Pack the car, call your besties, and hit the road.
For some of us, Memorial Day marks the start of the summer. The beaches open up for the public, the weather is so much warmer, and it's officially acceptable to break out white pants. Families throw barbecues in their backyards, and friends use the long weekend to do some traveling. You may already have plans, but if you don't, I hope you gather up your crew and pack your bags. It's basically summer, and one of these Memorial Day weekend road trips will be the perfect getaway for you and your BFFs.
You don't even need a passport or to buy any plane tickets to get away. You just need the best travel buddies and a playlist full of '00s throwbacks. Loading up on the best snacks will be necessary, too. With summer comes bonfires on the beach, and endless cheeseburgers on the grill. Don't forget the s'mores supplies when you're packing up the car. You're bound to hit at least one campsite during your road trip and will be craving something sweet.
Truth is, you just really don't want to be bored when Memorial Day comes around. Everybody will be posting pictures of their adventurous weekends, and you want in. Planning one of these 10 Memorial Day road trips with your besties will make for just as much fun as you welcome the start of summer.
There's so much to see along the West Coast (aka, "best coast"). So, it's truly difficult to pick just one place for a Memorial Day weekend road trip with your best girlfriends. Sure, you could cruise and see the best spots along the Pacific Coast Highway, but heading north to a city like Seattle makes for an unforgettable experience as well.
Seattle is not only the home of Starbucks and the Space Needle, it's also the bustling heart of Washington state. You'll want to book a cute Airbnb for a few days just to soak up everything the city surrounded by evergreens has to offer. Wander around the Pike Place Market and buy some fresh flowers to bring summer right into your space post-Memorial Day.
Heading to Washington, D.C. on Memorial Day weekend only makes sense. You and your besties may have taken a class trip here back in middle school, and experienced all of the Smithsonian museums. Your entire class rode on a coach bus and saw the historic sites, like the Lincoln Memorial and where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his iconic speech. Exploring the rest of the city now that you're older is a great idea.
Memorial Day is truly about taking some time to remember the people who fought for our country, and everything that we've been through to get to where we are today. Walking by the Washington Monument sounds educational, but it's actually really rewarding. Not to mention, all of the cherry blossoms that come out in the city in the springtime are Instagram-perfect.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
You and your besties are likely the adventurous ones in your crew if you're planning on taking a road trip for Memorial Day weekend. Therefore, packing your hiking boots and a quality camera for capturing unreal views seems ideal. The Grand Canyon is a must for any girl with a whole lot of wanderlust. You could camp along the North Rim, or take a rafting trip down the Colorado River. I'd say that beats any beach barbecue.
There are so many national parks, and if you're anything like me, you want to one day see them all. You'll head to Alaska and check out the wildlife of Denali National Park, and spend some time scoping out the redwoods just outside of San Francisco. Appreciating the landscapes our country has to offer can absolutely be part of this weekend.
Black Hills, South Dakota
The Midwest might not first come to mind for your Memorial Day weekend plans, but there's actually a lot to see in this area if you decide to hit the road. You and your bestie are looking for somewhere unique to go, and just want to check some adventure off of your bucket list. The Black Hills are full of sights like Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park that are worth seeing at some point during your summer travels. Take the scenic route through the Badlands, or go big and follow the entire Great American Road Trip itinerary. It's bound to be a Memorial Day weekend you'll look back on with your besties for years to come.
If you’re local to Southern California and haven’t been to Catalina Island, Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to go. Think road trip, but with no driving. There’s a ferry that takes passengers across the ocean to the island from the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. There are no cars are on the island, only golf cars, which will be a totally fun time for you and your crew. Swim in the ocean, go on beautiful hikes, and dine at oceanfront restaurants during this three-day weekend.
Lake Tahoe, California
A destination that’s stunning to visit year round, Lake Tahoe offers road trippers a taste of summer. The snow has melted, the sun is shining, and boats are cruising around on the wide-open lake. There are plenty of outdoor activities—think hiking, biking, swimming, and fishing—to get you moving and grooving all weekend long.
Zion National Park, Utah
Another national park worthy of being on this list is Zion. Between the gorgeous red rocks that make you feel like you’re on another planet to the peaceful, tranquil vibes of the park, you’re bound to have the best weekend trip ever. Book a memorable glamping experience, hike Angel’s Landing, and turn your phone to airplane mode to truly enjoy the great outdoors.
Charleston, South Carolina
With cobblestone streets, rich history, and acclaimed restaurants, Charleston is a southern destination that you and your Memorial Day weekend crew will love to explore. From waterfront cottages to exciting excursions, it’ll be a picturesque weekend full of Insta-worthy moments.
Palm Springs, California
If warm weather and tropical vibes are calling your name, head to Palm Springs for the three-day weekend and a fun Memorial Day weekend road trip. Sip on refreshing cocktails under the California sun, go on an early morning bike ride around town, and let those vacay vibes kick in. Whether you want to have a weekend full of activities or you’re looking for all things relaxation, Palm Springs is the place to be.
This article was originally published on