Memorial Day Magic: 10 Memorable (and Affordable) Last Minute Escapes
4 min

POV: Memorial Day is approaching fast, and haven't made any vacation plans yet! Well, fear not, fellow procrastinators—we’ve compiled a list of 10 fantastic last-minute Memorial Day vacation destinations that are perfect for solo travelers, groups, couples, and families. From stunning coastlines to picturesque mountain towns, there’s something for everyone on this list. Plus, with Whimstay, you can find the best deals on last-minute vacation rentals, making these destinations even more affordable.

Carlsbad, California

Located just north of San Diego, Carlsbad is a beautiful coastal city that boasts beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, and world-renowned attractions. Take a last minute trip to this laid-back city and dip in the ocean or enjoy a leisurely walk on the sand. Tamarack Beach, South Carlsbad State Beach, and Terramar Beach are all great options. Visit LEGOLAND California, the Museum of Making Music, and the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, where you can see over 50 acres of colorful, blooming flowers. Take a stroll through Carlsbad Village and enjoy local shops and restaurants. Or hike along Batiquitos Lagoon and learn about local flora and fauna while enjoying stunning coastal vistas. Make sure to dine at Norte Mexican Food for their amazing fish tacos, or hit up Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar for fresh sushi and sashimi.

Stay here: Seaside Oasis is just minutes from the beach, fully modern, and complete with a stunning pool and spa! Paradise at your doorstep never looked so good! Come spend a last minute weekend escape or summer getaway in our completely renovated and gorgeous beach retreat!

Sundown at Ocean Beach a great last minute vacation destination

Sundown at Ocean Beach

Ocean City, Maryland

Ocean City is a popular beach destination that comes alive in the summer months. With over 10 miles of pristine sandy beaches, amusement parks, and water sports, there’s never a dull moment in this town. Take a walk on the famous Ocean City Boardwalk with carnival rides, attractions, and plenty of food stands. Be sure to stop by the Candy Kitchen for some delicious treats. Then head to Thrasher’s French Fries, a local favorite since 1929. Travelers with great sea legs will love guided boat tours of Ocean City’s scenic bay and learn about the town’s history and ecology. You can also go fishing or crabbing on one of the many charter boats available. For more nature enjoyment, visit Assateague Island, a protected area home to wild ponies, deer, and a variety of bird species. You can take a nature hike, go kayaking, or simply relax on the beach.

Stay here: Lounge in the spacious living room of Beachwalk II 12, which opens to one of the three oceanfront decks with direct access to the beach. This perfectly appointed four bedroom 2.5 baths home comes with dedicated parking and the world-famous boardwalk is only a short walk away!


Nashville, Tennessee

Music lovers will find their happy place in Nashville, known as the “Music City.” Nashville travelers will enjoy noshing on hot chicken and reveling in the city’s unique southern charm. Take a tour of the Grand Ole Opry, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and enjoy the lively nightlife on Broadway. Nashville is also surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, with plenty of hiking trails ranging from easy to challenging. Want to enjoy natural beauty off-trail? Visit Cheekwood Estate and Gardens. This historic estate features beautiful gardens and art exhibits. Here, you can see the blooming flowers and enjoy outdoor events like concerts and art shows. Then end your day at Husk Nashville for some southern-inspired cuisine. And don’t forget to hit up Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, a local favorite, serving spicy chicken with all the fixings.

Stay here: Drift off for a peaceful night’s sleep in the dramatic damask and mirrored bedroom at this elegant Nashville condo, an awesome last minute vacation rental in the heart of the city. Kick back on the pure cream Chesterfield, then head to the shared rooftop terrace and admire the glittering downtown skyline.

Ruidoso is a great last minute destination in New Mexico

Dreamy views from the deck at Living the Dream

Ruidoso, New Mexico:

Nestled in the Sierra Blanca mountain range, Ruidoso is a picturesque mountain town perfect for nature lovers. The town is surrounded by beautiful mountains, lakes, and streams, making it a prime destination for outdoor adventure. Visit Lincoln National Forest, which has miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Or opt for a drive down Highway 48, also known as the Billy the Kid Scenic Byway, to explore the area’s history. Families will love a day spent at Ski Apache, which offers year-round outdoor activities, including zip-lining, mountain biking, and scenic gondola rides. Fancy a soak? Ruidoso is home to several natural hot springs, including the Jemez Hot Springs and Riverbend Hot Springs. Don’t forget to start your day at Cafe Rio for their famous breakfast burritos. Then visit the Adobe Café for authentic New Mexican cuisine and après-adventure drinks.

Stay here: At Living the Dream you don’t have to go far to see the natural beauty that Ruidoso is known for; you simply have to look out the window. This three-bedroom home provides panoramic views from the spacious deck and private hot tub.


Breckenridge, Colorado:

Breckenridge is a charming mountain town famous for its rich mining history. In warmer months, the region is popular with lovers of water sports, fishing, mountain biking, and hiking. May also marks the opening of whitewater rafting season! Book an adventurous rafting trip — great for all ages — and don’t forget to take home a professionally-snapped action shot as a souvenir. Not a big fan of mountain or water sports? Enjoy a stroll down Main Street and appreciate the Victorian architecture and the town’s unique boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. Don’t miss the chance to try Breckenridge’s famous Colorado-style pizza or its famous crepes. And if you’re feeling fancy, dine at Blue River Bistro for some delicious upscale cuisine.

Stay here: Lone Star Lodge is one of the newest luxury townhomes in Breckenridge! This beautifully appointed multi-level townhome features high-end finishes, three bedrooms each with an adjoining bathroom—the perfect last minute vacation rental for groups in a perfect location.

Lake travis is a great last minute vacation destination

Views of Lake Travis from above

Lake Travis, Texas:

Lake Travis is a popular boating, fishing, and water sports destination. Take a dip in the refreshing waters of Lake Travis or rent a boat and explore the lake. Check out the Lake Travis Zipline Adventures for a thrilling experience. Wine lovers will delight in visiting the many wineries around the lake. While hikers will get their fill of trail time along the Mount Lakeway Trail or the Pace Bend Park Trail. The area is also home to some of the best golf courses in Texas. Play a round of golf at Falconhead Golf Club, Lakeway Golf Club, or Avery Ranch Golf Club. To get a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding hill country, hop on a helicopter tour. This is a unique and thrilling way to see the area’s natural beauty from above. Don’t forget to dine at The Oasis on Lake Travis for delicious food and stunning sunset views.

Stay here: This stunning lake home has it all. With a chef’s kitchen, spacious common areas, comfy bedrooms, and two balconies with views, your much-deserved lake vacation is certain to create lifelong memories.


Branson, Missouri

Branson is a family-friendly destination known for its live music shows and theme parks. Visitors can visit Silver Dollar City, a theme park that boasts thrilling rides and live entertainment. Or take a train ride with the Branson Scenic Railway. For those who love the water, renting a boat or jet ski and exploring the crystal-clear waters of Table Rock Lake or Lake Taneycomo is a must. Then take a trip to the Titanic Museum provides interactive exhibits and artifacts. This offers a unique opportunity to experience what it was like to be on the Titanic. Hiking, biking, or ziplining through the Ozark Mountains is also a great way to enjoy the scenery. For those who want a little adventure, the Branson Ferris Wheel offers stunning views of the city and surrounding areas, especially during sunset. Finally, visitors should dine at Danna’s Barbecue and Burger Shop for mouth-watering BBQ.

Stay here: This three-bedroom Lake Condo at the Majestic at Table Rock offers a stunning view of the lake. Enjoy the lake view from both the comfortable all-season sunroom and the private, covered balcony at this awesome last minute vacation rental, perfect for groups and families.

a last minute vacation to islamorda is perfect for memorial day weekend

The hammock awaits at Islamorada

Islamorada, Florida

Islamorada is a picturesque island in the Florida Keys, perfect for a relaxing beach vacation. Here visitors can enjoy various activities, including snorkeling and scuba diving, where you can see tropical fish, coral reefs, and even shipwrecks. Another must-see attraction is the Theater of the Sea, a marine mammal park that allows swimming with dolphins, sea lions, and stingrays. History buffs can visit the History of Diving Museum, which features exhibits on diving equipment and techniques. Fishing enthusiasts can charter a boat and try to catch marlin, sailfish, or tuna, in the “Sportfishing Capital of the World.” Sea lovers can also take a sunset cruise and enjoy the breathtaking views. For the best seafood, visitors should head to Days Restaurant, a local favorite that offers fresh seafood dishes and a relaxing atmosphere. Or visit Islamorada Fish Company for fish tacos and Key Lime Pie.

Stay here: Enjoy incredible beach and ocean views from this relaxing beachfront retreat. This home features a beautiful backyard that leads directly to the ocean (with a hammock hung and waiting), a private boat dock, and a screened-in back patio. With plenty of space to stretch out, this gorgeous last minute beach house is readymade for your next Florida Keys getaway.


Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks is a stunning coastal destination perfect for a beach vacation. Visitors can stroll on the wide sandy beaches and explore historic lighthouses like the Bodie Island Lighthouse and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. For something more adventurous, try hang gliding at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Or go kiteboarding in the Pamlico Sound. History buffs will enjoy the Wright Brothers National Memorial to learn about the first powered flight. While nature lovers can take a wild horse tour to see the wild mustangs. The North Carolina Aquarium at Roanoke Island is another must-visit destination, where visitors can see a wide range of marine life up close. For a leisurely day, visitors should take a scenic drive down Highway 12. Then feast on fish tacos or the crab cake sandwich from Blue Moon Grill, and don’t forget to try out the famous Duck Donuts.

Stay here: Come let your cares blow away at Passing Winds. Relax in the swing on the upper-level screened porch and watch the sun melt into the sound. This home is fully loaded and decorated with a comfortable and personal touch making it the ideal last minute retreat.

Broken Bow is the perfect last minute destination

Morracan Nights in Broken Bow welcomes you

Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Broken Bow is a charming town located in the foothills of the Kiamichi Mountains. Visitors can explore Beavers Bend State Park, a beautiful park that offers a range of activities such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, and horseback riding. If you’re a spirits enthusiast, make sure to visit the Hochatown Distilling Company for a tour and tasting. For adventure-seekers, Rugaru Adventures offers a thrilling zip-line course through the treetops. Take a scenic drive along the Talimena Scenic Byway or visit Broken Bow Lake for water activities like boating, fishing, or kayaking. If you love craft beer, don’t miss the Mountain Fork Brewery’s tours and tastings. History enthusiasts will enjoy the Forest Heritage Center Museum’s interactive wildlife and environment exhibits. Lastly, for a unique way to experience the natural beauty of Broken Bow, the A to Z Guest Ranch offers horseback riding tours through the beautiful countryside.

Stay here: With its modern design and thoughtful décor Moroccan Nights greets you with an inviting open-air front deck. After entering, it then welcomes you into its perfectly curated living spaces, complete with a glass fireplace, and luxurious amenities. There’s even a deep soaking tub with views of the surrounding forest. This stylish hideaway is stellar for a last minute lake vacation.

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