Three Memorial Day Trip Ideas from a Panicked Mom

Ten days till Memorial Day weekend.  Work’s been crazy, so I haven’t had a chance to even think about trip ideas.  But I’m not going to let the start of summer slip away. Here’s what I did…

Being new at TripTuner, I figured that I need to become an expert on on the site quickly — what better way than to use it to plan my family’s own getaway? I hop onto the homepage and start adjusting the sliders.

Relaxing vs. Active? Adults vs Kid-friendly? Hmmm.  I’ll definitely need to balance this well.  My energetic nine-year old will need some outdoor options for running around, but since I’m wearing the trip-planning hat for this one, my husband and I better like it, too.  So the first slider moves to active, and I’ll keep the second one in the middle. Beaches and mountains are both fine with me, and I can either liven things up or go remote for this trip so I’ll keep those in the middle as well.  (Mom and Dad would push it all the way to remote, but with daughter in tow and a shorter vacation time frame, we’ll keep it in the middle). I know, I’m not going out on any limbs here, but I’m open for suggestions.  Here are the top 3 that TripTuner came up with:

thanks to monikomad for the photo

Flagstaff, Arizona
Wow. TripTuner nailed it. This funky mountain town just a few hours north of Phoenix is my family’s favorite in-state getaway. With 50 miles of urban trails and thousands of acres of National Forest, it’s a place we can all get our fingers in the dirt while biking, hiking, and playing in the pine and aspen woods. We’ll explore haunting 800-year-old pueblo ruins or star gaze at Lowell Observatory, where the now-demoted Pluto was discovered. The 7,000 foot elevation means temperatures that are 20 to 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix – something you won’t hear any complaints about from my crew. Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the summer in Flag with free Movies on the Square on Friday nights, free Summer Concerts, and the first Sunday Farmer’s Market of the season. Oh yeah, and the Grand Canyon is only an hour away.

thanks to angela n. for the photo

Seattle
I can already taste the fresh seafood. Seattle is a treat in contrasts for this desert-dweller. Hop on a plane and in a few hours we go from desert hues to a land of lush green and expansive lakes that almost seems like a movie set. Rainy days won’t slow us down – we can marvel at the bounty of sea at the Pike Place Market, jam away on instruments at the Experience Music Project, or survey the city and the mountains beyond from the newly-repainted Space Needle. My husband will be like a kid in a toy store at the flagship REI, while my daughter can skate, bike, and monkey-bar around at Green Lake Park. And every delectable meal – from fresh sushi to perfectly seared scallops – will be a delight. Another spot-on recommendation.

thanks to harry.popoff for the photo

Madrid
The lure of Madrid has me considering cashing in some of our frequent flier miles to score award tickets to Europe and using the day off as an excuse for a longer vacation. Award seats sometimes open up at the last minute, so it’s not entirely out of the question. My daughter would be right in her element at the 350-acre Retiro Park whether paddling a row boat, exploring the formal gardens, or snacking on the many treats sold there. I’d love to see her face as we tour the 2,000-room Royal Palace and its acres of marble, mosaics, frescoes, crystal, and even diamonds. We can wander through the medieval-era streets around the Plaza Mayor and feast on tapas. Luckily she tolerates art museums, because between the Prado and Reina Sofia, her parents will be hauling her around to admire the works of the masters. I feel confident that Dalí, Miró, and Picasso will keep her engaged. Active enough for her, culturally engaging for the parents — TripTuner got this one right too.

So those are my top three — disaster averted. Now the dilemma is figuring out which one to choose.  I’m going to give Madrid a look-see.  Give TripTuner a spin and see what comes up for you!

Like this post?  We’ll feature a few more that highlight the different destinations that pop up based on specific slider settings, so stay tuned.

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