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Looking for Unusual Labor Day Getaways? Here Are Six Great Ideas!

Offbeat Labor Day Getaways for Families
Written by Going Places

This blog post was updated on August 18, 2022.

Perhaps with a few tears, Labor Day concludes the summer unofficially. The long weekend provides that last summer getaway, the chance to hold on to long days a little longer, while you soak up as much sunshine and free time as you possibly can. While there are many standbys for Labor Day travel such as Las Vegas, Miami, and New York, for travelers seeking a more unique experience, there are Labor Day spots for you too. If you’re starting to plot where to go this year, consider taking your flip-flops and sunscreen to these offbeat Labor Day getaways!


Memphis, Tennessee

Offbeat Labor Day Getaways like Memphis, Tennessee

Booking last-minute travel to Memphis will be just the start of your Labor Day adventure. If you’re into music, the city has been dubbed “Home of the Blues” and “The Birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll” thanks to its musical heritage: You can visit everything from Elvis Presley’s Graceland to the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. If you’re a foodie, you’ll love the southern staples of the region, including the world-famous, all-you-can-eat barbecue. Other tourist attractions include the National Civil Rights Museum, the Memphis Zoo, the Pink Palace Mansion, and the lively nightlife of Beale Street. There’s even the Memphis Pyramid with its 321-foot peak! How many other places in the U.S. can transport you straight to Egypt?


Gulfport, Florida

While the masses might be in Miami for Labor Day, you can find a quirkier Labor Day weekend in Gulfport. The waterside community is located in the St. Petersburg-Tampa area, and sits on the south end of the St. Pete/Clearwater peninsula. Gulfport presents a fine small-town Florida feel for Labor Day, still within reach of bigger cities. The town is also home to charming waterfront restaurants and artsy shops. If you come to Gulfport for Labor Day, you can expect one of its more offbeat celebrations, GeckoFest. GeckoFest is dedicated to the community’s unofficial mascot and favorite reptile. This event marks the end of summer in a circus-like fashion with street performers, people in costume, and live music. GeckoFest is almost like a Mardi Gras celebration at the close of summer. The quirky family-friendly street festival boasts live music on three stages, over 200 art, craft, and food vendors, a costume contest, a parade, and even an acrobatics show.

White Sands, New Mexico

Offbeat Labor Day Getaways like White Sands, New Mexico

White Sands National Park is exactly what it sounds like: a national park known for its white sand dunes. Reading this description, however, will not prepare you for the sight of more than 145,000 acres of white gypsum crystals sweeping over a desert landscape. It’s an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime kind of panorama, and it’s made even better by the many different ways to explore it. You can walk, hike, or bike around the dune fields. You can pitch a tent under its star-strewn skies. Or, you could go galloping on a horse or off-roading on an ATV. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can even sled down the dunes! They look a little like snow in areas without vegetarians, and they behave like it, too. Other areas of the park have a more traditionally arid look with all-white lizards clambering around cacti and other succulents.


Plano, Texas

Plano, Texas is mere minutes from Downtown Dallas and offers loads of attractions and options for offbeat Labor Day getaways. Travelers can roam the brick-paved antique district of downtown, feast on more than 700 restaurant options, visit the Interurban Railway Museum, or even pop in the Southfork Ranch where the hit show Dallas was filmed. For a quirky Labor Day event, you can head to the Texas Pool. As its name would indicate, the Texas Pool is a non-profit, membership-supported community swim club, namely known for its shape. The pool is cut out like the state of Texas and might even seem like the state’s size with 168,000 gallons of saltwater. The Texas Pool hosts a Labor Day End of Summer Party with cannonball contests and water games.


Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Offbeat Labor Day Getaways

Utah is home to some of the most stunning natural scenery in the U.S., and nowhere is this more apparent than Canyonlands National Park. Its dramatic desert landscape is filled with red cliffs, sandstone and limestone basins, iodized rock formations, sand bars, and sand dunes as far as the eye can see. You won’t know where to explore first! Fortunately, the canyonlands are divided into three distinct areas with their own geological wonders, so you can take your time traveling through “The Needle,” “The Maze,” and “The Island in the Sky.” As for things to do, the possibilities are endless. You can go climbing, camping, backpacking, stargazing, horseback riding, and more. Thanks to the presence of whitewater rapids from nearby rivers, you can even enjoy water activities like canoeing and kayaking.


Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville, known locally as C’villle, is a lovely spot for the southern experience. Its old-world charm includes everything from vineyards and orchards to restored plantation homes, including Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s 1772 mansion. It’s home to the University of Virginia, so it does the “college town” thing with plenty of bars. But, it’s also home to world-class museums, symphonies, and art galleries. If you enjoy the great outdoors, C’ville is also just a short hop away from Shenandoah National Park. You can go hiking, biking, camping, climbing, or horseback riding among its breathtaking scenery. Whether you’re looking to explore art and music or roam deep into the mountains to discover waterfalls and other natural gems, Charlottesville is the place to be.

Have you ever been to one of these offbeat Labor Day destinations? Tell us how it went below!

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