7 Top Labor Day Destinations in the U.S.
The approach of Labor Day may signal that summer is drawing to a close — but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one last fun extended weekend before the autumn weather befalls us. Jump on a car, plane, or train to check out some of the finest Labor Day weekend offerings throughout the U.S. No matter where you’re located, music, food, fireworks, and festivities await!
Here are our picks for 7 of the best ways to spend your Labor Day weekend this year.
1. Knoxville, Tennessee
Knoxville is home to the Boomday Festival — the largest Labor Day weekend fireworks display in the nation. The 2014 show, which takes places on Saturday, August 30, features a number of live musical guests, such as country music star Rodney Atkins. The celebration also features water stunts and exhibitions, street entertainment, delicious barbecue, and more! Visit the Boomday Festival website for details.
2. Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. is a can’t-miss spot to celebrate the classic American tradition of Labor Day. A Labor Day visit to the city wouldn’t be complete without attending the beloved Labor Day Capitol Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. This year’s show, which takes place on Sunday, August 31, features the National Symphony Orchestra performing a number of patriotic classics, as well as “music that highlights the American landscape,” according to the Festival website. While you’re in town, try catching some of the DC Blues Festival for a lively taste of this nation’s musical roots.
3. Park City, Utah
Every year in Park City — home of the Sundance Film Festival — the Labor Day weekend is celebrated in earnest as the area holds its Miner’s Day Festival, honoring a rich regional mining heritage. The festivities kick off with a pancake breakfast, live music, and 5K run. These events are followed by the “world-famous Running of the Balls,” a town tradition involving the release of hundreds of rubber balls down Main Street, culminating in a town-wide raffle. Park City is situated about 40 minutes outside of Salt Lake City. Be sure to visit the state capital while you’re near!
4. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago is bustling — as ever — on Labor Day weekend. This is a particularly exciting time to visit, as each year the city celebrates Labor Day with its famous Jazz Festival. This celebration, which began in 1979, offers a number of beautiful, free jazz concerts in the city, showcasing the vast jazz talents of the region, the nation, and the world at large. Visit the Chicago Annual Jazz Festival website for details.
5. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Each Labor Day weekend, Virginia Beach is host to the American Music Festival. This year’s festival boasts headlines Creedence Clearwater Revival, Train, Blues Traveler, and Hunter Hayes — along with many other exciting acts. That Sunday, Virginia Beach will also host their own installment of the Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon, which will offer live entertainment, food, and shopping for visitors and runners alike. Visit the American Music Festival website for details.
6. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is an ideal place to give summer the exciting sendoff it deserves. Kick things off on Friday, August 30, with the Mass Brewers Fest, where you can sample offerings from dozens of Massachusetts’ finest beer brewers. Choose from over 80 of the best beer this state has on tap! Later on over the holiday weekend, enjoy fireworks on the Harbor and take in a couple Red Sox games at historic Fenway Park. Visit Boston Discovery Guide to learn more about the available Labor Day happenings.
7. South Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe is beautiful any time of year, but South Lake Tahoe’s Labor Day Fireworks Extravaganza is unmatched in explosive beauty. Orchestrated along with simultaneously broadcast music all around the area, these marvelous fireworks are visible from all over town. Watch from the ground, or try taking a boat into the lake to view the beautiful sight. If you’re feeling really adventurous, jump on a guided helicopter tour and watch the show from the sky.