Over the last few years I have been making an effort to travel through more of the United States. My first time in the USA I visited Los Angeles and New York. At the time I thought I had experience North America but later realised this was a very narrow window into the States as a whole. Last year I spent a lot more time exploring the East Coast beyond New York (but oh how I do love that city). The east coast is the site of so much of our nation’s early history, yet it also is home to some of the busiest and modern cities the country has to offer. If you’ve not yet explored the east coast you’ve really missing out upon a great adventure.
Luckily, a road trip through the east coast is actually a lot easier and less time consuming than other destinations throughout the country. This is because a lot of the hottest tourist spots are in close proximity to one another. Thus, you can pretty easily pack in a bunch of cities into a two to three week road trip without feeling overly rushed and still having the time to absorb the experience of each unique destination.
These are just a few of some of the most popular and awe-inspiring cities you should plan upon stopping by along the east coast.
New York City, New York
There’s a reason why New York City is one of the most famous cities in the world. There’s something absolutely electric about the atmosphere and energy of this bustling city known for the endless opportunities it possesses. If you’re planning a visit, make sure you take the time to catch a Broadway Show. Take a stroll through Central Park or check out the Statue of Liberty, a historic US landmark. If you get hit with an unexpected rainy day and have to stay inside, consider visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where you can view one of the most impressive art collections in the world.
Tragedy is of course a major part of this city’s past due to the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001. Take the time to pay tribute to the 2,977 victims killed in the attacks by stopping by the 9/11 Memorial. This is where the twin towers originally stood and now features a museum in which you will have the opportunity to learn about some of the heroes who died while assisting others on that dark day in our nation’s history.
Read more: 25 of the Best Things to do in New York
The city of Boston has played a major role in the history of the United States and is an essential stop for someone who wants to learn a little more about how our nation originated. If you only have a day, check out Copley Square or the beautiful Boston Public Garden. Fenway Park, the official home of the Boston Red Sox, is a must see destination for any baseball lover. The New England Aquarium is also a popular tourist attraction and offers fun for the whole family.
Read more: How to Spend 24 Hours in Boston
Philadelphia is another one of the most historic stops in the United States in terms of the origination of this great nation. Here you can learn about the Founding Fathers and the steps they took to secure freedom for all. You’ll want to plan a visit to the Independence Hall, which houses the iconic Liberty Bell. This city definitely has a more modern side to it too, with a bustling nightlife complete with a variety of different kinds of restaurants and museums. You can’t leave the city before tasting a Philly cheesesteak.
The city of Baltimore doesn’t always get the hype it really deserves in terms of east coast tourist spots. However, it is still a necessary stop if you want to get the full east coast experience. After all, it did play a significant role in United States history and is the birthplace of the “Star Spangled Banner”. This is a city filled with culture, delicious cuisine, and incredible art. Your trip won’t be complete without a visit to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, a strip filled with shops, restaurants, and museums. The Fort McHenry National Monument is sure to be appreciated by any history lover.
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is one of the most idyllic cities on the East Coast. With a distinct New England feel, Newport is a great city to walk around or explore by bicycle. The Gilded Age mansions on Bellevue Avenue are a must see, with the above photo being of the mansion used to film the first Great Gatsby film.
Read more: Visiting Newport Rhode Island
Maine is perhaps one of the most scenic states located along the east coast. Here you’ll see a rocky landscape dotted by lighthouses with old-timey feel. It may be one of the smallest states, but it has no shortage of attractions. If you’re stopping by the nation’s capital, Augusta, you’ll find that there are variety of family friendly tourist stops that everyone will be sure to enjoy. The Maine State Museum is a must see for anyone curious about learning more about the state’s cultural and natural history. Fort Western is also an impressive stop, as it is the oldest wood fort you’ll be able to find along the coast. It was built in 1754 during the French and Indian War and is now an awesome historic landmark.
Hudson, New York
Last but not least, a New Yorker’s favourite city escape is to board the train to Hudson for a weekend getaway. Hudson is the quintessential upstate New York getaway complete with artisans, quaint cafes and plenty of cute apartments to rent.
Read more: Your Weekend Guide to Hudson, Upstate New York