With Labor Day quickly approaching, who else doesn’t want to go on a little weekend getaway? We looked into some of this year’s top Labor Day destinations and picked some of our favorites based on the activities available and type of atmosphere. From cute little historic towns to nature escapes to foodie destinations, there are all sorts of places to go! Here are some of JET’s top Labor Day Weekend Destinations in the United States!
Florida – Ocala, Anna Maria Island
For the sunny state of Florida, we looked into other options that might not be as well known (we still love Orlando for their theme parks and Miami for the experience!). Our picks in Florida are Ocala and Anna Maria Island, two beautiful destinations with varying atmospheres depending on what you prefer!
Ocala is dubbed as Florida’s “Horse Country” and known for its gorgeous nature! Ocala is a little over an hour away from Orlando, located in the upper central part of Florida. Ocala is your destination for anything and everything nature, bonus if you love horses! One of Ocala’s top attractions is the Gypsy Gold Horse Farm, where you can take a tour learning about the history of the Gypsy Vanner Horse breed and even getting the chance to take a picture with one to save for the memories! This 40 acre plot leaves plenty of room for exploration with a walking tour option available as well, so you can take in the various animals and sights on the farm at your own pace. Fun tip, bring some carrots to give to your stallion friends! In addition to this farm, there are all sorts of forests and botanical gardens to visit in Ocala as well. Try visiting the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens to view 24 unique gardens and Florida’s largest display of bamboo, or the Ocala National Forest that has plenty of lakes and rivers to enjoy water activities! Ocala is definitely a good weekend getaway to get in touch with nature again as there are all sorts of activities to do!
The next destination in Florida is Anna Maria Island! This spot was actually recommended by one of our JET team members, for its proximity to the Siesta Keys and chill vibe. Anna Maria Island is known for their white and smooth sand accompanied by gorgeous turquoise waters, making it a popular beach spot. You can also imagine how great the seafood is here! Try out a grouper sandwich at The Ugly Grouper that is referred to as the best in town, along with some of their other menu items. With many resorts located on the beach as well, Anna Maria Island is the perfect place to enjoy the sounds of the waves while sinking your feet into the smooth white sand. In addition to the stunning beaches, there are family friendly activities on Anna Maria Island too! Another cool spot to check out is the Mote Marine Aquarium, where you can meet manatees, sea turtles, and more! This is more than an aquarium, it’s also a research and wildlife rescue facility so you can learn more in depth about marine conservation in Florida. As you can see, Anna Maria Island is a nice little getaway for the Labor Day weekend as well as a relaxing beach destination.
California – Solvang, Santa Barbara
In the massive state of California, it was difficult to narrow it down to two cities! The first city we chose was the adorable historic Danish village of Solvang, located in Southern California’s Ynez Valley. The next city we chose for California is Santa Barbara, about an hour away from Solvang. These two destinations are some top picks for foodies with their wine tasting and dining options. More than that, they are definitely beautiful too!
Solvang, also known as the “Danish Capital of America” is a city known for its Danish-style architecture and wineries. It is the perfect place to feel like your in Denmark without leaving the country! This city holds plenty of Danish heritage in its rich history as a farming community for Danish immigrants in the early 1900’s, and has grown to be one of the largest cities in the Santa Ynez Valley today. Moving on to things to do in Solvang, you can start with sightseeing! Check out the Little Mermaid Fountain replica along with five windmills that will all truly give you a peek of Denmark. In addition, visit some authentic Danish bakeries for sweet treats and pastries or sample some wine with many different tasting rooms sourcing from over a hundred vineyards. They also have plenty of boutiques where you are sure to find antique treasures you can’t find anywhere else! This whole city is a sight to see all around, with yearly events always occuring, Solvang is an all-year destination!
Our next destination in California is Santa Barbara, located on the central California coast with a backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Being on the coast, there is do doubt that the beaches are a hot destination! You can visit Stearns Wharf which is home to many shops, restaurants, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Santa Barbara also is home to many museums and historic locations, including Old Mission Santa Barbara which boasts rich history and architecture that framed the rest of the city. Like Solvang, there are plenty of wine tasting tours you can take that take you through the bustling city while trying some of the finest wines. Santa Barbara also features botanic gardens for your taste of nature, highlighting some of California’s native plants and trees. Overall, Santa Barbara is rich with sights, history, and activities for your Labor Day weekend escape.
Bonus – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
The last destination to close out this list is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina! We chose this destination for the massive lists of things to do in Myrtle Beach, along with the long string of beaches that accompany the city. Myrtle Beach is definitely a family option too, with all sorts of entertainment options that would engage the entire family available to choose from. Take a walk down the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk & Promenade, where you’ll get those amazing ocean views along with some great restaurants to try out! This boardwalk is home to many attractions as well, including the SkyWheel and several Ripley’s attractions. With their 60 mile stretch of beaches, you can even work your way down there and find all sorts of outdoor activities catered to your liking! Learn a new skill this weekend by taking some surfing lessons, or get your touch of nature with a wildlife tour at various parks.
These are only a few of the many Labor Day weekend options that are out there! From beautiful historic cities to relaxing beach getaways, we’ve compiled a list of our top picks for this Labor Day weekend. Whether you are looking for a quiet getaway with the sounds of nature or a more lively and bustling scene, there are plenty of options for you!
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