Memorial Day weekend is not only a time to honor and remember our military service members’ sacrifices but also a great opportunity for fun and relaxation with friends and family. As the unofficial start of summer, people across the U.S. take advantage of the long weekend to travel, attend events, and enjoy outdoor activities.

From beach trips and barbecues to music festivals and parades, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of the best cities to visit during Memorial Day weekend.


Photo Credit: Alexander Spatari

Miami remains a top destination for those seeking an exciting nightlife experience. Enjoy the warm summer sun and sandy beaches on Florida’s eastern coast, with Miami Beach providing a picturesque backdrop of Ocean Avenue’s art deco architecture. For a more laid-back vibe, head north to Haulover Sandbar for island music, refreshing beverages, and ample beach relaxing space.

As the sun sets, Miami comes alive with a buzzing nightlife scene. The renowned E11even club boasts top DJs, aerial performers, and one of the world’s best nightclub sound systems. Nearby, Club Space offers a dazzling open-air terrace and is a popular spot for techno enthusiasts.

Memorial Day Weekend also marks the arrival of various festivals in the city including the Hyundai Air & Sea Show featuring a nighttime performance by country stars Big & Rich on Miami Beach. The Sandz Caribbean Music Festival at Miami Marine Stadium and the LGBTQ-friendly Pridechilla Festival in Ft. Lauderdale are also among the festivities.

New Orleans

People walking in the street in New Orleans - Best cities for Memorial Day Weekend
Photo Credit: Chris Graythen

New Orleans offers a captivating blend of history, water-side views, and classical architecture. It’s among the few cities where drinking alcohol in public is allowed, making it a festive spot for Memorial Day Weekend. Pub-crawl through the Big Easy while enjoying the French Quarter’s vibrant atmosphere. Bourbon Street, for instance, is a pedestrian thoroughfare full of jazz bars, dance halls, and flashy neon lights. Be sure to visit the famous Tropical Isle for their iconic Hand Grenade cocktail that includes gin, rum, and vodka.

Tourists can also explore the three-day New Orleans Greek Festival on Bayou St. John, pay their respects to the nation’s history at the National World War II Museum, or enjoy live music at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. For a more relaxing weekend, head to the Drifter Hotel, a contemporary hangout with a poolside bar open to everyone.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas strip
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During Memorial Day weekend, Las Vegas will be a vibrant and scorching destination. Head down the famous Strip to see the spectacular Bellagio fountains, ride the High Roller observation wheel, or enjoy a gondola ride at the Venetian. All the major resorts feature casinos, so try your hand at blackjack or poker. Don’t miss out on the legendary pool parties like Wet Republic at the MGM Grand, Bare Lounge at the Mirage, and Marquee at the Cosmopolitan. Make sure to book your tickets in advance.

Check out upcoming performances by renowned artists like Garth Brooks, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Barry Manilow, Usher, and Santana. These top performers all have shows scheduled during the holiday weekend.

Apart from the Strip, explore the Fremont Street Experience, the heart of the city’s entertainment district. Discover the local flavor in the Downtown Arts District, where you can relish farm-to-table Italian cuisine at Esther’s Kitchen and sip handcrafted cocktails at the Velveteen Rabbit.

Washington, DC

cherry blossoms in Washington DC
Photo Credit: Ashley Hall

Celebrate the bravery of American heroes this Memorial Day by heading to Washington, D.C. Pay your respects to the fallen service members at the World War II Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery.

Escape the hot summer weather with a visit to one of the Smithsonian museums. Each museum offers endless opportunities to learn about American history and innovation while enjoying the cool setting of these landmarks.

Don’t miss the National Memorial Day Parade which can be viewed from the steps of the National Archives. The thunderous Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally also takes place during the weekend. Take plenty of photos in front of iconic landmarks including the White House, U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial.

Atlantic City

Photo Credit: Kevin Jarrett

Dubbed the Las Vegas of the East, Atlantic City (AC) may be famous for gambling, but there’s more to the city than casinos. Families can enjoy the city’s iconic Boardwalk, where they can ride amusement park attractions and enjoy the beach. Steel Pier is a popular oceanside amusement park where visitors come to bask in the sun on the Jersey Shore.

The Wildwoods International Kite Festival takes place just outside the city and kicks off with a beachfront illuminated night kite fly on Rio Grande Avenue. Numerous parades and fireworks displays are also held throughout the area. The Bradley Beach Memorial Day Parade, Atlantic Highlands Memorial Day Parade, and Beach Haven Memorial Day Parade are other opportunities to enjoy a weekend in AC.

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