The Best Places to Party over Labor Day Weekend

It’s the last long weekend in a long, long time. The weather is warm, the leaves are still green, and you’re not swamped with schoolwork (yet). This Labor Day is definitely the time to get away with the buddies and have a good time. Here, we list some popular options that involve the three key ingredients to a great holiday weekend: sun, skin, and summer celebrations.

The Lake:

Lake Tahoe and Lake of the Ozarks are major gathering places for universities within a 200-mile radius of each, and there are plenty of other large lakes in this country. Rent a house boat and take the party wherever you go. Houseboat rentals aren’t cheap but they can sleep a lot – not that you’ll be sleeping much. It could set you back as much as $250 per person for a 56′ boat, but it is summer’s last fling. You’ll get your money’s worth simply by not having to worry about noise – tie up with some friends in a quiet cove and you can crank the music and night-swim in whatever suit pleases you.

Rent a couple of jet-skis for the weekend as well and you can cruise around checking out all the other boats.

The River:

A calm-water float trip is another option for escaping college confines while having a great time with friends. You don’t even have to go that far – float a few miles each day, and set up camp on a sandbar. You’ll get the best of both worlds: a relaxing cruise during the afternoon and that raging bonfire at night.

Pretty much every state has a river, right? Raft and canoe rentals aren’t that expensive, but you’ll want to be careful if you don’t have a guide. Spend a few minutes learning how to steer, what to do if your boat tips – and please wear your life jacket!

Pack the cooler, the raingear (just in case) and the tent – and no, you can’t live on liquid bread for 3 days. So don’t forget the Doritos.

The downfall? If it rains you’re screwed.

The Cabin:

If your friend’s parents have a weekend cabin in the mountains, lucky you. If not, it’s not difficult or expensive to rent one of your own. Ski areas are a good bargain this time of year, particularly if they aren’t much of a summer destination. In Washington State, the towns of Glacier and Skykomish are great examples of off-season destinations.

The downfall? The potential for neighbors who don’t have the same appreciation as you do for Jay-Z at 2 a.m.


Camping is cheap and you can pretty much do it anywhere.

If you can’t afford the houseboat or cabin, and the weather looks like it could be too crummy to spend outside in a raft all day, camping provides the perfect alternative. Big, cheap Coleman tents make a great hang-out place, and you can set up smaller tents around for sleeping and other “indoor sports.”