10 Best Memorial Day Getaways
Even though summer doesn’t officially start until a month or so after the Memorial Day weekend, most of us treat this three-day holiday as if it did mark the onset of the season. Of course, it helps that it’s often the first warm long weekend in months, which means barbecues in the back yard, al fresco concerts, picnics in the park, hitting the links – you name it, so long as it’s outdoors! Our top 10 Memorial Day getaways won’t require extensive travel – or, an extensive budget, for that matter – but will definitely help you have a most memorable weekend.
Austin has made a name for itself that extends far outside of Texas. Largely enriched by the dynamic energy of the homegrown University of Texas, this up-and-coming city manages to offer not just the Lone Star State’s best cultural offerings, but also the finest in all of the Southwest. Indeed, the city has numerous galleries, museums, and music venues (the latter number nearly 200 in all!), but maintains an appealing small-town feel. With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, you could easily visit this Texan capital any time, but we particularly like it for a relaxed, cultural-filled, Memorial Day getaway; what’s more, you’ll be able to see Austinites racing up and down historic Congress Avenue as part of the weekend’s annual Capital of Texas Triathlon (www.captextri.com).
While often touted as a Caribbean island, Bermuda is actually an Atlantic one, with a location that’s closer to Washington, D.C., than it is to points south. As a result, like much of the northern United States, this balmy British isle is only kicking into high-season now – while other islands of its ilk are becoming too hot to bear. With its fantastic golf, gorgeous bougainvillea, splendid pink-sand beaches, and endearing pastel-colored houses, Bermuda makes a terrific Memorial Day getaway on the beach – if you can afford the price tag. Indeed, it’s one of the priciest islands to visit, but, at a mere 2.5-hour plane ride from NYC, Bermuda is a quick-and-easy way to get a solid dollop of British culture (with some very un-British beach time) without having to cross the pond.
Where better to pay remembrance to fallen heroes and days gone by than in the history-rich capital of the Old South – Charleston, South Carolina?! Saturated with history, this colorful city’s streets are lined with wonderfully preserved architectural remnants, like plantations and stately homes, hundreds of which were built prior to 1850 – 70 alone date back to the pre-Revolutionary War era. You can even hire a horse-and-carriage for a tour of the historic cityscape via the cobblestone streets. This unique feel of days of yore, coupled with the legendary hospitality of the South, makes Charleston a great bet for a Memorial Day getaway.
Head off to the fast-paced and ultra-cool Windy City, where your first glimpse of the dramatic city skyline is just a harbinger of monumental buildings to come. Architectural gems abound in this lakefront city, housing renowned museums, dynamic theaters, first-rate restaurants, and bars and music venues that spill over with the sounds of blues and jazz. Enjoy the urban montage while taking in the city's Memorial Day Parade (www.explorechicago.org) on the 29th, and try and nab tickets for the Cubs game at Wrigley Field (chicago.cubs.mlb.com) later that same afternoon, when the city’s most lovable losers battle their rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals.