Fire up the grill and sneak in one last summer getaway this Labor Day. Prepare to escape city life by celebrating with friends and family in the great outdoors. Right next to the world’s busiest city lies a series of stunning landscapes offering a wide variety of activities in a home away from home. Hit the road before summer slips away and have the best long weekend ever at any one of these five New York locations.
Looking for some fun in the sun? The world-famous Jones Beach has 6.5 miles of white-sand beach for the whole family to enjoy. More than just a pretty face, this beach includes a two-mile boardwalk, outdoor pool, Jones Beach Theater for concerts by the waterside, fishing piers and an 18-hole golf course. Give your kids a fun hands-on learning experience with marine habitat exhibits and nature programs at the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center. If you love the beach but want to avoid crowds, take a ferry to Fire Island and immerse yourself in coastal living at the ‘island with no roads.’ This unique island includes 26 miles of sandy dunes, desolate beaches and the tallest lighthouse in the United States. Of course, you could also kick back this holiday weekend with Martinis in Montauk. “The end.”
It may not be skiing season in the Catskills, but there is still plenty to explore this Labor Day weekend. Hunter Mountain in the summertime is perfect for golfing, hiking, mountain biking and fly fishing. You can also find a scenic Skyride that takes you to the 3,200-ft summit for amazing views of the northern Catskills or be adventurous by riding on North America’s longest and highest zip line. Afterwards, visit the tallest waterfall in the state at Kaaterskill Falls. After you’ve taken in the beautiful views, grab a bite at Mama’s Boy Burgers or Twin Peaks Coffee and Donuts. Finally, finish the weekend off with the Harvest Festival Farm-to-Table Brunch happening September 2, 2018 at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. You’ll owe yourself a mimosa after such an adventurous weekend.
The Finger Lakes
Spend the day at the New York State Fair which offers a variety of family fun activities and world-famous entertainment acts from August 22 – September 3, 2018. Owasco Lake and Great Lake Ontario are great destinations for a number of summer water activities including water skiing, tubing and kayaking. Finally, if you’re looking to try something new this Labor Day, head over to the GlassBarge tour, from September 1 – 3, which will be offering free public glassmaking demonstrations and various other intriguing attractions. You even have the opportunity to blow your own glass or check out some professional pieces at the museum.
The Chautauqua Harbor Hotel will open its doors on August 31st, located on the southeastern shores of Chautauqua Lake in the village of Celoron. The new 135-room luxury waterfront hotel boasts 1,100 feet of spectacular lake frontage where guests can enjoy outdoor recreation and water sports. It’s also conveniently located by the serene Chautauqua Institute, Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, and the recently opened National Comedy Center. The Nation Comedy Center is an interactive comedy museum covering every square inch of laughter through holograms, prop gags, touch screen television, and ground breaking technology, making it a great option for families with older kids. For the little ones, head over to the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz museum just down the street. For a great meal, head over to the Ellicotville Brewing Company for casual dinning and the best flavored brews in the tri-state area. Another option for thirsty explorers is to raise a glass to the east coast’s largest producer of concord grapes. If you’ve never tried ice wine, run to the Johnson Estate Winery. Known for their locally renowned sparkling rosé ice wine, the Johnson Estate Winery makes this particular wine using the “champagne method,” featuring rich, complex notes of strawberry balanced by smooth bubbles. Cheers to a long weekend!
What better way to spend a relaxing weekend then in one of New York’s better kept secrets, the Thousand Islands. To kick it off, Blues in the Bay and the Blues Fall Craft Fair takes place August 31 – September 3, 2018. This four-day music festival features fantastic blues music and spectacular views. Next, try venturing over to the Cape Winery where you can sit back and sip on some award-winning red wines. For stunning views, take a scenic boat ride through the Thousand Islands on Uncle Sam’s Boat tours with a layover at the magnificent Boldt Castle. When you finish touring this 120-room 20th century masterpiece, head over to the Holland Street Bistro, where you can catch a quick bite while watching the sunset on the water.