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It’s summer’s last hurrah, so let’s all make the most of it. Taking one last super memorable trip before everybody’s back to school/life/work is one way to do that and if you’re looking for ideas, then these 7 Labor Day trip ideas are will not disappoint.

RELATED: The 10 best US cities for a long weekend

Photo courtesy of Compass & Twine

The Oregon Coast

Late summer is the best time to experience Oregon’s breathtaking coastline. Crazy rock formations and natural wonders beckon outdoor-enthusiasts year round, but September offers warm weather without the thick coastal fog usually found in July and August. Make Cannon Beach your home base for your long weekend getaway. This iconic stretch of shore is dotted with humongous boulders and sea stacks that jut out of the water like mini mountains. From the Hallmark Resort or the Inn at Haystack Rock, you can wake up and take your morning coffee out for an early stroll along the tranquil beachfront before most of the tourists arrive! A two-hour drive south on Highway 101 will lead you to another famous Oregon Coast landmark, known as Devil’s Punch Bowl. This mesmerizing ocean cauldron was created when the top of a limestone cave collapsed inward after years of erosion and strong undercurrents. Watch the powerful tide surge in and crash into the crater walls. All the action isn’t just along the shoreline though. Labor Day Weekend also falls towards the end of the gray whale migration, so look up and you might just catch sight of spurts from a blowhole!

Photo courtesy of Compass & Twine

Zion National Park, Utah

Before the new school year gets rolling and the office work starts to pile up again, get outside and get inspired by the awesomeness of Mother Nature with a visit to a U.S. National Park. You’ll often hear Zion, located in southwest Utah, mentioned among peoples’ favorite National Parks, and for good reason. Epic rust-colored mountains jut out of the earth in dramatic fashion, magnificent canyons give way to sheer sandstone cliffs, and enchanting waterfalls unfold into emerald pools. Hike up to mountain peeks for panoramic views and drive along Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway to really get a sense of the park’s dynamic terrain and different microclimates. You could spend days exploring Zion and not see everything, so give yourself a head start and stay close to the entrance in the quaint, tourist-friendly town of Springdale. Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens sits near the main south gate and literally borders the park along the Virgin River.

North County San Diego

North County San Diego is one of the most beautiful, relaxing and underrated parts of the country in our opinion! It exudes that laid-back California vibe without trying too hard and offers all the outdoor leisure sports you could ask for, including golf, tennis, surfing, hiking and sunbathing. From cool coastal cities like Carlsbad to charming mountain towns like Julian, there’s a wealth of scenic spots to explore over Labor Day Weekend. Peruse the country stores and apple pie shops in Julian, then head down the mountain for some wine tasting and a brick-oven pizza lunch at Cordiano Winery. Families with animal-lovin’ kiddos can’t miss a day at the world-famous San Diego Zoo Safari Park nearby in Pasqual Valley. If the ocean is more your style, head for the beach! Stroll along seaside promenades in Carlsbad or Cardiff-by-the-Sea, then feast on fish tacos at Kotija Jr Taco Shop in Del Mar. With the Pacific Ocean at its warmest in early September, we suggest staying as close to the water as possible. Check out Grand Pacific Palisades Resort or the Beach Terrace Inn.

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Photo courtesy of Compass & Twine

Newport R.I.

With classic New England charm and a passion for all things nautical, Newport is an idyllic and patriotic Labor Day destination. Choose from a host of historic hotels, such as Hotel Viking or the Grace Vanderbilt, and spend your weekend under the spell of Newport’s salty sea breeze. The city’s downtown area is a walkable web of colonial homes, boutique shops, oyster shacks and ice cream parlors. Stop for lunch at the lively marina-front restaurant, the Black Pearl, for some fresh fish and their famous New England clam chowder. A visit to Newport would not be complete without a stroll along the city’s famed Cliff Walk. The 3.5-mile public trail snakes along the cliff edge with some of the country’s oldest and most impressive mansions on one side and the Atlantic Ocean crashing into rocks below on the other side. Some of the historic mansions are still private, while others, like The Breakers (former summer home of the Vanderbilt family), are open to the public. To really experience the essence of Newport though, you have to get out on the water. Sail the scenic harbor on a retired America’s Cup sail boat with the folks at 12 Meter Charters or join aboard one of the many great sunset cruises in the area. On your final evening, gather for cocktails on the lawn at Castle Hill Inn and cheers to another great summer in the books.

Photo courtesy of Compass & Twine

New York City

For the surprising number of non-beach lovers out there, Labor Day is one of the best times to visit New York City. The peak heat begins to taper off and most of the inhabitants are off to the Hamptons, Fire Island or Jersey Shore. You won’t need to fight as much for sidewalk space, dinner reservations or Broadway tickets—the city is actually quite bearable! Be one of the first to check out the food and festivities at the South Street Seaport’s new Pier 17 or take advantage of all the end-of-summer sales in SoHo. Treat yourself by splurging on a cool hotel for your end-of-summer getaway. Ian Schrager, who founded Studio 54 and essentially created the “boutique hotel” concept, just opened up a new design-forward hotel in the Nolita neighborhood. PUBLIC Hotel has chic guestrooms, a swanky rooftop bar, and sits just steps away from one of the most beloved pizza spots in Manhattan—Rubirosa!

Photo courtesy of Compass & Twine

The Bahamas

It’s the last weekend of summer, you survived all the slow days in office, covered for colleagues while they were out, visited the in-laws twice, and took the kids to plenty of amusement parks—it’s time to finally do what you want and relax on a beautiful island. The Bahamas has some of the most postcard-worthy beaches in the Caribbean, and the ZIKA ban was recently lifted! There are plenty of direct flights to Nassau from around the country; otherwise it’s just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from Miami. You can even wait last minute to ensure the skies are blue and then book a well-priced hotel like the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar or reserve a suite at The Cove at Atlantis for something a little more swanky. Bring an easy beach-read and do absolutely nothing all day (except sit up to sip your rum punch) or get out on the water for some of the best bone-fishing in the world. Take advantage of the off-season prices and celebrate the end of summer with a bang in the Bahamas.

Photo courtesy of Compass & Twine

The Catskills

Sure, mid-Fall is the most marketed time to visit the Catskills. But trying to catch that short, three-week window in October when the leaves change is a lot easier said than done. Plus, that’s when hotel prices are at their highest! Instead, escape to New York’s scenic outdoor region for Labor Day Weekend, when the summer rush has waned and the fall foliage seekers have yet to arrive. Plan to spend your last days of summer outside hiking the Sam’s Point Trail to Verkeerder Waterfall in Minnewaska State Park or float the day away on Esopus Creek with Town Tinker Tube Rental outside of Phoenicia. In the southern Catskills, the charming ElmRock Inn Bed & Breakfast is well situated near Westwind Orchard in Accord, plus there’s the beloved weekend farmers’ market in Kingston. A little further north, Hotel Vienna lies close to many of the great hiking trials in the Hunter Mountain area.

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Tagged: Bahamas, California, Caribbean, Florida, Miami, New England, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island

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Compass + Twine
Sarah Driggs and Lindsay Ridenour are the story-tellers behind the NYC-based luxury travel blog, Compass + Twine. Follow along on Instagram @compassandtwine as they unearth some of the best hotels and travel experiences around the globe. From scenic landscapes to local cafés, they reveal the true character of a destination, always highlighting the best place to stay on .

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