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5 last-minute Labor Day weekend getaways
Attention, procrastinators. If you didn't make any Labor Day weekend plans, don't worry, we've got you covered. Here are a few last-minute weekend getaways that, even if you have trouble booking a room, still make for easy day trips.
Skip the crowds in the Hamptons and head to the North Fork this long weekend. Greenport, a quaint harbor town, offers a laid-back vacation with beaches, waterfront dining and proximity to Long Island's many wineries, including Duck Walk, Pindar and Raphael -- in under three hours from the city. To eat, head to the Frisky Oyster or Scrimshaw for seafood, the Salamander General Store for Southern comfort or the Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market on the Peconic Bay to shuck your own oysters. To stay, the Greenporter Hotel in the heart of Greenport Village has limited availability, with rates starting at $299 a night if you book online.
Storm King Art Center
Plan an outdoor excursion around the Storm King Art Center, found just one hour north of the city in New Windsor in the Hudson Valley. Rent bikes to explore all that this massive sculpture park has to offer, including its famed collection of 100-plus sculptures on 500 acres of fields and hills. Pack a picnic or head to the Storm King Café for sandwiches and salads. To stay, try a local bed-and-breakfast such as the nearby Caldwell House, which has limited availability this weekend starting at $225 a night, or Cromwell Manor Historic Inn, starting at $215 a night.
Pick your passion: from swimming and fishing to camping and hiking, you can find it at Connecticut's largest shoreline park, Hammonasset Beach State Park, located under two hours from the city. After a day in the sun, kick back at Madison "hidden gem" RJ Café and Bistro, for light dinner options and the not-to-be-missed cupcakes. To stay, the Tidewater Inn B&B is within walking distance of the village and beach and has limited availability starting at $180 a night.
FUN FOR ALL AGES:
Whether you're planning a getaway for your friends or your family, you can find something to suit your needs two hours away in Atlantic City. From the South Jersey beaches and famed Boardwalk to attractions like the Atlantic City Aquarium, Absecon Lighthouse and trolley tours, you can pack your weekend. Still need more to do? Take a surfing lesson, rent bikes, parasail or jump on the Ultimate Wine and Dine Tour and heading to Renault Winery Resort & Golf. And, of course, there's always the casinos if you need a break from the sun. To stay, consider a hotel package. At the Chelsea boutique hotel, for instance, the "Life's a Beach" deal includes a $30 dining credit, beach service, two spa passes and valet parking starting at $219 a night, while the "PLAYcation" family package includes beach service and toys and free meals for kids, starting at $208 a night.
ON THE BUCKET LIST:
If you've never been to the City of Brotherly love, here's your chance. Hop on a bus or train and in an hour and a half you can be exploring the essential Philly, from the Liberty Bell (grab a pint at the Independence Beer Garden while you're there), authentic cheesesteaks at Dalessandro's or Pat's, the impressive collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (watch out for the "Rocky" imitators going up the 72 stone steps) and Rodin Museum and the foodie and amateur photographer heaven that is the Reading Terminal Market. This being the weekend, make brunch plans at one of the city's hot spots, like Chhaya on East Passyunk Avenue, known for its indulgent waffles and organic coffee selection. To stay, go central with the DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia in the Center City, with rooms starting at $189 a night, or the charming Morris House Hotel, starting at $294 a night.