Labor Day

For travelers, the three-day weekend is a last-ditch chance to soak in the waning rays of sunshine before the crisp autumn air creeps in. The weekend marks the tail-end of high season rates, but Labor Day deals are out there if you know where to look. Even a spur-of-the-moment trip doesn’t have to put a dent in the wallet if you look to big cities, which tend to empty out this particular weekend. The history behind the holidayThe origins of Labor Day can be traced back to 18th-century Europe, when skilled workers found respite in working longer hours for fewer days, eventually taking off "Saint Monday"—the Monday after payday—to enjoy rest and recreation, from attending concerts and museums and various town events. In 1894, Labor Day became the first American holiday to be designated on a Monday—the first Monday in September—as a way to honor the working class and serve as a nationwide reminder that summer is drawing to a close.Labor Day EventsAccording to the AAA, some 86% of travelers fitting in the last of their weekend getaways head to beaches like New York’s Coney Island; South Beach Florida; Hilton Head, South Carolina; and Nassau, Bahamas. Others are content with an indulgent staycation, breaking out the picnic baskets and sandwiches for a final nap and chat on the grass. In the spirit of “Saint Monday,” a variety of parades and events are held throughout the country as a last hurrah in the outdoors. Whether you’re headed to an annual music festival like New York City’s Electric Zoo and the D.C. Blues Festival, catching that last spin on the ferris wheel before the local carnival closes for the season, or taking an hour to browse the city farmer’s markets or crafts fair, every city does its best to offer a range of activities to fill your weekend—and counter those end-of-summer blues. Let Travel + Leisure be your guide to what’s on.

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The Most Popular Labor Day Weekend Destinations and What to Do in Each of Them

Labor Day may be just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to make a quick three-day weekend getaway happen. To help all would-be travelers plan, Yelp compiled a list of the top 10 “must-see” U.S. destinations for the unofficial end of summer weekend. To compile the list, Yelp explained it looked at cities across the country that saw the biggest spike in search traffic during Labor Day Weekend in 2017. To ensure geographic diversity for travelers from all regions of the nation, Yelp then limited the list to two cities per state. They also included some of the highest-rated things to see, do, and eat in each location. Buy a ticket, pack your bags, and head to one of these hotspot destinations next weekend.

How to Keep Summer Going Into September

While many people in the United States say goodbye to summer after Labor Day, don't panic. If you feel like the season has passed you by in a blur of subway delays and almost-going-to-the-beach days that turned into actually-just-watching-Netflix days, it's not too late. Technically, summer ends September 21, so there's plenty of time left for exploring local beaches, hiking in a National Park, or just reading that novel you've been meaning to get around to. September is the perfect time to live out the rest of your summer fantasies, as many of the school vacation crowds have disappeared, and both hotels as well as airlines are more likely to be offering deals. It's also a great opportunity to start planning travel for shoulder season (the few months between peak seasons in any given destination when prices go down and travelers can score big). So why not head to Cape Cod for the fall solstice, or book a trip to Vermont before all of the foliage-lovers take over most of New England? Because summer definitely isn't over just yet.