Memorial Day Weekend Getaway
Credit: Mary Costa

10 Last-Minute Travel Ideas for a Memorial Day Weekend Getaway

Drive to the Desert or Chill by the Ocean During Your Long Weekend

As Memorial Day weekend approaches, a last-minute getaway becomes even more tempting. Whether you’re looking to escape the daily grind or just need a change of scenery, a quick vacation to kickstart summer could be just what the doctor ordered. Core memories are begging to be made, people. But where to go on such short notice? We’ve conjured up the best vacation destinations in California and beyond to ensure your spontaneous plans are nothing short of spectacular. From luxurious resorts in the desert to boutique hotels on the coast, these travel destinations promise an unforgettable escape to really get the most out of your long weekend. So pack your bags and get ready to explore our top picks for a Memorial Day Weekend escape that combines relaxation, adventure and everything in between!

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La Quinta Resort & Club 

La Quinta Resort & Club presents a paradise that effortlessly blends historical charm with modern luxury. Set against the backdrop of the stunning Santa Rosa Mountains, this California resort offers a tranquil escape with a story rooted in the golden era of Hollywood. It’s not just a hotel; it’s an expansive sanctuary featuring spacious and elegantly designed casitas and suites, many with private patios and breathtaking views. Guests can tee off on five championship golf courses or unwind by one of the 41 climate-controlled pools that dot the stunning grounds.

Credit: Gary Landsman

For wellness gurus, Spa La Quinta offers rejuvenating treatments, perfect for a weekend of pampering. We recommend the signature Wine Down Massage which starts with a wine flight pairing and continues with aromatherapy and a 50-minute massage. It wraps up with a pour of your favorite wine from the flight for the ultimate indulgence!

Credit: La Quinta Resort & Club

Dining options at La Quinta Resort & Club are plentiful with one grab-and-go spot and three full-service restaurants, including the famous Adobe Grill, known for its authentic Mexican cuisine, live music and margarita pitchers. This resort not only promises a luxurious stay but also offers a rich historical narrative, having served as a secluded getaway for stars like Greta Garbo and Frank Capra. This Memorial Day, guests can enjoy special events like a nighttime dive-in movie and a festive fireworks display.

Location: La Quinta


Rancho Bernardo Inn

Credit: Rancho Bernardo Inn

Located in North County San Diego, Rancho Bernardo Inn is a luxurious resort known for its exceptional golf course, spa facilities and fine dining. The Spanish colonial-style architecture adds a touch of charm, making it a picturesque Memorial Day weekend escape. This 4-star hotel has won over the hearts of SoCal natives for the way it has flawlessly combined upscale elegance with the inherent natural beauty of this little inland alcove. Bernardo Winery is also at the edge of the property and is a fun place for a flight or two. Rancho Bernardo Inn is offering a “secret season” offer, which gets you 30% off your stay in May. Be sure to check it out!

Location: Rancho Bernardo


The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Credit: The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a luxurious desert oasis that blends Southwestern culture with family-friendly amenities. This expansive resort boasts beautifully appointed rooms and suites with private balconies overlooking lush golf courses and the Arizona landscape. The resort is known for its Adventure Water Park, complete with a lazy river and waterslide, making it a hit with families. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy three nine-hole courses, and Agave, The Arizona Spa & Salon offers rejuvenating treatments. With a variety of dining options showcasing local flavors, The Westin Kierland promises a immersive experience for all guests this Memorial Day weekend.

Location: Scottsdale


Santa Monica Proper Hotel

Memorial Day Weekend Getaway
Credit: Santa Monica Proper Hotel

The Santa Monica Proper Hotel introduces a layer of luxury to the laid-back beachfront lifestyle of Santa Monica. Located just a short walk from the iconic Santa Monica Pier, this Los Angeles hotel seamlessly blends refined elegance with a barefoot luxury feel. The interior, designed by Kelly Wearstler, features an eclectic mix of textures and a soothing color palette that mirrors the coastal surrounds. The rooms and suites offer an airy and inviting atmosphere with handcrafted furniture and local artwork. 

The Santa Monica Proper is renowned for its rooftop pool deck, which boasts panoramic views of the Pacific and the bustling city. The hotel also boasts a state-of-the-art wellness center and several dining options, including a Mediterranean restaurant called Calabra, which specializes in organic and locally sourced ingredients. Ideal for wellness-focused travelers, the property offers yoga classes and custom-designed running routes along the beach.

Location: Santa Monica


Dawn Ranch

Memorial Day Weekend Getaway
Credit: Gentl & Hyers

Smack dab in the heart of Sonoma’s wine country is Dawn Ranch, a rustic retreat ideal for those seeking a serene escape. This historic 22-acre property has over 100 years of hospitality under its belt. The grounds are home to a variety of charming cabins and lodges surrounded by lush gardens and the Russian River. It’s ideal for nature lovers and anyone looking to disconnect and rejuvenate. The ranch doesn’t just promise a stay; it delivers an experience with opportunities for kayaking, hiking and wine tasting nearby. It’s a favored spot for both couples and families looking for a quiet holiday, however, adventurers thrill-seekers will feel right at home too.

Location: Guerneville


Cuyama Buckhorn

Memorial Day Weekend Getaway
Credit: Cuyama Buckhorn

Located in the secluded high desert, Cuyama Buckhorn is a revitalized roadside motel turned boutique resort that offers a unique blend of retro charm and modern amenities. This hidden gem is renowned for its stunning desert views, starlit skies and midcentury modern design. It also features cozy, stylish rooms, an outdoor pool, a professional-level bocce ball court and an outdoor movie projector. The on-site restaurant serves dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, highlighting the region’s agricultural heritage. Ideal for adventurous souls and stargazers, this hotel provides a peaceful yet engaging retreat.

Location: New Cuyama


Laguna Surf Lodge

Located in the heart of Laguna Beach, this eco-friendly lodge offers a casual, laid-back vibeperfect for surfers and beach lovers. The boutique hotel emphasizes wellness, community and sustainability, with comfortable, minimalist rooms designed to reflect the coastal lifestyle. Everything about this property embraces a sustainable philosophy. You can rest easy knowing your stay reflects your environmentally conscious values. 

Credit: SCP Hotels

Laguna Surf Lodge features rooms designed with natural materials and earthy tones, promoting a peaceful and rejuvenating atmosphere. Here, guests can enjoy amenities such as a rooftop deck with stunning ocean views, a wellness center and complimentary yoga classes. And in terms of walkability, you’re right around the corner from local favorites like Active Culture, Orange Inn and Penguin Cafe.

Location: Laguna Beach


Farmhouse Paso Robles

Credit: Jared Jurcak

Another perfect road trip pitstop, Farmhouse Paso Robles offers a chic and intimate getaway if you want to imbibe and thrive. This California boutique hotel marries rustic charm with elegant sophistication. The 26 guestrooms are designed with comfort in mind, featuring bespoke furnishings and artisan touches. Guests can enjoy wine tours, gourmet dining experiences and stunning, natural surroundings. This spot is perfect for wine aficionados and anyone seeking a luxurious country retreat. Be sure to check out one of our favorite vinos, JUSTIN, and its incredible vineyard and tasting room.

Location: Paso Robles


Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club

Credit: Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club

Perched in the Malibu Mountains, Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club offers a luxurious retreat amidst 250 acres of rolling vineyards and natural beauty. Known for its lavish accommodations and exceptional service, this Malibu resort caters to those who appreciate elegance in a natural setting. With lawn games and lantern-lit trees, this spot features kid-friendly activities and adult-friendly beverages and is a great place to sit poolside for a weekend. Guests also have access to horseback riding, spa services and a private beach club.

Location: Malibu


Le Petit Pali

This charming boutique bed and breakfast in Carmel-by-the-Sea offers a cozy, intimate atmosphere right on the California coast. Just steps from the ocean, its location is unmatched. Each of their 34 rooms is tastefully decorated, emulating a warm and inviting country-style feel. This place is about as charming as it gets. Guests can enjoy complimentary amenities like a daily Continental Champagne Breakfast featuring pastries from Rise + Roam Bakery, homemade cookies delivered to your room daily and use of their house bicycles. Staycationers can enjoy a short stroll to the sand. Or, they can head into town and explore the Carmel-by-the-Sea culinary scene. It’s the perfect respite for travelers seeking a quiet coastal escape and some much-needed R&R.

Location: Carmel-by-the-Sea

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Jane Adler is a marketing and branding consultant by trade, but a writer by preference. She shares a name with Meryl Streep's iconic character from It's Complicated and is presently trying to manifest that life (particularly that Santa Barbara house) for herself. Jane is an avid consumer of content and carbs and often used the latter to write on the former.




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