If you love road trips and camping, it may be a great idea to take an east coast USA trip. Since you have a lot of options besides this, planning a road trip may not be an easy task for you. Therefore, we have put together this guide to help you set a plan. We are going to talk about 10 fabulous east coast trips. This guide is based on the experiences shared by experienced travel bloggers. So, the information is genuine and may help you get the most out of your trip if you need an east coast road trip planner.
In the USA, road trips are quite common for a number of reasons. Road trips allow Americans to go on adventures and enjoy with family and friends at the same time. Besides, these trips allow the exploration of new places, attractions and food venues along the way. If these trips were not planned, these spots may have remained hidden to this day.
Hopefully, these east coast trips will allow you to put together a list of new destinations for your next east coast trips. Maybe you will be lucky enough to rediscover your favorite places along the way. So, without further ado, let’s find out more about these destinations.
1 : Kennebunkport to Acadia National Park, ME
You may have heard or read that the Main coast is among the most fabulous places in the United States. Let’s be honest. It may or may not be the best place in America but there is no law against exaggeration as far as road trips are concerned. We are free to describe what we think.
I decided to go on this road trip when I saw some breathtaking pictures on a blog. We had never been to this section of the USA east coast. So, we put together a plan to give a go to this part of the east coast. And we can confirm that what was described in the blog was not far from reality.
In fact, we can say that this drive will always be part of our beautiful memories. If you get started at Kennebunkport and keep going all the way to Acadia National Park, the trip will take 4 and a half hours, give or take. However, know that this trip may take many days allowing you to enjoy lip-smacking seafood and visit quaint villages and harbors. So, you can go camping and have tons of fun along the way.
ON your way, you can have a brief stay at many beautiful places, such as Bar Harbor, Rockland and Freeport, just to name a few. Ideally, you might want to choose the amazing Acadia National Park as your final stop. This will help you enjoy a great 5-day east coast trip. And the good thing is that you can do so in any season.
2 : Portland, ME to Burlington, VT
Without any difference of opinion, Northern New England is on the list of most fabulous parts of the United States. While it looks gorgeous throughout the year, we suggest that you go visit it in the autumn. During this time of the year, you can see leaves in different shades of gold, red and orange. Besides, late summer may also be a great time to go on this USA east coast trip. Ideally, you may want to get started in Portland, Maine so you can enjoy the amazing attractions like lighthouses, lobster and beautiful atmosphere.
Your departure point will be Portland. From there, you will head west via New Hampshire. You will drive through the White Mountains and get the most of gorgeous views. Also, if hiking is your love, this is going to be on the list of your favorite places. In the White Mountains of NH, you will find hiking trails covering thousands of miles. If you have enough time to enjoy, you may stopover in North Conway, which is a small resort town. Over there, you may find a lot of fun places and shops where you can eat and enjoy with your companions.
Your journey will resume and you will head the west. If you travel in summer, your road trip will allow you to enjoy beautiful glimpses of leaves of different colors. In the hot season, Vermont’s Green Mountains look amazingly beautiful. Your final destination will be Burlington, VT, which is the home of shining Lake Champlain.
In Burlington, you can enjoy a lake cruise and live music at many venues. Aside from this, you can try a local beer at many of the craft breweries.
3 : New York, NY to Amherst, MA
Our journey also involved an east coast trip, which started from New York City and ended in Amherst, Massachusetts. It’s always a great idea to plan a trip to New York City. And New England is an ideal gateway destination where you can spend some quality time with your kids.
We had just 24 hours to spend in NYC, but we did manage to visit Midtown, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Central Park before leaving for New Haven, Connecticut. During our earlier visits, our group had a great time at Ellis Island and Times Square. Since you can see and do a lot of things in NYC, you may end up spending many days in the city. If we exclude traffic delays, New Haven takes around 2 hours of drive from Manhattan. We stayed in New Haven for the night and explored the campus the next day
Unlike Manhattan, New Haven is not that crowded. So, we decided to explore the Gothic Revival architecture of the university. It was an awesome treat to take a closer look at the copy of the Gutenberg Bible at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Also, driving thru Yale’s campus is an ideal resting point between Amherst and NYC. We left New Haven and continued driving for around 2 hours to visit my uncle at Amherst, Massachusetts. Attractions there include the amazing views from the Mount Sugarloaf.
Besides, we had a lot of fun at the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. You can see beautiful butterflies in this glass conservatory. This east coast road trip was so memorable that we decided to repeat it.
4 : Boston, MA to Portsmouth, NH
Although Boston and other big cities have always fascinated me, small towns are much more charming. The good thing about small towns is that you can go from one end of the town to another in just 30 minutes. We stopped at some of my favorite towns on the USA east coast.
We suggest that you get started in Boston, which is the center of food, culture and history. Make sure you spare a minimum of two days to explore Boston. At Boston, you can try flour, nut boxes, Tatte, and Modern Pastry at the famous bakeries.
After spending a while in Boston, you may leave for the town of Salem, MA, which is quite popular for the witch trials of 1692. During these trials, many people were hanged on the charges of witchcraft. At this town, you can explore the Witch House, Salem Witch Trials Memorial and a trial judge’s former house.
Portsmouth, NH, is around an hour of drive from Salem and is located on the beautiful Piscataqua River. You can spend time exploring a lot of its local shops. Don’t forget to check out some seafood like oysters, preferably at the Franklin Oyster House. Another great attraction is the life-size whale mural which can be seen on the wall of Cabot House.
Once you have spent plenty of time at Portsmouth, you can leave for the capital of Maine where you can give a go to the country’s best lobsters. If you love lobster rolls, we suggest that you head to the J’s Oyster. They offer the most delicious full broiled lobsters or lobster rolls. And the great thing is that J’s Oyster got approval from Anthony Bourdain.
5 : Blue Ridge Parkway, NC to Asheville, VA
As far as USA east coast road trips are concerned, the Blue Ridge Parkway is on the list of gorgeous drives. The drive will continue for 469 miles, and the pure nature connects the Great Smoky National Park to the Shenandoah National Park. On the way, you can enjoy the gorgeous waterfalls, mountain view and a lot of trails. If you love camping and hiking, you can stop there for a while. Although the journey will take one full day, we suggest that you camp at different spots to get the most out of the amazing views.
In autumn, you may join a lot of other tourists who may be looking to capture breathtaking photos of fallen leaves. This route can take you to Asheville, which is my favorite city.
If you have never been to Asheville, know that it’s a liberal city located in the mountains. In this city, you can find a lot of hippies, coffee shops, shops and breweries, to name a few. Nowadays, development works have been happening across the United States. Therefore, you may find it hard to find natural beauty on the east coast. So, you might want to head to the Blue Ridge Parkway to get some fresh air in the mountains.
6: Cape May, NJ to Assateague National Seashore Park, MD
We recommend that you start your trip at the southernmost tip of the coastline of New Jersey, preferably in the Cape May’s resort town. This charming place allows you to engage in tons of fun activities like fishing, boating and Victorian home tours. So, you can stay for a couple of days prior to moving on.
If you think you can’t keep moving in the south, you need to think again. You can take a ferry and head to Lewes from Cape May to continue your exploration of the east coast. Ideally, you may want to take your lunch with you as the journey will continue for at least one hour and 30 minutes. You should have a solid plan in place in order to cross over in time and explore the Cape Henlopen State Park as soon as you are on the other shore.
This park allows you to watch birds and other wildlife. Besides, you may climb the observation tower, and once you are up there, you can enjoy the stunning views of the region below you. You can set up a camp over there and spend a few nights.
Your next stop is the Assateague National Seashore Park, which is the center of attention of the eastern seaboard.
As far as my opinion goes, this national park is among the most amazing attractions of the United States. Apart from being the only oceanfront park of Maryland, this park features a lot of wild horses. And the best part is that these horses are permanent residents of this park and can be found free-roaming in the park.
Also, the national park campground can be seen between the sand dunes, near the ocean. And this is the place where you can watch wild horses walking here and there on the beach. For beachcombing and swimming, you can take advantage of the beaches that run as long as two miles. So, if you are looking for an ideal place to unwind by the sea, you can give a go to this east coast road trip destination.
7: Washington, DC to Charlottesville, VA (Shenandoah Natn’l Park)
If you are into nature or history, your best bet is to start your east coast road trip from Washington DC to the Shenandoah National Park, which is near Charlottesville, VA. Without a doubt, it will be a great treat for you.
You can get started in Washington, DC and check out a lot of free monuments and museums in the city. Also, if you manage to book some tickets, you may get a chance to visit the White House.
Afterward, you can head to Front Royal. For this, you need to drive via the wine country of Virginia. Therefore, it’s great to stay at any of more than 50 wineries on your way. If you need recommendations, know that Tarara Winery is among the best wineries in this state. Plus, it’s located on the route.
In Front Royal, you can try Skyline Drive, which is the highly scenic byways of the nation. On Skyline Drive, you will travel 100 miles through the Shenandoah National Park. On the way, you will experience the beauty of sweeping vistas of Blue Ridge region and the Shenandoah Valley. In the park, you may get out of the car to check out the hiking trials like Dark Hollow Falls and Bearfence Mountains. Also, both Big Meadows and Skyland are home to full-service restaurants where you can have foods made from ingredients sourced from the local areas.
Your Skyline Drive will come to an end at Rockfish Gap. After a while, you can head to Charlottesville, which is home to Monticello, University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson’s estates. You may have your lunch or dinner at any of the famous restaurants like Christian’s Pizza. Alternatively, you may go to Michie Tavern for a classic Virginia fare once you are done with your tour of Thomas Jefferson’s estate at Monticello.
8: Washington, DC to Outer Banks, NC
Last year, we planned a tour of Washington, DC in fall. We started our east coast road trip to the popular Outerbanks and had a lot of fun until we reached a beach to recharge our batteries.
Ideally, you can begin your tour by visiting the popular attractions in DC, which won’t cost you much as the majority of museums are free. After, you may get tickets to visit the Capital Buildings and White House. If your budget allows, you may dine at Rose’s Luxury. As far as my experience goes, dining at Rose’s Luxury was one of the best experiences I had.
After you leave DC, you may stay in Williamsburg for a couple of days. The variation of leaf colors in winter will make your drive much more enjoyable on the highway. In spring, the trees are full of fresh, shining leaves.
At the Busch Gardens Williamsburg, you may spend a few days followed by a day or two at Water Country USA. This will allow you to have some fun in the water and get the most of some thrills.
You may explore the Historic Williamsburg at night by taking a ghost tour. In the morning, you may head to a local flare, such as the Colonial Pancake House where you can eat affordably.
After Williamsburg, your next target destination is the Outer Banks. For a few days, you may stay at Virginia Beach. Alternatively, you may stay at Kitty Hawk, NC. This is the place where the famous Wright Brothers made an attempt to fly their first heavier-than-air aircraft. Once you are in the Outer Banks, you may get some rest. You may enjoy at the beach, eat some seafood or go fishing, for instance.
9: Savannah, GA to Outer Banks, NC
In the Southeastern USA, you can explore beautiful cities, Atlantic coastline and some of the most awesome cuisines you can find in the world.
You can start from Savannah and head to the Outer Banks area of North Carolina. On the way, you can stay at the Atlantic Coast for a while wherever you want to. In Savannah, you can wander around the squares, explore the famous antebellum mansions and head out to Wormsloe Plantation in order to enjoy the impressive oak tree tunnel.
On the way, you may have a break in Charleston to enjoy delicious food and find out more about the history of the city. On Myrtle Beach, you can cool down and enjoy the breathtaking coastline. You can also visit many of the small towns, and in most of the towns, you will find many strawberries, peach and pecan stand.
Don’t forget to check out the North Carolina barbeque while you explore Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Aside from this, you may try sweet tea, fried chicken, gravy, biscuits, cheese, macaroni, pimiento cheese, peach cobbler, and pecan pie. The list is endless but you can get the idea. You won’t go hungry no matter where you are in the south. With food galore, historical cities and beaches, your east coast road trip will become memorable.
10: Miami to Florida Keys, FL
If you are planning to visit the southern regions of Florida, an east coast road trip via the Florida Keys will be a great experience.
To get started, you may want to rent a car in Miami. A quick will take you to Key Largo where you can find a lot of stunning landscape an beaches to explore. So, if you are into adventures, you may want to try many places to engage in different recreational activities. If you are a food lover, you can choose from a variety of foods like fresh seafood and regional cuisine.
Hopefully, these will be your best east coast road trips if you are looking for east coast road trip ideas.