Are you looking to get away for Memorial Day but haven’t made plans yet? No worries; it’s not too late! According to AAA , there will be a near-record number of people — 36.6 million to be exact— traveling by car this holiday. We rounded-up some of the best last minute road trips that are sure to give you that change of scenery you need. From hopping on Route 66 for a foodie-filled adventure to a drive that’ll take you to the best beaches around, it’s time to hit the road. Happy travels!
1. Orlando, Florida: We love a good road trip, *especially* one that leads to sunny skies and themed rides. Of course, this Floridian spot is most known for its theme parks (including the highly-coveted Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the always popular Disney World ). But perhaps the lesser known gems are the non-themed offerings, like exploring the Everglades by boat, or relaxing on any of the gorgeous beaches (i.e., Cocoa or Clearwater Beach) to the east. Either way you plan it, there’s a little something for every passenger who makes the trek.
2. Portland, Oregon: The extended weekend is your perfect opportunity to explore the Pacific Northwest , starting with this active city. While the views out the window alone make the drive worth it, there are a couple things to keep on your radar once you arrive. For food, fireworks, and fun, the annual Rose Festival is happening over the long weekend. Or, if you’re looking to get out of the city, there are several iconic hikes to enjoy. Just be sure to stop by a bakery for one of Portland’s famed donuts before you leave!
3. Tarrytown, NY: For those in the Big Apple looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this quiet town (bordering Sleepy Hollow, of literary fame) is located just 30 miles away. And we promise, once you’re here, it will feel like a much-needed escape. For history geeks, there’s a number of unusual attractions to take in (ghosts and all), or for those looking to keep it a little more PG, the Stone’s Barn Center farm hosts Warm-Weather Weekends perfect for families.
4. St. Louis, Missouri: Looking for an opportunity to explore the iconic Route 66? If you’re centrally located in the US, we recommend hopping on the route to St. Louis, where you’ll experience authentic foodie joints along the way ( visit Lipton and TripAdvisor for the full scoop). Then, once you make your entrance to “The Gateway to the West,” prepare for a busy weekend ahead. The city is offering a plethora of festivals to please your taste buds, including the locals-favorite Greek Fest . Be sure to come hungry!
5. Santa Barbara, CA: To escape the heavy holiday traffic in nearby LA, jump on the scenic Pacific Coast Highway and drive past postcard views to Santa Barbara. Once there, catch a stroll along Cabrillo Boulevard or enjoy some pier-side dining on Stearns Wharf. When the sun begins to set and you take in some epic coastal views, you’ll feel like you’ve arrived at a true slice of paradise (even if you are only a few hours away from home).
6. Asheville, North Carolina: This colorful town located in the Blue Ridge Mountains has gained notoriety for its unrivaled scenery, unique culture, and prevalent brewery culture (it houses a record-holding 36 breweries). All of these are worth the short trek from Charlotte, or any other city at that. Conveniently enough, the area is pretty much encouraging you to pay a visit over the Memorial Day holiday with its two major festivals, Asheville Beer Week and the Beer City Festival , both of which give you a boozy taste of the city.
7. Saugatuck, Michigan: For Midwesterners looking for a weekend away, this charming spot situation on Lake Kalamazoo is your ticket to some undisturbed R&R. The former lumber town just under a two-and-a-half hour drive from Chicago is now filled with a prevalent art scene. But if you’re looking to swap time inside for some in the sun, grab your girls and a cooler and head to Oval Beach , which is considered the “best sandy strip in the Midwest.” Don’t forget your sunglasses!
Where are you headed for Memorial Day weekend? Share with us on Twitter @BritandCo .
(Photos via Getty)