Labor Day weekend unofficially caps the summer season, and this year many will spend it traveling. Fifty-three percent of American adults plan to hit the road during the three-day weekend, and 37 percent will do so via car, according to a study from The Vacationer.
If you want to join the 137 million Americans venturing out for a holiday getaway, we have some last-minute trips. But September also brings other reasons to travel, including the Great White Way’s return, a Southern food festival and much more.
Dark since the beginning of the pandemic, Broadway’s stages finally will light up in September. Hadestown and Waitress bring Broadway back to life on September 2, followed by blockbusters like Hamilton, Wicked and The Lion King (all restart September 14). Lackawanna Blues, Six and Moulin Rouge also will be waiting in the wings (previews begin September 14, 17 and 24, respectively). Note that proof of vaccination and masking indoors are required for all shows.
Theatergoers can stay close to the blinking marquees at The Times Square EDITION. You’ll almost forget you’re in the middle of the action in the sleek, minimalist rooms or on the leafy terraces. The Knickerbocker Hotel also sits close by. Zip up to the Four-Star hotel’s open-air rooftop bar St. Cloud for incredible views of Times Square.
Singapore-based Pan Pacific Hotels Group will make its European debut when Pan Pacific London opens September 1 inside the new Bishopsgate Plaza tower. The 237-room, Yabu Pushelberg-designed property will dedicate its fourth floor to wellness with a dramatic 18-meter infinity pool overlooking the plaza, a drawing room and nutritional bar, and a state-of-the-art gym with a TecnoBody D-wall training system that provides instantaneous biofeedback.
Plus, Pan Pacific will have more landscaped outdoor space than any other luxury hotel in the area, with gardens incorporated into the design of the restaurants and other facilities.
Bluffton, South Carolina
Head out to the Lowcountry for one last summer hurrah: Montage Palmetto Bluff’s May River Music Festival. The weekend of singer-songwriters starts September 3 with Charleston indie rock band Susto, followed by headliners the Gin Blossoms. The next day, country-music duo Lakeview opens for Nashville country-pop singer Mitchell Tenpenny.
The concerts will take place outside on the Five-Star hotel’s scenic, verdant grounds along the banks of the river.
One lesson many took from the pandemic was the importance of nature. No one captured it better than American landscape photographer Ansel Adams. See more than 70 of his stunning works at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ “Ansel Adams: Compositions in Nature” exhibition, which opens September 25. Alongside his best-known images, it also will showcase his rarely seen early work and recordings of his classical piano compositions.
The Jefferson Hotel makes the art outing easy: book the Five-Star property’s Ansel Adams Package and you’ll spend a night in a plush Grand Premier guest room, enjoy a Southern breakfast in Lemaire or an American breakfast via room service, and two tickets to the exhibit.
For an over-the-top Labor Day weekend, check into The Joseph, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville. To celebrate its first anniversary, The Joseph offers a $20,000 package through September 6. It comes with a two-night stay in the presidential suite, gifts appropriate for the paper anniversary (a Pineider sketchbook, a set of note cards and cookbook Wine Bar Food signed by authors Tony and Cathy Mantuano, who also helm the hotel’s Yolan restaurant) and a framed piece from the Joseph Editions: Tennessee Portfolio (a series of limited-edition prints from a fine art publisher). You also will be treated to an eight-course dinner at Yolan, a Rose Indulgence treatment for two at the spa and a day at the rooftop pool in a cabana.
If you don’t opt for the anniversary package, stop in for a tour of the hotel and its world-class art collection or a Paper Plane cocktail at Denim bar (both available through September 6).
Come hungry to the 11th annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. Running from September 9 to 12, the festival will pay homage to the food of the South with a barbecue battle, a tailgate party and a series of smaller meals throughout the city. Though the highlight will be the tasting tents. Pitched in Historic Fourth Ward Park the tents will host wine pop-up stations, a cocktail garden, live music, an interactive food and beverage pairing area, and culinary demos.
Feast on food from the likes of John Tesar (Knife in Dallas and Knife & Spoon at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes), Deborah VanTrece (Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours in Atlanta), Lindsay Autry (The Regional in West Palm Beach) and Eddie Wright (Eddie Wright BBQ in Jackson, Mississippi).
When you sink into a food coma, revive yourself at Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead. Walk it off in the garden, swim laps in the indoor pool and then rest in the inviting beds.
The Berkshires’ bucolic mountain setting is enough of a summertime draw. But if you need more visual inspiration, come during the annual Lenox Art Walk. Set for September 18 and 19, the art walk will feature more than 40 artists in small-scale “villages,” local galleries and demonstrations in Lilac Park. Music and food will be new to this year’s lineup.
Afterward, retreat to Wheatleigh, a 19-room Italian-revival mansion that’s on the National Register of Historic Places. The secluded property and its excellent French restaurant, The Portico by Jeffrey Thompson, both earned Five-Star awards.