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.
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Summer’s not over yet!
While the pandemic has limited international travel, it hasn’t stopped people from getting away for a little R&R. It’s just made them focus their attention a little (or a lot) closer to home, as they rediscover the beauty of America and the amazing things that it has to offer. And there’s still time to enjoy it all because summer’s not over yet! Check out these 50 amazing trips you can take over Labor Day weekend that will end the season on just the right note. Before you do, though, read these 11 rules the CDC wants you to know before traveling.
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 get the opportunity to see them hatch! Opened in 2018, the Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel, is right on the beach and eco-friendly. Learn 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 to see the northern lights. While in the park, enjoy a hike along the Savage River or let kids earn their Junior Ranger badge. Check out the Denali Backcountry Lodge or the Skyline Lodge for rustic accommodations. Of course, this area is also amazing in the colder months. Just take a look at these 16 photos that prove Alaska is a winter wonderland.
Arizona: Lake Powell-Glen Canyon Recreation Area
Rent a houseboat and hang out on Lake Powell over this holiday weekend. It’s one of the top houseboating locations in the United States, and 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
For a festive Labor Day celebration, book a stay on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs. While there, visit Hot Springs National Park, which features naturally heated water for thermal baths and offers 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 thoroughbred racing. Check out the Wharf Resort on Lake Hamilton for an overnight stay. Here are even more of the most beautiful natural pools in the world.
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, a morning breakfast buffet, and bike rentals. While you’re in the Golden State, take a detour to see one of the most beautiful colored-sand beaches in the world.
Check out Colorado’s gorgeous outdoor mountain scenery this Labor Day weekend. In Denver, you get the best of both worlds: Enjoy some time in the city, then trek into the nearby Rocky Mountain foothills for hiking, mountain biking, or whitewater rafting. Book a stay at the boutique Source Hotel + Market Hall, where you can enjoy modern accommodations, as well as an outdoor “market hall” experience with cocktails, food, geodesic domes, and umbrellas to savor your last taste of summer. Colorado is also home to some mountain towns that look like they’re straight out of a storybook.
Enjoy a romantic getaway to Mystic, Connecticut, over the long holiday weekend. Wander through the Mystic Seaport Museum or the Mystic Aquarium, or simply take a stroll through its historic downtown and along the Mystic River. Enjoy a hard cider at B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill, and bring home some maple syrup, local honey, and fudge. Book a stay at the quaint Whaler’s Inn for a classic New England experience. Find out which Connecticut area also landed on our list of the 50 best road trips in America.
Delaware: Bethany Beach
Visit Delaware’s beaches for a final 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, and Bluecoast Seafood Grille. Stay at the Addy Sea, a quintessential New England bed and breakfast with beach views, a large lawn, and a comfy front porch. Looking for a great end-of-summer read to go with your end-of-summer vacation? Choose from these 65 best summer reads of all time.
Florida: Sanibel Island
For a quiet getaway, consider sleepy Sanibel Island on the Gulf of Mexico. Largely untouched by development, it doesn’t have any stoplights or buildings taller than a palm tree. While it’s famous for its shelling (though please leave those shells on the beach), it boasts plenty of other outdoor activities, such as 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, or visit South Seas Island Resort on nearby Captiva Island. Love shelling? Here are 15 beaches with the best seashells in the world.
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 a fire pit, the gourmet Woodlands Grill, and a spa. Book a stay of three nights or more and save 15 percent. Looking to travel after Labor Day? Check out these 30 best fall weekend getaways.
While Hawaii is not open to weekend travelers right now, requiring anyone who enters the state to quarantine for 14 days, if you happen to be a local, you can enjoy temperatures in the mid-80s in early September. Over Labor Day, the water is also at its warmest, and it’s the perfect time to explore the great outdoors at one of the state parks on Maui, like Kaumahina State Wayside Park. Here are more reasons Maui is the best Hawaiian island.
Love silver? Head to Wallace, the world’s largest silver producer and a town that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There, you can bike, rollerblade, or walk along the trail of the Coeur d’Alenes cycle path, explore the historic downtown, and pick up some unique silver souvenirs. Be sure to get a Huckleberry Shake at the Red Light Garage, and book a stay at the Wallace Inn.
Get your fall fix with a trip just south of Arthur, Illinois, to the 200 Acres Farm. Throughout September and October, this farm hosts its very own Great Pumpkin Patch with more than 300 varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds from countries all over the world. In addition to picking out the perfect pumpkin, you can enjoy fall favorites like wagon rides, a corn maze, and animal visits. Before you decide how to carve your pumpkin this year, discover the real history behind why we carve pumpkins.
This year over Labor Day weekend, the city will be winding down after hosting the Indianapolis 500 in late August (usually held over Memorial Day weekend but moved due to the pandemic), but you can still check out the Indianapolis Speedway Museum at the world-famous track. Fall is a great time to visit the area because hotel prices are lower than normal. You can’t go wrong with options like the JW Marriott, right at the White River State Park; the Crowne Plaza Historic Union Station, where you can sleep in an original Pullman train car (though the restaurant, pool, and fitness center are currently closed); or the hip Le Meridien, where you may be able to get a complimentary upgrade. Each hotel is within walking distance to downtown.
Iowa: Madison County
Spend your Labor Day weekend discovering the romantic covered bridges of Madison County featured in the novel and film The Bridges of Madison County. The five bridges were each constructed in the late 1800s, and one is even said to be haunted. Wander through charming Winterset, and make sure to have lunch at the Northside Cafe and stop at the John Wayne Birthplace and Museum. For a great place to stay, try the Covered Bridge Inn just off of Highway 92. Find out the most iconic novel set in your state.
Kansas: Kansas City
In Kansas City, you can eat your fill of Kansas City barbecue at many restaurants now offering outdoor dining, visit the National World War I Museum and Memorial, or enjoy some family fun at Great Wolf Lodge, which is currently offering deals that save you up to 30 percent for stays through November 1. Kids can have a ball at the indoor water park, play mini-golf, and go on a MagiQuest adventure.
Head to the Bluegrass of Lexington for a weekend filled with all things horses and bourbon. Visit the Kentucky Horse Park to see horse shows and demonstrations, or take a tour of the area’s famous horse farms with their rolling green hills and white picket fences. Then, check out local bourbon distilleries like Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey. As for where to stay, try the Embassy Suites by Hilton Lexington Green; it’s close to Lexington Green, Fayette Mall, and the Summit at Fritz Farm, and it’s an easy drive to downtown. Check out the most delicious food in Kentucky—and every other state.
If you’re looking for some seafood before summer comes to a close, head to Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, about 45 minutes from New Orleans. A wonderful way to eat your way through the region is to explore the Cajun Bayou Food Trail, which is a network of restaurants and food-centric events. Lay your head overnight at the Carmel Inn in downtown Thibodaux, which is owned by local Cajuns who treat you like you’re part of the family. Not surprisingly, Thibodaux is one of the most charming small towns in the United States.
Maine: Cape Neddick
Get active before summer ends at the Cliff House Hotel in Cape Neddick on the southern coast of Maine, near Ogunquit. Take your pick of hiking and biking, surfing and sailing, kayaking on the York Harbor and Ogunquit River, or fishing and lobstering trips around Bald Head Cliff. There’s also a spa and an 18-hole golf course for even more end-of-summer fun. On your trip, be sure to see “The Nubble” lighthouse, built in 1879, from Sohier Park.
Maryland: Havre de Grace
For a relaxing end-of-summer escape with ideal temperatures, consider the quaint Vandiver Inn in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Stroll the Havre de Grace Farmers Market on Saturday, discover the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, and enjoy a meal at the Vineyard Bar. A short drive away, you can take a guided canoe tour at the Eden Mill Nature Center, though you’ll need to schedule it in advance. Up for a hike? Discover the best hiking trails near you.
Since many people head to the state’s beaches in Nantucket, Cape Cod, and Martha’s Vineyard, an escape to the city may be a less crowded and more affordable choice over Labor Day. Hotel Commonwealth, located in the heart of Kenmore Square overlooking historic Fenway Park, makes it easy to access Lucky Strike Bowl and the iconic Irish Lansdowne Pub. You can even book a stay in the Rathskeller Suite, designed in tribute to the famous underground music venue “The Rat.”
Michigan: Ann Arbor
This utterly charming university town, which is home to the University of Michigan, will put you in the fall spirit. Stroll through the downtown into the State Street district to explore historic architecture, shopping, art, and fine dining, or make your way to Kerrytown and grab a sandwich at the famous Zingerman’s Deli. The boutique Graduate Ann Arbor hotel is across the street from the university and offers free bike rentals for exploring the town, as well as a cocktail lounge. While in Michigan, you may also want to visit the Ford House, which is about an hour away. It’s one of the most beautiful mansions in the country.
Minnesota: Voyageurs National Park
For true outdoor lovers, consider a weekend getaway to Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. Made up of four major lakes and 26 minor lakes, it offers abundant opportunities to enjoy the water either by renting a boat or taking a boat tour with a park ranger. There are also 27 miles of hiking trails, as well as waterfalls and ancient petroglyphs. Explore it all from your home base of the Cantilever Hotel, part of the Trademark Collection by Wyndham, in the town of Ranier. If you want to get even closer to nature, you can actually camp at Voyageurs and these other national parks around the country.
Mississippi: Ocean Springs
The coast of Mississippi on the Gulf of Mexico makes for an ideal ocean escape. Historic and quaint Ocean Springs is a small town with plentiful southern live oak trees that’s known for its arts and festivals. You’ll find more than 200 shops, art galleries, restaurants, and bars to raise a glass to toast the end of summer. The Gulf Hills Hotel & Conference Center, built in 1927, once served as Elvis’ home and makes an interesting and fun spot to stay a night or two.
Missouri: Lake of the Ozarks
Celebrating Labor Day weekend at Lake of the Ozarks is a tradition for many families, and it offers lots of great outdoor activities across its 1,100 miles of shoreline. Hang out at the beach, go fishing, cruise the lake, enjoy a round of golf, or even go horseback riding. The Margaritaville Lake Resort makes a fun spot to lay your head. Save 10 percent on a stay of three nights or more through October 31, 2020. These are the most beautiful lakeside resorts in the world.
Montana: Big Sky
For the perfect mountain getaway, book a room at the Lone Mountain Ranch in Montana’s Big Sky. Situated at the base of the northern Rocky Mountains and established in 1915, the resort offers 27 historic log cabins for a rustic escape. Opt for the Summer Discovery package and you’ll enjoy three daily meals, a ranch-style barbecue, live Western music, and a tour of Yellowstone National Park, as well as horseback riding, canoeing, and paddleboarding.
Head to Omaha for Nebraska-style Labor Day fun. The city offers a children’s museum, a zoo, and an aquarium, and you shouldn’t miss the chance to explore its Old Market neighborhood, filled with shops, dining, and art galleries. The EVEN Hotels Omaha Downtown is a wellness-themed property where you can enjoy in-room fitness equipment, healthy eats, and a state-of-the-art gym for staying fit on the go. Find the best-kept secret in every state, including Nebraska.
Nevada: Lake Tahoe
Get your fill of both the mountains and a beautiful lake in gorgeous Lake Tahoe. Zephyr Cove Resort offers a lodge, cabins, and an RV campground with newly built Airstreams. There are so many activities to enjoy in the area, including lake cruises, horseback riding, parasailing, fishing, and simply hanging out on the beach one last time before the close of summer.
New Hampshire: White Mountains
For a picture-perfect mountain getaway this Labor Day, consider New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Hike more than 160 miles of trails, and head up Mount Washington if you dare. The White Mountain Cog Railway is also a fun activity that takes visitors on a guided three-hour, round-trip ride through the mountains. The grand Omni Mountain Washington Resort in nearby Bretton Woods is an elegant property set at the base of the mountains, offering jaw-dropping vistas. If you love this sort of natural beauty, you won’t want to miss the 25 most stunning mountain towns in America.
New Jersey: Cape May
Spend Labor Day weekend on the beaches of Cape May, New Jersey, at Congress Hall, America’s oldest seaside resort and a former vacation spot of several U.S. presidents. Over the holiday weekend, families will find lots of fun activities like scavenger hunts, live entertainment, and more. Known for its Victorian architecture, Cape May has miles of coastline, quaint shopping, and a picturesque lighthouse. Find out the most historical hotel in your state.
New Mexico: Taos Ski Valley
To escape the heat of summer, Taos Ski Valley offers visitors cool and crisp temperatures typically in the mid-60s, ideal for outdoor activities. Discover the scenery on mountain biking trails, as well as hiking trails and chairlift rides. Other options include rock climbing, electric bikes, fishing, and hot air balloon rides. Hotel St. Bernard makes a convenient spot to stay the weekend.
New York: Cooperstown
While summer is the busiest season for Cooperstown, Labor Day is a great time to visit with fewer crowds, lower hotel rates, and milder weather. Top attractions in the area include its historic village, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, area apple orchards, and Lake Otsego. The Double Play Package at the lakeside Otesaga Resort Hotel includes Hall of Fame tickets, a souvenir bat, and a breakfast buffet for baseball aficionados. Are you a baseball fan? Check out these 9 moments that changed the game forever.
North Carolina: Outer Banks
For a quiet beach retreat, the Outer Banks of North Carolina has some of the largest stretches of undeveloped beaches on the East coast. Take a drive along the Outer Banks Scenic Byway, which boasts miles of natural coastlines. Comprised of four islands, the Outer Banks are home to several national and state parks with a history that dates back to the first English colony at Roanoke Island, the Wright Brothers’ first flight near Kitty Hawk, and the tallest lighthouse at Cape Hatteras. The oceanside Sanderling Resort in Duck offers a beach, pools, and a spa.
North Dakota: Medora
Plan a visit to lovely Medora, North Dakota, an Old West town in the area’s Badlands. Discover its charming downtown, where you can take a stagecoach ride and watch the famous Medora Musical. It’s also a great home base to visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The AmericInn by Wyndham offers Jacuzzi suites, a free daily breakfast, and an indoor pool, and it’s within walking distance to Medora’s downtown.
Enjoy the beauty of this city set along the Ohio River that is filled with activities from a zoo to museums to the Great American Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds. Explore the city’s trendy Over-the-Rhine District, making sure to a stop for a meal at the Sacred Beast diner and take a free tour of the historic Findlay Market. The AC Hotel Cincinnati at the Banks is a convenient place to stay close to many downtown attractions, including Ohio River cruises on BB Riverboats. Here are more of the top weekend getaways in every state that you can take all year long.
Indulge in a few days of fun at Safari Joe’s H2O Water & Adventure Park in Tulsa. Families will find 10 different water attractions, including a wave pool, waterslides, and a lazy river. Safari Joe’s also has a reptile exhibit with exotic animals like snakes, lemur monkeys, parrots, and more, as well as entertainment, including magic shows, karaoke, and concerts. The Tulsa Club Hotel, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, offers upscale accommodations in the Deco District of downtown. These indoor waterparks are open year-round, so you can keep the fun going even when summer is over.
How does floating down a river in an inner tube as a way to soak in the last days of summer sound? You can do that and more in Bend, where the Deschutes River flows right through town. The city also offers world-class rock climbing, hiking, fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and 18 breweries along the Bend Ale Trail. The Pronghorn Resort puts you in the center of the action and offers your third night free when you book two nights as part of a special summer deal.
Pennsylvania: Lackawanna County
Lackawanna County is an affordable getaway just west of the Poconos in northeast Pennsylvania, with most hotels offering rates of less than $200 per night. Fun options in the area include the chance to tour an 1860 coal mine and take a trolley ride through the mountains. Stay at the Hilton Scranton in the heart of downtown, then hop over to the Montage Mountain Resort, where you can zipline, play mini-golf, splash around an outdoor water park, and more. While we’re talking about Pennsylvania, find out which lovely spot in the state made our list of the East coast vacations you need to take at least once.
Rhode Island: Providence
Providence offers a range of activities for all ages, from the Providence Children’s Museum for kids to its large collection of colonial buildings on Benefit Street that will appeal to architectural buffs. Labor Day is also a great time to visit one of the city’s many farmers’ markets that run through October. You can also take a boat ride on the city’s rivers with the Providence River Boat Company. The Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel is convenient to many area attractions and offers an artistic ambiance.
South Carolina: Hilton Head Island
In South Carolina, book a weekend on the beaches of Hilton Head Island to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort offers something for everyone, with three championship golf courses, an inland lagoon, the beachfront Dunes House restaurant, and bike, kayak, and paddleboard rentals. Head across the street to Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina for shopping, more dining, and lots of water activities, including fishing charters. Check out more secret island escapes around the world.
South Dakota: Black Hills
Take one last outdoor adventure before the cooler weather descends on the Black Hills of South Dakota, which is home to famous American landmarks like Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, and the Crazy Horse Memorial. Enjoy a hike around the famous carvings of U.S. presidents or hop on a bike to discover the region in the open air. The K Bar S Lodge offers scenic mountain views near Mount Rushmore.
Tennessee: Pigeon Forge
Take a trip down to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which has no entrance fee, and spend some time in nearby Pigeon Forge, which offers a variety of activities for all ages. See a live show like Dolly Parton’s Stampede, enjoy some shopping at The Island, or wander through the Titanic Museum and the Alcatraz East Crime Museum. The Margaritaville Island Hotel has a tropical ambiance (and, of course, margaritas) despite being set in the Tennessee mountains, making it the perfect escape from everyday life. If you want to bring your furry BFF on vacation with you, check out our list of the best pet-friendly hotels in America.
With more domestic nonstop flights than any other U.S. city, Dallas is easy to reach from around the country. Outdoor lovers can walk through the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, while architecture fans can take an architectural walking tour through Dallas’ architecture districts. The Hilton Anatole, located in the city’s design district, features a spa, a pool with lazy river, and an extensive art collection.
Utah: Park City
Expect mild temperatures in the low 70s in late August in Park City, the perfect weather to explore the city’s gorgeous scenery. Social-distance in its many parks and on hundreds of miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking. Other fun options include hot air ballooning, fishing, horseback riding, and more. The Sheraton Park City is a comfy spot to lay your head when you’re exhausted from all the day’s activity. In the winter, Park City is one of the best places to ski in the United States.
Get active in Vermont’s Green Mountains over Labor Day weekend at the family-friendly Smugglers’ Notch Resort, known as “Smuggs,” in Jeffersonville. While it’s still warm, indulge in the resort’s four water playgrounds, make your way through a treetop obstacle course, hike the mountains, or play a round of disc golf. Choose from a mix of condos to host groups of various sizes.
Experience the scenic landscapes of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley over Labor Day at Massanutten Resort in McGaheysville. Enjoy one last hurrah at the outdoor portion of the resort’s award-winning WaterPark, as well as go ziplining, mountain biking, and more. You’ll get 15 percent off when you stay in a condo or at the hotel for three or more nights through December 23, 2020. Check out more mini family vacations that won’t break the bank.
Washington: Cle Elum
While the summer crowds are gone at Cle Elum’s Suncadia Resort, the property is still buzzing with activity. With an average temperature in the mid-70s, the weather is just right for outdoor fun like beer and bike tours, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, and fly-fishing. You can also get in one last splash at the Nelson Farm Pool, which has a lazy river, splash pad, and whirlpool.
West Virginia: White Sulphur Springs
Take a trip back in time at the historic Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, a National Historic Landmark built in 1778. The resort, which has played host to many a president and celebrity, offers a wide variety of amenities and activities to entertain all interests. Choose from golf courses, a spa, gaming, and lots of upscale restaurants. One important note: The resort is currently requiring temperature checks for guests. Expect to see coronavirus precautions like this and more around the country—it’s one of the ways hotels are changing forever.
Wisconsin: Natural Bridge State Park
Get out into Wisconsin’s great outdoors at Natural Bridge State Park. Here, you’ll find a natural sandstone arch and an 11,000-year-old rock shelter. There are about four miles of hiking trails, including a self-guided nature trail. Keep an eye out for a variety of birds, including bald eagles. The Great Wolf Lodge in nearby Wisconsin Dells is a fun place to stay, and it’s a particularly great choice if you have kids, since it has an indoor water park.
Wyoming: Jackson Hole
Labor Day is the perfect time to visit Jackson Hole, as the weather is still dry, the fall colors are changing, there’s active wildlife, and nearby national parks are still open. The Snake River Sporting Club offers the perfect mix of adventure, luxury, and solitude. Visitors can book “tiny homes” with their own patio and fire pit. Want to keep the fun going all September and October long? Check out more of the best socially distanced weekend trips for fall.