Memorial Day weekend is here, and hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy all three days. The tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will show out as always, rain or shine. From parades to cookouts, music events and beach outings, there’s something for everyone.
You might consider booking an Airbnb close to the shore where you can fire up the grill and crack open a few cold beers. You might even seek thrills at some of the best amusement parks the tri-state area has to offer. And if you still have the energy at night, there are tons of Memorial Day parties on boats, rooftops and more. You’ll be spoiled for choice because nobody parties like the East Coast.
Here’s how The Big Apple, The Garden State, and The Nutmeg State will observe Memorial Day Weekend 2023.
If you don’t mind crowds, check out one of the two parades that honor those who lost their lives while serving. Veterans from all branches of the military will be present, along with their families and friends.
The Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade, which is among the oldest in the borough, will take place for the 156th time. It starts promptly at 11 a.m. on 3rd Avenue and 78th Street. From there, it goes down to Marine Avenue, up to 4th Avenue, and concludes at John Paul Jones Park. A memorial service will be held there with bag pipe tributes, wreath laying and a 21-gun salute.
There is also The Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade in Great Neck, starting at 2 p.m. Both take place on Monday, May 29.
It feels like forever since the beaches were open. But the wait is over, and we’re beyond ready.
According to NBC New York, “Beaches in New York City, and across the tri-state area, open for the season on Saturday, May 27, and stay open through Sept. 10. All city-run beaches in the five boroughs are free and open to the public.”
Whether you can swim or not, keep an eye on the color-coded signage, indicating where and when it’s safe to swim. Green means swimming and wading are permitted, yellow means proceed with caution, and red means do not enter under any circumstances.
Some of New York’s popular beaches include Brighton Beach, Jones Beach and the iconic Coney Island Beach.
If you want to catch a free, outdoor movie screening, head to the Intrepid on Friday, May 26. They’ll be showing Top Gun, and you can also take advantage of Free Friday, which allows you to explore the museum free of charge.
Hit up some of the rides at Luna Park in Coney Island, which is open all summer. Dance at the Kokomo Street Fest, or party at Watermark Beach at Pier 15.
If you’re a fan of legal, public nudity, New Jersey has some nice spots to engage safely.
Gunnison Beach is always a vibe, where folks play volleyball, do body painting, or soak up the rays. It’s easy to forget you’re in the northeast, as it has a bit of a Miami vibe.
In the New Jersey Highlands, there’s the family-friendly Rock Lodge Club. This is probably the best place in the state to immerse yourself in nature in the fullest sense. Enjoy the lake, fire up the barbecue, and explore several, well-marked hiking trails in the forest. Bring extra sunblock and mosquito repellent for obvious reasons. You can book lodging on the grounds if one day isn’t enough, and if you’re really feeling it, consider a membership.
Bear in mind that nudity isn’t mandatory at either of these sites. If you’re just getting your toes wet in the nudism world, you’ll find others respectful and understanding.
If you’d rather keep your clothes on, there’s Point Pleasant Beach, Spring Lake Beach and Ocean Grove Beach, among others.
Head to the Cape May Music Festival starting May 25. The International Kite Festival takes place on the beach on Rio Grande Avenue and is fun for the whole family. There’s also the Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony in Wildwood, which kicks off May 29 at 10 a.m.
Connecticut will host many Memorial Day parades in Fairfield, Greenwich, Stamford and elsewhere. Most are on May 29, but some are the day before. You can check online for details.
Stuff Your Face
If you love seafood, why not grab some lobster for lunch or dinner?
Lobster is serious business here, and it’s available in several delicious forms. Best of all, like pizza in New York, you don’t have to venture far to find them. Dine on whole lobster at Max’s Oyster Bar (West Hartford) or lobster mac and cheese at MacDaddy’s Macaroni and Cheese Bar (Monroe).
Craving lobster rolls? According to the Connecticut Tourism Office, “Connecticut was the birthplace of the hot lobster roll, now commonly called the Connecticut lobster roll.”
Get one of your own at Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock, or Lobster Landing, which claims to have the best lobster rolls in the world.
You can be a thrill-seeker at any age, and Connecticut has many amusement and adventure parks.
Activities include zip-lining at Foxwoods Resort Casino, go-kart racing, and a variety of rides at Quassy Amusement Park. The great thing about this park is that it doesn’t have Six Flags or Disney World prices—it’s actually affordable.
Whatever you choose, be sure to have a safe and healthy Memorial Day Weekend.