It might feel like St. Patrick's Day was just a few weeks ago, but the unofficial start to summer is just around the corner. Although some people have been planning their lake excursions and barbecues for weeks, the procrastinators of the world (myself included) are just now getting around to making last-minute Memorial Day plans. Unfortunately, swooping in on other people's barbecues unannounced like a guacamole-bearing Maleficent is frowned upon in some social circles, so you should probably score an invite for any group excursions. Better yet, though, you should plan one of your own. After all, there's no better excuse than a long weekend to get out of town.
The holiday has been around since the late 19th century. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, an organization of Union veterans set aside a day in May to remember soldiers who had died in the Civil War. Originally known as Decoration Day, a reference to the practice of decorating veterans' graves with flowers, the holiday eventually expanded to include those who died in any American war. It was named an official federal holiday in 1966.
Today, it's both a chance to remember fallen soldiers and to celebrate the approach of summer. If you're still deciding how to observe the holiday, here are ten trips you can plan at the last minute for the long weekend.