We don’t know about you, but at this point, we feel like we’ve been waiting our entire lives for a three-day weekend. It’s impossible to run errands, get rest and have adventures over the course of just two days, right? Or maybe we just haven’t found the right balance yet.
That being said, we’re getting all of our housekeeping handled in advance for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday so that we can fully unplug (from work and other responsibilities) and enjoy some actual, legitimate free time as if we were heiresses rather than office drudges. If you’re with us on leaving your worries behind over the long holiday weekend and want to collect like-worthy proof of the festivities in the process, here are five Instagram-friendly trips you can plan last minute.
The SoCal Desert
Right now, there are numerous photo opportunities in the driest part of Cali for those who are willing to pack into their cars and drive a bit, despite the heat. Stay in Palm Springs—we love the Ace, of course—or Joshua Tree and split your weekend between sunbathing and adventuring. Salvation Mountain (pictured) is about a 90-minute drive from Palm Springs. Joshua Tree, meanwhile, is home to the picture-worthy Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum and Pioneertown. Don't leave the desert without stopping by Doug Aitken's Insta-likable MIRAGE, as well as the other DesertX exhibitions still on display.
We all know Austin is cool, so start your road trip here and hit up Barton Springs, Stubbs BBQ and other Instagram favorites. Then, journey through the Hill Country for wine tasting—popping by the Kerrville Folk Festival for some real local flavor—before heading into San Antonio to take Alamo and Riverwalk shots. If you're a master planner and can make it all happen in three days, end your trip in Marfa, one of the most highly coveted Instagram destinations in the country and the setting for our new favorite show, I Love Dick. (This little gem of a town is about an hour's drive from San Antonio.)
Begin by following Maine's most famous Instagrammer, Abby Lou, for inspiration. Start your trip in her hometown of Portland and be sure to take a scenic tour on its mailboat. Don't miss the historic lighthouse on Cape Elizabeth before heading north to Bar Harbor, one of Money 's best destinations of 2017. Once there, make sure you hop aboard a Downeast Windjammer sunset cruise and adventure through Maine's only national park on Mount Desert Island to get another lighthouse shot, this time of the Bass Harbor Head variety.
The American presidency can be a tricky subject these days, but that doesn't make Mount Rushmore any less worth seeing. We also love South Dakota for its Native American culture and history, so if you can't make this trip over Memorial Day weekend, we suggest planning a visit in July, when the oldest powwow in South Dakota will celebrate its 150th anniversary. While in the area, don't miss the Crazy Horse Memorial, the world's largest mountain carving (in progress), and on your way to the Badlands, be sure to stop at the historic Wall Drug as well as the Corn Palace and the Giant Concrete Prairie Dog "sculpture," if you're so Insta-inclined. Stay in Rapid City, "the gateway to the Black Hills," which has a burgeoning food and drink scene.
If you don't feel like gallivanting around and prefer to spend all three days in one spot, we suggest you consider New Orleans. Few places are as Instagram-friendly—or soul-affirming, if that matters to you at all—as this magical and historic town. We love the Henry Howard Hotel, which is Southern perfection and uber-photo friendly (although the Ace may have slightly more affordable rooms available over that weekend). Don't miss Solange Knowles' favorite The Country Club, the Warehouse District's Contemporary Arts Center and, of course, the city's many outstanding musical performances, which vary by night.