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Last-Minute MLK Weekend Getaways

Procrastinators, rejoice! These down-to-the-wire MLK Weekend ideas—and incredible hotel deals—will put you one step closer to booking that epic first vacation of 2017.

Senior Editor, Jetsetter | @lindseytravels |

See recent posts by Lindsey Olander

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A U.S. National Park

Just 10 days a year, the U.S. National Park Service opens its most beautiful landscapes to the public free of charge. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, park-goers nationwide can enjoy unhindered access to wilderness they’d usually have to shell out for to see, like Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Everglades, and the Grand Canyon. Bunk down at the Canyon’s newest sleep, Under Canvas—a clutch of luxury tents with private baths and king-size beds at the base of Bill Williams Mountain, right on historic Route 66, that puts an indulgent spin on the glamping experience.

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Miami Beach

As January's temperatures continue to plummet, Miami is a no-brainer for East Coasters seeking a warmer long weekend—and we've got our eyes on the new Washington Park Hotel, an Art Deco stunner in the heart of South Beach just two blocks from the sand. Everything harkens back to the building's Deco origins, from the retro (and free to use) arcade games like Pac Man and pinball to the bold artworks in its 181 rooms to the electric tuk-tuk that shuttles guests to and from the beach. (And we're keeping our eyes peeling for the outpost of NYC cocktail bar, Employee's Only, due this February.)

Offers: Eat. Drink. Play. includes 10% off room rates and a $50 food and drink credit; Stay More, Save More offers 30% savings off three-night stays or more, subject to availability.

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Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Have the holidays given you a little extra cash to burn? We're dreaming of the salty breezes and exotic jungle atmosphere of Playa del Carmen, Mexico, where the all-villa Banyan Tree Mayakoba woos romance-seekers and families alike with its private pools and terraces, walled gardens, and stunning ocean views. This is not the touristy side of Mexico: instead, the look is an expert blend of Asian and Mayan influences, and the feel is decidedly intimate, whether you're relaxing via an Eastern-style treatment at the spa (and dip in the Vitality pool) or taking advantage of private beach club access.

Offer: A four-night villa stay for the price of three, including a free round of golf, a cooking class for two, and a $30 spa credit, subject to availability.

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Laguna Beach, California

For a change of scenery (and temperature), set your sights on the west. Our love for California's Pacific coastline is no secret, and we can think of no better place to take in all in this weekend than at the Inn at Laguna Beach, a 70-room cliffside jewel that overlooks the ocean. Its laid-back beach vibe is the perfect antidote for those post-holiday winter blues, especially when you're soaking it in from the poolside terrace during the daily happy hour. Bonus: the region's famous Las Brisas restaurant, renowned for its Mexico-meets-California cuisine and Laguna Beach views, is right next door.

Offer: A three-night stay for the price of two, subject to availability.

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Stowe, Vermont

It might not seem so now, but winter won’t last forever—what better time to squeeze in the ski weekend you’ve been dreaming of all season during the first three-day holiday of the year? Vermont’s six-story, alpine-style Stowe Mountain Lodge fulfills your every wish: ski-in/ski-out accommodations, goose-down feather beds, a heated outdoor pool, a buzzy après-ski lounge, and even a ski and snowboard valet. This weekend, you can snag a room at up to 20% off as well as 49% discount on lift tickets to the two-mountain ski resort, Stowe. And if your legs can’t hold up all three days, guests are invited to add on to their package—be it a spa treatment for two, rock climbing at lunch, or lessons on the bunny hill.

Offer: 20% off room rates and 49% off lift tickets as part of the Snow Days package, subject to availability.

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Washington D.C.

Sometimes, national holidays are most meaningfully spent at the source. It’s almost impossible to revisit MLK Day and not recall his most famous speech, delivered on the steps of Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Memorial overlooking the Washington Monument. Both sites, along with other city attractions including the White House and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, are within walking distance from the newly minted Watergate Hotel, a landmark in its own right for its role in the scandal of ‘72. A $125 million refresh returned its interiors to their 1960s midcentury-mod origins while also bringing in a sceney whiskey bar and staff uniforms designed by Mad Men costumer Janie Bryant.

Offer: A three-night stay for the price of two, subject to availability.

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The Time New York

Then again, why get away when everyone else is? We can think of no better excuse for some home-away-from-home r&r than the first three-day weekend of the year. The Theater District, in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, is steps from New York’s hottest attractions and the ideal base if you’ve got tickets to a show. Despite its address, the mood is altogether different at the Time New York, awash in modern art, slate bathrooms, and industrial metallic detailing courtesy of architect David Rockwell. After a spin around town, stop by the latest Serafina outpost for Italian classics like risotto with black truffles before tipping back a drink (or two) at the speakeasy-style lounge, LeGrande.

Offer: Up to 20% room rates including 2 buy-one-get-one drink vouchers to LeGrande with promo code WINTER, subject to availability.

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