Labor Day Weekend might mean summer’s coming to an end, but it doesn’t have to mean your chances for travel are over. Hopefully you’ve got a long weekend coming up, so why not pack up the car and get out of town for a few days? We’ve got some suggestions for Labor Day getaways, and they’re all just a few hours in the car.
New York City to Berkshire Mountains, MA
If you live in or around NYC, the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts are only about two hours away. Escape the urban insanity and take to winding roads and cool breezes, towering trees and roadside cafes. Rediscover a bit of New England’s elegant past at the Great Barrington Antiques Center, where about 50 antique dealers set up shop under one roof; you’ll find everything from toys from the 20’s to Oriental rugs. Stop by the Southfield Store (we promise it’s more than a gas station these days) for some local treats like croissants and pies, and homemade in-house gelato. Try the coconut almond. Immediately.
And when the sun goes down, head on over to the Old Inn on the Green. Chef Peter Platt and his partner took over as owners of rustic Berkshires Inn— once a stagecoach relay—in 2005; they’ve created one of the finest dining destinations in the area, maybe in the entire Northeast. The meals are based on the season and the region. How about some Hudson Valley squab with foie gras flan and huckleberry sauce? Or maybe a napoleon made with freshly-picked peaches and crème fraiche? The Old Inn also offers 11 casually comfortable guestrooms.
Philadelphia, PA to Cape May, NJ
Under two hours east from Philadelphia lies the lovely Cape May. Escape for the weekend to the southernmost tip of New Jersey along the Eastern Seaboard for some of the best bird-watching on the coast. Catch a guided birding walk-tour from the Cape May Bird Observatory, then head on over to Freda’s Café and Deli to follow up with some fine fare. Obviously you need to try the crab cakes and some seafood bisque. Might we recommend the bread pudding for dessert?
The Carroll Villa is the coziest spot to stay the night. This seaside retreat dates back to 1882, featuring the Mad Batter restaurant downstairs, boasting the most popular brunch in town.
Seattle, WA to Little Germany (Leavenworth), WA
You probably can’t make it to Germany and back over the long weekend, but you might be able to kick back and relax in Washington’s own Bavarian village. It might be a little kitschy, but come on, you can’t really go wrong with lederhosen and polka performances. The Washington Cascades rise up in the distance, making Leavenworth a perfect base camp for outdoor adventures as well.
Join the everlasting Oktoberfest at the Andreas Keller German Restaurant for your fill of schnitzel, bratwurst and beer, or head over to the Gingerbread Factory for a treat. The Abendblume just off the main street is a fantastic Bed and Breakfast; sometimes the owner serenades his guests with that long- horned wooden instrument during breakfast.
Washington, DC to Shenandoah River Valley, VA
You really can’t go wrong with a canoe trip down Virginia’s Shenandoah River followed by a farm-fresh meal and night in a waterfront cabin. The Shenandoah River Outfitters has everything you’ll need. Catch a guided tubing trip and cook dinner over an open campfire.
The Farmhouse Restaurant at Jordan Hollow Inn is housed in a cabin originally built in the 18th century, and the menu features unique cuisine like quail and grilled apples.
Chicago, IL to Elkhart Lake, WI
Just under 200 miles from Chi-town, Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine State Forest is home to the glittering spring-fed Elkhart Lake. Try out the Osthoff Resort for that much-needed off-the-radar feeling. The 240-room property on the shores of a glacially formed lake in a tiny town featuring farm-fresh meals, a 20,000-square-foot spa with a meditation sanctuary, cooking classes, and quaint café. Obviously you’ll have to try some Wisconsin cheese – perhaps at the local legend Back Porch Bistro.
Let us know where your favorite long-weekend getaway lies!