Labor Day weekend provides a chance to have one last hoorah before autumn and winter take hold and force you to hibernate. Sure, you could grill some burgers and hot dogs in your backyard, but a three-day weekend gives you extra vacation time for a quick domestic trip. Where should you go to soak up the sun and celebrate the last days of summer? The following U.S. cities are excellent places to go for a fun outdoor getaway. So what are you waiting for? Load up your carry-on and hit the road!
With its booming craft beer scene, Asheville is a no-brainer. This beautiful city sits in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. An afternoon of lounging on a patio in the cool mountain air, sipping a beer is a great way to relax. But make sure you earn that drink! Put some boots in your daypack and spend the morning hiking the trails in Pisgah National Forest and cooling off in its breathtaking waterfalls.
Looking to unwind? Live music, as well as food and drink specials aren’t uncommon along the waterfront in Boston, Massachusetts (don't forget to try the New England clam chowder). Love sports? See if the Red Sox are playing at the iconic Fenway Park and try to catch a foul ball. History buff? Go for a stroll along the famous Freedom Trail, the 2.5-mile stretch that introduces you to 16 important sites that played roles in the American Revolution.
Don't go to Denver, Colorado without visiting the Denver Botanic Gardens. Bring a picnic lunch in your backpack (it's allowed), and check out the bonsai plants, the waterlilies, and the arid gardens. Then spend some time at the Denver Zoo to see some bald eagles, cheetahs, giraffes, grizzly bears, penguins, red kangaroos, and polar bears. You'll leave with an even greater appreciation of the natural world.
Head downtown to cool off in Zilker Park's Barton Springs Pool. This three-acre pool, which reaches a depth of 18 feet in spots, is fed by underground springs and the Edwards Aquifer. Its average temperature is 68 to 70 degrees, so be prepared for a brisk but refreshing dip. After your swim, check out Splash, an educational exhibit that teaches you about nature, science, and ecology—it's super fun and interactive for kids, too.
One of the best cities for biking in the United States is Portland, Oregon. For a variety of scenic rides of different lengths, visit www.rubbertotheroad.com. Then take a jetboat excursion on the Willamette River. The boats spin and stop short to keep you entertained, so prepare to get soaked! Once you've dried off, take a break from the heat by visiting Powell's Books, which spans an entire city block in the Pearl District and is the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.
These aren’t the only U.S. cities with awesome things to do over Labor Day Weekend. What are your favorite places to visit? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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