There’s still time to plan an epic Labor Day trip.
Leisurely days lazing along the beach. Active family vacations in inspiring national parks. Traveling to exotic, far-off places around the globe. While summer vacation days may be fleeting, it’s not too late to squeeze in one last hurrah with a Labor Day weekend getaway. If you’re yearning for an easy and cost-effective end-of-summer trip, consider celebrating in one of these exciting cities or towns across the country, where you’ll find enticing holiday events and festivities.
For a fun and festive holiday weekend, travel to Boston, where you can catch one of the country’s best fireworks displays over Boston Harbor. Check out the Labor Day Weekend-Long Party at Lawn on D in the South Boston Waterfront neighborhood with free activities, and musical performances, magicians and street performers. The famed Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will be offering free admission on Labor Day, Lady Gaga will play at Fenway Park, the Red Sox will take on the Toronto Blue Jays and, between the action, you can delight in lobster rolls and cannoli. To round out the weekend, enjoy a sunset cruise on a classic schooner along the harbor.
Napa Valley, California
For wine and food aficionados, Napa Valley is the ultimate vacation destination. But don’t forget about the many cultural and outdoor activities along California’s legendary state Route 29. If you have a flexible schedule, consider visiting the weekend before Labor Day, when Napa will host food-centric festivals, including Blues, Brews and BBQ in downtown Napa and the Cochon555’s Heritage Fire at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena. For music lovers, the Music in the Vineyards series plays its season’s last performances, culminating with closing night at Meadowood Resort. For a special treat, splurge for a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards.
(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
AP Photo/Eric Risberg
Send summer off with a bang in this beautiful West Coast city. Tall ships will be in town for the Festival of Sail at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Plus, you can head to the horse-racing track and place your bets at the historic Del Mar Thoroughbred Club or visit SeaWorld’s new nighttime spectacular: Electric Ocean. Stomp grapes and play bocce ball at the Julian Grape Stomp Festa, or watch as spectacular sandcastles are created by master-class sculptors at the US Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition. In the evening, join the San Diego Symphony with a cannon and fireworks display over San Diego Bay to Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”
The Windy City is a happening place on Labor Day, with everything from live music to ethnic fairs and festivals in and around the city. You can eat, drink and dance to the music throughout the weekend. The most notable event is the free Chicago Jazz Festival at Millennium Park. Even better, the Chicago Cubs will host the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field. What’s more, you can enjoy a taste of New England in the Midwest, with the fourth annual Great American Lobster Festival at Navy Pier. Plan to stay until the sun goes down on Sept. 2 to catch the Navy Pier Summer Fireworks spectacle.
(AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato
New York City
There’s no better place for one last summer fling than the city that never sleeps. Whether you’re craving New York City‘s flourishing nightlife or you want to check out the family-friendly amusements at Coney Island, Labor Day weekend in New York City will be memorable. If you’re lucky enough to score tickets for the U.S. Open, then watch the tennis greats slam it out for the championship. If you’re into tugboat races, then cheer on the 25th annual Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition at Pier 84. And if electronic music floats your boat, attend the Electric Zoo on Randall’s Island Park, where you can dance and party the weekend away.
If you’re looking for a smaller and quieter destination, breathtaking landscapes, jazz music and great food and wine, head to this quaint mountain town for the weekend. The Vail Jazz Festival comes to a close for the summer with the Vail Jazz Party weekend featuring over 35 headliners. When it’s time to dine, Gourmet on Gore is an outdoor festival in Vail Village where you can spend four days sipping world-class wines and spirits and noshing on bites prepared by Vail‘s best chefs and restaurants, all while taking in the area’s beautiful scenery. Don’t miss booking a few of the ticketed culinary events as part of the festival.
(Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily via AP, File)
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily via AP, File
Say your final farewell to summer on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Home to the island of Siesta Key, Sarasota will host festive Labor Day celebrations on its sandy coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. Watch the Sarasota Sailing Squadron’s 71st Annual Labor Day Regatta with sailors from the U.S. and Canada, or join in the 61st annual Englewood Pioneer Days Festival and Parade with everything from boat races to car shows. For more action, take in the Venice Triathlon, or check out the Downtown Venice Craft Festival. After days spent on the beach or at events, you’ll find great dining options, including local seafood and shrimp in St. Armands Circle.
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
AP Photo/Chris O’Meara
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