Things to Do

Travel News: Head South Edition

Forgot to make Memorial Day plans? Hop down to North Carolina, Tennessee, or Panama City Beach—or up to New York for Fleet Week.

After the excruciatingly long, holiday-free period between February and May, it’s finally Memorial Day weekend, which means . . . the roads will be gridlocked, the city will be full of tour buses, and if you haven’t booked your flights yet, you’d better have some serious cash handy. Luckily, there are still a few bargains for last-minute trips if you don’t have a specific destination in mind. United Airlines currently has a sale on flights out of Dulles to Greensboro, North Carolina ($67 each way); Greenville, South Carolina ($78); and Knoxville, Tennessee ($82). All fly out either Saturday or Sunday and return Tuesday or Wednesday, and they have to be booked by the end of the day today.

If you make it to Greensboro, the Proximity Hotel is offering its best rate—starting at $189 a night—for the weekend along with a $30 amenity voucher to use during your stay. Proximity, recognized as “the greenest hotel in America” by the North Carolina Travel Guide, is a LEED Platinum-certified hotel, made from 90 percent post-recycled content, with 100 solar panels on the roof as well as furniture and art commissioned from regional vendors. It’s also a four-diamond hotel with a gym, pool, and spa services, and it’s a short walk from Greensboro’s walking and biking trails.

Last weekend, Southwest Airlines started nonstop service from BWI to Panama City Beach Airport. The new Florida airport, which opened this month, cost more than $300 million to build and is being touted as the greenest and most flyer-friendly airport in the nation. Two daily flights depart at 8:20 AM and 7:15 PM, and each takes a little more than an hour. Prices start at $178 round trip.

This weekend is all about Sex and the City 2, so why not head to New York for Fleet Week, famously immortalized in season five of the HBO series? For one week at the beginning of every summer, military ships dock in the city and give deployed sailors a taste of the Big Apple. In addition to servicemen (and women), there are military demonstrations, free events, and parades. Check for available bus tickets.

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