STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer — the final weekend before a new school year begins and the weather starts to grow colder each day.
Labor Day weekend is also usually a top getaway weekend. There are some top spots to visit that aren’t too far from New York City, where you can spend the last few days of summer vacation.
VRBO has a few weekend options in Upstate New York, just a few hours from New York City by car or train. With a plethora of vacation rentals in the region, there’s no shortage of places to relax and recharge.
Big spenders and thrifty travelers can find plenty of things to see and do. If you have cash to burn, you can splurge on a romantic hot-air balloon ride by the Adirondack mountains or over Lake George, or board a luxury yacht for a river cruise in the Thousand Islands region.
For a budget getaway, attractions include Niagara Falls State Park and the historic Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn.
You can live it up in a luxury vacation home rental with a large pool and a game room, or go back to basics with a camper or rustic cabin.
This cabin-style home on VRBO sleeps four people, with one bedroom and two bathrooms. Located in Boonville, it’s close to Old Forge, hiking areas and the Adirondack mountains. It’s far enough away to make you feel removed from everything, but close enough to a small quaint town to get your basic necessities in a 10-minute drive.
Location: Boone, N.Y.
Capacity: 4 guests · 1 bedroom · 2 baths
VRBO description: “This listing is a gem. Over 70, 5 star reviews on Airbnb. The space is a very nice guest suite above the garage that is private to all guests who stay. The cabin is close to Old Forge, NY, Enchanted Forest, ADK Hiking, and Adirondacks. You will love the guest suite because of the coziness and how relaxing the space is. My place is good for couples, solo adventurers, and groups no larger than 4. Ideal location to the snowmobile trails in the winter. The location is far enough out to make you feel removed from everything but close enough to a small quaint town (Boonville, NY) you are able to get food or basic necessities in a 10 minute drive. The space is a perfect spot for the snirt run, Lewis County 4wheeling, Woodsman field days, Boonville fair, fall foliage, and more. It’s also a good place if you just want a quiet place to relax and spend some time in solitude. Please note that the main cabin is occupied and the outdoor areas are technically shared space. Parking for this unit is to the right by the basketball hoop / bird house.”
For a more intimate stay, this treehouse-like cabin is a studio space — big enough to sleep two people. Within 10 miles is the Olympic Village of Lake Placid, and also in the area is hiking, boating, fishing, skiing and more, the listing on VRBO says.
Location: Franklin County, N.Y.
Capacity: 2 guests · 1 bedroom · 1 bath
VRBO description: “Recent guests have said this is like a ‘treehouse! The property is part of Cochrans Cabins which is nestled on over twenty wooded acres at the end of the road, on the waters edge of Lake Kiwassa within the Saranac Chain of Lakes. Within 10 miles is the Olympic Village of Lake Placid. Also in the area is hiking, boating, fishing, skiing, etc.”
Or take a trip to the state’s capital and stay in this tiny boat on a lake. Located in Albany, it sleeps two people and is located on Kinderhook Lake. It doesn’t leave the dock, but the listing says guests can use a canoe, life jackets and fishing gear to explore the lake.
Location: Albany, N.Y.
Capacity: 2 guests · 1 bedroom · 1 bath
VRBO description: “Open for Summer Fun! Our Tiny House(boat) on Kinderhook Lake doesn’t leave the dock, but we’ve included a canoe, life jackets, & fishing gear for you to explore the lake. Walk right into the water from our big yard. Fish, swim, relax around the firepit. BBQ. Read and play board games. A new, clean, private bath ensures you’re near modern necessities. Microwave and large cooler are here, and supplies & restaurants are nearby. Sorry, no WiFi! We’re 2 doors away if you need anything.”
Head out to the Finger Lakes region to check out this massive home with four bedrooms that sleeps 12 people. The quaint Finger Lakes village of Montour Falls offers several things to do, like boating on the water, wine tasting on the shore, or exploring waterfalls in Watkins Glen State Park.
Location: Montour Falls, N.Y.
Capacity: 12 guests · 4 bedrooms · 7 beds · 3 bath
VRBO description: “Treat yourself to a taste of the small-town life with a trip to Montour Falls, a quaint Finger Lakes village just off the shores of Seneca Lake! When you’re not boating on the water, wine tasting on the shore, or exploring waterfalls in Watkins Glen State Park, you’ll love unwinding in this updated home. The 4-bedroom, 2.5-bath vacation rental features multiple living spaces inside and out – great for gathering with your group – and boasts the perfect mix of modern features and classic charm.”
If you want to get out of New York State, you can visit Philadelphia, Pa., the beaches along the Jersey Shore, or head out to Boston, Mass.
You can enter your desired location and travel dates, and Expedia does the rest. If you build the Expedia package deal, it can also bundle your accommodation, any flights and car rentals to help you save money.
Stay at the Alexander Inn in Philadelphia and take a tour of the historic area while also grabbing an authentic Philly cheesesteak. Snap a photo in front of the Liberty Bell, and pose with the Rocky Statue after you run up the “Rocky Steps” (music not included) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Location: Philadelphia, Penn.
Description: “The Alexander Inn is located in the heart of Center City. Whether your passions are art, historic areas, museums, shopping or theatre, we have it all nearby! Voted as the 4th most walkable city in the nation by Walkscore, Philadelphia’s tree lined streets and accessible neighborhoods make exploring on foot the perfect way to see the City of Brotherly Love. Remember, in Philly, seniors ride public transportation Free!”
Or if you’re looking for a more relaxing trip, Expedia has packages for Cape May, including the Carroll Villa Hotel. It’s just a two-minute walk from the Cape May Beach. Morey’s Piers is a popular attraction, and the area’s natural beauty can be seen at Sunset Beach and Wildwood Beach. The Cape May Bird Observatory is also nearby and worth visiting.
Location: Cape May, N.J.
Description: “Welcome to the Carroll Villa Hotel, a national historic building in Cape May, New Jersey. Built in 1882 and just a half of a block from the beach, our hotel is home to The Mad Batter Restaurant – routinely awarded one of the best restaurants in Cape May. You will find our Cape May, NJ hotel is child friendly and the perfect location for your next seaside getaway. With the intent of keeping the original aesthetic charm, each of the 19 guest rooms are uniquely decorated and modernly appointed with a touch of luxury. We are walk up with no elevator. We invite you to enjoy the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of this family business and experience the exceptional hospitality and charm that have established it as a Cape May vacation tradition.”
Check out Boston, Mass., on Labor Day weekend if you’re willing to travel a bit farther. Consider the Boston Harbor Hotel for your stay.
While a bit pricey, this nearly 5-star hotel is near all of the best amenities of Boston, like the New England Aquarium, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and Boston Common. You can also spend some time exploring the area’s activities, including whale-watching, segway rentals/tours, and boat tours.
Location: Boston, Mass.
Description: “As the waters of Boston Harbor give way to the city skyline, the iconic 60-foot stone archway of the Boston Harbor Hotel offers an entrée to the city unlike any other. Boston’s only waterfront Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond hotel is the essence of “classically current” luxury, welcoming guests arriving by land or sea to historic Rowes Wharf. The lobby interiors sweep you into an inviting home away from home, from the sophisticated yet comfortable furnishings and maritime color palettes to the marble flooring and unique flower arrangements.”