Memorial Day Weekend Getaway: Top 23 Most Unique Spots | Stanton House Inn

Memorial Day parade

The Big Apple teems with attractions. That said, Central Park doesn’t count as real nature. For a true escape from the urban jungle, head out of town on some of the best road trips from NYC for the three day weekend. Connecticut and elsewhere in New York state boast accessible and affordable Memorial Day weekend getaways nearby. And the adventure doesn’t stop there. There are plenty of diverse destinations a short flight away from NYC. Some ideas for three-day-weekend trips include:

  • Alpine lakes
  • National parks
  • Tropical destinations
  • Whitewater rafting adventures

 

The destinations are both domestic and international, making them easy to navigate for Memorial Day weekend. You’ll find relaxation, adventure, or a mix of both on these long weekend trips. Any of these places are perfect for your ideal getaway. And we ranked them in order of distance from NYC. The closer they are, the easier for last-minute Memorial Day getaways, considering no plane tickets.

 

Ready for your list of Memorial Day weekend getaways from NYC? Let’s get into it:

 

Quick hits

  • Start with some ideas for things to do for the three day weekend in NYC
  • Next, a road trip idea or two, starting with a beach escape for Memorial Day weekend.
  • If you’re interested in US history and culture, visit Washington DC, Charleston SC, or Austin TX.
  • For outdoor activities, the Catskills NY, Adirondack Mountains NY, and Yellowstone National Park are great destinations. You can also explore unique places like Greenwich CT & Sedona AZ!

 

Top Things to do in NYC: Memorial Day Weekend

9/11 Memorial pools in Manhattan

Summer is knocking on the door by Memorial Day Weekend in New York. The city is hopping again. The skyline is majestic. Park goers bask in the sun. Museums and memorials await visitors. It’s (finally) May in NYC and there’s a world of possibilities. So, what’s your plan? Here are just a few suggestions:

 

Memorial Day Parades in NYC

Memorial Day parades in New York City are a tribute to our veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces. The route begins at Madison Square Park and extends up Fifth Avenue to Central Park. It’s a grand display with military bands and floats. But most importantly, it’s a time to remember the sacrifices made by our nation’s heroes and their families. It’s an opportunity for us, as Americans, to express our gratitude for their service. These parades are our way of acknowledging the sacrifices made by those who served.

 

New York City Beaches

As Memorial Day arrives, the beaches in New York swing open their welcoming gates. This is the unofficial start of summer, after all. Sunbathers, Frisbee players, and swimmers flock to the cool waters. The most popular spots are Coney Island Beach and Rockaway Beach. Coney Island is particularly lively, with its busy boardwalk and nostalgic amusement park, Luna Park. And of course, no trip to Coney Island would be complete without indulging in the iconic Coney Island hot dog.

 

Memorial Day Fireworks in NYC

New York’s Memorial Day Weekend is a festive and patriotic time. Fireworks are a key highlight. On the Saturday night before Memorial Day, New Yorkers flock to the best NYC parks and public spaces. They come to witness a spectacular display of pyrotechnics that light up the sky in dazzling colors. This activity is perfect for families and even distant viewing can be magical.

 

Over the weekend, many people visit parks and monuments dedicated to our nation’s heroes. Favorites include the 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan and the African Burial Ground National Monument near City Hall. Bring a picnic for a common Memorial Day Weekend activity.

 

Bike Rides

If you’re in the mood for a good old-fashioned adventure in the concrete jungle, why not hop on a bike? It’s a splendid way to take in the sights and sounds of the city. And that goes for whether you’re pedaling through the historic streets or simply taking a leisurely ride through Central Park. Renting a bike is a piece of cake, and it’s a greener alternative to boot. You’ll find rental spots all over the city:

 

 

You name it.

 

Seaside Escapes: Beach Getaways for Memorial Day Weekend

Beach Getaways for Memorial Day Weekend

Dreaming of a beach getaway for Memorial Day weekend? Sure, you could head to Long Island beaches, even fight traffic out to East Hampton. But that’s not your only choice, of course. Read on for some more charming destinations. They all offer stunning beaches, family-friendly activities, and inviting accommodations.

 

Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May, NJ, is famous for its historic seaside charm. With stunning Victorian architecture and beautiful beaches, it’s a sight to behold. You can bask in the sun on the picturesque beaches, take a walking tour to explore the town, or visit local wineries to sample the region’s offerings.

 

With so much to see and do, Cape May is an ideal destination for a memorable Memorial Day weekend getaway. Or even just a New Jersey day trip, for that matter.

 

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Rehoboth Beach is a beloved destination for families. It boasts a mile-long boardwalk and a host of delicious restaurants, all set against a relaxed beach vibe. Take a leisurely stroll along the bustling boardwalk, which is teeming with eateries and stores. Don’t forget to check out the nearby Cape Henlopen State Park during your three-day weekend. It’s a great spot for fishing, hiking, and bird watching.

 

Memorial Day Weekend Getaways: Beach Meets History

One of the coastal state parks to visit for Memorial Day weekend

The beach may be your thing, but your travel buddy may prefer historic sites. Fortunately, you don’t have to haggle over places to go for Memorial Day weekend. Below are a few options that offer both, in order of distance from NYC:

 

Greenwich, Connecticut

Greenwich, CT, is a posh coastal town that’s perfect for exploring. The list of things to do in Greenwich, CT, includes beautiful parks, historic sites, and a variety of dining and shopping options. You can take a leisurely stroll along Greenwich Avenue, visit the Bruce Museum, or have a picnic in one of the town’s picturesque parks. Different boroughs of town host different ambiences; from quaint village to ritzy beach town. And speaking of beaches, Greenwich Point Park is one of the best beaches in CT. The full spectrum of attractions is what makes Greenwich ideal for a relaxing Memorial Day weekend getaway.

 

That said, it’s of course not the only option for summer getaways in New England. We’re just biased.

 

Charleston, South Carolina

Step back in time in the charming city of Charleston, SC. Rich in history, culture, and entertainment, Charleston is the perfect place for a relaxing weekend getaway. Discover the city’s past through its historic sites, take a stroll through beautiful gardens, and indulge in some of the region’s finest cuisine.

 

And added bonus, May is a great time to visit for the smell of flowers and before the dank, humid months of high summer. A bit of advice from a former Charlestonian.

 

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada

Niagara-on-the-Lake, a picturesque Canadian town, is a destination for ice wine tasting and outdoor activities. The town’s scenic beauty contribute to its welcoming atmosphere. It’s also a much more pleasant place to stay near Niagara Falls. Now, calling it a beach town might be a stretch. That said, it’s a town where skunks, not rats, wander the streets at night. That alone makes it worth a visit on a Canada road trip, in this writer’s opinion.

 

Seriously, look it up.

 

Saint Augustine, Florida

Explore Saint Augustine, FL, the oldest city in the United States. This city is rich with history and offers a range of captivating attractions. It’s also home to beautiful beaches and serves up mouth-watering local cuisine. Make your Memorial Day weekend getaway unique by uncovering the city’s storied past in this scenic coastal destination.

 

Urban Adventures: City Breaks to Experience this Memorial Day

City Breaks for Memorial Day Weekend

Craving a city break for your Memorial Day weekend? These lively cities offer a mix of history, culture, and entertainment, perfect for a memorable urban adventure.

 

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is a city rich in history. It’s the perfect place to honor military personnel on Memorial Day. You can visit iconic monuments and memorials like the Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the World War II Memorial. These sites are dedicated to those who have served our country.

 

Aside from its historical sites, D.C. is also known for its trendy restaurants and neighborhoods. These spots, beyond Georgetown, have become increasingly popular over the past few years.

 

Austin, Texas

Immerse yourself in the distinctive culture and entertainment of Texas’ heart – Austin. Enjoy the renowned Texas barbecue, engage in outdoor activities, and experience live music. With its lively arts scene and rich history, Austin is another memorable Memorial Day weekend getaway for the whole family.

 

Nature Retreats: Outdoor Experiences for Memorial Day Weekend

Outdoor Experiences for Memorial Day Weekend

If you’re yearning for a retreat into nature, head into the mountains for your next trip. These havens of natural beauty offer a range of outdoor activities. For hiking, wildlife viewing, or simply taking in breathtaking scenery, these destinations are perfect.

 

The Catskills, New York

The Catskills, NY, is a popular destination for a nature-filled getaway. Here are some activities to enjoy in the Catskills of New York:

 

 

The Catskills offer a variety of outdoor activities, making it an ideal destination for a memorable Memorial Day weekend.

 

Adirondack Mountains, New York

Or escape on a tranquil Adirondack Mountains vacation. Here in upstate NY, you will find serene lakes, mountain trails, and cozy accommodations. During the day, you can explore the great outdoors and soak in the breathtaking scenery. Or just spend your time relaxing in the peaceful surroundings of the Adirondack Mountains. Top spots to visit for the best Memorial Day getaway include Lake George and Lake Placid.

 

Asheville, North Carolina

Biltmore Estate

Asheville, NC, is a mountain destination with a funky arts scene. Visiting the Biltmore Estate is a requirement. And you’d be silly not to marvel at the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With its unique blend of culture, history, and outdoor adventures, Asheville is pretty cool.

 

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho

Yellowstone National Park is a bucket list destination. The park is renowned for its iconic geysers, hot springs, and diverse wildlife. Take a hike through the park’s stunning landscapes or try your hand at fishing. Any of the parks out West make ideal destinations for one of the best American road trips.

 

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, AZ, is a unique desert destination known for its stunning red rock formations and spiritual vortexes. You can hike the breathtaking trails, tour the desert, or absorb the energy of this extraordinary location.

 

Historical Destinations: Honoring the Past on Memorial Day

Historical Destinations for Memorial Day

Make your Memorial Day special by visiting destinations that celebrate the development of America. They provide unique experiences that will deepen your appreciation for the past. A visit to any of these destinations can make your Memorial Day weekend especially memorable.

 

Annapolis, Maryland

Explore Annapolis, MD, a charming coastal town steeped in rich maritime history. You can visit the Annapolis Maritime Museum and explore the city’s historic sites. Be sure to savor the delicious seafood at local restaurants. Take a stroll along the waterfront to immerse yourself in the city’s marine past.

 

Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg, VA, is more than just a tourist attraction. Sure, it’s popular, but it’s not overly commercialized. The living history museum is impressive. And it’s amusing to see re-enactors carrying out everyday tasks in their colonial outfits after work. Once you’ve explored Colonial Williamsburg, head to:

 

  • Yorktown
  • Jamestown

 

And other historic sites and walking paths in the Tidewater region. The area also boasts some excellent restaurants, and Busch Gardens. Because a trip to an amusement park is perfect in late spring.

 

Island Getaways for Memorial Day Weekend

Beach Escapes for Memorial Day Weekend

Some only see an island as an appropriate way to spend Memorial Day weekend. And whether you need a stunning beach, a unique landscape, or a mix, there are some cool options a short trip from NYC.

 

Fire Island, New York

This is a car-free island with pristine beaches, picturesque lighthouses, and a laid-back atmosphere. Fire Island, NY, is definitely unique. Soak up the sun on beautiful beaches, paddleboard or kayak around the shores, and explore the unique Sunken Forest.

 

Remember to visit the Fire Island Lighthouse for breathtaking views of the surrounding area, including Shelter Island.

 

See? Fire Island is not just for gay-friendly weekend getaways near NYC. Though that is a big draw.

 

Puerto Rico

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and natural beauty of Puerto Rico. Here are some highlights of what you can do during your Memorial Day weekend getaway:

 

  • Tour the historic district of Old San Juan
  • Relish the delicious Puerto Rican cuisine
  • Delve into the island’s rich history
  • Explore the beautiful beaches
  • Hike through lush rainforests

 

Bermuda

Bermudan sunset

Discover Bermuda, an idyllic island paradise of pink-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and charming towns. Whether you want to relax on the stunning beaches, swim in the warm ocean, or delve into the island’s rich history and culture, Bermuda has it all.

 

British Virgin Islands

Experience the British Virgin Islands’ pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and luxurious accommodations. Take time to relax on the beautiful white sand beaches. Discover the crystal clear waters through the view of a snorkel. Explore the many islands that make up this stunning Caribbean archipelago.

 

Iceland

The land of the midnight sun could be perfect for your Memorial Day weekend getaway. You can’t see all of its wonders in just one long holiday weekend. But it will definitely leave you wanting to return soon. Set up your base in Reykjavik. From there, rent a car and drive around the Golden Circle. You’ll encounter three iconic attractions: Thingvellir, Geysir, and Gullfoss. The landscape here is like nowhere else on Earth.

 

Tl;dr

Memorial Day weekend getaways come in a wide variety. Whether you prefer seaside escapes, urban adventures, nature retreats, historical destinations, or island getaways, the options are endless. Each of these top spots caters to different preferences, ensuring everyone can create lasting memories. With these destinations, an unforgettable experience is guaranteed.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Where is the top Memorial Day weekend destination?

The ideal Memorial Day weekend destination varies depending on personal preferences. According to Skyscanner, the top nine destinations in the US are: New York, Florida, California, Texas, Georgia, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., and Chicago.

 

What are the best travel days around Memorial Day?

Memorial Day weekend is always a busy time for travel. That said, the traffic is usually lightest on Saturday and Sunday. If you’re planning to fly, the best times are after 1 p.m. on Wednesday or before noon on Thursday and Friday. For your return flight, consider scheduling it before 10 a.m. on Monday or between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

 

Where to go for Memorial Day weekend near NYC?

For a memorable Memorial Day weekend near NYC, consider visiting either Coney Island Beach or Rockaway Beach. Enjoy the sandy shores and the ocean breeze. Make sure to experience the thrilling rides at Luna Park. And of course, don’t miss out on the iconic hot dogs at Coney Island.

 

Where to go in CT for Memorial Day weekend?

If you’re planning to spend Memorial Day weekend in CT, you have several exciting options. You could explore the Ripka’s Aloha Fridays at Calf Pasture Beach or the International Festival of Arts and Ideas. The Simsbury Duck Race is a fun family event. You could also visit the Mystic Seaport or the Connecticut Air & Space Center. Wethersfield Heritage Weekend and the Annual Spring Festival at Heirloom Market are also excellent choices, especially if you have kids in tow!

 

What are some family-friendly activities in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware?

In Rehoboth Beach, spending quality time with your family can be as simple as exploring the charming boardwalk.

 

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