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Five fun-filled destinations for the perfect Labor Day weekend getaway

End summer on a high note by sneaking away to these top Labor Day weekend destinations. | By Cassandra Brooklyn | August 17, 2023

From food and festivals to symphonies and state fairs, Labor Day celebrations are as diverse as summer days are long. Whether you’re traveling with kids, a group of friends or it’s just you and that special someone, we’ve rounded up the best places to celebrate Labor Day across the United States.


Festival lovers take note of Seattle in September, when you’ll find numerous large events over Labor Day weekend. Kicking things off on September 1st, the Washington State Fair is a 24-day extravaganza complete with farm animals, miniature tractor rides and an extensive music lineup. Labor Day weekend also hosts the Bumbershoot Arts & Music Festival, which pairs a massive list of international musicians with everything from roller skating and nail art to wrestling and drag performances. If you want a break from the crowds, head to Chateau Ste. Michelle winery, Washington state’s oldest winery. Tour the château and grounds, schedule a tasting or attend one of their outdoor concerts.

Charleston, South Carolina

From Southern hospitality and history to comfort food and pristine beaches, there’s never a bad time to visit Charleston. But what makes a Labor Day weekend visit so special is that you can also attend the Lowcountry Jazz Festival and enjoy performances by award-winning jazz singers and musicians. For travelers looking to combine a bit of history with a weekend of fabulous shopping, Hilton Club Liberty Place Charleston is conveniently found near the shops on King Street and the historic French Quarter. Take a thirty-minute stroll over to the colorful homes of Rainbow Row and the historic Battery promenade and fortified seawall. Here you’ll find more shops, restaurants and museums, including the International African American Museum.


Minneapolis’ 12-day, iconic Minnesota State Fair, which attracts nearly two million people, is centered around Labor Day weekend. Many of the music performances are free or inexpensive and there is plenty of food, rides, games and fireworks for the whole family. Take advantage of the city’s many free activities, including the zoo, numerous art museums and countless city parks. The 3-acre (1.2-hectare) Water Works public space is also free and features native plants, a children’s garden and the Indigenous restaurant, Owamni by The Sioux Chef.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

If you can’t decide between art, history, festivals and the outdoors, Cape Cod is calling. Known for its beaches, fresh seafood and lighthouses, the Cape has something for everyone. Whale watching on Cape Cod is especially good along Stellwagen Bank, and the peak migration period wraps up in September, making Labor Day weekend prime time for marveling at these majestic marine mammals. Music- and history-lovers should consider a stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cape Cod – Hyannis, where you’ll be just a five-minute drive from the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum and concerts at the Melody Tent. Labor Day weekend will also welcome the Cape Cod Women’s Music Festival that benefits the Cape Wellness Collaborative, a therapy program for locals facing cancer.

New Orleans

Few destinations in the United States are as known for their fabulous food as New Orleans. Come for the jambalaya, crawfish and beignets, but stay for the concerts, festivals and celebrations. Since 1972, NOLA’s famous French Quarter has hosted the Southern Decadence celebration over Labor Day weekend. The six-day LGBTQ+-friendly festival includes a drag show, parade and other activities. Football- and country music-lovers will appreciate the Sugar Bowl Country Kickoff on September 2nd, marking the start of college football season.

The end of summer can sneak up on you, but before the cold air arrives, there’s one final chance to soak in some warm weather over Labor Day weekend. Extend those summer vibes in any of these five top destinations and give summer a proper (and memorable!) send-off.

Cassandra Brooklyn is a freelance writer and guidebook author specializing in travel, accessibility, sustainability and all things outdoors. Originally hailing from the Midwest, she now lives in New York City but escapes to adventures around the world as often as possible. As the caregiver of a disabled parent - and as a hyper involved auntie of three - Cassandra is especially passionate about accessible, inclusive and multi-generational travel. She's the author of the cycling guidebook, Cuba By Bike, has contributed to multiple guidebooks about Egypt, Portugal and the United States, and has bylines in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Forbes, The Daily Beast and Lonely Planet, among others.

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