Memorial Day Weekend Survival Guide: Weather, Travel & Events
Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching, which provides an unofficial kickoff to summer months, a nice three-day weekend to relax, a day to honor our nation’s fallen soldiers, and of course a full week prior of jarringly loud sales advertisements.
We’ve got the breakdown on national weather forecasts, travel expectations and a list of some cool events to check out, depending on where you are in the U.S.
- Unfortunately, most of the East Coast is looking forward to a drenched weekend. Current weather forecasts predict sweeping rain and thunderstorms across most of the coast, thanks to tropical moisture moving north.
- The storms are expected to hit Florida and most of the Southeast coastal region on Friday and Saturday, tapering off as they move farther northeast.
- There is potential for a tropical storm to develop; national weather services plan to track any low-pressure systems over the weekend for signs of a tropical storm or hurricane
- In true summer fashion, most of the Midwest will be dry, sunny, and hot. Very hot.
- Expect baking temperatures in Texas and Arizona come Saturday. Chicago, Minneapolis and a few other northern regions should cool down once the southeastern cold front moves north on Memorial Day.
- Breezy temperatures and mostly clear skies make for a potentially picturesque Memorial Day weekend in the West.
- Northern California and most of Oregon can expect to see light showers on Saturday, according to current forecasts.
Despite climbing gas prices across the country—the average price is expected to jump to $2.93 per gallon this weekend— more than 41.5 million Americans are expected to travel by plane, train, ship and automobile this holiday weekend, according to AAA press release.
The nearly five percent increase in travelers since last year is also the most in almost 12 years. Increased consumer confidence and a growing economy are the catalysts for the increased numbers, Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel and Publishing said in the release
A majority plan to travel by car—36.6 million—and the busiest travel days are expected to be Thursday and Friday afternoon when regular commuters will mix with holiday travelers.
Here are the top travel destinations this weekend, according to AAA advance travel bookings:
- Orlando, Florida
- Seattle, Washington
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Anaheim, California
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Denver, Colorado
- New York, New York
For more information about travel dates and times to avoid, read the full release on the AAA website.
Events to Check Out
A three-day weekend means more time to enjoy fun local events, and there are plenty to check out this year. We’ve listed a few here, but make sure to check local city government, downtown, and event websites to track down even more Memorial Day events and services.
New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (May 23-27)
What better way to celebrate National Wine Day this Friday than by wining and dining during the five-day New Orleans Wine and Food Experience?
Tour the city in style during the Royal Street Stroll, sample the finest and rarest wines and pig out on five-star cuisine at the Friday Evening Grand Tasting.
For more info: https://www.nowfe.com/
Hot Luck: Live Food & Music (Austin, Texas, May 24-27)
Only in its second year, the Hot Luck Festival boasts a wide variety of events and musical acts to choose from, all stacked with renowned chefs from around the country.
The “chef-driven celebration of fire, food, music, and camaraderie” features events that challenge top chefs to cook around a specific theme, ending with a giant backyard picnic on Sunday. Editor’s note: Night Court, focused on giving a classy touch to 1980s mall food, is our personal favorite.
For more information about Hot Luck, click here: https://hotluckfest.com/
Brew at the Zoo (Baltimore, Maryland, May 26-27)
See some cool critters from all corners of the globe while sampling tons of select brews during Brew at the Zoo this weekend in Baltimore.
The event serves as the biggest fundraiser for the Maryland Zoo, and features live music, commemorative glasses for VIP guests, and unlimited beer and wine sampling during the event.
For more information, visit the Maryland Zoo website: http://www.marylandzoo.org/event/bbt-presents-brew-zoo/
National Memorial Day Parade (Washington, D.C., May 28)
Memorial Day isn’t just about having a day off–it’s also the day we can take a moment to pause and remember the members of our military who fell in the line of duty protecting our country.
There aren’t many places who celebrate Memorial Day bigger than in our nation’s capital during the annual Memorial Day Parade. The event is televised, but those attending in person should get to Constitution Avenue before 2 p.m. for the best front row seats.
If you can’t catch the parade, there are tons of other events honoring the armed forces happening in D.C. over the weekend. You can find more here: https://washington.org/visit-dc/things-to-do-memorial-day-weekend-washington-dc
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