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3 Off-Beat Labor Day Destinations

Perhaps with a few tears, Labor Day concludes the summer unofficially. The long weekend provides that last summer getaway, the chance to hold on a little longer to long days, sunshine and more free time. While there are many standbys for Labor Day travel such as Las Vegas, Miami and New York, for travelers seeking a more off beat experience, there are Labor Day spots for you too. If you are starting to plot where to go for Labor Day this year, consider taking your flip-flops and sunscreen to these quirkier corners of the country for the long weekend.
Known as Utah’s premier ski destination, Park City isn’t all about the winter, especially for Labor Day. Located roughly 30 miles outside of Salt Lake City, Park City charms with is historic Main Street laced in century old buildings. Beyond Park City, travelers are put in the position to hike and mountain bike on nearby mountains for the long holiday weekend.
However, if you relish in quirky celebrations, Park City answers with its Park City Miner’s Day and Labor Day Celebration. The event honors the mountain town’s mining heritage with a wealth of activities like a 5K fun run, pancake breakfast, parade, live music and kids’ races. The celebration even features the more wacky events like a Running of the Balls in which thousand of numbered golf balls are released on Main Street with prizes up for grabs if your ball goes the distance. In addition, Park City’s Labor Day Celebration includes a Mucking and Drilling competition to try your knack at the gritty work miners do.
While the masses might be in Miami for Labor Day, you can find a quirkier Labor Day weekend in Gulfport. Located in the St. Petersburg-Tampa area, the waterside community sits on the south end of the St. Pete/Clearwater peninsula. Home to waterfront restaurants and artsy shops, Gulfport presents a fine small town Florida feel for Labor Day, still within reach of bigger cities.
If you come to Gulfport for Labor Day, you can expect one of its more off beat celebrations, GeckoFest. Dedicated to the community’s unofficial mascot and favorite reptile, the event marks the end of summer in a circus-like fashion with street performers, those 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, parade and even an acrobatics show. This year’s GeckoFest will take place on Saturday, September 5th.
Set up just minutes from downtown Dallas, Plano, Texas offers loads of attractions to keep you busy on Labor Day weekend. Travelers can roam the brick paved antique district of downtown, feast on more than 700 restaurant options, visit the Interurban 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. Cut out like the state of Texas, the pool might 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.

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