Looking to get the hell out of town this weekend? We understand. Even though New York has everything from awesome things to do on Labor Day, bangin’ Labor Day parties and tasty Labor Day food specials, sometimes a trip out of state is just what your therapist ordered. Whether you’re raring for thrilling rides at an out-of-town theme park or looking to hike and bike upstate, you’re only a car, train or bus ride away from these amazing Labor Day weekend getaways. Thank GOD for Airbnb, right?
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Labor Day in NYC
Philadelphia, PA: 1hr 49mins from NYC
Ready to get silly in Philly? There are tons of fun events going down in the city of brotherly love, including the Made in America Music Festival (Sept 3–4) curated by Jay Z. If you want to spend some time outside, check out the last weekend of Blue Cross RiverRink SummerFest, where you can roller skate and play mini golf by the water. Start up a rousing game of ping pong, jumbo-sized chess or shuffleboard at the gorgeous oasis that is Spruce Street Harbor Park along the Delaware River waterfront. And beer lovers will love Parks on Tap’s pop-up beer garden at Fairmount Park Conservancy (Sept 1–5)— grab a beer and a hammock while you enjoy great tunes from local talents.
Bethlehem, PA: 1hr 40mins from NYC
If you’re looking for an out-of-state destination that is just as bustling as it is charming, the quaint town of Bethlehem, PA has everything you need. If you have money to blow, head to the Sands Casino and play the slots. There’s also a great outlet mall nearby and a wonderful pamper haven, Steel Magnolia Spa & Salon that offers luxurious spa treatments you can actually afford. Make sure to check out tasty restaurants on Main Street (the strip is packed with bars and cute shops like the beloved Moravian Book Shop). Only 20mins away from Allentown, PA, you can snag tickets for a day of thrills at Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom, or head downtown for The Great Allentown Fair, equipped with tasty carnival fare, games, live music and rides.
Cold Spring, NY: 1hr 34mins from NYC
Are the mountains calling your name? Take a hike—literally—and travel to Cold Spring in the Hudson Valley, which is known for it’s scenic hiking trails (Breakneck Ridge Loop and Hudson Highlands State Park are highly recommended) and bike paths (try Cold Spring’s Bike and Rental Tours). If you want to spend time in nature but are looking for something leisurely, Stonecrop Gardens is a peaceful place to wander. After a long trek, treat yourself to multiple glasses of vino at Palaia Winery or The Winery at St. George.
Sea Isle, NJ: 1hr 47mins from NYC
A weekend spent at the beach in Sea Isle, NJ can feel a lot like spring break. During major holiday weekends, the shore attracts a younger, college-age crowd—but don’t let that steer you away! If you want nothing more than to finish your summer tan on the sand, take a dip in the ocean, sip a few frozen cocktails (watch out for the 302s at Shenanigans—they’re delicious, but dangerous) and dance like you just turned 21, this small beach town is where the party’s at. Make sure to hit LaCosta Lounge & Deck Bar for no-shower happy hour!
Beacon, NY: 1hr 55mins from NYC
For what is considered the hippest town in the Hudson Valley, Beacon certainly keeps its charm. Artsy folks should take the train and check out one of the best contemporary art museum on the east coast: Dia: Beacon. Go hiking at Mt. Beacon and get a killer view of the city and the Catskills. There’s also incredible restaurants and bars, including Poppy’s, which is known for its burgers.
Newport, RI: 4hrs 51mins from NYC
If you’re craving seafood, Rode Island has some pretty incredible clam shacks and lobster roll joints along the water. Sure, traveling five hours for crab cakes may seem illogical, but there are also awesome activities such as the Cliff Walk (a 3.5-mile trail that overlooks the shoreline), and you can schedule a Newport Mansion tours, if beautiful architecture and home décor is your thing.