Columbus Day weekend is the perfect time to plan a quick trip out of town in October, as autumn weather begins in full force. The holiday, honoring Columbus’s sighting of the New World in 1492, has been celebrated in the U.S. since 1892. This year, explore the following five cities for unique celebrations commemorating the holiday!
1. New York City, NY
Any visit to NYC in the fall should contain a stop at Central Park, where the autumnal foliage should be in full display. The main event to check out is the city’s Columbus Day Parade, which features over 100 groups and 35,000 marchers. Visitors should aim to secure a spot along Fifth Avenue in order to get the best views of the revelry. Stay at the center of it all in Times Square at the affordable Row NYC, located in the heart of it all.
2. San Francisco, CA
Columbus Day celebrations are especially worth checking out in cities with vibrant Italian-American histories and San Francisco’s is no exception. Boasting the oldest Italian-American celebration in the country, the city’s Italian Heritage Parade is more than 140 years old. Admission to the parade and all related activities is free, making it a great choice for families or large groups. Post-parade, visitors can easily spend the rest of the weekend leisurely strolling through the Italian bakeries and restaurants in the North Beach neighborhood. Stay nearby at the affordably luxurious Le Meridien, which is just over a mile away from North Beach.
3. Miami, FL
Those hoping for something wildly different from East Coast foliage should head down south to Miami, where the Columbus Day Regatta allows travelers from all over the world to enjoy a two day party. Apart from daily races, associated events include dinner and dancing, making this is a great option for those wishing for an outgoing and social experience. Opt to stay at the J.W. Marriott where you can have a waterfront view at an affordable price!
4. Denver, CO
Head away from the East Coast and explore the Columbus Day parade thrown by Denver’s large Italian-American community. The tradition started in 1907 and continues today, following a route through downtown. Featuring floats, bands, and dance groups from all over the region, the event is a seminal celebration of Italian-American contributions to the state. Enjoy the food and drink while staying at the conveniently located Residence Inn, in the heart of downtown.
5. Philadelphia, PA
Travelers should consider the City of Brotherly Love which boasts events designed to please all during the three day weekend. Old City Fest showcases local designers and restaurants, while the Fishtown neighborhood’s RiverCity Festival offers outdoor fun on the Delaware River Waterfront. There’s even the recreation of a Munich style festival tent at the 23rd St. Armory for an Oktoberfest. Budget-conscious travelers should consider a stay the conveniently located and affordable Club Quarters Hotel.