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If you procrastinated planning festivities for the first (unofficial) weekend of summer, you still have time. 

Maria Yagoda
May 25, 2018

It's the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, and you have zero plans. To some of you, this is may be completely intentional—there's something very satisfying about having a low-key weekend while others fight through traffic and beach crowds—but to others, you may be disappointed to have no big escapes on tap.

Well, if you've been too busy to think about the unofficial kick-off to summer, we're here to guide you through this weekend so you get the most out of the warm weather (and eat lots of grilled foods.) 

What to Eat and Drink

One of the best parts of Memorial Day weekend is having an excuse to consume exorbitant amounts of delicious food and drinks outside, an activity that requires relatively little planning (i.e., you still have time!) Below, find some of our favorite recipes for this weekend or basically any summer day, so you can whip up something festive. 

For an easy picnic:

9 portable dips that can be made ahead of time.

10 wonderfully simple picnic recipes.

25 make-ahead summer dishes that are perfect for entertaining. 

For a low-key backyard BBQ:

10 best-ever burgers for Memorial Day. 

7 must-try Memorial Day marinades. 

23 quick-grilling recipes for a late-minute Memorial Day BBQ.

For outdoor drinking: 

19 spectacular sangria recipes.

11 essential summer aperitifs. 

For grilling indoors:

Here's the secret. 

And: If you're active military or a veteran, you can take advantage of some Memorial Day deals and discounts at restaurants around the country. 

Where to Go

Alright, you really procrastinated. But! You can still get out of town, even if just for a day. First, check out a round-up of some of our favorite (easy) day trips you can take around the country. 

There's also something to be said for just getting in a car and driving. Silvercar, a new rental car company, makes it very easy for procrastinators; you can make day-of reservations, using their mobile app—you can even book just two hours in advance, which is pretty wild and great. (On a recent long weekend, I Silvercar'ed out of NYC to the lovely Grace Mayflower Inn in Connecticut, which was about two hours outside of the city.)  

Need to choose somewhere to go? Check out the best 10 cities for affordable getaways. (And here are 9 of our favorite beach towns that are rarely overrun by tourists.

Being a procrastinator may actually save you money, too. According to Hotel Tonight, an app that lets you book last-minute hotel reservations, "hotel rooms work the opposite of flights and get less expensive the closer you book to check-in date—prices drop up to 20% within the last week of booking." (The app also has a series of Memoerial Day deals for checking in Friday, May 25 and checking out Monday, May 28.)

Oh, and Don't Forget

And last, but not least: Please remember to hydrate and wear sunscreen. And how could we forget? Here's the recipe to our favorite hamburger cake. You should make one.