11 Budget Memorial Day Destinations

by Christina Garofalo

11 Budget Memorial Day Destinations

by Christina Garofalo

Memorial Day Weekend is a good excuse to get away. What's more, these 11 budget-friendly destinations are all accessible for less than $400 round-trip from LA or NYC — and they're all home to new restaurants, hotels, special events, and nearby attractions.

Memorial Day Weekend is a good excuse to get away. What's more, these 11 budget-friendly destinations are all accessible for less than $400 round-trip from LA or NYC — and they're all home to new restaurants, hotels, special events, and nearby attractions.

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Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. / Joecho-16/iStock
Fort Worth, TX
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Fort Worth, TX

Fort Worth is now more accessible than ever, thanks to the new TEXRail connecting downtown to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Hip, new restaurants have since followed, and include everything from Vietnamese to gourmet doughnuts, and even a massive food hall. The National Cowgirl Museum ($3.50 to $5 admission) recently underwent a massive renovation. Walk or bike along Trinity River before ending the day at the Instagram-worthy Fort Worth Water Gardens for sunset.

Fort Worth is now more accessible than ever, thanks to the new TEXRail connecting downtown to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Hip, new restaurants have since followed, and include everything from Vietnamese to gourmet doughnuts, and even a massive food hall. The National Cowgirl Museum ($3.50 to $5 admission) recently underwent a massive renovation. Walk or bike along Trinity River before ending the day at the Instagram-worthy Fort Worth Water Gardens for sunset.

Fort Worth Water Gardens
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What to Budget

Getting There: Flights to DWF start at $267 round-trip from NYC, and $275 round-trip from LAX. Accommodations start at $166 per night for Memorial Day weekend at the new Aloft Fort Worth. The hotel offers stylish rooms with views of downtown, and is steps away from Sundance Square's shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. 

Getting There: Flights to DWF start at $267 round-trip from NYC, and $275 round-trip from LAX. Accommodations start at $166 per night for Memorial Day weekend at the new Aloft Fort Worth. The hotel offers stylish rooms with views of downtown, and is steps away from Sundance Square's shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. 

Washington, D.C.
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Washington, D.C.

As Cherry Blossom season ends, hotel rates drop — just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Celebrate the holiday at the National Memorial Day Parade and the Arlington National Cemetery ceremonies (free). While you're here, catch a Washington Nationals game and listen live jazz in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Before you go, spend day at The Wharf — a new waterfront strip of bars and restaurants. 

As Cherry Blossom season ends, hotel rates drop — just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Celebrate the holiday at the National Memorial Day Parade and the Arlington National Cemetery ceremonies (free). While you're here, catch a Washington Nationals game and listen live jazz in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Before you go, spend day at The Wharf — a new waterfront strip of bars and restaurants. 

Washington, D.C.
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What to Budget

Getting There: Flights start at $162 round-trip from New York. Accommodations over Memorial Day weekend are $204 per night at the new Hyatt House at the Wharf, which overlooks the Potomac River and is just three blocks from the National Mall. Alternatively, history buffs will be charmed by the Watergate Hotel — a glamorous homage to the 1960s — with rooms from $254 per night.

Getting There: Flights start at $162 round-trip from New York. Accommodations over Memorial Day weekend are $204 per night at the new Hyatt House at the Wharf, which overlooks the Potomac River and is just three blocks from the National Mall. Alternatively, history buffs will be charmed by the Watergate Hotel — a glamorous homage to the 1960s — with rooms from $254 per night.

Boise, ID
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Boise, ID

Boise is booming. The Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial and Idaho History Museum both recently unveiled renovations. A rising restaurant scene includes doughnuts and fried chicken; tacos and mezcal; and a dessert bar that pairs cakes with beer and wine. What's more, a new shipping container park features food, shops, and workspaces. Sample over 50 types of cider at Meriwether Cider, or indulge in some friendly competition at Base Camp Pong & Axe.

Boise is booming. The Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial and Idaho History Museum both recently unveiled renovations. A rising restaurant scene includes doughnuts and fried chicken; tacos and mezcal; and a dessert bar that pairs cakes with beer and wine. What's more, a new shipping container park features food, shops, and workspaces. Sample over 50 types of cider at Meriwether Cider, or indulge in some friendly competition at Base Camp Pong & Axe.

Boise, ID
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What to Budget

Getting There: Flights to Boise start at $334 round-trip from LAX. At the boutique Inn at 500, you'll find discounted accommodations. The property is currently offering two deals: Dog owners will want to book the Boise Best Friend package, which includes a waived $75 pet fee, a welcome gift, beer tastings for two at the pet-friendly Payette Brewing Co. and Boise Brewing, as well as a $10 credit to the on-site restaurant. Alternatively, the Stay More, Save More package offers 25 percent off your stay of three nights or more. 

Getting There: Flights to Boise start at $334 round-trip from LAX. At the boutique Inn at 500, you'll find discounted accommodations. The property is currently offering two deals: Dog owners will want to book the Boise Best Friend package, which includes a waived $75 pet fee, a welcome gift, beer tastings for two at the pet-friendly Payette Brewing Co. and Boise Brewing, as well as a $10 credit to the on-site restaurant. Alternatively, the Stay More, Save More package offers 25 percent off your stay of three nights or more. 

New York City, NY
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New York, NY

As New Yorkers hit the beach, those who choose to stay in the city will enjoy quiet streets and countless free events. In honor of Fleet Week (May 22 through May 27), visitors can explore Navy ships docked in town; the Intrepid offers free tours; and the New York Philharmonic hosts a free concert at St. John the Divine. Additionally, Washington Square features work by local artists, and Theater for the New City presents free performances — from comedy to dance, and everything in between.

As New Yorkers hit the beach, those who choose to stay in the city will enjoy quiet streets and countless free events. In honor of Fleet Week (May 22 through May 27), visitors can explore Navy ships docked in town; the Intrepid offers free tours; and the New York Philharmonic hosts a free concert at St. John the Divine. Additionally, Washington Square features work by local artists, and Theater for the New City presents free performances — from comedy to dance, and everything in between.

New York City, NY
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What to Budget

Getting There: Accommodations at the recently refurbished, vintage-glam Lexington Hotel are as low as $152 per night for Memorial Day weekend. Alternatively, head across the East River to stay in one of several new hip Brooklyn properties. Pod Brooklyn in Williamsburg has rates from $170 per night for the holiday weekend.

Getting There: Accommodations at the recently refurbished, vintage-glam Lexington Hotel are as low as $152 per night for Memorial Day weekend. Alternatively, head across the East River to stay in one of several new hip Brooklyn properties. Pod Brooklyn in Williamsburg has rates from $170 per night for the holiday weekend.

Minneapolis, MN
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Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis offers fresh ways to celebrate the start of outdoor dining season. Betty Danger’s serves tacos aboard a Ferris wheel, and Brit’s Pub hosts outdoor bowling with bangers and mash. Barhop at 612BrewBauhaus, and Indeed. Other must-visit attractions include Minnehaha Falls, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and Prince’s Paisley Park. If you love concerts, you'll want to buy tickets to Soundset Festival (May 26), which will feature performances by SZA, Lil Wayne, and other artists.

Minneapolis offers fresh ways to celebrate the start of dining season. Betty Danger’s serves tacos aboard a Ferris wheel, and Brit’s Pub hosts outdoor bowling with bangers and mash. Barhop at 612BrewBauhaus, and Indeed. Other must-visit attractions include Minnehaha Falls, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and Prince’s Paisley Park. If you love concerts, you'll want to buy tickets to Soundset Festival (May 26), which will feature performances by SZA, Lil Wayne, and other artists.

Minneapolis skyline
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What to Budget

Getting There: Flights to Minneapolis are as low as $237 round-trip from New York, and $279 round-trip from Los Angeles. Accommodations at the brand-new Emery come with easy access to downtown. This Marriott Autograph Collection hotel features stylish interiors, as well as a trendy new Italian eatery, Giulia. We found rooms here as low as $135 per night over Memorial Day weekend.

Getting There: Flights to Minneapolis are as low as $237 round-trip from New York, and $279 round-trip from Los Angeles. Accommodations at the brand-new Emery come with easy access to downtown. This Marriott Autograph Collection hotel features stylish interiors, as well as a trendy new Italian eatery, Giulia. We found rooms here as low as $135 per night over Memorial Day weekend.

French Quarter in New Orleans
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New Orleans, LA

Celebrate the holiday weekend in New Orleans with four awesome festivals: New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, Bayou Country SuperfestTremé/7th Ward Arts & Culture Festival (which includes tours of historic neighborhoods), and the Greek Festival (think lots of Greek food and dancing). Walk along the Mississippi River, pick up signature po’ boys (try Domilise's or Parkway), and picnic in one of the city’s many parks and green spaces.

Celebrate the holiday weekend in New Orleans with four awesome festivals: New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, Bayou Country SuperfestTremé/7th Ward Arts & Culture Festival (which includes tours of historic neighborhoods), and the Greek Festival (think lots of Greek food and dancing). Walk along the Mississippi River, pick up signature po’ boys (try Domilise's or Parkway), and picnic in one of the city’s many parks and green spaces.

St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans
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What to Budget

Getting There: Flights start from $475 round-trip from NYC, and $353 from LAX. Accommodations at the hip Ace Hotel start at $254 per night for the holiday weekend. Deal Alert: With the code HOMETOWNER, guests can get free parking (a $44 per day value) and a drink at Alto, the rooftop garden and bar that overlooks the pool. 

 

Getting There: Flights start from $475 round-trip from NYC, and $353 from LAX. Accommodations at the hip Ace Hotel start at $254 per night for the holiday weekend. Deal Alert: With the code HOMETOWNER, guests can get free parking (a $44 per day value) and a drink at Alto, the rooftop garden and bar that overlooks the pool. 

 

Bristol, VA
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Bristol, VA

For a mountain getaway, consider Bristol: It’s home to 40 hiking trails, caverns, and an underground river  plus access to the Appalachian Trail. Another fun fact: Bristol is also the birthplace of country music. To learn more, visit the museum dedicated to its history. Afterwards, scour the shops downtown for records, comic books, and antiques. End the day with a drink at Studio Brew or Bloom Café & Listening Room, a coffee shop and music venue all in one. 

For a mountain getaway, consider Bristol: It’s home to 40 hiking trails, caverns, and an underground river  plus access to the Appalachian Trail. Another fun fact: Bristol is also the birthplace of country music. To learn more, visit the museum dedicated to its history. Afterwards, scour the shops downtown for records, comic books, and antiques. End the day with a drink at Studio Brew or Bloom Café & Listening Room, a coffee shop and music venue all in one. 

Bristol Hotel, Bristol, VA
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What to Budget

Getting There: Flights to Bristol start at $339 round-trip from New York. Alternatively, those who drive (it's five-and-a-half-hours from D.C., and under three-and-a-half hours from Charlotte) can take the 330-mile Crooked Road, which connects over 50 towns with rich musical history. Accommodations at the stylish new Bristol Hotel start at $189 per night for the weekend. What's more, the property's rooftop bar hosts live bluegrass along with sweeping of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Getting There: Flights to Bristol start at $339 round-trip from New York. Alternatively, those who drive (it's five-and-a-half-hours from D.C., and under three-and-a-half hours from Charlotte) can take the 330-mile Crooked Road, which connects over 50 towns with rich musical history. Accommodations at the stylish new Bristol Hotel start at $189 per night for the weekend. What's more, the property's rooftop bar hosts live bluegrass along with sweeping of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Chicago, IL
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Chicago, IL

Kick off beach season on Lake Michigan with a stroll along the lakefront trail and fireworks at Navy Pier. Festivals include Mole de Mayo, Randolph Street Market, and Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival. Catch a game at the renovated Wrigley Field (Cubs vs. Reds), then dine in Wrigleyville, where several new bars and eateries — including popular BBQ restaurant Smoke Daddy — opened in the last year.

 

Kick off beach season on Lake Michigan with a stroll along the lakefront trail and fireworks at Navy Pier. Festivals include Mole de Mayo, Randolph Street Market, and Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival. Catch a game at the renovated Wrigley Field (Cubs vs. Reds), then dine in Wrigleyville, where several new bars and eateries — including popular BBQ restaurant Smoke Daddy — opened in the last year.

 

Chicago, IL
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What to Budget

Getting There: Flights start at $234 round-trip from NYC. Accommodations at the new St. Jane on North Michigan Avenue start at $199 per night for the holiday weekend. Housed in the Art Deco Carbide & Carbon building, the 364-room hotel is a short walk from the city’s prime attractions. Alternatively, the 175-room Hotel Zachary (which is also new, and is located across the street from Wrigley Field) has rooms from $315 per night.

Getting There: Flights start at $234 round-trip from NYC. Accommodations at the new St. Jane on North Michigan Avenue start at $199 per night for the holiday weekend. Housed in the Art Deco Carbide & Carbon building, the 364-room hotel is a short walk from the city’s prime attractions. Alternatively, the 175-room Hotel Zachary (which is also new, and is located across the street from Wrigley Field) has rooms from $315 per night.

Birmingham, AL
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Birmingham, AL

The weather in Birmingham is pleasant, and a growing food scene counts the much-loved Automatic Seafood, as well as an outpost of Brooklyn’s Mile End Deli among its latest additions. Walk the Civil Rights Trail to important sights from the 1960s (free), visit the oldest surviving pro baseball park in the U.S., and tour the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, which is dedicated to local-born greats like Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald.

The weather in Birmingham is pleasant, and a growing food scene counts the much-loved Automatic Seafood, as well as an outpost of Brooklyn’s Mile End Deli among its latest additions. Walk the Civil Rights Trail to important sights from the 1960s (free), visit the oldest surviving pro baseball park in the U.S., and tour the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, which is dedicated to local-born greats like Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald.

Birmingham, AL
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What to Budget

Getting There: Flights start at $328 round-trip from NYC, and $347 round-trip from LAX. Accommodations at The Redmont, which is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, start at $109 per night. The 120-room property is newly renovated, occupies a historic landmark building, and is the oldest operating hotel in the city. Alternatively, the artsy Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook — which is in wandering distance from parks, museums, and dining — has rooms from $281 per night for the holiday weekend.

Getting There: Flights start at $328 round-trip from NYC, and $347 round-trip from LAX. Accommodations at The Redmont, which is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, start at $109 per night. The 120-room property is newly renovated, occupies a historic landmark building, and is the oldest operating hotel in the city. Alternatively, the artsy Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook — which is in wandering distance from parks, museums, and dining — has rooms from $281 per night for the holiday weekend.

Miami, FL
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Miami, FL

Memorial Day Weekend in Miami offers plenty of fun and activities — and much of it is free. Check out the Air and Sea Show, which honors veterans. Be sure to visit Museum of Art + Design, the Bass Museum of Art, and the Institute of Contemporary Art (all free). Wynwood Walls’ Instagram-famous graffiti galleries, the Design District Performance Series, and guided art tours of the Design District are all also free of charge. 

Memorial Day Weekend in Miami offers plenty of fun and activities — and much of it is free. Check out the Air and Sea Show, which honors veterans. Be sure to visit Museum of Art + Design, the Bass Museum of Art, and the Institute of Contemporary Art (all free). Wynwood Walls’ Instagram-famous graffiti galleries, the Design District Performance Series, and guided art tours of the Design District are all also free of charge. 

Miami Beach, FL
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What to Budget

Getting There: Flights start at $322 round-trip from New York. Accommodations at the new Generator Miami — which is the chain's first U.S. location — start at $41 per night in a shared dorm, and $187 per night for a private room. Located in South Beach (and just a two-minute walk from the water), this hostel features a swimming pool (and a poolside bar), as well as a stylish lounge and restaurant. 

 

Getting There: Flights start at $322 round-trip from New York. Accommodations at the new Generator Miami — which is the chain's first U.S. location — start at $41 per night in a shared dorm, and $187 per night for a private room. Located in South Beach (and just a two-minute walk from the water), this hostel features a swimming pool (and a poolside bar), as well as a stylish lounge and restaurant. 

 

Los Angeles, CA
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Los Angeles, CA

Perfect weather — along with fun, cheap events  make Los Angeles the perfect destination for a long weekend getaway. In honor of the holiday, tour the USS Iowa for Military Appreciation Day (free). Also, Beauty and the Beast is at the Hollywood Bowl, and Rooftop Cinema Club is screening The Godfather. Celebrate at Fiesta Hermosa and the Lebowski Fest, which is dedicated to the cult classic film. Watch the Dodgers play the Padres, then explore nearby bars and restaurants in Echo Park.

Perfect weather — along with fun, cheap events  make Los Angeles the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. In honor of the holiday, tour the USS Iowa for Military Appreciation Day (free). Also, Beauty and the Beast is at the Hollywood Bowl, and Rooftop Cinema Club is screening The Godfather. Celebrate at Fiesta Hermosa and the Lebowski Fest, which is dedicated to the cult classic film. Watch the Dodgers play the Padres, then explore nearby bars and restaurants in Echo Park.

Los Angeles, CA
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What to Budget

Getting There: Accommodations at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar in Beverly Hills start at $204 per night. If you’d rather be by the beach, consider a stay at Hotel Hermosa, which has rooms from $196 per night. Here, you'll love the sundeck, which is complete with pool tables, fire pits, and a bar. The Dixie Hollywood Hotel, a no-frills 70-room property near the Walk of Fame, offers the cheapest stay at $134 per night, as part of a spring promotion that also includes parking.

Getting There: Accommodations at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar in Beverly Hills start at $204 per night. If you’d rather be by the beach, consider a stay at Hotel Hermosa, which has rooms from $196 per night. Here, you'll love the sundeck, which is complete with pool tables, fire pits, and a bar. The Dixie Hollywood Hotel, a no-frills 70-room property near the Walk of Fame, offers the cheapest stay at $134 per night, as part of a spring promotion that also includes parking.

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