5 places not to go on Labor Day

Crowds gather outside the re-launch ceremony of Disneyland's Space Mountain attraction at Disneyland on July 15, 2005.
Crowds gather outside the re-launch ceremony of Disneyland's Space Mountain attraction at Disneyland on July 15, 2005.
Matthew Simmons/Getty Images

The three-day Labor Day weekend is filled with activities. Picnics, fairs, concerts, friends. But let's say your main goal is to avoid crowds not join them. What then?

1. Disneyland

Did you think the traffic, parking and long waits for rides were already unbearable? Welcome to another circle of hell. Live it. Love it. Do it — some other weekend. On Labor Day weekend, leave Disneyland to the tourists and the teens with their youthful stamina not yet depleted by the ravages of life. This applies not only to the Magic Kingdom but to pretty much every other Southern California theme park — Universal Studios, Magic Mountain, etc.

2. Water Parks

See #1 above. All the same issues plus the risk of bacteria, parasites and other diseases.

3. The Beach

So you've decided to head to the beach. Great idea! The only problem? So has everyone else. Expect the Santa Monica beach to be packed on any hot weekend, especially a three-day weekend, with Sunday likely being the busiest day. You can avoid traffic and parking hassles by taking the Metro but that won't help you avoid crowds. Metro's Expo Line extension has boomed since opened in May, with ridership increasing by 125% on weekends compared to last summer. Trains will probably be full, especially leaving Santa Monica in the late afternoon.

4. Anywhere That Requires Driving Out Of Town

Angelenos know the best time to stay in town is during a long holiday weekend. It's Los Angeles as it should be. Hardly any traffic. 25 minutes to get across town. No long lines for brunch. An overall increase in mellowness. Plus, the economy is booming and gas prices haven't been this low since 2004. That's great for your wallet, not so great if you were hoping to squeeze in one last getaway before the summer ends. Planning on a little road trip this weekend? There will be traffic.

5. A Barbecue Store

Showing up at a grilling store on Labor Day weekend is like strolling into Bed, Bath & Beyond during the first summer heat wave: Either all the electric fans and AC units will be sold out or you're going to be picking over the dregs while getting the hard sell. Take some time, do your research, comparison shop and THEN get your grill. In the meantime, pick a favorite BBQ restaurant or invite yourself over to a friend's home.