Memorial Day weekend (May 24 through 27 this year) is often considered the unofficial kick-off to summer, which means it’s time to grab your sunglasses and swimwear (and your appetite) and celebrate the pleasant days ahead with a warm-weather getaway.
Here are seven top spots to visit as we transition from spring into summer.
This historic celebrity favorite is a prime place for a Hollywood holiday getaway. Nicely situated on Sunset Boulevard for a long weekend of classic California pursuits, the property is but a short drive to Runyon Canyon’s hiking trails, TCL Chinese Theater, Rodeo Drive shopping and, of course, the Sunset Strip’s legendary nightlife.
The hotel itself is a warm, subtly glamorous place with lots of character. Snag a reservation at fabled The Tower Bar restaurant, where you can discreetly watch for famous faces, or just lounge on the intimate pool deck while checking out views of downtown Los Angeles.
Stay like a VIP with the Weekend Perks package. You’ll receive a gratis room upgrade, continental breakfast for two and a $50 credit for alfresco lunch at The Terrace.
Memorial Day weather can be iffy on the coasts, but you can almost guarantee lots of sun and heat in Texas come the holiday weekend. Check into this newly renovated Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Austin stay to take advantage of the climate with outdoor activities ranging from lawn games and lazing on a hammock to lingering over cocktails on Live Oak’s tree-top terrace and splashing in the saltwater pool.
Make the most of your waterfront retreat (Lady Bird Lake is practically on your doorstep) with the Suite Special offer. Book one of the property’s 33 recently refreshed suites and receive 15 percent off your stay and a $100 food and beverage credit — spend it on alfresco tacos and summery sips at Latin-inspired Ciclo.
But the best perk might just be the downtown hotel’s location. All that quirky-cool Austin has to offer is within your reach, especially the Congress Avenue Bridge, where thousands of bats come out at night to find a meal and delight onlookers.
The Dominican Republic provides plenty of beachy escapes, but for a more urban retreat in late May, check out this sky-high hotel in the heart of the island nation’s capital city.
Spend your days shopping for high-end wares at the sleek Blue Mall (just below the 150-room property) or opt for a day trip to Zona Colonial, the oldest European settlement in the Americas (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) teeming with cobblestone streets, cathedrals and colorful colonial buildings.
Back at the hotel, bask in the Dominican sun at the outdoor infinity pool or with mojitos at Vertygo 101 Lounge & Bar, the rooftop terrace where you can gaze at the city below through glass floors.
Spend your days savoring in the warming weather by walking the private hiking trails, playing tennis, swimming in the outdoor heated pool and trying croquet on the greener-than-green lawns.
If your idea of serenity doesn’t include a trek through the trees, opt instead for an afternoon at the property’s Four-Star spa, where you can soak up the sun from the comfort of the relaxation room’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
Looking for a lavish Las Vegas hotel without the bustle of a casino? This non-gaming retreat delivers all the opulence of Sin City (Strip-side location included) with the bonus of stellar Waldorf Astoria service.
Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to try out the property’s eighth-floor pool deck. Book a cabana by the palm-tree-lined pool for an extra-luxe experience, complete with a gratis minibar, a 48-inch TV and bottle service.
Linger after sundown on the holiday to take in the fireworks over nearby Lake Las Vegas, before making your way to Five-Star Twist by Pierre Gagnaire for a celebratory French feast with Vegas flair.
This Waikiki hotel is a hot spot for its modern spin on the classic Hawaiian hideaway. Sitting across from a marina, the posh property is within walking distance of Waikiki Beach, making for a serene retreat complete with postcard-worthy ocean vistas.
Over Memorial Day weekend, go paddleboarding or surfing, or try more low-key activities like morning yoga by the pool or listening to live music in The Study bar.
Watch it all from the comfort of a white-washed suite — the neutral tones and wood accents ensure that those gorgeous vistas take center stage.
One of the best ways to honor our country’s veterans is to head to the capital to see the awe-inspiring memorials and to experience the city’s celebrations — D.C. plays host to the country’s largest Memorial Day parade, which marches down Constitution Avenue.
To enjoy a newly refreshed retreat for the big holiday, check into this Four-Star Georgetown stay, which reopens May 15, just in time for the festivities.
And you won’t have to forfeit summertime indulgences just because you’re in the city, either — the 55-room hotel has a rooftop pool, where you can catch rays and remarkable views of the Potomac River and Washington Monument. The indoor-outdoor pool area also has a bar, popular for happy hour and summer cocktails.