50 must-see stops on the East Coast
Discover some charming spots on your next trip along the East Coast. While exploring this fascinating region of the United States, be sure to add some of the 50 points of interest described below to your travel itinerary.
Marvel at the red rocks near Bar Harbor (Maine)
The red rocks found on Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park are a sight to behold. Nature lovers who also enjoy a bit of a thrill will get goosebumps knowing that this park is only 80 km from Bangor, home to author Stephen King.
Take a food tour in Portland (Maine)
Check out the wide range of Portland’s fabulous restaurants. Did you know that guided tours are available for foodies and beer enthusiasts?
Snap a photo of the lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth (Maine)
Cape Elizabeth’s emblematic 1791 lighthouse stands tall in Fort Williams Park, offering visitors the opportunity to take countless photos of the rocky coastline. In fact, the entire landscape will take your breath away!
Ride the Ferris wheel in Old Orchard Beach (Maine)
Will you begin with a walk on the Old Orchard Beach Pier or take a turn on the Palace Playland Ferris wheel? You can, of course, do both. Be sure to stick around for the truly magical sunset, perhaps while enjoying a drink at the Pier Patio Pub at the far end of the pier. The view is unbeatable!
Stroll around Kennebunkport (Maine)
Visitors can’t help but slow their pace when exploring the seaside community of Kennebunkport. Take time to enjoy a leisurely stroll. Delight in wandering through each and every one of Kennebunkport’s small boutiques.
Birdwatch in Wells (Maine)
At the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, visitors can observe various types of birds, including plovers like those seen in Pixar’s short film Piper. This is one nature walk you’ll simply adore!
Fall under the spell of Ogunquit (Maine)
The word “ogunquit” means “beautiful place by the sea” in Abenaki, and you’re likely to agree after exploring the town’s beaches, dunes, and coastlines.
Walk along the Marginal Way near Ogunquit (Maine)
For those who enjoy a good walk, check out this fantastic path along the Maine coastline. A full circuit (round trip) totals just over 4 km. According to the map, however, you can access the trail at several points. Benches found along the path invite strollers to pause and admire the superb ocean view.
Eat lobster in Perkins Cove (Maine)
Lobster is king on menus in towns and cities along Maine’s coastline, and Perkins Cove is no exception. This fishing village serves up its extremely fresh lobster in several restaurants, including the famous Barnacle Billy’s, a 50-year-old establishment that often hosted former US President George H. W. Bush.
Walk through history in Portsmouth (New Hampshire)
Tour Portsmouth’s old port and historic district or visit the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and the Ogunquit Museum of American Art.
Take a break at Echo Lake in North Conway (New Hampshire)
New Hampshire boasts 93 national parks. Most people go to Echo Lake State Park to enjoy, well, the lake. Take the trail that circles Echo Lake to take part in a variety of activities. Don’t forget to snap lots of photos. The view is simply magnificent.
See the fireworks at Hampton Beach (New Hampshire)
Hampton Beach is the ideal spot for seeing fireworks throughout the year, namely on Wednesday evenings during the summer, July 4, and December 31. Timing your visit to coincide with one of these dates is definitely worth the effort. Otherwise, enjoy the extensive shoreline and many other beach events.
Scare up some witches in Salem (Massachusetts)
Salem is famous for its 17th-century witch hunts, and a tour of the town will reveal that witches, both old and modern-day, still hold a prominent place.
Relax in Newburyport (Massachusetts)
You’ll quickly feel at ease and truly on vacation in this small coastal town, with its picturesque charm and historical sites.
Admire the sunset from Plum Island (Massachusetts)
Catching a sunset in person on Plum Island is nothing short of amazing. Sunrises are just as spectacular. Take advantage of your visit to this island near Newburyport to relax on its lovely beach.
Watch whales in Gloucester (Massachusetts)
If being out on the open water doesn’t make you seasick, try taking a whale-watching excursion off the coast of Gloucester. Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone. Just remember to keep a tight grip on it.
Visit Harvard (Massachusetts)
Enjoy a guided tour of legendary Harvard University or choose a mobile tour via instructions on your smartphone. Take in the history while imagining the prestige of studying on this impressive campus.
Drop anchor at Plymouth Rock (Massachusetts)
The legendary Plymouth Rock marks the traditional landing site of the famous Mayflower upon its arrival from England. Its passengers would go on to found the first permanent Massachusetts colony in 1620.
Lose track of time at Mayflower Beach in Dennis (Massachusetts)
If you’re walking around Cape Cod, make your way to Mayflower Beach to see a breathtaking sunset over the ocean. Enjoy this beach’s silky sands during extended, daytime rambles.
Relive JFK history in Hyannis (Massachusetts)
Cape Cod’s Hyannis has strong ties to the famous Kennedy family. In fact, Hyannis is home to an engaging museum dedicated to telling the Kennedy story through the lens of US history.
Learn more about sharks in Chatham (Massachusetts)
Did you know that Chatham has a great white shark research centre? Indeed, this charming village has essentially turned Jaws into its very own trademark. For a less hair-raising outing, take a walk down Chatham’s main street and visit its many attractive shops.
Delight in gingerbread houses on Martha’s Vineyard (Massachusetts)
Martha’s Vineyard is an island located off the coast of Cape Cod. The island’s village of Oak Bluffs invites you to “savour” its charming homes known as gingerbread cottages. Revel in their colourful walls and porches detailed in delicate, lacy patterns. Don’t miss this absolutely magical sight!
Take life easy in Provincetown (Massachusetts)
For the past several years, Provincetown has proudly claimed to be among the most LGBT-friendly places. Its history is marked by tolerance, harmony, and open-mindedness. Provincetown sits at the tip of Cape Cod.
Follow the Freedom Trail in Boston (Massachusetts)
Follow a red line marking a nearly 4 km route across Boston and travel back in time to gain a better understanding of the American Revolution. Visit 16 sites that played a key role in this important moment in US history.
Say hello to George Washington in Boston (Massachusetts)
Be sure to pay a visit to the statue of George Washington as you stroll through Boston’s Public Garden in the city’s downtown. George Washington was the first president of the United States (from 1789 to 1797) and the garden is America’s first botanical garden (inaugurated in 1837).
Stroll through Providence (Rhode Island)
Exploring a city on foot gives you the freedom to prolong your visit and include attractions that spark your interest or indulge a passion. Check out the numerous themed printable guides and maps available to visitors looking to maximize their fun.
Visit the zoo in Providence (Rhode Island)
To catch a glimpse of giraffes, lions, zebras, a Komodo dragon, red pandas, and lots of other animals, stop by Providence’s Roger Williams Park Zoo.
Explore mansions in Newport (Rhode Island)
Impressive! Huge! Majestic! These are just some of the words you might hear when visiting the Breakers mansion or any of Newport’s other remarkable residences. Get ready for one high-class tour.
Embark on the Cliff Walk in Newport (Rhode Island)
This long walk stretching just over 5.5 km will please anyone keen to explore the city’s many features on foot. Take in Newport’s natural beauty, architecture, and history while appreciating impressive views of historical mansions.
Wander through fabled Central Park (New York)
You may feel as though you already know this famous downtown park even when visiting it for the first time. After all, Central Park, which is larger than the Principality of Monaco, has appeared in over 300 films.
Get smart at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (New York)
Curious tourists with a thirst for knowledge will adore a stop at the American Museum of Natural History. During your visit, don’t be surprised to find yourself recalling scenes from Night at the Museum, a movie filmed on the premises.
Spend an evening in Times Square (New York)
Explore Times Square after dark and feel the full effect of the big city lights. Next, dive below the surface of this complex city with a visit to the Museum of the City of New York.
Climb the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Pennsylvania)
The 72 steps leading to the southern facade of the Philadelphia Museum of Art were made famous when the well-known character Rocky (played by Sylvester Stallone) ran to the top before raising his arms in victory. Immortalize your own climb during your next visit.
Relive American history in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania)
The Liberty Bell on display at 526 Market Street is an enduring symbol of American independence. The bell is believed to have been rung during the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Consider visiting the nearby Independence Visitor Center as well.
Step back in time with the Amish in Lancaster (Pennsylvania)
Life in Lancaster’s Amish community resembles that at the turn of the last century. Sign up for a guided tour to learn more about their simple, self-sufficient lifestyle.
Place a bet at a casino in Atlantic City (New Jersey)
Atlantic City is the Las Vegas of the East Coast, complete with neon lights and casinos. Revel in its supercharged ambiance, especially at night when the city comes to life around you.
Raise a glass in Cape May (New Jersey)
Why not make the most of your proximity to Cape May by visiting a vineyard? You’ll have nearly 10 wineries to choose from, including the Cape May Winery, Willow Creek Farm and Winery, Turdo Vineyards and Winery, Natali Vineyards, and Jessie Creek Winery, Vineyard, and Inn.
Have fun in Wildwood (New Jersey)
Never let a chance for some fun pass you by! After a few hours at the beach, head to Morey’s Piers and Water Parks, an amusement park where you’re sure to rediscover your inner child. End your day with a stroll along the boardwalk.
Launch a political tour in Washington (District of Columbia)
Washington is the seat of political power in the United States and offers numerous sightseeing possibilities, such as the White House, Capitol Hill, the Washington Monument, and several museums. Make the most of every minute by opting for guided evening tours.
Travel the world on Embassy Row in Washington (District of Columbia)
Circle the globe in a flash by simply strolling down Embassy Row, where you’ll find more than 40 embassies housed in mansions.
Greet Neptune in Virginia Beach (Virginia)
Did you know that Virginia Beach is home to King Neptune? This bronze statue of the Roman god of the sea rises to an impressive height of 10 metres. Have fun snapping original photos of Neptune, like those seen here.
Breathe in the sea air in Cape Hatteras (North Carolina)
Cape Hatteras offers visitors all sorts of seaside activities, but don’t forget to visit its iconic lighthouse. Its black and white spirals will be the highlight of all your photos.
Find tranquility in Wilmington (North Carolina)
Are you looking to escape those all-too-familiar, overcrowded tourist sites? Head to Wilmington and discover its historic district, beaches, Dawson’s Creek guided tour, and other attractions. You won’t regret saving a spot on your itinerary for this charming city.
Enjoy kilometres of shoreline in Myrtle Beach (South Carolina)
Myrtle Beach’s white sands stretch for over one hundred kilometres. Indulge in long walks beside crashing waves or take in a round at one of the 120 nearby golf courses.
Take in some art in Charleston (South Carolina)
One glimpse of the palm-lined streets will confirm that you are well and truly in the South. Treat yourself to the flavours, traditions, history, and art of Charleston. Creative travellers will want to stay for at least three days to complete this art-filled itinerary.
Take a romantic stroll in Savannah (Georgia)
Nothing will bring out the romantic in you like a stroll down the impressive tree-lined paths in Forsyth Park, one of Savannah’s oldest public parks.
Sip a rooftop drink in Jacksonville (Florida)
Jax, as locals like to call it, is full of surprises from morning to night. During the day, choose from among its nearly 20 museums and numerous beaches. Once evening falls, be sure to leave room in your schedule for enjoying a rooftop beverage. Jacksonville boasts no fewer than nine rooftop bars where patrons feel as though they’re sitting on top of the world.
Walk the streets of the nation’s very first city in Saint Augustine (Florida)
This northern Florida city prides itself on being the oldest city in the country. Its Spanish-inspired architecture will astound you. Be sure to visit the Castillo de San Marcos, one of the oldest fortresses in the United States.
Celebrate happy hour in West Palm Beach (Florida)
When you get to West Palm Beach, enjoy a pleasant cocktail-hour catamaran cruise, perfect for admiring the sunset and magnificent scenery. It’s also a great way to relax before heading to one of the fine nearby restaurants for dinner.
Catch some sun and art in Miami (Florida)
Miami beaches are, of course, unbeatable, but there’s much more than sand to enjoy in this town. Visit its art deco district or the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens where this very American city shows off its traces of European artistry.
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