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The 13 Best Presidents Day Weekend Getaways

Presidents Day began as a celebration of George Washington’s birthday and has evolved into a celebration of all U.S. presidents. Celebrated on the third Monday in February, this long holiday weekend is an ideal time to plan a weekend getaway with your family, partner or friends. In honor of our nation’s history and leaders, we’ve created a list of the top places in the U.S. to make the most of the three-day holiday weekend with presidential museums, historical destinations, ski retreats and sunny spots.

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For history enthusiasts, Boston serves up an endless array of places to explore. Venture along the Path of Presidents to explore 19 sites tied to U.S. presidents. Or, the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail highlights 16 historic sites, such as the Old State House, where the Declaration of Independence was read from the balcony in 1776; another stop is Faneuil Hall, where George Washington was entertained in 1789 and where today you can explore the historic building, shop and grab a bite to eat. Spend the night at the Omni Parker House, which has hosted presidents like Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Bill Clinton.

Make your way to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to see a re-creation of JFK’s Oval Office and Robert Kennedy’s Attorney General Office, as well as permanent exhibits showcasing the U.S. Space Program, campaign archives, the first lady’s clothing and more. On Feb. 19, 2024, the museum will be hosting its annual Presidents Day Festival with a variety of events. Complete the JFK-focused day with dinner at one of America’s oldest restaurants, Union Oyster House – “The Kennedy Booth” in the upstairs dining room marks the spot where JFK loved to dine.

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Courtesy of Omni Mount Washington Resort

Ski enthusiasts seeking a New England destination can book a stay at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Showcasing picturesque views of the Presidential Range in the White Mountains, this historic property has hosted multiple U.S. presidents – including Coolidge, Harding and Wilson – since its opening in 1902.

Go Nordic skiing along the resort’s 100-kilometer trail through open fields and tranquil woods, or ride the gondola to the top of the mountain for Alpine skiing. The family-friendly property has an on-site ski and snowboard school for beginners, and all ages can enjoy snow tubing and snowshoeing. When it’s time to rejuvenate, book a spa service or head to the indoor heated pool. In the evenings, the resort has multiple dining options and cozy bar areas for an après-ski cocktail.

Courtesy of Boyne Mountain Resort

For a family-friendly destination with plenty of winter sports options and indoor experiences when you need to warm up, Boyne Mountain Resort fits the bill. A popular getaway for more than 75 years, the property was a favorite ski spot for President Gerald R. Ford and his wife when he was a congressman in the 1950s. Today, travelers will find 415 skiable acres and the largest indoor water park in Michigan.

In the evening, check out the “Lights in the Sky” illumination of SkyBridge Michigan − the world’s longest timber-towered suspension bridge – where guests can walk through this sensory experience surrounded by more than 150,000 twinkling lights. There are multiple lodging options at this top Michigan ski resort, including Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa, which sits steps from the Avalanche Bay water park; the European-inspired Chalet Edelweiss; and the Clocktower Lodge, with views of the slopes and an ice skating rink. To top it off, dining options are aplenty.

Springfield, Illinois

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As the capital of the state called the “Land of Lincoln,” Springfield is home to many historic sites honoring the nation’s 16th president, including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, where the family lived from 1844 to 1861; and the Lincoln Tomb, which was built using donations from around the U.S.

In Illinois’ capital city, visitors can also explore Old State Capitol State Historic Site and the Illinois State Museum; consider scheduling a free tour of the Illinois State Capitol building. Architecture enthusiasts will want to tour the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Dana-Thomas House, or drive along part of the original Route 66 with a stop at the must-see Illinois State Fairgrounds Route 66 Experience (open 365 days a year).

For accommodations, take your pick of chain hotels and vacation rentals, or you can book a stay at the Inn at 835 boutique hotel for a daily continental breakfast and a location within walking distance of many historic sites.

Set amid 35 acres of landscaped grounds in Atlanta, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum teaches visitors about the longest living president. You’ll learn about his early life, his time in office and his post-White House accomplishments – including his Nobel Peace Prize, which is on display. Go to the rotunda to watch the “Day in the Life of the President” presentation on 13-foot-tall screens, walk into a cabin-style exhibit outlining the Camp David meetings and step into a full-size replica of the Oval Office. There are unique artifacts on display, like gifts from foreign heads of state. Museumgoers can virtually travel the world with the Carters to monitor elections and fight diseases via an interactive map table.

If you want to venture farther afield to more presidential sites, make your way to Carter’s hometown of Plains (about 145 miles south of Atlanta) to the Jimmy Carter National Historical Park and the Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm. Or, head to Warm Springs (about 75 miles south of Atlanta) to the Little White House Historic Site, where FDR lived before becoming president. He found relief for his polio symptoms in the spring waters, and today the house where he died is preserved. There’s also a museum displaying the “Unfinished Portrait” of him, a 1930s radio playing his Fireside Chats and a 1938 Ford convertible with hand controls.

Nashville, Tennessee

Courtesy of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Music City makes an ideal long weekend destination. Reserve a hotel or vacation rental downtown to be within walking distance of museums like the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Johnny Cash Museum, and the National Museum of African American Music. Peruse more than 30 eateries and three stages with live music in the Assembly Food Hall, then tour the Ryman Auditorium to learn about the building and the beginnings of the Grand Ole Opry. On certain nights, you can make your way to the Opry House (about 10 miles northeast of the city) for a live Opry performance. Or, take a stroll along Broadway and follow your ears into a honky-tonk that suits your music taste.

If you’d like to infuse your three-day holiday weekend with some presidential history in Nashville, head to Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. Explore the museum, log cabin, authentically preserved mansion and on-site slave sites where visitors learn about Jackson’s life and times. Venture further afield to Columbia to tour the Federal-style ancestral home of James K. Polk.

Key West, Florida

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If you’re seeking a relaxed vibe by the sea, head to Key West. Amid the laid-back atmosphere, you can stroll Duval Street to find a bar where you can spend the day sipping a margarita, or perhaps plan a snorkeling excursion to see marine life. If you want to add some history to your weekend getaway, visit the Harry S. Truman Little White House – the only presidential site in Florida. During his presidency, Truman spent 175 days at his winter house, which was originally built in 1890 as a house for naval officers. When it’s time to turn in for the night, check in to one of the top hotels in Key West.

Washington, D.C.

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What could be more presidential than visiting where the president actually lives? While White House tours are free, they must be scheduled between 21 and 90 days in advance with your member of Congress. But there are plenty of things to see in Washington, D.C., beyond the White House, including the National Mall, the Smithsonian museums (which are all free) and the U.S. Capitol building.

Families with young readers (or anyone who loves children’s books) will want to visit the newly opened “Building Stories” exhibit, which showcases environments and designs from popular children’s books at the National Building Museum. Next, head outside for a stroll around the Tidal Basin to see the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. There’s plenty of top D.C. hotel options ranging from budget-friendly to luxury, so choose your accommodations based on price and neighborhood. If you’re a fan of JFK and Jackie, take a taxi over to Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown to dine or grab a pint in the restaurant where the couple were engaged.

To delve into the life and times of the first president, head to George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Located about 20 miles south of D.C. in Virginia, this historic site offers visitors the chance to tour George Washington’s estate to see where and how he lived. The museum and visitor center have interactive exhibits, short films and numerous displays. Travelers can also attend the daily wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of the Washingtons.

Williamsburg, Virginia

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Walk in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers in Williamsburg, as well as nearby Jamestown and Yorktown. Immerse yourself in living history in Colonial Williamsburg, where actors in costume as townspeople, shopkeepers and enslaved laborers interact with visitors, who can tour the gardens, eat 18th-century cuisine at taverns and shop for authentic goods.

You can easily spend the entire long weekend exploring this family-friendly destination. Consider staying the night amid the historical village at the Williamsburg Inn. Or, if the kids are looking to let out some energy, book a stay at the Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg, which boasts an indoor water park, dining and more.

George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum: College Station, Texas

From his time as a WWII Navy pilot to his days in office and life as a private citizen, there’s plenty that guests of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum can learn about the life and experiences of the 41st president and first lady. The “Symbols of the Presidency” exhibit features a presidential limousine, painted portraits and a 3-foot crystal presidential seal.

Feel like the president in the replicas of Camp David, the Situation Room and the Oval Office – where you can have your photo taken sitting in the “Seat of Power.” Amid photos, videos and documents, you’ll find a 1947 Studebaker, a section of the Berlin Wall and more. There’s also an exhibit highlighting first lady Barbara Bush’s advocacy for literacy, volunteerism and AIDS awareness. Complete your experience with a visit to the Bush family gravesite.

Plan to stay at The George, a luxury boutique hotel in Century Square surrounded by shops, restaurants and entertainment options. While in town, be sure to explore the campus of Texas A&M University, referred to as “Aggieland,” where you can book a tour of Kyle Field for a behind-the-scenes football stadium experience and enjoy the outdoors at The Gardens at Texas A&M.

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If the mountains are calling, head to Beaver Creek. Situated less than 15 miles west of Vail, this premiere ski destination in Colorado first opened in 1980 and is home to a highly regarded ski and snowboard school – ideal for families with young children hitting the slopes for the first time. Within the resort, there are three villages with a variety of shopping and dining options. During Presidents Day Weekend 2024, adult travelers can attend the Frites Artois on-mountain culinary experience (in partnership with beer brand Stella Artois). On Saturday of the long weekend, there’s a fun fest with caricature drawings and games for all ages.

In terms of presidential history, Ford was at the Beaver Creek Resort groundbreaking in 1977 and the opening of the resort in 1980. He and his family owned a home in Beaver Creek, which was dubbed the “winter White House,” and Ford spent a lot of time in the region after he left politics.

Las Vegas

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When you’re looking to maximize a long weekend, Las Vegas offers around-the-clock excitement. Whether you want to go to the lavish Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace for brunch, soak up some rays by the pool, unwind at a five-star spa, dine at a world-renowned restaurant or gamble all night long, Vegas can accommodate. For entertainment, the best Vegas shows include everything from Cirque du Soleil productions to musical residencies to comedy shows. Check out The Sphere Experience for a two-hour immersive technological journey at one of the newest attractions on the Strip. In terms of the best Las Vegas resorts and hotels, a variety of options await, depending on your budget and interests.

If you’re in need of some time away from the glitz and glamour, consider a day trip to the Hoover Dam (originally called the Boulder Dam), where FDR gave a dedication speech in 1935. Or, venture on one of the best Grand Canyon bus tours from Vegas.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum: Simi Valley, California

Courtesy of Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

To experience what a president’s life aboard Air Force One is like, head to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Set on a mountaintop with views of the surrounding valleys and Pacific Ocean, this museum dedicated to the 40th president showcases his early years, life at his ranch, the inauguration and the assassination attempt through its exhibits. There’s also a replica of Reagan’s Oval Office and other immersive exhibits.

Allow plenty of time in the not-to-be-missed Air Force One Pavilion: You can board the actual Boeing 747 used by seven U.S. presidents, see Lyndon Johnson’s Marine One helicopter and check out the Ronald Reagan Pub (a gift from his ancestral village in Ireland). The Presidents Day Celebration includes a performance by the Los Angeles Police Concert Band, president and first lady lookalikes, crafts, storytelling and activities for all ages. Visitors can also see a section of the Berlin Wall on display and pay their respects at the graves of the president and first lady.

In this Southern California destination, travelers may want to consider basing themselves for the weekend by the beaches of Ventura or Santa Monica, or exploring the iconic sites in Hollywood and Los Angeles, which are all located within a 50-mile radius.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Rachael Hood is a lover of history and a strong advocate of maximizing every day of paid time off. She loves planning long weekend trips to explore museums and historic buildings, and she has a goal to visit all of the presidential libraries and museums. Hood used her personal travel experience and research expertise to curate this list.

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Bernard Greenhall
Bernard Greenhall

Bernard is a sports and physical education expert with years of experience. He's passionate about promoting health and wellness through physical activity, and he's worked with athletes and non-athletes alike to help them achieve their fitness goals. Bernard holds a degree in Physical Education and is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and research in his field.

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