5 Great Memorial Day Weekend Escapes

Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner–start planning your trip today! RelayRides blogger Nicholas Pell has some great suggestions

It’s Memorial Day and that means the beginning of summer. It also means an extra long weekend. What better time to get out of the city and start enjoying the nation’s state and national parks. City dwellers especially often forget about the majestic beauty that the nation’s state and national parks have to offer. One of the best ways to get there and back is by renting a car or truck through the RelayRides marketplace.

It’s never too early to start planning your Memorial Day vacation. Check out our suggestions, including the majestic Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Angeles National Forest, Los Angeles County, CA

Distance from Downtown Los Angeles: 20 miles.

Not many people take the time to consider that Angeles National Forest isn’t that far from the center of Los Angeles. If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the City of Angeles, Angeles National Forest is the perfect destination. There are over 655,000 acres of wildlife for you to get lost in, with three lakes for the water faring Angeleno. There’s also the little matter of the view, which is breathtaking by anyone’s appraisal.

How to Get There: Jeff’s Hybrid, a 2008 Highlander, has both ample room and fuel efficiency. Pack all the things you need in the back and keep your fuel consumption low. Best of all, Jeff will bring the car to you if you live within ten minutes of him.

Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, CA

Distance from San Francisco: 37 miles.

Point Reyes National Seashore allows for camping on the Pacific Ocean just a little bit outside of the San Francisco Bay Area. Every campground comes equipped with a toilet and a water faucet, though you should bring a means of treating water in the event that the park’s water treatment fails. Charcoal grills, picnic tables and food storage lockers are also provided, making this a surprisingly easy place to camp for those who aren’t completely comfortable “roughing it.”

How to Get There: Prius for the Rest of Us combines fuel efficiency with space. The GPS with speech recognition means that you won’t get lost on the way–or ticketed for distracted driving.

Myles Standish State Forest, Carver, MA

Distance from Boston: 50 miles.

Sandwiched between the South Shore and the South Coast lies the Myles Standish State Forest, the largest publicly-owned recreation area in the region. For a small fee, you can access 15 miles of bike trails, 13 miles of hiking trails and a whopping 35 miles of equestrian trails. Get a guided tour during the summer months of the forest’s pond shores and cranberry bogs. It’s a great place to bring the kids this Memorial Day weekend.

How to Get There: Adil’s Saturn Vue Hybrid gets great gas mileage with plenty of space for all your stuff.

Thompson’s Lake State Park, East Berne, NY

Distance from New York City: 44 miles.

Thompson’s Lake State Park offers over 140 campsites in the woods as well as a sandy beach to stroll along. Open fields and limestone outcroppings provide a visit with a view. Those looking for a little activity out in the woods will find it; The park boasts horseshoe pits, volleyball courts and fishing, whether along the shore, in your own boat or in a boat you rent on site. This is the perfect place for New Yorkers to begin their summer.

How to Get There: Family SUV, a 2012 Ford Explorer lets you pack in the whole family and everything you need for a trip to the woods. Sorry: No hauling, towing or pets allowed.

Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, Darien, IL

Distance from Chicago: 24 miles.

One of the great things about Chicago is that it’s easy to get out of the city and into nature. The Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve is just shy of 2,500 acres of forest and water with 11 miles of trails for you to amble around in. Latrines and drinking water are available. Geology buffs will marvel at this preserve, which was forged by a single glacier. Bring your bike, your fishing tackle, binoculars and a desire to get away from it all.

How to Get There: Dylan’s Jeep Grand Cherokee is an inexpensive way to haul your gear from the Windy City to the forest preserve. Throw your bike on top using the bike rack and leave the urban landscape behind you.