Great last-minute Memorial Day staycation hotspots!

african kings

From the sprawling horizon of Los Angeles, to the bustling beaches of Miami, many travelers plan to take full advantage of the long-anticipated three-day Memorial Day weekend. And this year, you won’t have to go too far or spend too much to make it a blissful and rewarding vacation when you make it a staycation.

According to AAA, 34.8 million Americans are expected to travel during the Memorial Day holiday weekend with 31.2 million planning to drive 50 miles or more to get to their destination. But you may not have to go that far to have a great time. A staycation allows you to enjoy your local festivities as though you are a tourist, without the costs and hassles of travelling.

From coast to coast and from sea to shining sea, we’ve complied your personal guide to some of the most fascinating and easily-accessible Memorial Day celebrations going on all around the country, with some destinations below likely within a stone’s throw of your home. These last-minute Memorial Day staycation options will have you spending more time enjoying your long weekend and less time on the road trying to get there.

Start your summer off right! Get into a staycation state of mind to save money, enjoy historic patriotic celebrations, check out unique jazz and blues festivals, and take in star-studded musical concerts — just a short drive away.

North (Mid-State)

St. Louis, MO: Blues + BBQ = A blissful weekend

– Perfect for Staycation travelers between Chicago and Memphis – 

It’s Bluesweek in St. Louis and there’s nothing like the Bluesweek Festival, a series of free live concerts that will melt your blues away. Right in the heart of Soldiers Memorial, expect stunning performances by some of best blues artist around including the legendary Mavis Staples and St. Louis’s own resident diva Kim Massie. Did I mention it’s FREE? In a matter of time, all that good music may have you wondering who has “The Best Q in the Lou?” If so, then be sure to stick around the venue for the Bunge BBQ Battle Royalewhere home cooks, restaurants, bars and renowned BBQ grill masters put their cooking skills to the taste.

Chicago, IL – A ‘Chi-Town’-style extravaganza

– Perfect for Staycation travelers between St. Louis and Memphis –

Support the troops and be a part of one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the nation. From State Street to Van Buren Street, join the people of Chicago as they honor the men and women of the Armed Forces at the Chicago Memorial Day Parade. Once you’ve basked in all that festive glory, be sure to make your way to The Randolph Street Market Festival. From furnishings to vintage apparels, jewelry and classic collectibles, there’s nothing like this indoor/outdoor urban antique market hosted in the historic West Loop neighborhood.


Atlanta, GA: Jazz festival and fireworks unite

– Perfect for Staycation travelers between New Orleans and Charlotte –

If jazz music just warms your soul, you need to make your way to Atlanta this Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy an incredible lineup of electrifying artists performing at the Atlanta Jazz Festival. And it’s FREE! Previous artists included Miles Davis and Nina Simone. This year, the festival is sure to ‘wow’ jazz lovers of every generation with performances by the fearsome bassist and prolific songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello and the critically acclaimed Cuban pianist and award-winning composer Aruán Ortiz. After you have satiated your appetite for great music, don’t miss the a state-of-the-art laser light show that sparkles in the sky at the Salute to the Troops Lasershow Spectacular at Stone Mountain Park. It’s perfect for the entire family.

Miami, FL: A Memorial Day concert that sizzles

– Perfect for Staycation travelers between Key West and Charlotte – 

If by chance you just love reggae music — and that’s love with a capital “L” — then the Best of the Best Concert is where you want to be this Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy a 10-hour long music extravaganza right in the heart of downtown Miami’s Bicentennial Park. Expect exhilarating performances by the legendary Beres Hammond and the Grammy Award-winning King of Dancehall, Beenie Man. Once the music starts to fizzle out, be sure to make your way to the Memorial Day Ceremony in Triangle Park to witness the spectacular Presentation of Colors parade.