MLK and Presidents Day travel trends and weekend getaways

The backyard of a vacation rental in Malibu, CA
Vacation rental in Malibu, CA living room.

With the start of a new year comes a blank slate for fulfilling resolutions, as well as a fresh calendar for travel and making memories. Thankfully, there’s the promise of not one, but two soon-approaching three-day weekends to start the year off strong and get a jump on those goals. Holiday weekends offer the perfect opportunity to visit new destinations or immerse yourself in history by exploring historical sites.

Besides, with remote work flexibility or a strategically-timed PTO request, that three-day weekend can stretch into an even longer weekend. Squeeze in a last ski retreat before spring, or make a break for more sunshine. Take full advantage of your time off with these travel destinations, ideal for a quick trip away.

Sunny escapes

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Most MLK Day weekends, travelers seek respite from cold weather with sand and sunshine. Hilton Head Island is a perfect solution to easing those winter blues, with January average temperatures at a comfortable 60℉. HHI is about as accessible as you could hope for too, located just a quick drive from Savannah and Charleston, as well as two airports that service flights to the island.

Hilton Head Island is consistently ranked as a top family beach, as well as one of the most beautiful islands within the continental U.S. Feel your stress slip away with a walk along the beach, spot migratory birds at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, or practice your swing along the area’s renowned golf courses. Book a condo rental or vacation home with ocean views so you never miss a moment of relaxation.

San Diego, California

On the other side of the U.S., the weather’s looking just as sunny in California. The Golden State is an easy trip by way of San Diego International Airport, where you'll be welcomed by the breathtaking views of swaying palm trees and the glistening ocean. Catch up on a great read by the waves at La Jolla Beach or shake off winter hibernation with a hike through the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

San Diego is famously kid-friendly, with the world-renowned San Diego Zoo and endlessly entertaining tide pools along Point Loma. While you’re in town, be sure to see the city’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade, one of the largest celebrations in the country.

More warm-weather destinations

The pools at the  Shores of Panama Resort in Panama City Beach, Florida
Panama City Beach, Florida
The backyard pool area of a pet-friendly vacation rental in Palm Springs, CA.
Palm Springs, California
View of the pier and blue ocean in South Padre Island, Texas
South Padre Island, Texas

Last-minute ski trips

Dillon, Colorado

Don’t put your skis in storage yet—there are still a few places with fresh powder waiting. Dillon is a mountain town just outside of Breckenridge and is home to the Arapahoe Ski Basin, which boasts the longest ski season in Colorado. Enjoy a quick trip to the Rocky Mountains, either flying in from Denver International Airport or Eagle-Vail Airport.

Located about a twenty-minute drive from Keystone and an hour and fifteen minutes outside of Denver, you’ll delight in Dillon’s water and mountain views as you kick back with family. The nearby Arapahoe Basin is known for its extended ski season, which typically lasts until early June, compared to other resorts that close around April. In between ski runs, warm up with dinner at a brewery, treat your sweet tooth to downtown’s candy shop, or snow tube to your heart’s content at Frisco Adventure Park.

Travel gifts for skiers: Vacation rentals in Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah

Park City’s ski season is just about at its peak in February, which is great news for those looking to sneak in a ski trip for MLK Day or Presidents Day weekend. Park City Mountain carries the title of largest ski resort in the U.S. With it, you’ll find plenty of options for cross-country ski trails, bunny hills, ski school programs, and expert black diamond runs—so rest assured no matter your skill level, everyone can have fun on the slopes.

This sparkling snow-capped city lies just an hour from Salt Lake City International Airport. As an added bonus, you can also use your long weekend to sample surrounding ski resorts like Alta, Snowbird, and Brighton. Find plenty of après-ski options downtown, including the kid-friendly Park City Museum, high-end boutiques, delicious eateries, and stylish cocktail bars.

More ski destinations

Steamboat Springs, Colorado
The exterior of an A-Frame cabin rental in Lake Tahoe, CA.
South Lake Tahoe, California
Vail, Colorado

Historic sightseeing trips

Atlanta, Georgia

Enjoy a living history lesson by spending your three-day weekend exploring the incredible life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Not only will you feel more comfortable with Georgia’s mild climate, but in between museum tours and sightseeing, you’ll have no shortage of things to do.

During your stay, be sure to check out the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, including the International World Peace Rose Garden and Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth home. Other must-visit stops if you’re traveling with kids are the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Georgia Aquarium, and the High Museum of Art.

Large Black Hills, SD cabin

Black Hills, South Dakota

Though we recommend bundling up for your Mt. Rushmore photo op, there’s plenty of history and outdoor adventure for the family to explore with a three-day-weekend vacation. The region is known for its beautiful Badlands National Park, abundant buffalo herds, Old West history, and the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Between Wild West reenactments in Deadwood and the Cosmos Mystery Area, South Dakota is a perfect kid-friendly destination (with plenty of opportunities to sneak in a history lesson). Grab a bottle of sarsparilla, pan for gold, read up on old legends like Calamity Jane, and roam alongside herds of buffalo for a one-of-a-kind adventure.

More historical travel destinations

large two story vacation home with outdoor pool in Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida
Trolly in Dallas, Texas.
Dallas, TX
Skyline view of Annapolis.
Annapolis, MD

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