The first Monday of September marks the unofficial end to summer, paying tribute to members of the American labor movement who worked tirelessly to secure the rights, laws and safety of our Nation’s workers. Labor Day is all about letting go of stress. And the extra day means there’s time for a jaunt out of the city to enjoy the last fleeting summer moments. Here are the best day trips from Manhattan to take this Labor Day.
Two islands, approximately 30 miles long and no longer than 1400 feet wide, make up the Long Island hot-spot, Fire Island. With boutique shopping, beachy dining, a buzzing nightlife scene, and a gem of a national park, this predominantly car-free community is the perfect getaway for those seeking the ultimate balance of adventure and solitude.
Fire Island; Suffolk County (1 hour 45 minutes).
Out on the Hudson Highlands you’ll meet Bear Mountain, a state park famous for hiking, biking and—to Yogi Bear’s delight—picnicking! A climb to the top of Bear Mountain Summit provides lush views with glimpses of both Manhattan and New Jersey in shot.
Bear Mountain; Route 9W North, Bear Mountain (1 hour).
For a day of complete relaxation and reflection make a trip to Dia: Beacon, one of the country’s largest exhibition spaces for modern and contemporary art. The Dia project is committed to both preserving and cultivating the ambitions of its many creatives. Beacon is currently housing the Walter De Maria exhibition, a selection of small-scale object installations from the 1960s.
Dia: Beacon; 3 Beekman St, Beacon (1 hour 30 minutes).
If you’ve ever watched North by Northwest, The Age of Innocence or Cruel Intentions, you’ll be familiar with these historic gardens. Serving also as grand inspiration for the Buchanan Estate in the most recent The Great Gatsby adaptation, the Old Westbury Gardens is an architectural delight for film buffs and historians alike.
Old Westbury Gardens; 71 Old Westbury Rd, Westbury (45 minutes).