on May 30. Brooklyn's historic Green-Wood Cemetery also offers a free Memorial Day concert at 2:30 p.m. highlighting the works of some of its most famous residents like Leonard Bernstein among others. Families will want to catch the Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade, a tradition in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn since 1867. All Veterans, regardless of age or war, are invited to participate. The parade starts at 11 A.M. on 78th St. and Third Ave., runs along 3rd Avenue towards Marine Avenue, and continues to 4th Ave. before making its way to John Paul Jones Park for a ceremony in honor of those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
EASY GETAWAY FROM Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; Boston; Charleston, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Baltimore, M.D.; Providence, R.I.
Atlanta, G.A.: For fireworks and a Jazz Festival
The Atlanta Jazz Festival turns 39 this year and fills the Piedmont Park area with music from May 27 thru 29. Known for being one of the largest free jazz festivals in the country—it typically brings in 225,000 attendees over the three-day weekend—in past years the festival has featured performers like Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, and Shirley Horn as well as local artists. Kid-friendly activities like face painting and balloon art take place by the playground near the stage, while the live music plays Friday night through Sunday. Getting to the festival is easy—free Lanier shuttles are available from nearby MARTA stations directly to Piedmont park. For more family fun, take the kids to Stone Mountain Park, a 35-minute drive from Atlanta, for some kid-friendly outdoor activities such as the "Sky Hike," a ropes-and-ladders obstacle course through the treetops. In honor of Memorial Day, the park is hosting evening fireworks, free concerts, and a laser show from Saturday through Monday (The Adventure Pass Meal Deal, which includes a free meal with admission, costs $29.95 for those over age 12, and $24.95 for children ages 3-11). As a special thank you, all active and retired military members receive one free adventure pass with a valid ID and can save up to 30 percent off additional tickets per person in your immediate family, as well as a 20 percent discount on food and merchandise inside the park.