Best Labor Day Weekend Getaways in Every State
Here’s what to do and where to go in every state over Labor Day weekend to celebrate the final days of summer.
Alabama: Gulf Shores
It still feels like summertime at the beach in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, on Labor Day, but the kids have been back in school for weeks, so the beaches are less crowded. It’s also a fun time to see volunteers protecting sea turtle nests—and possibly even the opportunity to see them hatch! Opened in 2018, the Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel, is beachfront and eco-friendly. Check out these Labor Day facts you never knew.
Alaska: Denali National Park
Visit Denali National Park for fantastic mountain views and opportunities to see wildlife while there are still long hours of daylight. In early September, you may discover fall colors and even have a chance of seeing the Northern Lights at night. While in the park, enjoy a hike along the Savage River and attend a Ranger Program to learn more about the geography. Check out the Denali Backcountry Lodge or the Skyline Lodge for rustic accommodations.
Arizona: Lake Powell-Glen Canyon Recreation Area
Rent a houseboat and hang out on Lake Powell over this holiday weekend. One of the top houseboating locations in the United States, prices drop significantly in late summer and early fall. You might also want to consider a Signature Airstream rental from Lake Powell’s RV and Campground for a quiet, but luxurious camping experience. These are more of our favorite RV parks around the country.
Arkansas: Hot Springs
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For a festive Labor Day celebration, book a stay on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs. On September 2, the lake will host a free fireworks display. While there, visit Hot Springs National Park featuring naturally-heated water for thermal baths and offering free admission. The town, where former President Bill Clinton grew up, also has Magic Springs/Crystal Falls theme and water parks, the Gangster Museum of America and is known for its thoroughbred racing. Check out the Wharf Resort on Lake Hamilton for an overnight stay.
California: Santa Barbara
Bring the whole family to explore the beauty of this coastal California town at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, which is just steps from the beach. Hop in the ocean, which is at its warmest around Labor Day, for a final dip before fall arrives. The resort has a pool, oversized games like checkers, as well as cornhole, a morning breakfast buffet, and bike rentals. Take advantage of their book three nights, get a fourth free deal to extend your Labor Day weekend, and enjoy the annual Open Studios Tour of local artists August 30 to September 2.
Attend the unusual CRUSH Walls festival in Denver on Labor Day, which celebrates graffiti and street art in the city’s RiNo Art District. Also over the weekend is the free A Taste of Colorado food festival. Book a stay at the boutique Source Hotel + Market Hall, which is convenient to both events and will be hosting CRUSH-related parties all weekend. On Sunday, enjoy an Israeli brunch buffet at Safta, along with live jazz in the market hall. Don’t miss more of our favorite food festivals around the country.
Connecticut: New London
Take a Labor Day cruise aboard a tall ship along the Thames River. You’ll get a chance to raise a sail, learn about the history of area lighthouses, and nosh on clam chowder. Afterward, enjoy time at Ocean Beach Park, the United States Custom House & Maritime Museum, and the 1678 Hempsted Houses. The Holiday Inn New London makes an affordable place to experience all the area has to offer.
Delaware: Bethany Beach
Visit Delaware’s beaches for a last summer celebration by the sea. Bethany Beach is a small, quiet beach resort with quaint shops, a Boardwalk, and yummy restaurants like DiFebo’s, Mango’s or Bluecoast Seafood Grille. On September 2, attend the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral at the beach bandstand, which is a fun parade that bids farewell to summer. Stay at the quintessential New England Addy Sea bed and breakfast with beach views, a large lawn, and comfy front porch.
Florida: Sanibel Island
For a quiet getaway, consider sleepy Sanibel Island on the Gulf of Mexico, which is largely untouched by development with no stoplights and buildings taller than a palm tree. Famous for its shelling (though please leave them on the beach), other outdoor activities include kayaking, exploring the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, and biking around the island and to its lighthouse. The oceanfront Sundial Beach Resort makes a great home base on the island with beach chairs, pools, games, and water rentals, or visit South Seas Island Resort on nearby Captiva Island to join their Labor Day Yacht Rock Festival with live music.
Georgia: Blue Ridge Mountains
Get away to the mountains of North Georgia at Barnsley Resort, a rustic hotel offering many outdoor activities including fly-fishing, horseback riding, hiking, and golf across its 3,000 acres. The property has an outdoor beer garden with fire pit, the gourmet Woodlands Grill, and a spa, and is offering 20 percent off on stays through September 9 in celebration of its 20th anniversary.