Top 5 Labor Day City Breaks

Hot on the heels of the UK Bank Holiday, the United States is prepping for its own long weekend.

This year, Labor Day will be celebrated across the US and Canada on Monday 6 September.

And, considering this holiday is in recognition of you workers, we think it’s the perfect opportunity to take some time off, put your feet up, watch a few parades, and forget that you’re back to the 9-5 on Tuesday (err, maybe we shouldn’t have mentioned that).

There’s only one problem: you’ve got less than a week to sort out your plans! Luckily, we’ve decided to help you Yanks out, and put together a list of our top 5 Labor Day City Breaks in the big US of A.

Los Angeles

Why go now? While Labor Day is at once a celebration of all you hard workers, it also commemorates something not quite so appealing…the end of summer. With August coming to a close, this may be your last time to sizzle in the twenty-plus beaches of LA county.

What to do? Beyond the casinos, the waterfalls, the beaches and bike tracks, there are a range of events hitting LA in honour of the Labor Day weekend. Possibly the most famous of these is the Los Angeles County Fair, kicking off on Saturday 4 September until Monday 6 September, and returning every Wednesday through Sunday until 9 October. Expect to find a taste of just about anything at this colossal carnival, with attractions including a travelling circus, Mexican flower garden, wine market, interactive living jungle, culinary village, Fairview farmyard, and adrenaline-filled rides arena. There will also be performances from such big names as Selena Gomez, Lighthouse, Boyz II Men, Rick Springfield and Teena Marie.

Where to stay? Our top pick for Labor Day accommodation in LA is USA Hostels, which has ensuite dorm rooms still available from €29.77 per night. Also check out the Banana Bungalow Hollywood from €26.99 a night and Stay Hotel from €35.26 a night.

Washington DC

Why go now? Where better to celebrate America’s toiling workers than in the nation’s capital? From the White House to the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument and the National Mall, there is always plenty to visit (free of charge!) in DC.

What to do? Washington DC comes alive with free music on the Labor Day weekend. Don’t miss the famous Labor Day Concert on 5 September, when the National Symphony Orchestra will perform a free show on the West Lawn of the US Capitol. For those more inclined to some traditional British pop, the inaugural Abbey Road on the River festival is a five day Beatles Tribute extravaganza taking place from 2-6 September at Gaylord National Resort. Expect to hear more than 50 Beatles tribute bands rocking out to the classic hits, while original Beatles drummer Pete Best reveals stories about his time with the band. Our highlight picks are the premiere of documentary film ‘Paul McCartney Really is Dead’ at 2pm on Friday 3 September, followed by a Saturday performance of all 214 Beatles songs in one continuous medley by Hal Bruce and The Hard Dazed Knights. Phew!

Where to stay? Located right near the city’s most famous attractions, Hostelling International-Washington DC is our top choice for Labor Day accommodation. Dorm beds start from €27.38 per night. Those looking for something more private may prefer the Comfort Inn, which has rooms still on offer from €39.17 per night.


Why go now? A perfect choice for families, Labor Day Weekend in Detroit is filled with festivals, parties and parades as locals give one final ‘hurrah’ to those lazy summer days.

What to do? One of the most highly anticipated Labor Day Festivals is the three-day Detroit Jazz Fest from 3-6 September. Now in its 31st year, this free festival pays homage to six shining stars of modern jazz: Art Blakely, Ray Brown, Miles Davis, Horace Silver, Betty Carter and Gil Evans. The action includes five stages of continuous entertainment, alongside Saturday night fireworks, late-night jam sessions, poetry slams, a kid bop area and various artist collaborations. After overdosing on jazz, those who want to experience the final summer sun rays will love the small swimming holes, picnic areas and beautiful great lake beaches in Brighton.

Where to stay? Right in the centre of downtown Detroit and only a short walk from the Detroit Jazz Festival is the boutique Milner Hotel, with private ensuite rooms available from €69.78 per night.

San Francisco

Why go now? Labor Day celebrations aside, this is a perfect time to catch the last of San Fran summer culture, with a number of famous shows, including Wicked and Peter Pan, coming to an end on Sunday 5 September.

What to do? With crowds thinning as families quit town for the weekend, Labor Day is the perfect excuse for a picnic in one of San Francisco’s popular parks. Those who fancy some live tunes should head to Golden Gate Park from 1pm on Monday 6 September for a special free Labor Day Concert complete with classic American tunes from the Golden Gate Park Band. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, make sure you check out Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay at the de Young Museum before it closes on Monday 6 September.

Where to stay? While you’ll find a lot of San Fran hostels fully booked over the Labor Day weekend, the popular USA Hostels San Francisco has 4-bed dorm rooms available from €29.80. Those seeking a little more privacy could also check out Cova Hotel, with private double ensuite rooms from €50.97 per person per night.

New York City

Why go now? Home to celebrations of the very first Labor Day in 1882, New York City certainly has a history behind it. Now is the perfect time to visit right before the winter chill sets in!

What to do? While the annual New York Labor Day Parade will be on hold this year, there is plenty of fun to be had in the city that never sleeps. Our top pick is the West-Indian American Day Parade, otherwise known as Brooklyn Carnival, which will be held from 11am on Monday 6 September. Attracting over 2 million visitors every year, this epic celebration brings together an exotic fanfare of rainbow-colored costumes, live performances, spectacular floats and mouthwatering meals from across the Caribbean. For those still in New York after the initial Labor Day furor has come to a close, make sure you keep Saturday 11 September free for an Annual Labor Day Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral from 8:30am.

Where to stay? For all you Brooklyn Carnival goers, The Red Carpet Inn Brooklyn still has private double rooms available from €53.91 per person per night, while Serenity at Home in the famous Brooklyn Lefferts Manor offers single rooms from €74.49 per night.

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Thanks to Omar Omar, seperry1, midweekpost, femaletrumpet02, -RejiK and mikeleeorg for the images off flickr.

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