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Last-Minute Memorial Day Weekend Getaways

Last-Minute Memorial Day Weekend Getaways

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It’s not too late for a spontaneous food-filled trip this long weekend

Philip Bird LEPS CPAGB Shutterstock

It’s the beginning of the summer. 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.

Last-Minute Memorial Day Weekend Getaways

Philip Bird LEPS CPAGB Shutterstock

It’s the beginning of the summer. Here are nine last-minute Memorial Day weekend getaways you can plan ASAP.



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.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Though it doesn’t seem right to leave the United States on Memorial Day, it’s also one of the best and most economical times of the year to visit Montreal — right before the tourist-heavy summer, when prices soar. Sunday, May 24, just happens to be Montréal Museums Day, so you can visit museums and attend their events for free. With its many French-inspired restaurants (go to L’Express) and plenty of unique cuisine of its own (make time to eat the bagels at St. Viateur), Montreal is a culinary gem. To learn more about the city’s rich food heritage, go on the Mile End Food Tour.


There are plenty of great reasons to visit Music City all year round, but the weather in Nashville is most well-behaved during late spring and early summer, when visitors can view the many outdoor veteran memorial statues throughout the city. As for food, not only is Nashville home to the coolest coffee shop in the world, but it also boasts the Loveless Café, which has been serving its famous breakfasts and meat-and-threes since 1951. You’ll also love Prince's Hot Chicken, a local favorite that inspired the city to throw an annual hot chicken festival every July 4 — when hotel prices will be far more expensive than they are now.

New Buffalo, Mich.

This Midwestern getaway boasts scenic views of docked boats along the harbor and a relaxed, unpretentious vibe. It’s the first getaway that comes to mind for many Chicagoans, as the beachfront allows water sports that just aren’t possible on the Chicago side of the lake. For crêpes in a converted Victorian home, visit Pierre Anne. You’ll want to wait in line for Oink’s Dutch Treat, an ice cream parlor with over 50 flavors, and eat items like grilled swordfish with Michigan asparagus or seared scallops with grilled pineapple at the Lake Michigan-facing Bentwood Tavern.

Palm Springs, Calif.

Philip Bird LEPS CPAGB Shutterstock

If you want to see the most exceptional and picturesque Memorial Day commemoration there is, head to Palm Springs for 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 honor of those who fought for the United States. Palm Springs is at the tail end of their tourist season, but it’s not yet hot enough in the desert that you can’t lounge outdoors amidst mountain views, which means you’ll get great deals and great weather. As for food, celebrate the arts district by eating at Cafe Des Beaux-Arts, eat Japanese teppanyaki that you can only travel to by boat at Mikado, and get boozy while playing ping pong and croquet, respectively at El Jefe and Bar. Also, this Memorial Day, there is a weekend-long party at the oh-so-trendy Ace Hotel’s Amigo Room.

Riviera Maya, Mexico

You might think it’s too late to plan a trip to Mexico, but think again. boasts deals from $74 to $156 per night at several excellent all-inclusive resorts; some of these rates are nearly half of what you’d usually pay. Once you arrive, enjoy fine dining at Oh LaLa!, healthy and holistic cuisine at Tulum’s Co.ConAmor, and posh Mexican contemporary fare at Le Chique.

Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Only a two-and-a-half-hour drive from New York, Saratoga Springs, with all its Revolutionary War-era splendor, is a patriotic place to go for Memorial Day Weekend — especially because horse-racing season has yet to begin, and so the prices for hotels and the area’s many bed and breakfasts have yet to skyrocket. Everyone sings praise about Mrs. London’s, and rightly so, but its brother restaurant Max London’s can hold its own very well. Grab sandwiches at Putnam Market and take a drive to Saratoga National Historic Park, where the Battle of Saratoga took place. If you’re craving Southern food, Hattie’s serves some of the best fried chicken in the country.

St. Louis

St. Louis, "The Gateway to the West," is certainly more than just a city to drive through — especially on Memorial Day weekend. Three festivals will take place this weekend: the Assumption Greek Festival, Ribfest, and Missouri River Irish Fest, and each will boast delicious food that tastes best outdoors. Memorial Day weekend is also the first weekend of the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, which this year features free performances of “Antony and Cleopatra” in the park. St. Louis Magazine voted Tony’s the best restaurant of the year in 2014. Or, if you’d like well-priced Cajun-inspired food and cocktails al fresco, dine on the patio at the Kitchen Sink. Newcomer Death in the Afternoon serves turnip miso ramen and pastrami hash alike for brunch.

Watch the video: Last Minute Short Vacation Ideas for Memorial Day Weekend