Top 9 Memorial Day Weekend Getaways

Here at LeafFilter, we honor our servicemen and women year round. Many of our LeafFilter team members have served as military personnel, and we are thankful for their service. We also offer a year-round military discount on the LeafFilter gutter protection system to show our gratitude and support of our servicemen and women.

On Memorial Day, we remember those who have fallen in service of the United States. As a national “holiday,” many people associate Memorial Day with a day off work, a time for cookouts, or the “official start of summer.” That’s why we’ve created this list of the top 9 places to get away this Memorial Day weekend. But, as you plan your vacation (or staycation), don’t forget the true meaning of Memorial Day. Take a pause to remember the heroes who have fallen protecting our country.

1. Chautauqua Lake, New York

Boater on Lake Chautauqua in New York state

If you’ll be in New York during Memorial Day weekend, Chautauqua is a great place to make base. Book your stay at the Athenaeum Hotel, and discover the historic grounds where many presidents and world leaders have given speeches.

Then, about 25 minutes away, in Jamestown, you’ll find a few laughs with an I Love Lucy throwback at the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy. Jamestown even has a Memorial Day parade you can check out while you’re there! Also in the surrounding area are wineries, breweries, and farmer’s markets galore. And don’t forget to check out the Chautauqua Art Trail Open Studio Tour, set to take place during Memorial Day weekend, for a free look into the local art scene.

2. Charleston, South Carolina

Downtown Charleston, SC at dusk

If you’re looking for a Memorial Day weekend jam packed with fun things to do, Charleston is the place to go. The first leg of the sailboat race, the Atlantic Cup, starts in Charleston on the 28th – the perfect way to kick off an exciting weekend!

For a taste of our country’s history, book a tour of Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began. To experience a different side of history, we suggest venturing outside of Charleston for the annual Original Gullah Festival as well!

Once you’re back in Charleston, you should definitely visit the South Carolina Aquarium, the historic Charleston City Market, the Spoleto Festival, and more for some truly unforgettable experiences. Get around town by water taxi or horse-drawn carriage rides. Oh, and whichever hotel you choose, you’ll be sure to have a charming experience!

3. Brunswick, Georgia

Old building in Brunswick, GA

There is no better place to celebrate Memorial Day weekend than Brunswick, Georgia. This coastal city is located about an hour north of Jacksonville, FL. As the mainland anchor of the Golden Isles, Brunswick is surrounded by small islands. The whole area, known for its picturesque Southern scenery, is a must-see.

Get a feel for the local scene by stopping by the Brunswick Bazaar & Farmers’ Market, and grab some Brunswick Stew for a true taste of the South. Then, take advantage of Brunswick’s status as the shrimp capital of the world and go on a shrimping excursion to get some fresh seafood. Or, go on a pirate ship adventure for fun the whole family can enjoy.

The Lodge at Sea Island, voted one of the top ten resorts in the U.S., will give you the full Southern hospitality experience during your Georgia vacation. If you like golfing, the resort’s Plantation Golf Course will provide great entertainment and a breathtaking view. Or, if golfing isn’t your cup of tea, stop by the spa for some top notch rest and relaxation instead.

4. Newtown, Pennsylvania

Shops of downtown Newtown, PA

Newtown, PA has a ton of nooks and crannies to explore during Memorial Day weekend. The Brick Hotel, built in the 1700s, is perfect for your weekend getaway. Catch a flick at the nation’s oldest movie theater, the Newtown Theater. Get even more absorbed in the town’s history by taking a self-guided Heritage Walk, starting at the Half Moon Inn Museum, which even features a special gallery of folk painter Edward Hicks’s works.

The Newtown Farmers’ Market, full of tasty Dutch Amish goods, makes for a fun stop, too! Round out your weekend, and take all your treats and goodies from the Farmers’ Market to Tyler State Park for a Memorial Day picnic.

5. Petoskey, Michigan

Entrance to Bayfront Park in Petoskey, MI

Nestled on the shores of Michigan is Petoskey, a little town packed with history and gorgeous sightseeing opportunities. The 130 year old Stafford’s Bay View Inn is a great place to start your Michigan adventure. Walk along the same streets as one of America’s greatest authors, Ernest Hemingway, by strolling through one of Petoskey Yesterday’s tours.

The Bay View Wine Trail, which encompasses some of the area’s finest wineries, and the Odawa Casino are can’t miss stops for those 21 and over. And for a sweet treat young and old alike will enjoy, head on over to Kilwins Chocolate Factory! Top off your perfect weekend by watching the sunset at Bayfront Park before you leave.

6. Lambertville, New Jersey

Lambertville, NJ bridge across Delaware River

Lambertville is a scenic town on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Get a dazzling view of the Delaware River by reserving a room at the Lambertville Station Inn, or stay in the quaint Lambertville House Hotel.

The Golden Nugget Antique & Flea Market and the Antiques Center at The People’s Store are great places to find a hidden treasure to commemorate your vacation. For the creative minds, swing by the Highlands Art Gallery. Check out the James Wilson Marshall House and the Howell Living History Farm to learn a little bit about Lambertville’s rich history.

7. New Hope, Pennsylvania

New Hope, PA grandfather clock in town square

Cross the river, and just a short walk away from Lambertville, you’ll find the charming Pennsylvania town known as New Hope. If you want to be historic about it, you can venture just 15 minutes south and visit the Washington Crossing Park to cross the Delaware in the exact place President (then General) George Washington crossed during the War of Independence in 1776.

Once you get to New Hope, continue your historical quest by visiting the Aaron Burr House. Then, climb aboard the steam-powered train on the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad. Take a guided walk through the Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, where you’ll have the chance to see tons of different varieties of flowers. Stay at Porches on the Towpath Bed & Breakfast for a quiet and comfortable retreat.

8. Oakland, Maryland

Golfer in Oakland, MD

If you’re itching to experience the great outdoors this Memorial Day weekend, Oakland, MD is the perfect place to do it. Swallows Falls State Park has some of the most fantastic views of the state, including the 53 foot Muddy Creek waterfall.

For history buffs, the Garrett County Museum of Transportation is an essential stop. The Lodestone Golf Course at the Wisp Resort is a great way to unwind during your travels. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Memorial Day parade, taking place in downtown Oakland on Monday, May 30th. It’s sure to be a fun time!

9. Southbury, Connecticut

Southbury, CT horseback riders on public trail

The Larkin State Bridle Trail is a popular, 10 mile trail perfect for horseback riders. Hikers, bikers, and cross country skiers are also welcome to use the trail. The 150 acre Waldo State Park is another fantastic spot to commune with nature.

The Quassy Amusement Park is only ten minutes away in neighboring town Middlebury, making it the perfect stop for thrill seekers. If shopping is more your speed, check out the Southbury Plaza, a huge shopping destination with a great mix of local businesses and national chain stores. The Heritage Hotel will make you feel right at home during your stay in Southbury.

Are you traveling to any of the above destinations this Memorial Day weekend? Have you planned a vacation somewhere else? Tell us about your plans in the comments below!

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