For many people, Memorial Day is the first true holiday – as in, a work holiday – since January. A few lucky folks get off for President’s Day, but even so, it’s been months. So now that you’re heading into a three-day weekend, the question is not just “What do you want to do?” but also “Where do you want to go?” Here are a few suggestions for great places to enjoy the last weekend in May.
- Las Vegas – Memorial Day is one of the year’s busiest weekends on the Strip. Many of the casino hotels have parties and other activities to draw in people – both those who are staying in the city and tourists who are on their way to nearby attractions, such as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon or Zion. Pool parties on the Strip will be a priority for many visitors, but there are also countless clubs, restaurants, bar and shows to attend. If music is your thing, a number of hitmakers will be performing in town this year, including Wiz Khalifa, the Black Eyed Peas, Ludacris, Questlove and Chris Brown, along with DJs Diplo, David Guetta and Skrillex.
- Palm Springs – A resort city in the middle of the California desert, Palm Springs is an exceptional place to check out for some quality relaxation. There is an abundance of natural beauty, with sweeping mountain vistas and plenty of places to explore the desert landscape. You can hike through Indian Canyons and visit ancient Native American sites. There are numerous ways to unwind, be it golf, browsing through art galleries or simply sunbathing poolside. And on Monday, May 30, be sure not to miss the Air Museum’s Annual Memorial Day Flower Drop, during which 3,000 red and white carnations are dropped from a B-25 bomber in dedication to America’s servicemen.
- New Orleans – The Big Easy is a great spot for those who want a fun-packed weekend – but want to avoid the crush of Mardi Gras. Expect the weather to be warm but not sticky, with plenty to do. For instance, the annual New Orleans Greek Fest – now in its fifth decade – celebrates the heritage of the city’s Greek-American population with food, entertainment and family activities. Also taking place that weekend is the annual New Orleans Food and Wine Experience, which attracts upwards of 10,000 visitors to savor the vintages and vittles for which the Crescent City is known.
- Austin – A rapidly evolving yet mellowed-out metropolis, Austin draws a diverse crowd – from inked artists to chic urban entrepreneurs. With its recent revitalization and growth, Austin gives visitors a little bit of everything: political hot spots such as the Governor’s mansion and the State Capitol, over 193 miles of scenic walking trails, a lively nightlife, tasty restaurants and hip coffee pubs congregated along Sixth Street. Visitors should also check out Austin’s Lake Travis this Memorial Day weekend, where boating season is officially in full swing.
- Williamsburg – In the Revolutionary City, where so many lost their lives in our nation’s earliest days, a number of truly inspiring Memorial Day ceremonies will be held. In Yorktown, events will be held at historic York Hall, Grace Episcopal Church and the Yorktown Battlefield. And in Colonial Williamsburg, a modern service with fife and drum will be held at the Governor’s Palace.
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