Memorial Day weekend is quickly approaching, and when a three day weekend comes along in late spring, is there really anything better than taking a little time out to travel? If you're not a big planner, you're in luck, because these Memorial Day getaways are perfect for last minute travelers. Whether you want to go west, go east, or find yourself somewhere in-between, there's a destination on this list that is waiting to accommodate your visit.
This selection of Memorial Day vacation spots is also great for those traveling on a budget. Your trip is likely to only be three days, so you don't want to spend a fortune on it. Weather also plays an important factor in choosing the right destination — and I'm happy to say that each of these locales offers some sunny (but not too warm) temperature averages for late May.
The winter's finally let up, and summer is quickly on its way, so go ahead and get a jump start on some vacationing this Memorial Day weekend. The sooner you book a trip, the better the deals you're bound to find — and more importantly, the sooner you can start planning your itinerary. Now get to it.
1. Catalina Island, CA
Just off the coast of Long Beach, Catalina Island is only a hop, skip, and a jump from Southern California. The island's hotels generally offer lower rates from May through October, making for an affordable getaway during the Memorial Day weekend. Take a ferry, embrace the breathtaking ocean views, or try your hand at some water activities (scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and parasailing).
2. St. Louis, MO
With hotel prices averaging between $100 and $150 during Memorial Day weekend, St. Louis, Missouri makes for an exciting (yet economical) holiday trip. The city's stunning views of the Mississippi River are impossible to forget, as is the iconic Gateway Arch casting its rounded shadow over the adjacent landscape. Along with the St. Louis Zoo and Forest Park, visitors can also check out the Gypsy Caravan (the city's largest flea market), taking place in the city on Monday, May 25.
3. Scottsdale, AZ
If there's any time to visit Scottsdale, Arizona, it's during Memorial Day weekend before the heat spikes and while the prices are low. Hotel rates are around 40 percent lower during late May than they are during other times of the year, so book some tickets and relax in the dry desert landscape. Award-winning spas, delectible restaurants, and hikes for every level adventurer — you'll be surprised what kind of hidden gems you can run across.
4. Nashville, TN
Nashville is home to a lively night scene, a community of music-lovers, and a vibrant culinary community... why wouldn't you want to vacation there? On top of the perks of a rich culture, Nashville hotel prices can be found at around a 30 percent discount during the late spring, meaning you can spend more of your cash checking out some of the city's famous honky tonks like The Bluebird Cafe and Bluegrass Inn.
5. Hilton Head Island, SC
Hilton Head Island isn't the cheapest location on this list, but if you do your research you should still be able to score a hotel for under $200 a night during late May. With beautiful weather and clean beaches, a trip to this island is perfect for those who need a little R&R. Chow down on delicious seafood from Chart House, explore the different terrains, and be sure to scope out Bravo, the month-long arts festival, on your trip.
6. Providence, RI
While Providence hotel prices aren't the cheapest, if you're willing to stay just outside the city limits you can still score a decent room rate (and really, who hangs out at the hotel anyway?). Spend your time strolling around Historic Providence, shopping in high-end boutiques, and attending the Memorial Day weekend WaterFire event. Another fun fact? Providence is rumored to have the most restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the United States — so you're going to want to explore.
7. Jacksonville, FL
Split across the St. Johns River, Jacksonville is as scenic as it is manageable in cost. With rooms going for an average of $100 to $150 a night, it's easy to spend your weekend and extra day off in this lively city. May weather patterns keep Florida from reaching unbearable temperatures and make for the perfect beach days — and with white sand beaches surrounding the city, like the beautiful Jacksonville Beach, weather is key.