Celebrated on the first Monday of September, Labor Day marks the unofficial end to summer. The public holiday began in the late 19th century when trade and labor movements grew in popularity and proposed setting aside a day to honor laborers. While the first parades were organized in New York City, Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day an official public holiday. This year, celebrate your hard work by chartering a flight to fulfill your last-minute summer getaway dreams.
Best Luxury Labor Day Weekend Vacations
San Juan Islands, Washington
If the sweltering heat makes you feel miserable when you’re outdoors, head to the Pacific Northwest to cool off. The San Juan Islands are accessible by car and ferry from Seattle, but you have better things to do with your time. Thankfully, the chain of islands has a handful of private airports. Shop and enjoy a spa treatment on Friday Harbor. Take a scenic hike in Lime Kiln Point State Park, where visitors often see orcas from the shore. Go on a private tour of the Puget Sound on a boat to see fantastic marine life up close. Complete your luxe experience with a stay at Poet’s Cove Resort and Spa on Pender Island. Or, commune with nature by going glamping at the Lakedale Resort, which pitches luxury tents with all your favorite amenities.
Teti’aroa Island, French Polynesia
Everyone goes to Hawaii. Fly somewhere different, like to Teti’aroa in the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The private atoll was once a favorite among Tahitian royalty and Hollywood celebrities. Marlon Brando loved it so much that purchased it in the 1960s to preserve its biodiversity, history, and beauty. Explore the ancient marae, or temples, wade in sparkling lagoons and get away from your troubles. The Brando, the island’s carbon neutral resort, features 35 luxury villas with up to three bedrooms, as well as private beaches, outdoor dining, and plunge pools. The resort uses evaporative cooling to keep the villas comfortable. Leftovers from the restaurants are composted for use in the organic gardens. The island also has a research station, or “Ecostation,” devoted to conservation.
Tofino, British Columbia, Canada
For some, summer isn’t complete without a camping trip. Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, a Relais & Chateaux property, has you covered. The safari-style resort takes glamping to the next level in the Gulf Islands and is only accessible via seaplane, helicopter or a boat ride through the Clayoquot Sound. The gem in the Canadian Rockies gives you a taste of rugged wilderness without compromising comfort. Once you arrive, a horse-drawn carriage takes you to your water-front canvas prospector-style residence. During your stay, go on helicopter adventures, including aerial tours, cloud camping, heli-fly-fishing, heli-yoga, heli-hiking, heli-kayaking, heli-zip-lining, and heli-dining.
Santa Barbara, California
When summer comes to a close, it makes sense to go to one of the spots in the world that enjoys an endless summer almost all year round. The Spanish mission town of Santa Barbara in southern California pleases with palm-lined beaches and a hip downtown scene. Because it’s making an effort to be a car-free destination, free shuttles take you where you need to go. Outdoor adventures for those with all levels of experience abound. Start your day kayaking or rent a boat and venture into the open water, where dolphin sightings are common. Ride bikes along the boardwalk and hike nearby craggy peaks before feasting on fresh-caught lobster and crab. Complement your getaway by booking a suite at the oceanfront Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.