Doesn’t it seem like Memorial Day was just last month? Yet, here we are, heading into Labor Day and getting ready to say goodbye to summer. Fortunately for us Californians, the weather is still warm and the summer fun is still going strong all throughout the state. With that in mind, we criss-crossed the Golden State to find some of the most anticipated events and activities to do over Labor Day 2017. From yacht parties and barbecues to wine country festivals and yacht parties, there’s bound to be a celebration that meets your idea of three-day-weekend fun. Just remember to keep hydrated, shaded and wear your sunblock…since much of the state is experiencing a heat wave with triple-digit temps!
1. Go to Wine Country
Fancy yourself an oenophile? Then head to Northern California for Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. The annual celebration consists of wine-focused events (many of which are already sold out) like dinners on gorgeous cascading vineyards, winemaker-hosted lunches and rustic-chic barbecues hosted by talented local chefs.
2. Embrace Your Inner Geek at Comic Con
If you’re in San Francisco this weekend, satisfy your inner geek this weekend by heading to Moscone Center to check out the hottest comic books, cosplay and several celebrity appearances, like Peter Capaldi from “Dr. Who,” Sean Astin from “Lord of the Rings,” Nichelle Nicholas from “Star Trek,” Summer Glau from “River Tam in Firefly,” Cary Elwes from the “Princess Bride,” and many more. Besides nerding out over your favorite on-screen characters, you’ll have your pick of costume contests, cosplay parades, comic artist meetings and kid-friendly activities. The convention runs from Friday thru Sunday, Sept. 1-3; ticket prices range between $30-$80 for adults and kids under the age of 12 can get in for free.
3. Admire the Art at Sausalito Art Festival
Art lovers may find the Sausalito Art Festival a relaxing way to spend the weekend in one of the most inspiring coastal settings. From Saturday, September 2 to Monday, September 4, you’ll be able to enjoy the fine art of some of the top exhibiting artists, music and live entertainment, great food and great wine. Celebrating its 65th year in 2017, the Sausalito Art Festival is one event you don’t want to miss!
4. Take Me Out to the Ballpark at the Oakland Coliseum
Close out Labor Day weekend with one of America’s greatest pastimes — baseball. The Oakland A’s return to the Bay Area on Labor Day to take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The California team rivalry will be in full effect on Monday starting at 1:05 pm.
5. Elevate Your Mind at Heavenly Village Midway Art & Music Festival
Lake Tahoe is always popular Labor Day destination — and this weekend will be no exception. If you happen to be visiting during the holiday weekend, make sure to stop by Heavenly Village’s first-ever Midway Art & Music Festival. Starting Friday through Sunday, Sept. 1-3 and 1-9:30 pm each day, the venue will host a carnival midway, food, live music from headliners like Failure Machine, Jelly Bread, DJ Ca$h Ma$ter$ and Steel Breeze. Additional entertainment includes the Reno World Dance Collective, plein air and caricature artists, balloon art, jugglers, and carnival rides such as Samba Balloon, Loop O Plane, Tea Cups and more. Admission is free. (If you have the time, you might also want to check out the Good Sam Safe Ride’s Labor Day Car Show, also in Heavenly Village. Or, simply head right to the lake to cool off — it’s going to be a scorcher this weekend!)
6. Eat and Drink at The Taste
Calling all foodies! The Los Angeles Times‘ The Taste returns to Paramount Studios’ backlot this Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1-3) to celebrate SoCal’s dynamic food scene. Here, you’ll find your choice of five different events with unlimited tastings and a variety of wine, spirits and seasonal cocktails. Things kick off on Friday night from 7:30-10:30 pm, with the opening event that features food from Tar & Roses, Bourbon Steak, LocaL, Otium and more. Opening Night tickets are $150. Tickets for each of the Saturday and Sunday events run between $95 to $130, with a $25 discount to L.A. Times subscribers.
7. Show off Your Patriotic Side at Fleet Week
L.A. Fleet Week is always a fun thing to do on Labor Day. There are activities planned all weekend (through Monday) at the Port of Los Angeles from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, intended to honor the U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard and simultaneously welcome active military ships and personnel to L.A. There will be free public ship tours, STEM and military displays/demonstrations, aircraft flyovers, food, competitions and live entertainment. Free.
8. Hit the Beach and Pier at Fiesta Hermosa
Take a drive (or better yet, a bike ride, if you’re a local) down to Hermosa Beach for Fiesta Hermosa—one of the best Labor Day events in L.A. All weekend long, September 2 thru September 3 from 10 am to 6 pm, the Fiesta hosts hundreds of visitors with live music on two stages, a vast food court with 18 different kinds of ethnic goodies (plus sinful treats like caramel apples, cotton candy and funnel cakes), a Charity Beer and Wine Garden for the grown ups and a carnival and rides for the kids. The Fiesta gets packed quickly, so if you’re driving, try to get there early for a prime parking spot.
9. Party on a Yacht in San Diego
There’s nothing better than spending your three-day weekend with a drink in your hand. Celebrate the holiday in style with a Pier Pressure Yacht Party. Departing from the Grape Street Pier on North Harbor Drive in San Diego at 2:30 pm on Sunday, September 2, you’ll see your city in a whole new light. Take advantage of the sky deck, dance floor, lounge, bar and all of the nautical fun awaiting this cruise. Tickets cost $25-30.
10. Have Fun in the Sun at San Diego’s Sand Sculpting Challenge
Remember when you made sand castles as a kid? Embrace your inner child at the US Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition. Taking place at the Broadway Pier and Pavilion in San Diego, enjoy the sand between your toes and the salty beach breeze, while watching some of the best sculptors create 3-dimensional pieces of art out of sand. This 3-day event is perfect for families. The day starts at 9 am, so make sure to get their early to see the master sculptors create beautiful sand sculptors.
No matter how you choose to spend your Labor Day weekend, have a safe and happy one!