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Labor Day trips don't take much work

Attractions offer a three-day escape within driving distance

Attractions offer a three-day escape within driving distance

August 28, 2005|By KRISTIN WILSON

kristinw@herald-mail.com

Labor Day weekend often is seen as the last holdout of summer - a final farewell to the lazy days of vacations and relaxation.

No wonder so many take advantage of the three-day holiday to escape one last time before autumn takes hold.

While many towns and businesses plan to shut down Monday, Sept. 5, others are gearing up.

Here are some destinations within driving distance of the Tri-State area where events and celebrations are planned this Labor Day weekend:




Hershey, Pa.


All of the attractions in Hershey, Pa., will be open and ready to greet Labor Day travelers. Perhaps the most famous part of chocolate town is Hersheypark, open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, and Sunday, Sept. 4, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5.

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The amusement park has more than 60 rides, including 10 roller coasters, six water rides and more than 20 kiddie rides. Guests also will see traveling entertainers, shows and plenty of food vendors throughout the park.

In Hershey, chocolate enthusiasts can visit the chocolate company's Chocolate World, the official visitors center of Hershey Foods Corporation. The center is free and open daily.

Chocolate World shows how Hershey makes chocolate from start to finish through a tour ride. A 3-D movie explains the history of founder Milton Hershey and Hershey's chocolate.

Two other attractions are nearby. ZooAmerica is an 11-acre walk-through zoo that features 200 animals. Dutch Wonderland is an amusement park - about a 40-minute drive from Hershey - especially geared toward children younger than 10. Dutch Wonderland features a water park and more than 30 rides.

For more information about the Hershey attractions, go to www.hersheypa.com or www.ZooAmerica.com, or call 1-800-HERSHEY.




Crisfield, Md.


Labor Day weekend marks the 58th annual National Hard Crab Derby in Crisfield, Md. The three-day event includes crab cooking and crab picking contests and a crab race.

Events take place at the Somers Cove Marina grounds starting Friday, Sept. 2. Rides, games, food and crafts will be offered throughout the weekend. Saturday, Sept. 3, will feature a 10K race, Lions Club swim meet, parade down Main Street, skiff races and an arm-wrestling contest. The annual "Hard Crab Derby Race" will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

On Sunday, Sept. 4, there will be a boat docking contest, live bands and a fireworks display.

While visiting the Lower Eastern Shore town, billed as the "Crab Capital of the World," walking and trolley tours are available that offer a history of the area and notable current industries. Tours of a crab and oyster processing plant are available.

From Crisfield, day trips are available to Chesapeake Bay islands such as Tangier Island, Va. Boat cruises take visitors across the 14-mile stretch between Crisfield and the island, where shops and restaurants dot the fishing village.

Nearby Janes Island State Park offers 2,900 acres of marsh, untouched shoreline and highlands. Camping and boat rentals are available on the island. The island park is also ideal for canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing and crabbing.

For more information about the Hard Crab Derby call 1-800-782-3913 or 1-410-968-2500. For more information about visiting Crisfield, contact the Crisfield Area Chamber of Commerce: 1-410-968-2501 or go to www.crisfieldchamber.com. Janes Island State Park can be contacted by calling 1-410-968-1565.




Virginia Beach, Va.


Labor Day is not too late to visit Virginia Beach. In fact, if you like live music, this beach destination just might be the perfect Labor Day getaway.

From Friday, Sept. 2, through Monday, Sept. 5, 40 different performers and bands will play on four stages along the Virginia Beach oceanfront as part of the Verizon Wireless American Music Festival.

Hootie & the Blowfish, LeAnn Rimes, Keith Anderson, Journey and Vertical Horizon are the headline performers for the event.

On Sunday, Sept. 4, about 20,000 runners are expected to converge on Virginia Beach for the Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon. Music festival bands will play along the 13.1-mile race course.

Water temperatures in early September still hover around 75 degrees. Jet ski and jet boat rentals are available along the coast.

Bike rentals are also widely available. Virginia Beach has a three-mile boardwalk bike trail that parallels the ocean. There is also the nearby Seashore State Park that offers miles of both paved and unpaved bike paths.

For thrill seekers, Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia is less than an hour drive from Virginia Beach. The amusement park features more than 50 rides and 10 main stage shows.

Tickets are required for the headline performances and are available through Ticketmaster or for purchase the day of the shows. "Passport Pins" are also available for $25 and allow bearers to get into all three ticketed, headliner shows. All other concerts are free.

For more information, go to www.beacheventsfun.com or www.vabeach.com.




Irvington, Va.


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