It's time to say goodbye to summer. It's OK. It'll be back next year. In the meantime, a quick last minute getaway over Labor Day weekend might ease the pain.
Interested in exploring the Texas Hill Country? The Barton Creek Resort and Spa (tel. 866/572-7369; www.bartoncreek.com) is about a half an hour from Austin and is offering rates from $199. The region is home to a few wineries, but if you want a more leisurely approach, the resort offers a wine tasting on Saturday of Labor Day weekend for just $20 per person, along with cookouts, family activities, mini-golf, and other events. The promotion is available for stays September 4-7.
Spend the weekend in New Mexico's capital city, Santa Fe, at the Eldorado Hotel (tel. 800/955-4455; www.eldoradohotel.com) where the third night is free (rates start at $219). The hotel's restaurant, Old House, is an award-winner and the property itself the recipient of AAA's four diamond award. The special is valid Labor Day through December 30. Santa Fe is a great destination for art lovers (and those with a spicy palate, too) -- don't miss the Canyon Road Galleries and a trip to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.
Expedia (tel. 800/EXPEDIA; www.expedia.com) is advertising a summer sale that includes more than 6,000 hotels for stays through September 7. You must book by August 31, however. There's a handy drop-down menu that enables you to quickly browse all the properties in any given city. Another bonus? You can change or cancel your hotel and Expedia will not charge you any fees. Rates start from a super low price of $17 for Las Vegas, and includes places such as the historic Driskill Hotel in Austin from $209, the Chelsea in Atlantic City from $111, hotels in Paris from $59, and ones in Rome from $78.
Hotels.com (tel. 800/2-HOTELS; www.hotels.com/labordaysale) is running its annual Labor Day sale, with up to 40% off rates at more than 600 properties in 100 destinations large and small. Perennial favorites are included, such as Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and more. You must book by September 7 for stays valid September 1-15. Some locations may require a minimum stay; some may have blackout dates or other restrictions. If you're interested in San Francisco, The Westin St. Francis is available from $103 and offers increasing savings with each successive night's stay; 25% off for one night, 30% off if you stay two nights, and 35% off for three nights. In Orlando, the Floridays Resort is available from $109, with a two-for-one breakfast special daily.
Over Labor Day weekend and then some (September 2-7), New Orleans is host to Southern Decadence, also referred to as Gay Mardi Gras. The New Orleans Marriott (tel. 888/364-1200; www.neworleansmarriott.com) is offering rates that start at just $84 per night during the festival, along with a coupon booklet of $500 in savings to restaurants and other attractions. The hotel is in the French Quarter, close to restaurants and Bourbon Street and the noise.
You didn't think it was possible to stay somewhere decent in New York City for under $200 a night, did you? Well, the Park Central Hotel (tel. 800/346-1359; www.parkcentralny.com) is more than decent, and it's offering a starting rate of $179, which also includes breakfast at the hotel's café. It's offered for September 4-7. The hotel is not far from a host of midtown Manhattan attractions, ranging from Central Park and Columbus Circle to Rockefeller Center, the Museum of Modern Art, Broadway and, of course, Times Square.
Sixty locations of Wyndham Hotels (tel. 877/999-3223; www.wyndham.com) are offering half off the second night's stay (or a second room), along with complimentary breakfast for two. Book now for stays Thursday through Sunday nights; it's part of the "weekender save summer" promotion. In the United States, choose from, among others, Phoenix, Chicago, Orlando, New York City, Cleveland, El Paso, and Galveston. In the Caribbean, Wyndham has participating locations in St. Thomas, the Bahamas, Mexico, St. Maarten, and Panama City. The promotion is valid for stays through December 31, must be booked by September 10, and is offered based on availability.