Five Places Not to Be on Labor Day Weekend - Page 2

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Fall Foliage on the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina/Virginia
The Blue Ridge Parkway provides great autumn views. But on Labor Day weekend, your only view might be of the cars in front of you.  (iStockphoto)

4. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina/Virginia
Connecting two of the country’s most-visited national parks—Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah—this winding roadway gets plenty of use during the summer season, when families jam into vans and SUVs and head to the hills. But on Labor Day weekend, this popular vacation spot becomes mobbed with visitors soaking up the mountains’ last blush of mossy lushness. They come, too, for such Labor Day festivities as the 41st annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival at Lake Junaluska, the Mile High Kite Festival on Beech Mountain, or the Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival. Of course, with 461 miles of parkway, there are probably plenty of places where you can ditch the crowds and get lost in the splendid scenery.

5. Seattle, Washington
Why, you may ask, are we advising that folks in search of relaxation avoid a perfectly pleasant, determinedly laidback place like Seattle? Because on Labor Day weekend, thousands of people will arrive in the city for the annual three-day Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival. This locally grown festival is held at the 74-acre Seattle Center park complex, site of the 1962 World’s Fair (yes, the Space Needle is part of the park), and grown it has: Celebrating its 42nd year, Bumbershoot 2012 features some 2,500 bands, not to mention artists, comedians, and dancers in what has become one of the country’s top festivals. It’s a big deal, with a patronage that has grown to some 50,000 visitors per day. Oh, and did we mention that the Seattle Seahawks will be welcoming 60,000 fans to CenturyLink Field for a Thursday-night game against the Oakland Raiders to kick off the Labor Day weekend?

Bonus: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Georgia
Okay, so it’s not a vacation spot per se, but it is the nation’s—no, correct that: the world’s—busiest airport, and there’s bound to be plenty of folks spending precious vacation time in this airport during the upcoming Labor Day weekend. On an average day, some quarter-million passengers pass through the sprawling airport’s six massive terminals. You can spend your precious vacation time on the usual diversions: browsing shops selling perfumes and electronics or grazing standard-issue airport food. Or you can make a meal of the farm-to-table fare at the airport’s celebrated “upscale dining experience”: One Flew South—guaranteed to chase the airport blues away.

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