The holiday exists to honor our fallen heroes of battle, to recognize those who died in wars defending this country and its values.
And Americans can think of no better way of doing that than doing things that are so ver American, things those fallen heroes fought to preserve, like having barbeques, going to the ballpark, visiting the beaches and lakes of this great land, finding festivals and even attending a world-famous auto race.
It is Memorial Day, a three-day weekend May 27-29. PubClub.com has put together this look at the Best Places to Spend Memorial Day in the USA. And this being PubClub.com, there’s an an emphasis on the Best Party Places for Memorial Day.
– #1, Indy 500 –
The Indy 500 is America’s Great Race and not just because it features high-powered machines racing around a huge oval track, a signature of American motorsports. It’s because of the massive interest in the event, the corporate sponsorship and the packed grandstands.
This year it’s the 106th running of the Indy 500 and is on Sunday, May 28.
There are thousands upon thousands of returning fans crowding into the infield and seats.
So where’s the best place to watch the action at Indy? Some prefer the grandstands, if for no other reason they can actually watch the race. The infield has gone hip – it’s got electronic music DJs playing throughout the day.
If you want to party and don’t care about the race, this is the place to do it; the infield is even called The Snakepit. And kegs of beer are allowed inside the infield!
On race day, in order to maximize this grand event, it is very important to arrive early. The speedway is located just outside of Indianapolis and access to it is very limited. The wait to get into the venue is large, and only increases with time. The gates open at 7 a.m., and the race starts at 12:20 p.m.
– #2, The Lakes of the USA –
Temperatures are rising, the coolers have been cleaned, people don’t have to go to work on Monday and the water is within reach.
One of the top places is Lake Travis outside of Austin, Texas. That is for single people who like to party, anyway, for hundreds of boats gather and tie up in rows at a place called Devil’s Cove. All manner of boats are here: little runabouts, pontoon boats with kegs and music, even a couple of high-priced yachts.
When the day ends the party doesn’t, for those boats head to Carlos ‘n Charlie’s, a large bar on the water.
Out West, a similar scene takes place at Lake Havasu, Ariz.
The scene is similar at Lake Havasu in Arizona.
– #3 The Beaches –
From sea to shining sea, Americas also like to spend holiday weekends at the beach. The Maryland Coast, all over Florida, Southern California and Hawaii are all hot spots for tanning, swimming, surfing, volleyball, and enjoying cool adult beverages in red plastic cups.
And what’s not to like? The combination of sand and surf, bikinis and hot bodies, plus beach bars with babes and boys is as irresistible as a cold Budweiser being iced down in a cooler.
If this looks like fun it is, for it’s a popular hangout in Newport, R.I.
So which beaches are best? That all depends on one’s taste and, perhaps, either location or willingness to travel. On the East Coast, Ocean City, Md., is packed with people and events such as free concerts. One of the most fun places on the upper East Coast is Newport, R.I.
In Florida, there’s Clearwater, Ft. Lauderdale, South Beach, the beautiful white-sand beaches of Destin and, of course, the Conch Republic (Key West).
In California, the places for young and single people include Pacific Beach in San Diego, Newport and Huntington Beach in Orange County, and the LA Beach Cities of Hermosa and Manhattan. Santa Monica, of course, is a popular spot for tourists and residents alike.
Hawaii is always a desirable destination, especially Duke’s on Sunday. In Hawaii, the unquestioned hotspot is Waikiki Beach. But there are other beaches on Oahu and hundreds of private, romantic and family-friendly places in Maui and the Big Island.
– #4 The Baseball Ballparks –
Baseball and three-day holidays go together like peanuts and Cracker Jacks. For some, there’s no better way to say “Memorial Day in America” that spending it at the ‘ol ballpark, be it fathers with sons or buddies having beers together.
– #5 The Festivals –
Yet for those who like to mix live music in with their munchies. Louisiana is the place to be for this holiday. There is not one, but two, events taking place in the state. And anyone who’s been to Louisiana full well knows its residents love their food, their music and letting the good times roll.
One of the places where these two things come together may seem to many to be one of the unlikeliest of places, Shreveport. Known more as home of the Independence Bowl (once called the Poulon Weedeater Bowl), it is actually a core location of music, home to the Louisiana Hayride, which has launched many a country music star on their way to making it big at the Grand ‘Ol Opry in Nashville.
Yes, these folks know their music!
Their event is called, in a spice of Cajun creativity, the Mudbug Madness Festival. It’s one of Louisiana’s largest Cajun festivals featuring food, drink and Cajun, zydeco, blues and jazz bands on two stages.
In fact, the three days of Memorial Day Weekend is not long enough for these folks, so the event begins on Thursday. It’s free before 5 p.m. (and just $5 afterward) and goes from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. One of its music areas is even called the Swamp Stage. Mudbugs, by the way, are crawfish or crayfish and, as the name implies, are a huge part of this festival (as well as any Cajun’s diet).
In the Los Angeles area, get in touch with your inner hippie self at Topanga Days in Topanga Canyon. Normally a refuge for 60s and 70s hippies, this annual event is going hip this year.
People crowd into the Fiesta Hermosa beer garden for laughs and music. Combining the beach with bands, Hermosa Beach hosts Fiesta Hermosa with food, craft kiosks, two stages of bands and a very popular beer garden. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
– #6 Las Vegas –
Sin City really lives up to its nickname on this weekend. It starts with the so called “daylife” at the pool parties – which is quite a scene – and then moves onto the various pubs and clubs. For a complete rundown of where go to out in Vegas, go to PubClub’s Las Vegas guide.