The Best Southern Labor Day Getaways
Memorial Day and Independence Day have come and gone this summer, so it’s time to start planning for the next (and last) summer holiday this season: Labor Day. The kids might already be back in school, but that doesn’t mean summer vacation is over when the long weekend arrives. Even though Labor Day is the first weekend of September, you should start planning your long weekend getaway now to score the best deals and to avoid last-minute stress. We've handpicked some great getaways for all differerent types of scenarios, from a trip with the girls to a wine festival to a family vacation at the beach to a long (and long overdue) romantic getaway. Check out our list and start planning now.
Hit up These Happening Southern Spots for Labor Day
Annapolis has a big time during Labor Day weekend—just ask the locals. When you’re on the Chesapeake Bay, you can make the most of waterfront and on-the-water activities, and there are lots of great places to grab a bite to eat too.
If you’re in Branson for Labor Day, make your way to the area lakes to soak up the last rays of summer. From Bull Shoals Lake to Lake Taneycomo to Table Rock Lake, you’ll have your pick of spots to take a dip, launch a boat, and cruise a jet ski.
Columbia, South Carolina
This fun metro just a stone’s throw from Lake Murray offers big fun in a city setting. The lake has over 600 miles of shoreline and has become a recreation destination and summertime playground for locals and visitors alike.
Cashiers, North Carolina
If you want to get away to the mountains instead of the beach this Labor Day, head to Cashiers, North Carolina. Not only can you hike, visit waterfalls and enjoy the incredible scenery Cashiers has to offer, but you can attend the Cashiers Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair on Saturday and Sunday before Labor Day.
Fairhope, Alabama, is one of the South’s most picturesque towns, and its downtown shopping options and antique stores, incredible restaurants and scenic views on Mobile Bay make it your next Labor Day getaway. Stay at the Grand Hotel Marriot Resort, Golf Club & Spa, and everyone in the family will be both relaxed and entertained.
There’s lots to do in Galveston in summertime. The famed Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark keeps families entertained and cool during the hot months, and places like Steward Beach, Moody Gardens, and the Galveston Island Pleasure Pier ensure there’s always an adventure in store.
Hatteras, North Carolina
With big sandy beaches and plenty of beach house rentals, North Carolina’s Outer Banks make for a great Labor Day getaway. Nearby Cape Hatteras Hational Seashore is a destination for boating and exploring, and with Pamlico Sound on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the Other, there’s no shortage of water views.
Even though Christmas and Oktoberfest are the most popular times to visit the festive mountain town of Helen, Georgia, you can find good deals and still have great weather while visiting in the summer. There are tons of outdoor family activity options (seriously, tons), but if you’re going with the girls or the husband, check out Helen’s multiple vineyards and wineries. A long Labor Day weekend might not be enough time to check off a must-do list in Helen.
Inlet Beach, Florida
If you want a true, relaxing getaway, travel past the busier communities on Florida’s famous Highway 30A to Inlet Beach. There are beautiful homes and condos available for rent in Inlet Beach, and the beach is the most quiet and peaceful you’ll find. A trip to Inlet Beach would be great for a family or girls’ trip when you want to stay on the beach all day and cook in at night, even though you can easily get to the popular restaurants down 30A.
Country music fans should spend their Labor Day weekend in Lexington, Kentucky, for the Red, White & Boom music festival, which will feature artists like Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and Blake Shelton. The Bluegrass Classic Dog Show and the Kentucky Classique Horse Trials competition will be going on, too, so there’s plenty to do aside from the usual sightseeing Lexington has to offer.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Ocean City, Maryland
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
If you want to be on the water for Labor Day but don’t want to be on an overcrowded beach in a touristy town, you should visit Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Ocean Springs has an adorable downtown with a buzzing entertainment district. The Saturday before Labor Day (September 2) is Ocean Spring’s annual Artwalk, so check out local artists, venues and over 30 restaurants before you hit the beach on Labor Day.
If you’re a beer lover, you have to go to Savannah, Georgia, for the Savannah Craft Brew Fest the Saturday before Labor Day (September 2). After enjoying the brew fest, you can spend the rest of the long weekend shopping, eating gourmet food and enjoying the scenery in one of the South’s prettiest and most historic cities.
Sevierville, Tennessee, is a town in the Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Although smaller, Sevierville has plenty to do if you want to spend Labor Day in the mountains. Of course, outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, golfing, canoeing and horseback riding are abundant, but Sevierville has an awesome shopping scene with two huge outlet malls and local, specialty stores and antique shops. Sevierville has a vacation planner available online to make your trip stress-free before it even begins.
Yes, you definitely should visit the Magnolia Market and Silos and try to find our favorite HGTV couple Chip and Joanna Gaines, but there’s so much more to do in Waco, Texas, for a long Labor Day weekend. Among other things to do in Waco, you should take a trip to the Dr. Pepper Museum, see a show or movie at the Waco Hippodrome Theatre, walk around the Downtown Cultural District or tour Baylor University (which happens to be where Chip and Joanna went to school, just saying).