The 10 Best Places to Celebrate Labor Day Weekend in the U.S., According to Yelp (Video)
You’ve got one last chance to make the most of summer.
Using its database, Yelp identified the 10 cities around the country that got busiest around Labor Day. The company then ranked them based on how much busier each city got compared to the seven days before and after the holiday.
The list compiles a selection of unique Labor Day destinations around the country that offer far more than just a barbecue or beach. You can dive into American history in Lexington, Virginia or Tybee Island, Georgia. Eat your way through the culinary scenes of Fredericksburg, Texas or Page, Arizona. Or, if you’d rather spend your long weekend completely off the grid and forgetting about your job, venture to the waters of Mammoth Lakes, California or Lake George, New York.
Whether your celebration plans are looking for a historic destination or the warmest beach, you’ve got three days to soak up the last of summer’s rays before switching gears to welcome autumn. And with a list of destinations this tempting, you’re forgiven if you try to finagle a “sick day” on either side of your break.
1. Lexington, Virginia
Lexington is known as a college town (home to Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University) and a gateway to the Shenandoah Valley. If you’re looking to stay, book a room at the historic Robert E. Lee Hotel, with a decor that will send you back in time. Make a stop at the Natural Bridge National Historic Landmark, a gorgeous state park where you can see the end of Thomas Jefferson’s old property. Then grab dinner at The Red Hen, a farm-to-table restaurant with elevated southern cookery.
2. Mammoth Lakes, California
Some may consider Mammoth Lakes a ski town, but there’s still summertime adventure. Consider a hike around Crystal Lake. To refuel, head to SKADI, where there’s a modern European menu with flavorful wine pairings. For nightfall, book yourself into Mammoth Mountain Chalets for the ultimate relaxing mountainside retreat.
3. Fredericksburg, Texas
Fredericksburg is renowned by many for its “German soul” in the heart of Texas. The town was founded by German immigrants in the mid-1800s and retains its cultural heritage. Get some Texas barbecue and check out a live country music show at Luckenbach. Meander around the grounds of Das Peach Haus, where you can take a cooking class or sample the famous peach cider. Locals love Cabernet Grill for a meal at the end of the day — particularly during peach season.
4. Tybee Island, Georgia
Tybee Island combines history and a beach retreat in one charming package. Board a ship through Captain Derek’s Dolphin Adventure and get out into the water to see the marine life off the island’s coast. Grab some fresh seafood, like the buffalo shrimp tacos, at The Deck, with oceanside views. Retreat to the Beach View Bed and Breakfast for a relaxing stay that lives up to its idyllic name.
5. Miramar Beach, Florida
It doesn't have the glitz or popularity of beaches in Miami — but that's a good thing for people looking to get away from it all in Miramar Beach. Sample the unique flavors at Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, which are made fresh daily. Have some fun with Coastal Cruisers, where you can rent paddleboards, bikes, pontoons, and even golf carts. When you need a bite to eat, nab at beach-facing seat on the patio at Surf Hut and indulge in fresh seafood.
6. Lake George, New York
It’s nearly a four-hour drive from New York City up to Lake George and, truly, it feels worlds away. Quickly settle into the lakeside vibes with a tour and tasting at Adirondack Winery. Take advantage of the lake access at The Lodges at Cresthaven where you can look out at the lake or take out a kayak from your cabin. Bistro Le Roux offers a mix of French and New American cuisine to delight stomachs and taste buds before heading back to the lake.
7. Page, Arizona
Labor Day doesn’t mean you have to go to the beach. Partake in one of Ken’s Tours of Lower Antelope Canyon for one of the most fantastic natural experiences in America. If you’re looking for more adventure, Kayak Lake Powell will take you on a tour on the waters of Arizona. And no visit to the area is complete without a stop at BirdHouse, which only serves fried chicken. But with hundreds of five-star reviews, there’s no need to diversify the menu.
8. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Colorado is known for its gorgeous mountain views and nature-filled adventures. Experience it with a hike at Fish Creek Falls Park. Then bathe in the hot springs, whizz down a waterslide, or indulge in a massage at Old Town Hot Springs. Swing by Salt & Lime for its array of inventive tacos and, of course, its signature margaritas.
9. Springdale, Utah
If you’re visiting Springdale, it’s probably to get to Zion National Park. Book a day with Zion Adventure Company for a guided hike through the park where you’ll get easy access to its hidden wonders. Celebrate the completion of your hike with a much-deserved meal at King’s Landing Bistro. You don’t need to rough it in a tent to sleep near nature. Book a night at the Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens and revel in the views of Zion National Park. Plus, there’s river and beach access on-site.
10. Port Angeles, Washington
Spend your day wandering around the majestic landscapes of Olympic National Park. Book a stay at the Olympic Lodge for easy access to the park and expansive views of the pine trees across a golf course out back. Comfort your stomach with a Korean fusion meal at Midtown Public House. The pork belly bowl and the bulgogi tacos are particular fan favorites.