5 Holiday Weekend Vacation Ideas

While a two-week holiday would be nice, the reality is that most of us don’t have that many vacation days to spare. But never fear! Turns out that a four- to five-day getaway can provide just as much rest and relaxation, and planning it around a long holiday weekend (like Memorial Day) means that you’ll only need to use one to two vacation days at most.   

Here are five destinations that are perfect for extended holiday weekend fun.

Austin, Texas

Austin “rocks,” and it’s not just because there are so many different things to do. Texas’ capital is known worldwide for its hopping live-music scene rooted in blues, country and, of course, rock music. The city’s food scene is also not to be missed: we recommend noshing on some breakfast tacos at “Juan in a Million.” Once you’re done, head to one of Austin’s many parks and lakes (we recommend Barton Springs) for some outdoor activities like kayaking and stand up paddleboarding.

Street art Checking out the street art in Austin, Texas.

Chicago, Illinois

If you’re craving city vibes, cosmopolitan Chicago won’t disappoint. Its sprawling skyline and busy urban center are great for both picture taking and people watching; the Skydeck Chicago (located in the Willis Tower) also offers a dizzying bird’s-eye view of the city. Not a fan of heights? Whatever you do, make sure to include a stop at one of the city’s world-class museums. The Art Institute of Chicago, for example, houses the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art outside the Louvre in Paris, France.

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, America’s fifth largest city, is in the heart of the stunning Sonora Desert and has no shortage of breathtaking landscapes. While the spas and resorts infused with Amerindian culture are not to be missed, the outdoor scenery is where Phoenix and its surrounding areas really shine: other natural wonders like Sedona and the Grand Canyon are short drives away and are definitely worth a visit.

Orlando, Florida

Home to more than a dozen theme parks, Orlando is a perfect long weekend getaway for families looking for a bit of adventure. But if you need a break from the theme park crowds, jet over to neighboring Kissimmee for adventures like ziplining, hot air ballooning or a boat ride through the Everglades.

New York City

It goes without saying that The Big Apple is ripe for extended long weekend exploration: the architecture, arts scene (hello Broadway!) and edgy neighborhoods like Williamsburg make it a top tourist destination in the U.S. and the world! However, there is much to be seen and experienced outside of the city limits: the Hudson Valley region of New York State boasts magnificent scenery and unique attractions like the Walkway over Hudson, the world’s longest pedestrian bridge.

View of New York City Taking in NYC’s killer views.

So put that extended holiday weekend to good use by hitting the road and exploring these five destinations.  After all, while your vacation may be short, there’s no reason it can’t be sweet!

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About the Author

Oneika Raymond

Oneika is the voice behind "Oneika the Traveller", an award-winning travel blog dedicated to inspiring, encouraging, and empowering women and people of color to see the world. A thrill-seeker who's always in the midst of planning her next trip, Oneika has bungee jumped over the Zambezi River, fished for piranhas in the Amazon, and climbed active volcanoes in Guatemala and Ecuador.