It’s only a few days away, but there’s still time to plan a Labor Day weekend getaway, and you shouldn’t have to pay a premium on accommodations—especially if you’re bound for urban environs.
With lots of travelers looking to squeeze in one last beach vacation before summer’s end, Labor Day can be a great time for a city escape: Fewer people on the streets means less competition for theater tickets and restaurant reservations, more elbow room in museums and galleries, and easier-to-come-by seats on public transportation. And though hotel rooms can be pricey with rates spiking around national holidays, hostels stay cheap year-round. For good deals on stylish digs, booking site Hostelworld has recommendations for some of the best cities in the US.
If you’re in DC and looking for a party, Adams Morgan is the place to be, and the HighRoad hostel is walking distance to bars, restaurants, cafés, and more. The parlor offers a front-row view of the action, and there’s a well-appointed kitchen—think Carrara marble, stainless-steel appliances, and a full range of cookware—in case you fancy an evening in. Guest rooms come with linens and towels, plus thoughtful touches like memory-foam mattresses, reading lights, bed dividers, and plenty of hooks. From US$29 (€26) per night.
Not up for bunking down with strangers? The Generator Miami in South Beach sleeps 344 guests across eight floors and 103 rooms, with accommodations ranging from shared dorms to private quarters. The former Atlantic Princess Condominium, the property dates to the 1940s, but a recent remodel has given the place a sleek new look, as well as a pool, an indoor-outdoor restaurant, and a trendy bar. Steps from the water, it also offers views of downtown Miami and the Miami Beach Canals. From US$18 (€16) per night.
New York City
One of the best parts of hanging out in Queens is the view of the Manhattan skyline, and from its perch across the East River, Long Island City is a great place to take it all in. An industrial building with floor-to-ceiling windows and a rooftop terrace, the Local NYC earns a “fabulous” rating from nearly 3390 Hostelworld reviewers. The guest rooms have ensuite bathrooms, bed dividers, and locked storage, along with linens, and towels, and board game nights will lure even the shyest traveler out of their shell. Hit a wine tasting, wield a Wii wand, or pop across to Manhattan and hit the pavement. From US$61 (€55) per night.
Centrally located between Hollywood Boulevard and the Sunset Strip, USA Hostels Hollywood has been welcoming budget-minded travelers for more than ten years. Between the weekly barbecues and the walking excursions to LA landmarks like the Hollywood sign, not to mention a garden patio and a chilled-out lounge, you’re bound to make new friends. But alone time is also important, especially in a communal-living situation, and with reading lights, shelves, and electrical outlets by each bed, the privacy pods in the dorms provide a bit of much-needed personal space. From US$35 (€31) per night.