Labor Day: 5 Last-Minute Travel Ideas

Five ideas for quick Labor Day weekend getaways that won't break the bank.

Children have already started heading back to school by the time Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of summer, pops up during the first week of September. We all usually do a good job planning a great trip with the family in June or July, and we may forget to make plans for the final summer holiday weekend. We decided to pull together 5 savvy ideas for quick getaways that won’t break the bank.
Thunder Dolphin, roller coaster, Tokyo, Japan

Thunder Dolphin, roller coaster, Tokyo, Japan

Photo by: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

Cool off during the dog days of summer and go beyond your local public swimming pool. Visit a nearby water park such as Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, TX. Get wet ’n’ wild on the wave-making Boogie Bahn Surfing Ride and the Master Blaster uphill water coaster. For an adrenaline-pumping adventure, families can head to an amusement park such as Kings Dominion, which is located 20 miles north of Richmond, VA, and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Thrill junkies can hop on the Intimidator 305, one of the tallest and fastest roller coasters on the East Coast. Check out our complete guide to US amusement parks for more inspiration.

dawn, lake, trees with colored leaves, mountains in distance

dawn, lake, trees with colored leaves, mountains in distance

Dawn breaking over Second Pond, Adirondack Mountains, State Park, New York

Photo by: Chris Murray / Aurora / Getty Images

Chris Murray / Aurora / Getty Images

Take advantage of the warm weather and get outside to explore a US national park such as Yosemite, Canyonlands, the Grand Canyon or the Great Smoky Mountains. Some parks offer family-friendly activities, too. Go hiking on Logan Pass in Glacier National Park in Montana or camping under the stars in Maine’s Acadia National Park. We can’t think of a better way to enjoy summer’s last hurrah.

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186359930

Photo by: Paul GIamou / Aurora / Getty Images

Paul GIamou / Aurora / Getty Images

Experience the fun of being on the open road while visiting the cities, towns and roadside attractions along the way. Most people think of cultural immersion when traveling abroad, but it works when visiting a nearby city or town, too. Travel like a local and visit popular hangouts, places to eat and recreational sites. It’s a great way to experience cities such as San Antonio, New Orleans, Myrtle Beach and Destin.

ocean, beach, florida, sunset, dock

ocean, beach, florida, sunset, dock

Photo by: Matthew Paulson via Flickr Creative Commons NC ND 2.0, cropped and color corrected

Matthew Paulson via Flickr Creative Commons NC ND 2.0, cropped and color corrected

There’s probably no better way to wrap up a great summer than with a fun getaway to a beach destination such as Cape Cod; Ocean City, MD; Miami; or Malibu, CA. And even if you don’t live close to the coast, you can plan a lake getaway or splurge for a quick island escape in the Caribbean. Not sure where to go? Check out our Best Beach Awards 2015, top 10 Florida beaches and top 10 California beach getaways.

Wisconsin State Fair

Wisconsin State Fair

Held just outside Milwaukee in West Allis, otherwise known as America's Dairyland, it's no surprise the biggest attraction at the Wisconsin State Fair is the cream puffs -- betcha can't eat just one.

Photo by: Wisconsin State Fair Park

Wisconsin State Fair Park

Are you ready for cotton candy, kettle corn, fried treats and fun rides? August is state fair season! Head to your state fairgrounds to see unusual competitions that showcase the best at sculpting butter, racing outhouses, rolling logs, chugging milk and more. It’s a great family-friendly outing, but just make sure you pack the sunscreen and stay hydrated. For more travel inspiration, fairgoers should take a look at our lists of the best state fairs in the US, state fair competitions, Andrew Zimmern’s 10 favorite state fair foods and, for people watching their waistlines, low-calorie state fair foods.

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