ATLANTA — More people are projected to travel this Labor Day, a positive sign consumer spending is returning to normal.
According to AAA, 34.7 million are expected to travel at least 50 miles this holiday, a 1.3 percent increase over last year. It’s also the highest number if travelers for a Labor Day holiday since 2008, AAA said.
For anyone looking for a Southeastern getaway this weekend, it’s not too late. Here are five worthy options:
Amelia Island, Fla.
On first glance, it might seem possible to dismiss Amelia Island as another beachfront town. But, dig a little deeper to find plenty of history and culture. Located about an hour from Jacksonville in northeastern Florida, one of the island’s highlights is Fort Clinch, a fort that dates to 1847 that saw action during the Civil War.
What’s so intriguing about Chattanooga — nicknamed “The Scenic City” for a good reason — is the sheer number of attractions. A weekend is not enough time to take in all the sights. Still, a long weekend is the perfect amount of time for an exceptional getaway. For starters, consider the Incline Railway, also know as “America’s Most Amazing Mile.” The railroad was built up the side of Lookout Mountain that features a 72.7 percent grade at one point.
With its unique architecture, quirky downtown vibe and vibrant craft beer scene, Asheville offers plenty to see or do inside or out, but the city is probably best known as the home of the Biltmore. And, the house, known as America’s largest private residence and built George Washington Vanderbilt, the grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, is as good of a place as any to start a weekend in the western North Carolina mountains.
Home to so much more than just the University of Georgia, “The Classic City” is a wealth of attractions, culture and history, featuring historic houses, great dining and roadside oddities. One such oddity is the famous Double-Barreled Cannon. Located in front of City Hall, the Double-Barreled Cannon was designed to fire two cannonballs connected by a chain so as to “mow down the enemy somewhat as a scythe cuts wheat.” Though it never saw action in war, the cannon makes for a civic point of pride and an item worthy of conversation.
It’s both “The Horse Capital of the World” and “The Birthplace of Bourbon,” providing visitors with plenty of attractions to see. Start with a trip down the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to learn about how bourbon has shaped the Bluegrass State’s history. For starters, consider this fact: There are more barrels of bourbon aging in Kentucky than there are residents.