Forget what the calendar says, May’s Memorial Day Weekend is the official summer kick off for most of us. From beachfront BBQs to patriotic parades, here are four different ways to maximize your long weekend, all without a long flight. Time to start planning!
Get Up Close to Nature in Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole may be better known as a winter playground, but the outdoor fun here doesn’t stop when the snow melts. Surrounded by wilderness on all sides, this Wild West town in Wyoming is the perfect base for horseback riding, mountain hikes, and wildlife spotting. Plan on spending at least a day at the granddaddy of them all, Yellowstone National Park. Closer to town, the Gros Ventre Wilderness and Grand Teton National Park offer miles of nature trails.
Where to Stay: Log cabin charm meets mountain views at Willow Haven.
Experience Fleet Week in New York
Fleet Week, New York’s time-honored celebration of the sea services, returns this May 20-26. Tour U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels, take in flight demos, and mix and mingle with marines, Coast Guardsmen, and sailors in their dress whites. Head to Brooklyn for the Memorial Day Parade, or take the free ferry to Staten Island to see the ships. Don’t forget to snap a #SelfieWithASailor – last year’s top Fleet Week trend!
Where to Stay: Essex House offers a prime Central Park location for exploring Manhattan’s many attractions.
Host a Beach BBQ in Malibu
From low-key family BBQs to annual A-List gatherings, Malibu is party central on Memorial Day Weekend. And while you don’t have to be invited to a celebrity-studded event to have a good time, it does help to have a home base with stunning West Coast views. From the signature beach houses on stilts to unique homes in the hills, Malibu has homes to suit every style.
Where to Stay: Private beaches are like gold dust in Malibu, and Ocean Villa boasts one of the finest stretches of sand.
Pay Tribute in Honolulu
Rich in culture and military history, Oahu is a fitting place to mark Memorial Day. Visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, decorated for the occasion with floral lei tributes. Over in Honolulu, the Ala Moana Beach Park’s sunset lantern floating ceremony draws thousands; free paper lanterns are available during the day on a first-come, first-served basis. For a chance to learn more about the events at Pearl Harbor, a tour of the USS Arizona Memorial is a must.
Where to Stay: Enjoy panoramic views of Honolulu at Honolulu Sky Villa.