Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Top 10 Van Life Destinations for Labor Day Weekend


The summer has flown by and Labor Day is just around the corner. Don’t have plans yet? We’re here to help with ten fun-filled destinations, from national parks to charming towns, to visit for the long weekend. Whether you’re looking to unplug from your computer and immerse yourself in nature or make memories with family-friendly festivities, you’ll find your dream vacation spot on this list.

Our ten picks span the country and focus on areas with optimal weather at this time of year. We checked the reservations of our recommended camping areas to ensure that spots are still open. Plus, each destination has an array of activities to keep you occupied for multiple days. Ready to transform a last-minute idea into an unforgettable–and well-deserved–vacation? Read on.


Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Where to camp: Curtis Canyon Campground
This national park is known for its jaw-dropping scenery of the Teton Mountain Range and its plentiful wildlife. Traverse the stunning landscape by hiking, biking, or horseback riding. Cool down at one of several lakes and catch your dinner; fishing is one of the most popular pastimes in the park. There are a handful of beautiful van-friendly campgrounds here, but Curtis Canyon Campground is the most remote and a steal at just $15 a night. All campsites in the park are first come, first served except for some group campsites, so plan to arrive early in the day to secure your spot. 

El Cajon, California

Where to camp: Oak Creek RV Resort
This itinerary offers the best of both worlds–outdoor adventure and total relaxation. El Cajon is adjacent to El Capitan County Preserve and Cleveland National Forest, so you’ll have endless hiking opportunities at your doorstep. Looking for a challenge? Take on the toughest route in San Diego County, the relentless 11-mile El Cajon Mountain Trail. Be sure to leave early in the morning to avoid the hottest part of the day. The RV resort is a paradise for summer relaxation. On the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, enjoy a poolside BBQ event, complete with bingo and a live DJ. Later in the afternoon, the resort will host a family-friendly movie screening.


Cannon Beach, Oregon

Where to camp: Sea Ranch Resort
Cannon Beach is one of the most scenic parts of the Oregon coast thanks in large part to Haystack Rock, a colossal sea stack jutting out of the water. After you’ve gotten your fill of the beach, check out the town’s vibrant art scene by watching a live glass-blowing demonstration or strolling through galleries. Want to take advantage of the perfect weather? Hit the hiking trails at nearby Ecola State Park for postcard-worthy views of the rocky coast and a lighthouse. Your home base will be the peaceful Sea Ranch Resort just a few blocks from the beach and downtown. If you’d rather camp for free a bit further away and without the frills, check out Cole Mountain Rd Dispersed Camping.

Lake Tahoe, California

Where to camp: Lake Forest Campground
What better way to spend your vacation than next to the largest alpine lake in the U.S.? We love Lake Forest Campground in North Lake Tahoe for its prime waterside location, affordable rates ($20/night), and first come, first served policy. Since visitors flock to Tahoe on holiday weekends, showing up early to stake out a spot at first come, first served campgrounds may be your only chance to stay at this coveted destination. Once you’re there, enjoy water sports, fine dining, spas, hiking trails, and much more. On Labor Day, head down to South Lake Tahoe to marvel at the fireworks display over the lake.


Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Where to camp: Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground
You might not think of islands as possible destinations for #vanlife, but there’s no need to stay landlocked this Labor Day. You can take your trusty rig to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off Cape Cod, by ferry. Be sure to reserve the ferry and your campsite at Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground in advance. This campground has shady sites, full hookups, hot showers, and a variety of recreation areas both indoors and outdoors. We recommend renting a bike to tour the island and take in all its natural scenery and retro charm.

Fort Bragg, California

Where to camp: Sportsman’s Park
On California’s striking Mendocino Coast, you’ll find the small town of Fort Bragg. Here, you can unwind with meditative activities like collecting colorful treasures at Glass Beach or marveling at native plants at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Noyo Harbor also makes Fort Bragg a paradise for fishing fanatics. If you visit on Labor Day weekend, you’ll get the unique experience of Paul Bunyan Days, an annual series of lumberjack-themed festivities. Van camp at Sportsman’s Park, which is right on the Noyo River and within walking distance of a pet-friendly beach.


Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Where to camp: Timber Creek Campground
Rocky Mountain National Park is renowned for its breathtaking vistas of mountains and alpine lakes. Luckily, Labor Day weekend offers ideal weather for hiking and exploring. Not so luckily, this park is extremely popular and most campgrounds have been booked months in advance. There is one sneaky way around this–plan a longer stay. Many campsites at the Timber Creek Campground, for example, are still available for the holiday weekend (September 3rd-5th) as long as the reservation begins a few days earlier (before August 29th). At $30 a night, even a longer trip won’t break the bank. So why not use some extra vacation days to spend a full week in the majestic Colorado wilderness?

The Forks, Maine

Where to camp: Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort
If you work an office job, an active and adventurous Labor Day weekend in Maine might be just the thing for you. Plan an exhilarating whitewater rafting trip on the Dead River and Kennebec River. Or hit the trails for hiking and mountain biking. Moxie Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in New England, is a must-visit in the area. The fun continues at the Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort, which boasts a pool with a volleyball net, a large hot tub, an onsite pub and brewery, and a game room.


Olympic National Park, Washington

Where to camp: Graves Creek Campground
Turn a quick three-day trip into an epic survey of different landscapes with this itinerary. With rainforests, glaciated mountains, and rocky coasts, Olympic is one of the most diverse national parks. Explore this terrain with a plethora of hiking trails of all difficulty levels. Looking for your perfect route? We highlighted seven standout trails in Olympic National Park here. Graves Creek Campground is a magical wooded spot next to a stream. The campground is first come, first serve, so arrive as early as possible. If necessary, try your luck at the park’s several other campgrounds without reservations.

Aspen, Colorado

Where to camp: Silver Bell Campground
When you hear the name Aspen, you might think of skiing, but this small mountain town offers year-round fun. In addition to hiking and mountain biking up the surrounding peaks, you can catch a panoramic view over the landscape by taking the Silver Queen Gondola Ride up Aspen Mountain. Visitors on Labor Day weekend will be treated to the town’s Jazz Aspen Snowmass, an annual festival featuring legendary jazz artists. Each night, lay your head down among the aspen trees at the Silver Bell Campground. Most of the campsites at this dry campground are first come, first served, so you have a good chance of snagging a spot.

Whichever destination you choose to visit this Labor Day, traveling in a van allows you to venture off the beaten path while still traveling in comfort. Looking for the camper van of your dreams? Visit Rec Van today to browse our wide variety of game-changing adventure vans.