5 Places to Escape to for Memorial Weekend

Are you feeling the pressure of Memorial Day Weekend approaching and haven’t made any travel plans yet? Don’t worry, it’s not too late to plan a last-minute getaway. With less than two weeks to go, here are our top recommendations for destinations across the US that are perfect for this holiday weekend.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventurous city escape, our editors have got you covered. And if you can’t make it this Memorial Day Weekend, save this list for the next long weekend because it’ll sneak up on you before you know it. Plus, we’ve even got some top destinations for your summer vacation planning. Keep reading to find out where you should go for your next trip.

1. Newport Beach, California

Looking for a posh yet laid-back vacation spot? Look no further than Newport Beach, California. This coastal city offers a range of activities to suit any traveler’s interests.

Start your day with a luxury shopping spree, a spa treatment, or lounging by the pool. Then, head out to explore the beautiful Balboa Island or the coastal Crystal Cove State Park. Newport Beach is conveniently located just 20 minutes away from the SNA airport, so you can quickly get to wherever you’re staying.

One of the must-do activities in Newport Beach is whale and dolphin watching on a Zodiac boat. You’ll feel like you’re almost swimming alongside these magnificent creatures. If you prefer a more relaxed pace, take a cruise on a Duffy boat tour of the harbor with prosecco and charcuterie. You can even have them drop you off at your dinner reservation.

When it comes to dining, Newport Beach has plenty of options. Start your day with a breakfast burrito from Malibu Farm or the coconut-macadamia pancakes from Beachcomber Café. For lunch or dinner, indulge in seafood like the creamy ravioli bianco with shrimp at JOEY or gumbo at the waterfront Bluewater Grill. And for dessert, grab a frozen banana from Sugar ‘n Spice or Dad’s Donut Shop & Bakery on Balboa Island.

For accommodations, consider booking a room at the newly opened Pendry Newport Beach. Their spacious rooms and fabulous pool deck make for a relaxing stay. Plus, their restaurant and bar are popular spots for socializing. Alternatively, try to snag one of the charming beachfront cottages at Crystal Cove State Park for a unique stay.

Newport Beach offers a perfect blend of luxury and relaxation, making it an ideal vacation destination for any traveler.

2. Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket, Massachusetts is a charming coastal town that exudes a preppy and nautical vibe. With cobblestone streets and historic homes, it’s the perfect place for a beach vacation. The town is known for its striped shirts, boat shoes, and sun hats, making it a popular destination for those seeking a coastal chic experience.

One of the best ways to explore the island is by renting a bike or staying at an accommodation that offers them as an amenity. The island has plenty of bike paths, making it easy to get around and enjoy the beautiful scenery. If you’re looking for a scenic walk, visit Sconset and do the Bluff Walk. The footpath takes you past dreamy shingled beach houses, some of which date back to the 1800s.

For those interested in history, the Whaling Museum is a must-visit. The museum provides an in-depth look at Nantucket’s whaling history and its impact on the island.

When it comes to food, seafood is a must-try in Nantucket. Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Downyflake, a local diner that serves delicious donuts. For a healthier option, head to Lemon Press for smoothies and bowls. Topper’s at the Wauwinet is a great lunch spot and offers a boat ride from the downtown boat basin. They serve their own harvested oysters and a delicious lobster roll. For dinner, Via Mare is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Be sure to try their Boulevardier cocktail and kale salad.

If you’re looking for a place to stay, the Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin offer newly refurbished dockside accommodations with incredible views of the harbor. They also provide free bikes and kitchens, making it feel like a home away from home with the added bonus of excellent service.

Overall, Nantucket is a perfect destination for those seeking a relaxing beach vacation with plenty of history and delicious food.

3. Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan is a charming beach town that offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. With its crystal clear water and phenomenal views of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore, Traverse City is an ideal destination for kayaking and water-based activities.

After a day of exploring the town’s boutiques on Main Street or kayaking in the water, head to the beach to watch the sunset. The peaceful ambiance of the starry night sky and the sound of waves lapping at the shore make for a special kind of peace.

When it comes to dining, Modern Bird is a must-visit restaurant. The ever-changing menu is as elegant as it is homey, and the ingredients are sourced locally from small, independent farms in the area.

For accommodations, waterfront options are highly recommended. Bay Shore Resort is a great choice with its Victorian vibes that feel on-brand for the area. Wake up to the beach just steps from your door for a truly memorable experience.

If you want to plan the ultimate summer vacation in Northern Michigan, consider extending your stay in Traverse City. With its stylish yet relaxed atmosphere and plenty of activities to keep you entertained, it’s a destination that won’t disappoint.

4. Crystal Coast (Southern Outer Banks), North Carolina

If you’re looking for a quieter, less crowded beach getaway, the Crystal Coast in North Carolina is worth considering. With over 85 miles of coastline, you’ll find plenty of uncrowded beaches to relax on. The area is also full of opportunities for outdoor adventure, from hiking through dune fields and salt marshes in Fort Macon State Park to kayaking to Rachel Carson Reserve (where you might spot some wild horses).

For a day of sun and sand, head to Emerald Isle or Atlantic Beach. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try a guided jet skiing tour or visit the lighthouse and walk down the beach on Cape Lookout National Seashore. And if you’re a foodie, you’ll appreciate the “dock-to-dish” approach of many local restaurants, which support local fishermen and farmers.

For seafood with a view, check out City Kitchen in Beaufort. If you’re in the mood for Spanish tapas, head to Circa 81 in Morehead City. And for a unique culinary experience, try locally sourced caviar with all the fixings at Prime Bistro and Wine Bar.

When it comes to accommodations, the Beaufort Hotel offers coastal charm with on-property bike and golf cart rentals and a pool overlooking Taylor Creek. For a more intimate experience, the Victorian-style Pecan Tree Inn is a bed and breakfast with locally sourced breakfast and afternoon snacks, including homemade maple butter pecan cookies.

5. Taos, New Mexico

If you’re looking for a magical spot to spend your long weekend, Taos, New Mexico might just be the perfect destination for you. This bohemian artist colony meets deep history in a spectacular natural setting, making it a truly unique place to explore.

Do: Visit the Taos Pueblo

One of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the US, the Taos Pueblo is a must-visit destination in Taos. Take a guided tour to learn about the art and architecture of the Pueblo people and how they maintain their way of life.

Eat: The Love Apple

For a romantic and stylish dining experience, head to The Love Apple. Housed in a 19th-century chapel, this restaurant serves New Mexican cuisine inspired by local growers, and the menu changes seasonally.

Stay: La Dona Luz Inn or El Monte Sagrado

If you’d like to stay in town, La Dona Luz Inn has nine joyfully decorated rooms that embrace the feel of Old Taos. For a luxury getaway, check out El Monte Sagrado. Relaxing in the serene rooms nestled among the gorgeous Sangre De Cristo mountains is the perfect way to spend a long weekend. Pair your stay with a spa treatment, and you’ll be forever refreshed.