5 destinations worth exploring this Labor Day weekend
Labor Day weekend (August 30 - September 2) is your last chance to get away before summer unofficially ends. Here are five destinations worth exploring this holiday weekend.
Aerial view of Chicago Skyline
Chicago may be the “City of Big Shoulders," but Chicagoans don't just know how to work hard. They play hard, too, especially while celebrating Labor Day at several festivals throughout the long weekend. At the 41st annual Chicago Jazz Festival, you'll enjoy 46 free performances at four outdoor venues scattered around Millennium Park. The Great American Lobster Fest has live lobsters flown in from the East Coast and about two dozen live bands performing at Navy Pier. Or you can hit one of the smaller festivals: the North Coast Music Festival in Union Park, the African Festival of the Arts in Washington Park or the Taste of Polonia in Jefferson Park featuring all things Polish.
Sunset off 14th Street Pier in Virginia Beach
The 26th annual American Music Festival has one particular thing that helps it stand out from most major music festivals — it's on the beach in one of the East Coast's best beach cities. Headliners taking the main stage are 311, Lee Brice, +Live+ and Dashboard Confessional. Just down the shore at three other beach-park stages are free nightly performances by a variety of rock, country and party bands. During the day you can do the same thing, minus the music — go to the beach.
Golden Gate Bridge overlooking the water
Drained by the long, sweaty days of summer? San Francisco is cooled by summer fog and ocean breezes, so it's rarely hot on Labor Day weekend. Average high: 69 degrees. Besides exploring the city's museums and attractions each day, and taking an exhilarating boat ride under the Golden Gate Bridge, you can hike up from the Italian North Beach neighborhood to Coit Tower with its memorable view and historic murals that tell the story of local labor-movement struggles. Just across the bay, the 67th annual Sausalito Art Festival features daily live music on two stages.
Skyline of Seattle at sunset
Seattle features the same ocean-cooled mild weather of San Francisco, plus the blessing of a superb Labor Day-weekend music festival like Virginia Beach's. The festival is Bumbershoot, one of America's biggest contemporary music and arts festivals. Performers this year include The Lumineers and Lizzo. The celebration of music, comedy, dance, film, performing arts, visual arts and literary arts brings big crowds to its venues at Seattle Center, home of the Space Needle, near downtown.
Mountain view in Aspen
There are no ocean breezes, but the 8,000-foot altitude keeps it pleasantly cool on Labor Day weekends at the mountain resort of Aspen Snowmass. Making it even cooler on Labor Day weekend is the Jazz Aspen Snowmass festival, where headliners Weezer, John Mayer and Sting make it obvious that the festival has expanded far beyond jazz. The surrounding mountains inspire visitors to see more of them from a hot-air balloon, rented mountain bike or hiking trail between concerts.
If you can't get to Mars, what's the next best thing? Apparently Iceland. A team of renowned explorers and researchers recently journeyed to Iceland to test a Mars analog suit in a Martian-like environment.
The United sponsored expedition, led by The Explorers Club — an internationally recognized organization that promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air and space — and in partnership with Iceland Space Agency, involved the team venturing inside the Grímsvötn volcano and across the Vatnajökull ice cap. The group traveled to the remote location and lived for six days in the Grímsvötn Mountain Huts and endured harsh weather conditions and unstable terrain.
Helga Kristin Torfadöttir, Geologist and glacier guide, using the LiDAR system to map the ground and test the suit's capabilities on the glacier.
The objective of the mission was to explore the potential of concept operations at the Grímsvötn location while testing the suit in an arctic environment similar to what would be found on the surface of Mars. "This mission was an important test of the design of the MS1 suit, but it was also incredibly helpful to understand the how to conduct these sorts of studies in Iceland," said Michael Lye, MS1 designer and NASA consultant and RISD professor. "No matter how thoroughly something is tested in a controlled environment like a lab, studying it in a setting that accurately represents the environment where it will be used is absolutely essential to fully understand the design."
The suit was designed and constructed by faculty and students at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) with input and guidance from members of the HI-SEAS IV crew and NASA's Johnson Space Center Space Suit Engineering team. At 50-60 lbs, the suit is similar to what a planetary exploration suit would weigh in Martian gravity. The suit was originally designed to be used in the warm climate of Hawaii, however the martian climate is much closer to what would be found on top of the glaciers in Iceland. The data collected will inform the future of habitat and spacesuit design that can be used to train astronauts on Earth.
Today, we remember the colleagues, customers and every single victim of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
I know each of us in the United family marks this difficult moment in our own way. Still, we all share a common commitment to honor how our brothers and sisters left us and also celebrate what they gave to us during their lives. We remember their professionalism and heroism. We cherish their camaraderie and friendship. We carry with us the examples they set forth, especially in the heroism and bravery displayed by so many on that terrible day. Above all, we understand a simple truth: While thousands of our fellow human beings lost their lives in New York City, Arlington and Shanksville, the attacks of September 11th were aimed at all people of peace and good will, everywhere. They were attacks on the values that make life worth living, as well as the shared purpose that make us proud of what we do as members of the United family: connecting people and uniting the world.
We may live in times scarred by discord and disagreement, and we know there are those around the world who seek to divide us against one another. But, on this day – above all – we come together, as one. We affirm our core belief that far, far more unites us as citizens and fellow human beings than can ever divide us.
Let us embody that belief as we go about serving our customers and one another – on this day and every day – as we continue to help building a world that's more united. Let that be our memorial to the sisters and brothers we lost, eighteen Septembers ago.