Memorial Day is an iconic American holiday on which we remember and celebrate the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Many Americans observe this day by visiting memorials, hosting family gatherings, and having cookouts on the barbeque. Memorial Day also unofficially marks the beginning of the summer season and many people look forward to the three–day holiday weekend as an opportunity to travel to their favorite destinations. In honor of this special day, here are five great Memorial Day destinations where you can enjoy the spirit of the holiday, soak in some history, and have a great time with your loved ones. As always, please research current state and local guidelines before traveling.
There is no better place to celebrate and honor our fallen soldiers than in the nation’s capital. There are usually several different events and ceremonies that commemorate this special weekend. Of course, events in 2021 will operate differently so be sure to check out tours and restrictions in advance. Whether you decide to take part in the Memorial Day Parade or pay your respects at the famous Arlington Cemetery, Vietnam or Korean War Memorials, or other monuments or museums, there are plenty of historic sites to visit.
The capital city of the Lone Star State is no stranger when it comes to honoring our war veterans. Come discover the Veteran’s War Memorial of Texas, built in remembrance of all the soldiers who went missing or lost their lives in America’s wars. Austin offers plenty of other enjoyable activities such as the Texas Trail rides that will give you a feel of the countryside, camping at the Inks Lake State Park, or canoeing down the Guadalupe River for some fun in the sun. If nature isn’t your thing, head into downtown where you are greeted with art around every corner, live music, and culinary surprises. Austin has something to engage everyone’s interest.
The Windy City is home to well-known historic sites and sculptures at Millennium Park, and The Pritzker Military Museum and Library would also be a fitting Memorial Day visit. If you’re the outdoorsy type, spend time at the Lakefront Trail, where you can bike or walk along the cool waterfront. A must-see attraction is the Cloud Gate, affectionately nicknamed ‘The Bean’ by Chicagoans. This famous sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor was made with hundreds of massive plates of shiny stainless steel in which you can see a distorted version of your surroundings. Adventure out – and up! – to the Willis Tower Skydeck and get a panoramic birds-eye view of the city from above. For a grand finale, do not miss the spectacular fireworks at the Navy Pier – it will be the best way to finish your Memorial Day getaway!
Boston has been an historic American gem ever since the Boston Tea Party event. Bostonians pay tribute daily to fallen heroes, but for the Memorial Day weekend they roll out the red carpet! Bring your walking shoes and enjoy the Boston Freedom Trail – a 2.5-mile tour of historic neighborhoods in the city. Visit the iconic Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum – voted the #1 “Best Patriotic Attraction”, this innovative and interactive venue showcases how the American Revolution began. At the end of the day, head over to the South Boston Waterfront. Here you will find a plethora of intriguing restaurants and bars where you can hang out with the locals as you enjoy delicious cuisine and down some good old-fashioned beer.
New York City, New York
The Big Apple is a great Memorial Day weekend getaway simply for the abundance of activities that go on in the city every day. Visit the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum exhibits that feature famous aircrafts, ships, and submarines that took part in previous wars. Check out Coney Island where you can spend time at the beach or the boardwalk and indulge in delightful one-of-a-kind treats, and be sure to make your way over to Governor’s Island for live music, fantastic food, special performances, and much more.
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