The 2016/17 winter season was a bust. There was political strife. Pokemon Go went from cool to uncool before you found your first Charizard. Weather upheaval was the order of the day. San Francisco had the rain normally found in Seattle. New England snows continue to plague that region well into Spring. It all combined to make Memorial Day travel something more than a nice idea. For most of us, a Memorial Day trip is sanity medicine. Where to go? How much to spend? Gildshire Magazines is on the hunt. Hotel prices are from our friends at Trip Advisor.
Miami, Florida: Shoulder travel season in the warm weather cities means a number of things, all of them happy. Between Spring break and the summer tourist season, Miami is a great choice!
This time of year in South Florida is all about comfort. Lower temperatures, smaller crowds, and discounted hotel rates all mean “Ahhh” to us. Miami has a meaningful Memorial Day recognition ceremony. The city will honor veterans with the annual March of Colors and a wreath-laying ceremony at Miami Beach Police Headquarters. Try the Hampton Inn and Suites MiamiAirport/Blue Lagoon for $125 a night.
New Orleans, Louisiana: Shoulder season travel can scarcely be found any better than in The Big Easy. The weather is more palatable in May than in July for those who prefer their air without a moist texture. Memorial Day travel to New
Orleans offers a couple of date-specific events. May 26-28 is Greek Fest. That’s when descendants of the city’s earliest Greek settlers commemorate their heritage. The festival celebrates all things pan-Hellenic, including music and the tastiest Greek food west of Nafplio. The National World War II Museum commemorates Memorial Day itself with a performance by the Marine Corps quintet from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Stay at the Sleep Inn Suites in Metairie for $122 a night. Decent hotels in downtown New Orleans will cost twice that much.
Florence, Oregon: Thousands of miles (but thousands of dollars too) from the “other” Florence find the Oregon coast’s version. The weather in this unspoiled coastal community is surprisingly sunny and warm(ish) in late May and early June.
Arrive a couple of days early and see the Rhododendron Festival. Then access mountains of sand that extend 40 miles north and 20 miles south. Plenty of fun hiking opportunities are out there. Two freshwater lakes beckon for fishing, swimming, boating, water skiing, and windsurfing. While in Florence, Sea Lion Caves are less than 20 miles north. That’s home to scores of the amusing marine mammals. Heceta Head Light is just a few minutes further up the road. It’s one of the most-photographed lighthouses in the world. Old Town Florence will commemorate the holiday with craft and art exhibits throughout the town. Stay at the Ocean Breeze Motel for $130 a night.
Washington D.C.: To completely immerse yourself in Memorial Day there is no better place than our nation’s capital. That’s just one good reason to visit D.C. the last weekend in May. The tourism boom that accompanies the National Cherry Blossom Festival in April is over, meaning lower hotel prices. Plan on attending the National Memorial Day Parade and memorials at Arlington National Cemetery. Then stay for the Memorial Day parade to be held Sunday, May 28.
Plan on staying at the University Inn Washington D.C for $135 night.
San Juan Island, Washington: This largest of the San Juan Islands in Washington State, is quickly accessible via a scenic ferry ride from Anacortes. There are a number of farm-to-table restaurants on the island. Enjoy them in addition to great art galleries, museums, and boutiques. Rent a kayak and get to the water! That’s the best place to watch for orca whales that are often spotted near Lime Kiln Point.
Consider a stay at Earthbox Inn And Spa for $234 a night. Lower priced accommodations are available but this place is special. Friday Harbor’s annual Memorial Day Parade and ceremony is an authentic small town parade well worth attending. It begins at 10 a.m. on the holiday itself.