It’s the beginning of the summer. It’s a long weekend. The whole country has cause to celebrate. So, instead of spending it at your home base, why not take a trip to see how other places in the United States — or even other countries in North America — spend these semi-official first days of summer? Or maybe you’re not in the mood to celebrate and just want to use the holiday weekend to relax. Either way, you’ll want to eat well, and for that, we’ve got you covered. Here are nine last-minute Memorial Day weekend getaways you can plan ASAP.
To choose these nine getaways, we examined a few different factors. First, we looked to see if there were any large-scale events taking place during this holiday. For example, Memorial Day weekend in Atlanta coincides with the Atlanta Jazz Festival. Georgia also boasts some of the country’s best agricultural practices, and you can really taste the difference in their locally grown food. Saying hello to summer with some delicious cuisine and amazing jazz sounds like an excellent weekend to us. We also chose destinations that wouldn’t break the bank, as many of these vacation spots are currently in their off seasons.
Though most of these destinations are in the United States, we included one vacation spot in Canada and one in Mexico, just in case you want that thrill of getting out of the country — even briefly. Plus, the cuisines in these not-quite-overseas destinations are so unusual that they are worth a trip any weekend.
Memorial Day is, first and foremost, a day to remember the soldiers who made it possible for us to live in a free country. It is also the gateway into summer — a welcome change for residents of the many parts of the country that experienced a brutal winter. Make it memorable, and do some traveling and relaxing on this beautiful weekend.
Memorial Day weekend in Atlanta also happens to be when the Atlanta Jazz Festival, which is free, outdoors, and spectacular, is in full swing. To sit on a patio with great views of Piedmont Park, where festival takes place, go to The Nook, or take a walk to Flying Biscuit for beloved Southern fare, most notably the eponymous biscuits with apple cranberry butter. For one of the best burgers in America, go to Holeman & Finch Public House, where only 24 of their off-the-menu double cheeseburgers are made per night. You’ll definitely want to order one in advance.
Columbia Gorge, Ore.
Oenophiles, pay attention. This Memorial Day weekend in Columbia Gorge is also Grape to Table Weekend, when several local wineries are opening their doors for day-long wine tastings during which they serve their latest and/or favorite bottles. All the wineries are located on the banks of the river, which makes for scenic walks from one tasting to the next. Enjoy wood-fired pizza at Solstice, voted the best in Washington State by Food Network Magazine. The area also has a few great breweries, such as Everybody’s Brewing, where you can enjoy local beers on a deck with amazing views of Mount Hood.