It’s Not Too Late to Book a Labor Day Trip to These Top Vacation Destinations

Millions of Americans are expected to hit the road this Labor Day for a final weekend of fun in the sun. And it's not too late. You can make the best of your last summer weekend by visiting one of the delightful tourist towns scattered across the nation.

Designed for vacationers and sightseers, these small towns feature shows, theme parks, waterparks, scenic views, and numerous attractions perfect for family travel.

Last Labor Day, 43% of Americans battled the freeways, and 7.2 million rode the airways during the long weekend holiday to celebrate the last hurrah to summer. You've still got time to consider these six iconic destinations for a fun-filled Labor Day getaway.

Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wisconsin Dells, located about an hour north of the state’s capital, is an ideal getaway location for Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee residents. With 20 different waterparks, the Dells is “the waterpark capital of the world” and a perfect place for a last-minute summer vacation.

The outdoor waterparks close after Labor Day, but Leah Hauck Mills, Communications Manager for Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau, says the city has plenty to do, even if you can’t make it in time, including indoor water parks and theme parks.

There’s far more to the Dells than waterparks. The main strip boasts numerous souvenir shops, restaurants, and boutiques, while the surrounding area offers options for mini-golf, go-karting, haunted houses, and other exciting attractions.

Branson, MO

Branson, MO is a top choice for a fun weekend getaway. It’s less than four hours from three major US cities (Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and St. Louis).

Branson features a variety of museums, including the one-of-a-kind Titanic museum and the world’s largest toy museum, in addition to theme parks, water parks, shows, and live attractions.

Labor Day weekend is the last weekend to visit their top outdoor attraction, the White Water theme park, but many of the resorts in town have indoor theme parks for off-season visitors to enjoy.

Reno, NV

Although Reno is a top spot for gambling, there’s plenty in the city for the whole family. Located near California’s iconic Lake Tahoe, Reno features many outdoor activities such as horseback riding, river tubing, kayaking, and hiking.

The “Biggest Little City in the World” also features a variety of options for arts and culture. The Nevada Museum of Art is the largest art museum in Nevada, featuring contemporary and southwestern art. In contrast, the Wilber D. May Museum features an eclectic collection of artifacts treasured by the eccentric, wealthy explorer.

A highlight of Reno is the city’s thriving River Walk district. The River Walk features street performers, vendors, shops, restaurants, art galleries, and fun activities for the whole family.

Deadwood, SD

Visiting Deadwood, SD, is like traveling back in time to the Old West. As Amanda Kille, Marketing & Sponsorship Director of the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center, remarks, “Deadwood’s colorful history is filled with Dime Store Novel characters, and we’ve embraced those characters that continue to educate and entertain our guests. Deadwood’s history is its entertainment, and that means a little something different for everyone.”

The small town showcases its historical (and often sordid) past, with staged shootouts in the street and free shows all summer long. In addition, visitors can enjoy saloon-style gambling, a motorcycle museum, the Adam’s Museum of Black Hills History, and more without leaving the town limits.

Kille thinks Labor Day travel to Deadwood will be strong this year and adds that September is one of the best times to visit the city. The weather is fantastic, all the attractions are open, and the town has numerous events to celebrate the end of the season.

Gatlinburg, TN

Gatlinburg is a tourist paradise nestled in the Great Smokey Mountains. Located about 4 hours from Atlanta, Charlotte, and Nashville, it’s an ideal spot for Americans in the Southern States to spend a weekend getaway.

An abundance of tourist attractions, including Ripley’s Museum and the Hollywood Star Cars Museum, fills the town. As the ‘Gateway to the Smoky Mountains,' the city also features a variety of outdoor activities, including rafting, hiking, biking, and even a rope adventure course.

Creatives will enjoy Gatlinburg’s thriving arts & crafts community, a small strip that features basket making, leatherworks, fine arts, and even blacksmithing.

Jim Thorpe, Pa

Jim Thorpe, nestled in the iconic Pocono Mountains of central Pennsylvania, is an ideal getaway location for New Yorkers and Philadelphians. This tiny tourist town is in a perfect location to see the natural beauty of a Pennsylvania fall but is worth a visit all year long.

The village is filled with shops, boutiques, bars, and restaurants. It embraces its notable past as an old mining town with historic houses, period museums, and 19th-century architecture.

Those looking for a farewell to summer can enjoy boating or kayaking near Mauch Chunk Lake or hiking one of the many trails in Lehigh Gorge State Park. 

Don’t Discount Tourist Towns for Your Next Getaway

Tourist towns offer visitors various options for entertainment, food, and drink while minimizing the stress of planning. Visitors need only to get there to find fun or relaxation around every corner.

If you’re looking for an easy, fun getaway for Labor Day Weekend and beyond, consider visiting one of America’s charming tourist destinations. You won’t be disappointed.

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This article was produced by Partners in Fire and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Image Courtesy of The Deadwood Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center.


Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self-educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming, and her cats