Labor Day Weekend is just over a week away and you still haven’t made plans. Whether it’s an escape from the summertime blues or the Zika blues, here are 15 destinations you can reach in four hours or less from Miami by plane, train (okay, not really), automobile—or yacht, of course.
Head west across Alligator Alley for a tranquil weekend escape to Naples and the Gulf of Mexico. The Naples Grande Beach Resort is the perfect hideaway for Miamians with its secret beach accessed through a mangrove estuary, the casual-chic Catch of the Pelican restaurant and a luxurious design that would be at home in South Beach.
2. New Orleans
Make it a foodie weekend in New Orleans zig-zagging across the city from the French Quarter to the Garden District to the Central Business District. Don’t miss a meal at John Besh’s groundbreaking August, absinthe frappes at Lafitte’s and live music on Frenchman Street.
With the newly opened Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, the Bahamian island 50 miles due east of Miami is continuing to develop as a tourist destination catering to South Floridians. While the Super Fast ferry from PortMiami is no longer in service, 45-minute direct flights are available via Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport—or you can always charter a yacht or seaplane.
With its laidback waterfront tiki bars like Guanabanas and a burgeoning brewery scene spearheaded by Tequesta Brewing, Jupiter is the perfect escape for a chilled out Labor Day Weekend filled with plenty of rum punches and microbrews.
5. Fort Pierce
Whether it’s catching a wave at Fort Pierce Inlet State Park or visiting the surf-themed Endless Summer Vineyard & Winery and Al’s Red Barn Grill, funky Fort Pierce is a great escape for nature lovers and those after an only-in-South-Florida experience.
6. Palm Beach
From luxury shopping on pristine Worth Avenue to a lavish Sunday brunch at The Breakers, Palm Beach is a spoil of riches. Book dinner and a show at The Colony’s Royal Room for a Broadway-caliber cabaret and killer after party at the Polo Lounge.
Photo by Sel Cisneros.
7. St. Kitts & Nevis
The Caribbean West Indies isle of St. Kitts is lush with rainforest peaks and craggy oceanside bluffs. From down-to-earth dining at local spots like Fredo’s to the upscale Spice Mill at Cockleshell Beach where the lights of Nevis twinkle on the horizon, it’s a foodie and beach lover’s paradise. A visit to the island nation’s sister island of Nevis is a must whether it’s a day trip aboard a catamaran or an overnight at the lux Four Seasons.
From Disney World to the dining scene at nearby Winter Park, Orlando has plenty to offer families over Labor Day Weekend.
One of the most luxurious escapes in the Caribbean, Anguilla is filled with sublime oceanfront resorts perched on craggy cliffs. Check into the newly reopened Malliouhana and unwind underneath frilly yellow umbrellas by the tiered infinity pool with nothing but the endless Caribbean Sea on the horizon.
10. Clearwater Beach
Head to the sugar white sands of Clearwater Beach and unwind in the greater Tampa Bay area. With its sunset celebration at Pier 60 and beachfront Frenchie’s Restaurant, soak up a weekend on the Gulf Coast.
Photo by Nick Doll.
11. Key West
Take a road trip to the Southernmost Point over Labor Day and bar hop around the local spots on (and off) Duval Street: Two Cents, The Other Side, The Porch, Waterfront Brewery. Grab dinner at new restaurant Thirsty Mermaid. End your night with live music, root beer barrels and free popcorn at the Green Parrott.
Get a taste of The Keys and cut your drive time in half by spending the weekend in Islamorada. Amara Cay is a peaceful and stylish resort nestled on the other side of the Florida Bay making for the perfect escape for both anglers and beach bums.
From Arikok National Park’s wild desert terrain to the relaxing beaches at the northern end of the island, Aruba is a dynamic destination with plenty of natural wonders to observe.
From rum tastings at St. Nicolas Abbey to snorkeling through nature preservesand a night out at St. Lawrence Gap, Barbados is a slice of heaven in the Caribbean.
Photo by Ed Lederman
15. New York City
Who says you can’t soak up the sun in New York City? Indulge in oysters and negronis aboard Grand Banks’ schooner docked on the Hudson in TriBeCa, cruise the High Line above West Chelsea or take in the scenery at the newly reopened Whitney museum’s outdoor gallery terraces in the Meatpacking District for a cosmopolitan Labor Day Weekend.