6 Offbeat Getaways for Labor Day Weekend 2013

Everyone Who Visits Key West Needs to Watch the Sunset (and Animal Tricks) at Mallory Square
Everyone Who Visits Key West Needs to Watch the Sunset (and Animal Tricks) at Mallory Square

Looking for a unique way to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall? Here are 6 offbeat getaways for Labor Day Weekend 2013.

Rummage through Someone Else’s Luggage…Without Guilt
The Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Ala., is on my bucket list but I hope at least one of my readers will make the visit before I can. Not sure what it is? UBC is known as the “Lost Luggage Capital of the World.” It purchases unclaimed baggage from airlines only after an extensive and exhaustive 90-day search for their owners has been conducted and then provides a second life to items through its 40,000-square-feet retail store. UBC sorts, cleans, refurbishes and prices over one million unclaimed items each year. With a 40-year history, its store takes up an entire city block in Scottsboro and is one of the top tourist attractions in the state of Alabama, attracting individuals from all over the world every year. Visit www.unclaimedbaggage.com for additional information.

Related: Tips from the Experts for a Budget Labor Day Weekend Getaway

Go Take a Hike, in a National Park
I’m a big proponent of taking national park vacations as often as possible because they’re probably the best value for the dollar. There are 401 parks within the United States and every American is less than 100 miles from a national park experience so I’m sure you can find one near you.
If you’ll be heading to Grand Teton National Park be sure to check out the app below.

TravelStorysGPS App travelstorysgps.com; Available: iPhone and Android. Free.
Complementing a visit to the Grand Teton National Park’s visitor center and joining a park service ranger is the TravelStorysGPS app. It provides GPS-enabled audio tours of the park’s local history, ecology and geology. It’s synched with the landscaped and triggers mini-podcasts about the area. Be sure to download this app before a trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons.

But there’s more…

Several Jackson Hole restaurants offer a complimentary appetizer to diners who show the downloaded app on their device. As of publication time, participating restaurants are Rendezvous Bistro, Spoons Bistro (in Victor, ID), Cafe Genevieve and Jackson Lake Lodge.

Although the app is free, donations are welcome and go toward local land conservation efforts, Jackson Hole Land Trust and the Grand Teton National Park Foundation.

Related: 8 Tips for a Budget Summer Vacation in Yellowstone National Park

Go Take a Hike Along the Big Sur Coastline in Carmel-by-the-Sea
Friends live in Carmel-by-the-Sea and they just adore it. I mean, isn’t a town who once had Clint Eastwood as its mayor and has  to be pretty cool, right?

The Hofsas House Hotel is offering the Hiking Package Sept. 1 – Oct. 31, 2013. The hotel offers a European ambiance and is within minutes from hiking along the Big Sur coastline. At the end of the day, unwind in the hotel’s European dry saunas or heated swimming pool.

Mention this Hiking Packing when reserving a minimum of two nights and receive a $25 gift certificate to 5th Avenue Deli, the perfect place to get your picnic for the hike. 5th Avenue Deli is located only 2.5 blocks from the hotel. When booking online, indicate HHNature to receive this gift certificate upon arrival. This offer is not valid with any other discounts or promotions. For more information, call (831) 624-2745 or visit www.hofsashouse.com. If you can’t visit over Labor Day Weekend, check out their hotel packages for 2014.

Related: 5 Reasons Why National Park Vacations are Perfect for Solo Travelers

Head South to Key West for the Fourth Annual BrewFest
Fans of unique beers and ales can sample more than 150 varieties including unique microbrews at the fourth annual Key West BrewFest, set for Thursday, Aug. 29, through Monday, Sept. 2. The schedule features brew-focused dinners, craft beer tastings and seminars, pool parties, a lavish tasting festival on the beach and other enticements for thirsty attendees.

Presented by the Southernmost Hotel Collection, the Labor Day weekend celebration benefits the Key West Sunrise Rotary Club of the Conch Republic. Event information and ticketing: www.keywestbrewfest.com or 305-295-6519

Related: Florida Keys Girlfriend Getaways at Historic Key West Inns

Mermaids Still Perform at Weeki Wachee in Florida
Mermaids Still Perform at Weeki Wachee in Florida

Get All Nostalgic with Reminisce’s Guidance
Nothing screams Americana more than a road trip and Reminisce—North America’s top-selling nostalgia magazine—explores some of the U.S.’s most unique off-road attractions in this nostalgic slideshow.  For instance, they include Weeki Wachee Springs which is located up the road from me in Spring Hill, Fla. Now a state park, mermaids have been putting on shows since 1947 in this crystalline natural spring, where the water’s a consistent 72 degrees. Visit Reminisce for more fun-to-read features inspired by the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, early 70s and beyond or download digital editions for the Nook, Kindle or Google Play & Android.

Get Your Kicks on Route 66
Built in 1926 Route 66 is a legendary party of U.S. history. It runs 2,448 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif., and was it officially became “a symbol of the American people’s heritage of travel and their legacy of seeking a better life,” when the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 101-400 in 1990. The birthplace of Route 66 is Springfield, Mo., which is getting set to use CrowdIt to crowd-source necessary funds to renovate a part of the famous highway. According to city officials, it is the first municipality across the nation to use crowdfunding to help renovate the renowned national highway. Pretty nifty, huh? Although I haven’t traveled the entire 2,448 miles, I have driven a portion of the historic route. And I haven’t been to Springfield but that may change since Allegiant Air recently announced nonstop service between Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) and Springfield.

Where will the road lead you for Labor Day Weekend?



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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