Whether you want to hit the beach or the mountains, there are lots of deals for Labor Day. Below is a rundown of the some of the most popular spots in Virginia. Some require Sunday through Thursday stays for the discount, but you benefit if you can get away early. And some deals are for BizSense readers only.
Virginia Beach’s Oceanfront Inn, 2901 Atlantic Avenue, www.oceanfrontinn.com. Reserve rooms by Aug. 23 for Aug. 29-Sept. 2, get a $95 rate (25% off $129).
The annual Labor Day Half Marathon Virginia Beach makes it difficult to find beach deals; but another good one is the 99$+tax room rate at The Founders Inn & Spa http://foundersinn.com, Aug. 18-Sept. 30 (usual rates range $119-$149).
Just 15 minutes’ drive from the beach, the Hilton Norfolk Airport www.Hilton.com/NorfolkAirport offers 25% discount off rooms booked 14 days in advance from now through the end of September. Two Norfolk properties have created special discounts for BizSense, but readers need to use the promo code RBSBUZ: The Courtyard Norfolk Downtown http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel-guide/orfdt-courtyard-norfolk-downtown/ will cut 30 percent off its usual $139 room-rate; and Hampton Inn Norfolk Naval Base www.norfolknavalbase.hamptoninn.com has rooms, subject to availability, at $79, compared to its usual $119-129 rate from Aug. 29-Sept. 7 (757-489-1000, ext. 501).
Colonial Williamsburg’s Bounce package is, for the first time, including complimentary round-trip transportation from its Visitor Center to Busch Gardens and Water Country, which means no parking fees at the latter two attractions. The package offers a savings of 30% over separate purchases, with unlimited access to the Historic Area, Busch Gardens, Water Country and accommodations at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites. Rooms start at $232 per night for a family of four for three-night stays. www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/np.
Online only values include Busch Gardens’ free admission for kids 9 and younger –- a $51.95 value –- with the online purchase of an adult single-day admission ticket through Sept. 19. Go to www.buschgardens.com/va.
Another great online value is the combo-ticket to Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center (http://historyisfun.org/HISTORY-IS-FUN!-VALUE-TICKET-OFFER.htm) allowing visits to both museums for seven consecutive days, rather than one visit to each museum for tickets purchased in person.
Heading to the mountains
With the Charlottesville Boar’s Head Inn’s “Stay More, Play More” package www.boarsheadinn.com, you get $425 for three nights (Sun.-Thurs., as opposed to $170 per night). Pay for a round of golf at $72 w/cart, and your total is three nights with unlimited golf for $497, based on availability.
Wintergreen Resort’s “Labor Day Spectacular” has lodging rates starting at $99 (more than 50% off usual Labor Day rates), but restrictions include a two-night minimum in condos only (limited availability).
The Sept. 1-6 package at Berry Hill Resort & Conference Center in South Boston www.berryhillonline.com, with indoor pool and spa, gives 25% off second-night stays with the first night at prevailing rate ($149 when available) – or 50% off third-night stays when first two nights are booked at prevailing rate (cannot be combined with any other specials).
Want to see the Blue Ridge Parkway before this year’s 75th anniversary ends? See attractions such as the monumental Natural Bridge of Virginia — a National Historic Landmark located a half-hour south of Lexington — and take advantage of discounts: $81 a couple and $125 per family of four, at the Natural Bridge Hotel www.SummerBridgeSavings.com (800-533-1410). Rates include accommodations, breakfast and admission to the Natural Bridge, Cedar Creek Trail, Monacan Indian Village and Cavern. Day visitors can check out the $10 discount online www.naturalbridgeva.com.
Continuing on the Blue Ridge Parkway, check out the good deals through the Roanoke Valley’s RED card program (Regional Entertainment Discounts, www.visitroanokeva.com). Increasingly travelers have to work harder to get the best deals because accommodations’ owners put different deals in different places to track how visitors find out about them.
Historic Claiborne House Bed & Breakfast in Rocky Mount www.claibornehouse.net, for example, offers the third night (Sun.-Thurs.) free as a participant in RED when you input the Blue Ridge Parkway anniversary code at the time of booking. The list of RED participants changes so double-check the Roanoke Valley’s site www.visitroanokeva.com before traveling in that direction. Card discounts last through Dec. 31, unless otherwise noted.
Roanoke’s MainStay Suites-Airport http://www.mainstayairport.com only offers 20% off through RED card but will give RBS readers the rate $96.60 including taxes, which is at least 25% off rack rate, for all dates from now until Sept. 11. Readers should give the special code RBSBUZ to get the rate. The hotel is positioned for shopaholics with courtesy transportation, 7 am-10 pm, to Valley View Mall, a half-mile away.
You still have to call or write to take advantage of some deals: for Roanoke’s RED program you either fill out the form on its Web page, call 800-635-5535, or visit its downtown visitors’ center (9-5 daily, 540-345-8622).
Before you leave home, check out the nearest convention & visitors bureaus’ online posting of hotels’ last-minute coupons for the areas you’re visiting; often new deals show up weekly.
Perhaps what’s most relaxing over Labor Day isn’t leaving the city at all but enjoying a night on the town with the package that was The Jefferson Hotel’s most popular one last summer www.jeffersonhotel.com — a 40% discount off the price of components included: choice of accommodations ($205 and up), traditional Southern breakfast for two, breakfast gratuities, valet parking and a $25 Jefferson Hotel gift card to use anywhere in the hotel you would like (taxes are additional). Book more than one night and get a $50 gift card (offer good through Sept. 7).