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Fun getaways for Labor Day weekend
Don’t let summer end without one last hurrah
Published Wednesday, August 21, 2013 7:50 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

Labor Day weekend is perfect for a scenic drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains to take in the scenic beauty of waterfalls, wildflowers and mountain vistas. 

Labor Day signifies that summer is almost over. Why not have at least one last hoorah before it ends.

Wind down the season with a journey to the Carolina shore for some fun in the sun, head to the Blue Ridge Mountains to delight in a culinary adventure or plan a family-fun weekend of festival hopping through Georgia. Wherever you go and whatever you do, just remember to pack something all white, forget your worries and leave your cares behind.

MOUNTAIN ESCAPE: Sneak away to the small town comfort of the Blue Ridge Mountains and take in the scenic beauty that inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway and poet Sidney Lanier to stay a spell and write.

With more than a dozen historic inns, B&Bs and cottages, it’s an ideal location for a restful retreat. Head west to Saluda and check in at The Orchid Inn. The mountain top escape sits on 20 acres of peace and tranquility. With no phones or televisions in any of the nine rooms or five individual cottages, it’s easy to get some peace and quiet.

Spend the weekend exploring the area’s waterfalls, wineries, one-of-a-kind shops, art galleries and great restaurants. Pearson’s Falls features 268 acres of 200 species of wildflowers and 90-foot waterfalls. Stop by the Purple Onion to enjoy live music while dining on the award-winning pan seared trout and homemade pastries. Take a 20-minute drive west to Hendersonville for some freshly picked apples during the Annual Apple Festival being held Labor Day Weekend.

BOOGIE AND THE BEACH: Home to some of the South’s best golf courses and over 60 miles of uninterrupted shorelines, it’s no wonder South Carolina’s Grand Strand remains a popular destination for Labor Day weekend.

Attracting over 4.6 million visitors annually, the area boasts of seemingly endless options for live entertainment, fine dining, amusement parks, shopping and watersports. At the center of it all is Myrtle Beach, where you will find plenty of lodging options whether you want to enjoy the comforts of home with a beach house rental or check into a luxury high-rise hotel.

Myrtle Beach is hosting its eighth annual Beach, Boogie and BBQ Festival Aug. 30–Sept. 1. The three-day festival features free live entertainment, arts and craft vendors, a kids’ zone and fireworks finale. However, the main attraction is always the food. Sunday, several dozen contestants will compete for a $10,000 cash prize in the official South Carolina Barbeque Championship.

The festival takes place at Grand Park and Forbes Court at The Market Common. In addition to barbeque, festivalgoers can sample everything from shrimp creole to chicken bog. After you’ve had your fill, try your luck with a SunCruz Casino cruise aboard the 155-foot “Jacks or Better.” Friday night is ladies night. Women receive a $10 discount on admission and free play and learn poker, blackjack and craps sessions.

PINE, WINE AND DINE: Nestled among the Sandhills of North Carolina, Pinehurst is rich in history and tradition. A leisurely 2-hour drive from Charlotte, the town is best known for its championship golf courses, tennis and equestrian activities. But Labor Day weekend will be all about the wine and cuisine as Pinehurst celebrates the 25th Annual Food and Wine Festival (Aug. 30–Sept. 2) at the Pinehurst Resort.

This year’s theme is “A Passport to the World.” Spend a day or entire weekend sampling vino from more than 90 wineries and tasting gourmet foods from around the globe. The festival also includes wine seminars, culinary demonstrations and nightly gala dinners. Visit www.pinhurst.com for more information.

THE LOWCOUNTRY GROOVE: Head down to Charleston, S.C. for the Lowcountry Jazz Festival  (Aug. 30–Sept. 1) to enjoy good music, great people and great food in the spot that was voted Travel + Leisure’s top travel destination in the United States. This year’s festival lineup includes performances by Gerald Albright, Dave Koz, Nick Colionne, Randy Crawford and Joe Sample, Brian Lenair, Jazz in Pink and a special tribute to George Duke performed by the Stanley Clarke Band.

The festival draws thousands of jazz fans to Charleston each year and raises funds to benefit Closing the Gap in Health Care Inc., an organization whose mission is to decrease health disparities among the underserved.

No trip to Charleston would be complete without indulging in local cuisine. Stop by one of Charleston’s newest crown jewels, The Ordinary Oyster Bar. Menu highlights include smoked trout pate with brown bread, triggerfish schnitzel in brown butter vinaigrette, Black Roux gumbo with white shrimp, and steamed Capers clams. Afterwards, burn off a few calories indulging in a little retail therapy along King Street.

FESTIVAL HOPPING: Labor Day weekend is perfect for a road trip. Why not head south to Georgia for some family fun? The Atlanta area will be full of excitement as many festivals will be underway Labor Day weekend.

There’s something for everyone. Film buffs will enjoy Dragon Con, literary aficionados will like the AJC Decatur Book Festival and the entire family can find something to get in to at Celebrate Freedom Atlanta or The Marietta Art in the Park festivals. Sports fans can head to the Georgia Dome for the Chic-fil-A Kickoff Game, a Labor Day staple featuring an SEC-ACC matchup. 


Thank you for the great coverage of the Labor Day holiday. Your newspaper always presents the best options for it's readers.
Posted on August 25, 2013

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