10 Memorial Day Destinations for People Who Still Don’t Have Plans (Video)
If you haven’t already planned your Memorial Day getaway, it’s not too late. You can still get out of town for a perfect weekend escape.
Yelp has compiled a list of the best Memorial Day destinations for a last-minute jaunt of town. These places won’t be the busiest in the country, but they’ll still have plenty to do and see during the three-day weekend.
Using data from Memorial Day 2018, Yelp identified the cities with the least “consumer activity” during the long weekend. Then, from that list, cities were ranked based on how much busier they got during the holiday weekend, relative to the seven days before and after. The list was limited to two cities per state to create rankings that would spread across the country.
Unsurprisingly, the list includes many coastal cities from New Jersey to California. It’s not a proper Memorial Day unless there’s a beach nearby.
10. Aspen, Colorado
Aspen is much more than just a ski town. Come Memorial Day Weekend, you’ll be able to walk up the mountains or even rock climb at Maroon Bells Peaks. The holiday weekend is also a great time to meander through John Denver Sanctuary, where stones are engraved with the singer’s lyrics about the Rocky Mountains. A local favorite is HOPS Culture, a new American eatery with a courtyard perfect for al fresco holiday dining.
9. Hood River, Oregon
Hood River calls itself the windsurfing capital of the world. You can try your hand at the sport at the town’s Waterfront Park. If you prefer to stay on land, the Double Mountain Horse Ranch will help you saddle up and explore paths up mountains and along waterfalls. Once mealtime hits, head to The Sixth Street Bistro & Loft, a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
8. Southampton, New York
It’s the Hamptons. Classic New York Memorial Day Weekend destination. Head to Cooper’s Beach for a picturesque day on the seaside. After a day spent in surf and sun, indulge in a glass of wine bottled at the Wolffer Estate Vineyard. For dinner, Cowfish Restaurant will put some ridiculously fresh seafood on your plate and give you dockside views to match.
7. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Rehoboth is one of those coastal towns that has stood the test of centuries, but still maintains its old-timey charm with its boardwalk and famous hand-pulled salt water taffy. The Funland amusement park is a must-see on the boardwalk. Get dinner overlooking the beach at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel and then end the night with drinks at the Dogfish Head Brewery. Yes, that Dogfish Head.
6. Solvang, California
In Southern California, there’s the perfect little Danish enclave of Solvang. If you’re looking for a “European” Memorial Day escape, there’s even a windmill and wooden architecture to wander around. Pay homage to the famous Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen at the park named after him. Go horseback riding (and then drink wine!) at Vino Vaqueros. And finish the whole sophisticated shebang with dinner at Hitching Post II, known for its filet mignon.
5. Port Angeles, Washington
There are nearly one million acres of land in Washington’s Olympic National Park. Port Angeles is a coastal gateway to the jaw-dropping environment. If you prefer your wildlife where you can see it, head to Olympic Game Farm to see zebras, wolves and bison. Next Door Gastropub has plenty of vegan options if you’d rather keep wildlife off your plate.
4. Ocean City, Maryland
Ocean City has the vibe of an old beach town, right down to the boardwalk. Board a Sea Rocket boat for a chance to sea dolphins up close. Continue the seaside vibes with crab cakes at Crab Alley, a local favorite for shellfish.
3. Harwich, Massachusetts
This Cape Cod town won’t be as packed as some other destinations. Tee up at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club. But even those who don’t hit the green will marvel at the views. Families can hop on their bikes and pedal around the Cape Cod Rail Trail together. To refuel, Yelp users love The Mad Minnow for its creative menu, including crab cake tater tots and tuna cannoli.
2. Mammoth Lakes, California
Instead of heading to the beaches of Southern California, go up to the mountains this Memorial Day weekend. Mammoth Lakes may be known in the winter for its skiing, but because of its location in California’s strip of national forests, it’s equally gorgeous come summer. Visit Rainbow Falls for proof. If your hikes are more usually oriented towards the sales rack, stop in the shops at The Village At Mammoth. No matter what you do with your day, relax with dinner and a cocktail at Mammoth Tavern come nightfall.
1. Beach Haven, New Jersey
Yelp’s top ranking went to Beach Haven, New Jersey. Located on Long Beach Island, visitors can choose to splash on the beach or keep things tame in the local waterpark. Grab a drink at the tiki bar at The Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club or indulge in old-time fun on the carousel at Fantasy Island Amusement Park.