20 Of The Best Memorial Day Weekend Getaways Gallery

20 of the Best Memorial Day Weekend Getaways

After a long cold winter, summer is (unoffically) finally here! So don't spend the weekend doing yard work or painting the deck. Get out there and enjoy this great, big, beautiful country.

And remember the reason for this solemn holiday, while you are at it. With that advice in mind, here are 20 of the best Memorial Day Weekend getaways.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

While you're thinking of plans for Memorial Day weekend, consider visiting the nation's former capital, Philadelphia. You can't go to Philly without visiting the Liberty Bell, the state's most iconic landmark. And Independence National Historical Park is also known as "the birthplace of American democracy." Make your weekend special by also stopping by Independence Hall, the Benjamin Franklin Museum and more.

Washington, D.C.

The nation's capital is a great place to see beautiful cherry blossoms bloom in the spring, but it will also make a great Memorial Day weekend getaway. The District of Columbia is home to many of the country's most-visited tourist attractions, including some that honor soldiers, such as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and the 555-foot Washington Monument.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is great at any time of the year, but one of the best times to visit is during Memorial Day weekend. Not only can you go to enjoy the Memorial Day parade, but you can also welcome back summer during the Memorial Day fireworks show at Navy Pier.

Jacksonville, Florida

There are plenty of things to do in Florida that aren't Disney or the beach, especially during Memorial Day weekend. The city of Jacksonville is home to the second-largest Veterans Memorial Wall in the nation. This 65-foot-long black granite wall holds the names of service members from World War I through post-9/11.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Don't think the celebrating stops once Mardi Gras is over. New Orleans knows how to party all year long, and that includes during Memorial Day weekend. You can join in the cultural festivals, visit the National World War II Museum and enjoy some great Southern cuisine here. Make sure you don't leave the Big Easy without trying some Cajun and Creole food.

New York City, New York

This national holiday is celebrated in all five boroughs of New York City. You can catch one of the largest Memorial Day parades, the Little Neck-Douglaston parade, in Queens, or follow Brooklyn's annual Memorial Day Parade. No matter which borough you decide to escape to, you'll find a celebration happening. There's even a good chance you might spot a celebrity.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston's Spoleto Festival is the country's premier performing arts festival, according to spoletousa.org. The festival kicks off Memorial Day weekend and runs for two more weeks, featuring dozens of performances in theater, dance, opera, classical music and jazz.

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, California, may be one of the most expensive travel destinations in America, but it's worth the escape during Memorial Day weekend. The Palm Springs Air Museum has a tradition of dropping thousands of white and red carnations from a B-25 Mitchell bomber to commemorate the soldiers who fought in World War II.

Denver, Colorado

If you're looking for free, family-friendly activities to participate in during Memorial Day weekend, Denver has a bunch of fun-filled events and festivals going on, from live music festivals like the Denver Day of Rock to tributes to the military and their families.

Atlanta, Georgia

One thing every American should do in their lifetime is visit the Peach State during Memorial Day weekend. In the city of Atlanta, you can salute the troops at different events taking place at Stone Mountain Park. But you won't want to miss out on Atlanta's annual Jazz Fest, one of America's largest free jazz festivals, which celebrates and showcases the history of jazz music.

San Francisco, California

This year is the 40th anniversary of San Francisco's Carnaval street festival, celebrating Latin American and Caribbean cultures. It's a huge event with more than 400,000 visitors expected. A Memorial Day commemoration will take place Monday at the San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio.

Andersonville, Georgia

The Andersonville National Historic Site includes Camp Sumter, an infamous Confederate prison camp, as well as Andersonville National Cemetery and the National Prisoner of War Museum. Weekend events include the raising of the Avenue of Flags, placing of flags at gravesites and a wreath laying.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

The city that saw the most famous battle of the Civil War has been hosting a Memorial Day parade for more than 150 years, making it one of the oldest in the country. Before or after Monday's parade, visit the Gettysburg National Military Park.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston honors soldiers on Memorial Day with its Garden of Flags – 37,000 U.S. flags placed in front of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Boston Common. Each flag represents a Massachusetts service member who has given his or her life in service since the Revolutionary War. The city also hosts the Boston Calling music festival over the long weekend. Headliners are The Killers, Jack White and Eminem.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Tripadvisor ranks Clearwater Beach as the No. 1 beach in America. So how can it get better? Margaritas! Memorial Day weekend brings the Margarita Festival to nearby Tampa. There will be food, music and fireworks. And did we mention the margaritas?

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is one of America's hidden gems, with the beautiful scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a thriving arts scene. So how can it get better? Beer! Memorial Day weekend kicks off Beer Week in Asheville. The nine-day festival will feature more than 30 breweries, plus beer specials and other events.

Oahu, Hawaii

Lantern Floating Hawaii is a beautiful, solemn way to mark Memorial Day. Visitors are encouraged to write remembrances on paper lanterns, then they are placed in the water at Ala Moana Beach, then set out to sea with "wishes for peace and happiness of loved ones past and present," according to lanternfloatinghawaii.com.

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

It's the summer playground of the who's who off the coast of Cape Cod. After you've checked out the beaches, check out the art. The island is hosting its 20th annual Memorial Day weekend artisans festival this year. Vineyardartisans.com says it's a chance to see what island artisans have been working on all winter. They promise great food, demonstrations and fun for kids.  

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Fort Snelling in Minneapolis goes back to its roots for Memorial Day. Built in the 1820s, Fort Snelling's Memorial Day activities include demonstrations like cannon firings, blacksmithing and more. Costumed re-enactors will also share stories of Americans who served in armed conflicts.

San Diego, California

San Diego is the perfect city to enjoy the summer weather and honor the fallen. Spend some time enjoying some of the 70 miles of magnificent coastline or tour the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Then take a tour of the decommissioned USS Midway aircraft carrier and visit the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park.