Memorial Day Weekend Getaways for Outdoorsy Folk

Josh SchukmanApril 2, 2024

Memorial Day Weekend Getaways for Outdoorsy Folk

Memorial Day Weekend getaways help you make the leap into full-on summer mode. And boy are we ready for a getaway. 

It might just be us — but this winter has seemed a bit greyer, colder, and icier than the norm, so we’re more eager than ever to return to our Outdoorsy adventuring.  

We figure you probably feel the same way, so we put together this list of Memorial Day weekend getaways for Outdoorsy folk.

The spots we picked are fun places in and of themselves that also lead into nature-venturing and RV galavanting. 

Let’s dive in.

RVs For Rent Near You

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Our Favorite Memorial Day Weekend Getaways

We selected places that are easily accessible from populated parts of the U.S. This way, you can snag an RV or campervan, enjoy the spaces along the way, and still have plenty of time to vacate when you arrive. 

Bonfire at night

Joshua Tree National Park (~2 hours from Los Angeles)

We won’t sugarcoat it — Memorial Day Weekend will be busy at the park, but dang the weather will be nice and the place is just so peaceful that we felt we had to mention it here. 

There’s plenty of public land to camp on that’s just outside J. Tree so you can take a campervan and peel into the park to enjoy its spectacular hikes, world-class rocking, and iconic trees.

The town of Joshua Tree is a fun spot too with a handful of cool cafes and restaurants. While there, snag a slice at Sky High Pie — one of the best bits of ‘Za this author has ever munched on. 

RVs for rent near Joshua Tree National Park

San Diego

If you find yourself in the Southwest, San Diego is a swell Memorial Day weekend getaway because of its beautiful weather, abundant beaches, and nearby outdoorsy activities.

The town’s naval and military legacy guarantees that you can honor the meaning of the day by visiting sites like the USS Midway Museum or The San Diego Veterans Museum.

Check out these RVs for rent near San Diego

Northern Arizona (~2 hours from Phoenix)

Red Rocks of Sedona, AZ

This easy Memorial Day Weekend getaway is just a few hour’s drive from Phoenix and offers cooler weather, fun towns like Cottonwood, and hiking/biking meccas like Flagstaff.

One of our favorite circuits of the area involves camping (or glamping) at a place like Thousand Trails Verde Valley, rolling up the mountain to check out the quirky town of Jerome, and then circling through Sedona on our way into the Coconino National Forest.

Weekend getaway RVs for rent near Phoenix 

Yosemite National Park (~3 hours from San Francisco or Sacramento)

May is shoulder season for Yosemite, meaning you can enjoy this spot with stupendous weather and fewer crowds than usual. 

On top of that, Yosemite is set for a superbloom of flowers this year because of all the snow and rain they received. 

Imagine hiking one of Yosemite’s iconic hikes and then bursting into a meadow that’s blooming as far as the eye can see — that’s what we’re expecting. 

And Outdoorsy even has its very own RV and glamping resort near Yosemite. Situated on Bass Lake, Outdoorsy Yosemite offers spacious RV sites, luxury camping options, and lake fun — all just a stone’s throw from the park.  

RVs for rent near Yosemite

The Oregon Coast 

The 101 in California rolls right up into Oregon for quaint coastal towns and beachside camping. 

Our top tip for a Memorial Day getaway to this zone is to snag an RV in a place like Portland and then roll up along the coast to see what the road puts in front of you. 

Check out these RVs for rent near Portland

Vancouver, BC (~3 hours from Seattle)

The city of Vancouver is an outdoorsy dream. It regularly makes lists of the best cities in the world, in part because of its abundance of natural activities. In a day, you can bike along secluded urban bike trails that lead into forests and then up to mountains.

Once you’ve had your fill of urban life, you could check out Vancouver Island. This area has something for everyone: quaint seaside towns, wilderness, mountains, hiking/biking trails, and much more.

The Gulf Islands National Park Reserve is a kayakers paradise where you can also see killer whales. Then there’s hiking and mountain climbing at Strathcona Park, a state park dotted with alpine lakes and plenty of wilderness. 

Cumberland, BC is one small town on the island that features a fun fact — mountain bikes are the primary mode of transit around town. That’s because there’s so much mountain biking to be had in the area that folks usually just roll into town on two wheels after a day out on the hills.

Banff, Alberta — Canada (~6 hours from Spokane, WA)

Jenny Lake in The Tetons

If you’ve always wanted to see the Canadian Rockies, Memorial Day Weekend is the time to do it.

Banff is in shoulder season in May, meaning you’ll benefit from lower crowds and spectacular weather as you take the many trails, alpine lakes, and fun towns around this area.  

Check out Banff National Park while you’re there — Canada’s oldest and most visited national park. 

RVs for rent near Banff

Yellowstone and The Tetons (~5 hours from Salt Lake City)

You’re on to something if you’ve noticed a shoulder season theme in this post. We think carefully timed shoulder season vacations can be some of the best trips imaginable. 

That’s because timing it right can result in fewer crowds and favorable weather at iconic sites like Yellowstone and The Tetons. 

That doesn’t mean you won’t still find some trails and byways with mud or snow left on them — but a Memorial Weekend Getaway to a place like Grand Teton National Park is the kind of off-the-beaten-path adventure we like. 

At these sibling parks, you can hit bike trails that straddle the mountains, paddle in Jenny Lake, help Yellowstone celebrate its 151st birthday, and so much more. 

The San Juan National Forest near Durango, CO (~6 hours from Denver)

Southwestern Colorado is a fun Memorial Day Weekend getaway because it packs so much punch into an easily accessible zone. 

Mesa Verde National Park is one of our most scenic national parks and also celebrates the history of indigenous communities. 

The San Juan Mountains offer unparalleled hiking, ATVing, mountain biking, and alpine towns like Silverton

And then there’s Durango, the hub for the whole area where you can get outfitted with all the gear and grub you need. 

Outdoorsy Durango is a 36-acre RV park featuring spacious RV sites, luxury glamping, and private fishing. Click here to reserve it as your base camp. 

RVs for rent near Durango 

Austin, TX

Austin, TX mural

Not only is Austin a good starting point for weekend getaways to places like Galveston Island, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi, but it’s also a top Memorial Day Weekend spot in its own right. 

From the Hot Luck Food and Music Fest to the start of boat season on Lake Travis to a large triathlon that rolls through the city — there’s nonstop Memorial Day action in this town. 

And there are hikes and nature trails galore in Austin so you can enjoy some outdoorsy time without heading too far. 

RVs for rent near Austin 

Nashville, TN

The home of honky-tonk also has plenty of fun Memorial Day weekend getaways for outdoorsy types. Start your country-fied vacation by hitting up the food and music-centric events happening all over town.  

Then, jet into the wilderness by bringing that campervan to places like Falls Creek Falls State Park, hitting nature near Chattanooga, or heading a few hours west to camp at one of our nation’s finest parks — Great Smoky Mountains NP.

Nature-ready RVs for rent near Nashville

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island is a beautiful and historic island that sits in Lake Huron right off Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Mackinac Island is car-free, so you’ll want to park your RV at an Upper Peninsula campground and take the Mackinac Island Ferry to get there.

Once on the island, you can travel by bike, foot, or horse-drawn carriage. The Island has a rich history spanning back to the founding of Fort Mackinac in the 18th century. Spend Memorial Day weekend at Mackinac by taking in one of several military reenactments, munching on some of their famous fudge, and soaking in the natural beauty of one of the best continental islands in the U.S. 

Rent an RV in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Québec City, Quebec (~6 hours from Boston)

While Memorial Day is a uniquely U.S. holiday, that doesn’t mean you can’t take a Memorial Day weekend getaway to our neighbors up north.

Québec — and Québec City in particular — is a spot that’s loaded with natural excursions. The area is rich in the history of indigenous traditions and the first French explorers who landed there

The province of Québec also features more than 10 national parks where you can choose from glacier exploring, fjord hopping, and much more.   

RVs for rent in Québec

Miami, Florida

We love Miami, but to be honest, we were surprised to see it pop up on virtually every Memorial Day itinerary we researched for this article. 

Apparently, Miami is abuzz with Memorial Day happenings like the Miami Beach Air and Sea Show, Music Explosion, and Fireworks Extravaganza.

Those aren’t separate events. That’s one event combining all that stuff in one big shebang. 

That alone is enough reason for us to call Miami a worthy Memorial Day weekend getaway. 

Once you’ve had your fill of city life, Florida lives up to its title as one of our RVing capitals, with places like Everglades National Park and a slew of splendid state parks that are RV-friendly. 

RVs for rent near Miami

Memorial Day weekend getaways are upon us. And with the winter we’ve had, they can’t come soon enough. If Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, then camping is the official way to feel like you’ve made it to warmer days.

Check out a camper for rent near you and get to planning one of these getaways today.  

RVs For Rent Near You

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Josh and his wife traveled around the country in an '88 Airstream for 4+ years of full-time RVing. They made an unexpected pitstop in Montana in 2020 and haven't left since. That's because they got hooked on the glamping resort they run by Glacier National Park. Fittingly, they keep up their RVing love by renting out vintage Airstreams and other retro RVs to travelers hitting Montana.

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