Memorial Day Weekend 2024: Garden of the Gods Rated Among Best Memorial Day Destinations

On Memorial Day, families across the U.S. come together to honor those who have served and sacrificed for their country. Like many other holidays, Memorial Day is often marked by gatherings of multiple generations – kids, parents, and grandparents – celebrating with backyard barbecues or group activities such as visiting national parks.

MaxTour, a Las Vegas-based tour company specializing in small group excursions, recently surveyed 3,000 families, asking them where they would most like to spend Memorial Day with their loved ones if distance were not a factor.

Colorado had two destinations on the list. Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs ranked 32nd. The other destination, Red Rocks (Denver area), ranked 82nd.

Here are the top 10 destinations:

#1 First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Taking the top spot, this park boasts 20 miles of trails and 1.5 miles of sandy Chesapeake Bay beachfront, perfect for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying the scenic beach.

#2 Cape Cod National Seashore, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
A close second, this area offers over 40 miles of beach, marshes, ponds, and uplands to explore. Families will appreciate the gentle hiking trails, educational programs, and well-equipped beaches with restrooms and changing facilities.

#3 St. Simons Island Beaches, St. Simons Island, Georgia
This beautiful spot features expansive beaches and a historic lighthouse, with numerous access points for a perfect family day by the sea.

#4 Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
A profound place of national remembrance, this cemetery is significant for Memorial Day observances, featuring ceremonies and the iconic Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

#5 Clearwater Beach, Clearwater, Florida
In fifth place overall, known for its broad, sandy shores and calm waters, Clearwater Beach offers a relaxed beach day with accessible amenities such as showers, restrooms, and eateries.

#6 Island Beach State Park, Seaside Park, New Jersey
Island Beach State Park provides a less developed beach experience with over 10 miles of sandy beaches surrounded by natural dunes and maritime forests.

#7 San Antonio River Walk, San Antonio, Texas
The River Walk features peaceful stretches ideal for family picnics or walks along the banks of the San Antonio River.

#8 Ocean City Boardwalk, Ocean City, New Jersey
Ocean City Boardwalk, in 8th place, is perfect for strolling, dining, and entertainment by the beach, featuring attractions like arcades and a small amusement park.

#9 Outer Banks Beaches, North Carolina
Known for their wide sandy shores and beauty, these beaches are ideal for beachcombing, kite flying, or simply relaxing by the sea.

#10 Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey
Rounding out the top 10, this park offers stunning views of iconic landmarks and extensive amenities for picnicking, playing, or enjoying a leisurely walk along the waterfront.

Colorado had two of the best Memorial Day destinations:

#32 Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs
Garden of the Gods is a public park known for its stunning geological formations and panoramic views. The park offers a variety of easy walking and hiking trails that are accessible for all ages. The Visitor and Nature Center provides educational exhibits and free guided nature walks, making it a fantastic place to learn about the area’s natural history and wildlife.

#82 Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, Morrison
Just outside Denver, Red Rocks is a unique geological phenomenon and a publicly owned park that is free to explore when there are no concert events. Families can hike the trails (which vary from easy to moderate), visit the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, and enjoy the natural red rock scenery that makes the park famous.

“Memorial Day is a special time for families to come together and honor the brave men and women who have served our country,” says Matthew Meier of MaxTour. “Our survey highlights some of the most cherished destinations where families can create lasting memories while paying tribute to our heroes. Whether it’s enjoying a scenic hike, a day at the beach, or participating in a solemn ceremony, these locations offer something meaningful for everyone.”

Here are the rest of the rankings:

Ranking Location City State
11 Ocean City Boardwalk Ocean City Maryland
12 Acadia National Park Bar Harbor Maine
13 Siesta Key Beach Sarasota Florida
14 Kailua Beach Park Kailua Hawaii
15 Falls Park on the Reedy Greenville South Carolina
16 International Rose Test Garden Portland Oregon
17 Rio Grande Nature Center State Park Albuquerque New Mexico
18 Forest Park St. Louis Missouri
19 Hot Springs State Park Thermopolis Wyoming
20 Longwood Gardens Kennett Square Pennsylvania
21 Chattanooga Riverwalk Chattanooga Tennessee
22 Lincoln Park Chicago Illinois
23 Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail Cuyahoga Valley Ohio
24 Waikiki Beach Honolulu Hawaii
25 Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Little Rock Arkansas
26 Poipu Beach Park Poipu Hawaii
27 Capitol Complex Charleston West Virginia
28 Spokane River Centennial Trail Spokane Washington
29 Fort Snelling National Cemetery Minneapolis Minnesota
30 Jekyll Island Jekyll Island Georgia
31 Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park Incline Village Nevada
32 Garden of the Gods Colorado Springs Colorado
33 Sylvan Lake Custer South Dakota
34 Tempe Town Lake Tempe Arizona
35 Santa Monica Beach and Pier Santa Monica California
36 Belle Isle Park Detroit Michigan
37 City Park New Orleans Louisiana
38 Myrtle Beach State Park Myrtle Beach South Carolina
39 Table Rock Lake State Park Branson Missouri
40 Antelope Island State Park Syracuse Utah
41 Assateague Island National Seashore Berlin Maryland
42 Cape Henlopen State Park Lewes Delaware
43 American Village Montevallo Alabama
44 Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Key Biscayne Florida
45 Lindenwood Park Fargo North Dakota
46 National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Honolulu Hawaii
47 Olbrich Botanical Gardens Madison Wisconsin
48 Gettysburg National Military Park Pennsylvania
49 Indiana Dunes National Park Porter Indiana
50 Roger Williams Park Providence Rhode Island
51 Cannon Beach Cannon Beach Oregon
52 Griffith Park Los Angeles California
53 Sandy Point State Park Annapolis Maryland
54 Theodore Roosevelt National Park Medora North Dakota
55 Maymont Richmond Virginia
56 Tybee Island Savannah Georgia
57 Chalco Hills Recreation Area Omaha Nebraska
58 Letchworth State Park Castile New York
59 Itasca State Park Park Rapids Minnesota
60 Scioto Mile Columbus Ohio
61 Sarah P. Duke Gardens Durham North Carolina
62 Cheney State Park Cheney Kansas
63 Liberty Park Salt Lake City Utah
64 Radnor Lake State Park Nashville Tennessee
65 Sandpoint City Beach Sandpoint Idaho
66 Blackwater Falls State Park Davis West Virginia
67 Discovery Park Seattle Washington
68 Franconia Notch State Park Franconia New Hampshire
69 High Line Manhattan New York
70 Natural Bridge State Resort Park Slade Kentucky
71 Presidio of San Francisco San Francisco California
72 Bde Maka Ska Minneapolis Minnesota
73 Jones Beach State Park Wantagh New York
74 Point Lobos State Natural Reserve Carmel-by-the-Sea California
75 Tony Knowles Coastal Trail Anchorage Alaska
76 USS Midway Museum San Diego California
77 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Washington D.C
78 Birmingham Botanical Gardens Birmingham Alabama
79 Boston Common for the Memorial Day Flag Garden Boston Massachusetts
80 Grand Teton National Park Moose Wyoming
81 Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park Gilbertsville Kentucky
82 Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre Morrison Colorado
83 Mahoney State Park Ashland Nebraska
84 Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Monument Valley Arizona
85 National WWII Museum New Orleans Louisiana
86 Zilker Metropolitan Park Austin Texas
87 Eagle Creek Park Indianapolis Indiana
88 Lake of the Ozarks State Park Kaiser Missouri
89 Myriad Botanical Gardens Oklahoma City Oklahoma
90 Silver Lake State Park Mears Michigan
91 Gulf State Park Gulf Shores Alabama
92 Lake Charles Boardwalk Lake Charles Louisiana
93 Bozeman Pond Park Bozeman Montana
94 Hoover Dam Nevada
95 Pikes Peak State Park McGregor Iowa
96 Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk Rehoboth Beach Delaware
97 Schuylkill River Trail Philadelphia Pennsylvania
98 Silver Falls State Park Sublimity Oregon
99 White Sands National Park Alamogordo New Mexico
100 Buffalo National River Northern Arkansas Arkansas
101 Coopers Rock State Forest Bruceton Mills West Virginia
102 Custer State Park Custer South Dakota
103 Montrose Beach Chicago Illinois
104 Wellington State Park Bristol New Hampshire
105 Coeur d’Alene City Park and Beach Coeur d’Alene Idaho
106 Gulf Islands National Seashore Ocean Springs to Biloxi Mississippi
107 Hampton Beach State Park Hampton New Hampshire
108 Minnehaha Park Minneapolis Minnesota
109 Monroe Lake Bloomington Indiana
110 Redfish Lake Stanley Idaho
111 Burlington Bike Path Burlington Vermont
112 Lake Hefner Oklahoma City Oklahoma
113 Popham Beach State Park Phippsburg Maine
114 Waterfront Park Burlington Vermont
115 Crescent Beach State Park Cape Elizabeth Maine
116 Hocking Hills State Park Logan Ohio
117 Presque Isle State Park Erie Pennsylvania
118 Savin Rock Trail West Haven Connecticut
119 El Dorado State Park El Dorado Kansas
120 Lake Barkley State Resort Park Cadiz Kentucky
121 Silver Sands State Park Milford Connecticut
122 Valley of Fire State Park Overton Nevada
123 Colt State Park Bristol Rhode Island
124 Hank Aaron State Trail Milwaukee Wisconsin
125 Shawnee Mission Park Shawnee Kansas

Created by MaxTour • Viewlarger version

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