Best places to visit for Memorial Day weekend

Kick off your summer with a Memorial Day getaway everyone will love.
Picnic bench, a fire pit with chairs, and a shed overlooking a lake.
Beach house sits right on the beach on Dauphin Island, FL

Summer’s around the corner and the best way to welcome in the season is to gather loved ones together for a Memorial Day trip. With an extra day off, it's the perfect opportunity to explore new destinations, whether it's a beach or a mountain retreat. Synonymous with fun in the sun, family getaways, and festive cookouts, Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of summer vacation and, arguably, our favorite time of the year.

Embrace the warmth of the season by lounging on the beach, roasting s'mores by a crackling fire, or taking a refreshing dip in the water. Our curated list of top destinations in the United States ensures you'll find the perfect vacation rental, whether you crave the energy of popular locales or seek solace in a tranquil paradise. Get ready to kick off your summer vacation with a bang.

Here are our top 7 picks for the best places to visit for Memorial Day weekend:

The living room of a vacation rental in Destin, fl

1. Destin, Florida

Featured vacation rental: Sterling Shores 311

This popular beach town, tucked into Florida’s Panhandle, is known for its white-sand shores, glittering emerald water, and challenging golf courses, so it’s no surprise that it’s among the best (and most-searched) places to visit for Memorial Day weekend. Sitting on a diverse coastline dotted with pine and oak trees, the area is often referred to as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” Angler or not, you can stay close to the water by booking a breezy resort rental and making the most of amenities and private beach access. Fill your getaway with live music, fireworks, and holiday events at HarborWalk Village and when it’s time to quiet down, relax with a stroll through Henderson Beach State Park.

The fire area surrounded by chairs near a WI lake.

2. Eagle River, Wisconsin

Featured vacation rental: Copperwood Condominiums #4

If your idea of summer looks more like a lakeside stay, plan a retreat in the Northwoods. The small town of Eagle River sits on a chain of 28 lakes, the world’s largest freshwater lake chain, and makes for the perfect backdrop for enjoying quality time with friends and family. If you choose to bring your boat for fishing or water sports, you’ll find plenty of vacation rentals with boat docks and slips for convenient use. Grab a lakefront home or pet-friendly cabin and fill your days with family-friendly activities.

The living room with ocean themed decor at a vacation rental in Ocean City, MD.

3. Ocean City, Maryland

Featured vacation rental: Crab Cove Unit 2

First things first—Maryland is famous for its seafood (namely its blue crabs), so you may want to plan your holiday weekend around your meals. Ocean City is renowned for its three-mile boardwalk, which is packed with games and rides to keep visitors of all ages entertained while abundant options for food, shopping, and live music give grown-ups a thrill.

Start your vacation rental search on the strip’s southern tip to score a cozy oceanfront bungalow right on the boardwalk. On this end of the island, you’ll be just a short jaunt away from Assateague Island National Seashore, as well as just a quick trip to Berlin in time for the Memorial Day Parade.

The interior and exterior of an luxury ocean front vacation rental in Newport Beach, CA.

4. Newport Beach, California

Featured vacation rental: Luxury Beach Front Escape

Known for its massive, boat-filled harbor, Newport Beach is a hub for aquatic activities. Situated on 10 miles of California coastline, tucked between Laguna and Huntington Beach, this buzzy little city boasts some of the West Coast’s best fishing, swimming, surfing, and water sports. It’s also ideal for lazing on idyllic beaches, watching the sunset from seaside cliffs, or strolling harbor-front promenades to create lasting vacation memories. Embrace the cool SoCal vibes near city attractions with plenty of room for you and your crew.

The living room of a vacation rental in Frisco, CO.

5. Frisco, Colorado

Featured vacation rental: River Haven

If you’re torn between an adventure on the lake or the hiking trails, Frisco is the best place to be for some outdoor recreation. Located about a twenty-minute drive from Keystone and an hour and fifteen minutes outside of Denver, you’ll delight in Frisco’s water and mountain views as you kick back with family. After taking on Rainbow Lake Trailhead, cool off by Dillion Reservoir or grab an ice cream cone downtown. Kids will love pedaling around the Frisco Bike Park and parents will love the area’s popular breweries.

The exterior back porch area of a vacation rental in Holden Beach, NC

6. Holden Beach, North Carolina

Featured vacation rental: Happy Ours

Offering up a sweet serving of small-town charm and unspoiled beauty, Holden Beach is a family-oriented gem on North Carolina’s coast. Pedal to the island’s easternmost end, then stroll around the Lockwood Folly Inlet or navigate a kayak along the Intracoastal Waterway before finishing the day at one of the waterfront restaurants. Seek out one of the area’s distinctive stilted houses with a gas grill and an abundance of outdoor space, ideal for a holiday cookout.

The living room of a vacation rental in Annapolis.

7. Annapolis, Maryland

Featured vacation rental: The Pearl of Oyster Harbor

For a long weekend full of Memorial Day events, Annapolis's patriotic history makes it a must-see. The city holds one of the largest Memorial Day Parades in the state, which starts on Amos Garrett Boulevard and continues down Main Street to City Dock. During your trip, save time to visit historical sites like the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park and the Maryland World War II Memorial. Of course, it’s not truly a visit to the “Sailing Capital of the U.S.” without a trip on the water, so be sure to book a boat ride or a classic sailing cruise.

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