Philadelphia streets by night, East Coast Inspiration

Best places to visit on an East Coast USA Road Trip

East Coast Wanderlust!

Take a look at the East Coasts’ Best Places. Embrace the thrill of Eastern exploration as we embark on a captivating journey through the region’s most vibrant and magnetic cities.

1. Manhattan, New York

New York really does have it all. One of The Best Places in the East. Whether exploring the metropolitan city for a few days or venturing into New York State and the countryside towns along the East Coast, your New York road trip will be fantastic.

Where is Manhattan? Everyone knows of New York City. Made up of five boroughs, New York City sits surrounded by water, including the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean in the northeast of America. Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island form the famous city, each diverse in its own unique way.

What to do in NYC? Get yourself to Times Square! Right in the heart of the district, Times Square is the iconic NYC tourist stop. Surrounded by the bright lights, adverts illuminating the giant screens and the odd celebrity or two. 

You’ll find the cheapest show tickets here in Times Square – so long as you’re prepared to stand in a queue for the morning. It’s not as bad as it sounds, with all the interesting characters around and making for superb people-watching! Take some time to explore Central Park, spotting filming locations from film and TV. Take a rowing boat out on the lake, lay on the Great Lawn or make a wish at the Bethesda Fountain. The Empire State Building, The Edge, One World Observatory and The Rockefeller Building are incredible buildings to visit. Each one will give you some of the best views of the city. 

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore New York

Taxi cab in Manhattan, New York, USA, Best Places in the East

Taxi cab in Manhattan, New York

2. Amish Country, Pennsylvania

Step back into a fascinating way of life on your Road Trip to Pennsylvania into Lancaster, Amish country. Also known as Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Lancaster County is home to the oldest Amish settlement in the United States. The heritage of the Amish communities dates back hundreds of years, and whilst much time has passed and the world has evolved, the Amish still live and work as their ancestors did. Take some time out on your visit here, this will be the perfect opportunity to pop your phone away. 

What to do in Lancaster, Pennsylvania? Spend some time visiting an Amish farm or take an Amish buggy ride on horse and cart through scenic backcountry roads. Guided Lancaster Pennsylvania Amish tours are available, or hire a guide to travel in your car for a personal experience through Amish Country! After a tour, shop local, handmade Amish crafts before indulging in authentic PA Dutch cooking. Alternatively, do something a little unexpected, such as a brewery tour! An afternoon is well spent here as you pass through on your road trip.

Where to eat in Amish Country? Amish cuisine is what we would know as hearty comfort food. Homegrown and home-baked produce will fill the menus: meat, homegrown vegetables and sweet and savoury pies! 

Where to next? After you have finished exploring Amish Country, Washington DC is 2.5 hours, Gettysburg is an hour and a half drive, and Williamsburg is just over four hours drive. In a car, of course – horse and buggy may take a little longer!

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Amish Country…

Amish County, Pennsylvania

Amish Country, Pennsylvania

3. Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks of North Carolina are a string of remote barrier islands, 200 miles long, which offer the ultimate outdoor experiences. Towns of the Outer Banks include Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Manteo, Rodanthe, Hatteras and Ocracoke. Each town different to the next, from off-road beaches, wild horse tours and outdoor activity hotspots.

Where are the Outer Banks, North Carolina? Part of the barrier islands, The Outer Banks spans for 200 miles. 2.5 hours drive from Virginia Beach, 3.5 hours from Jacksonville NC and 3.5 hours from Richmond VA.

What to do in the Outer Banks? When you’ve spent some time relaxing on the beach there are loads of things to do around the town. The Wright Brothers Memorial is a famous hotspot where people like to take a photograph sat in a replica of the famous plane.

Cape Hatteras has the tallest brick lighthouse in America. Climb to the top of the iconic black and white striped landmark. Fishing and Sailing are regular adventures from the Outer Banks as well as paddle boarding, horse riding and surfing. 

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore The Outer Banks…

Outer Banks, USA, Best Places in the East Coast

The Outer Banks, USA

4. Washington DC

Washington DC is the Capital of the United States, it’s neither a state nor city but is a Federal District. Home to the White House, it’s is a popular destination as you road trip through eastern America.

Where is Washington DC? You will reach the Capital Region as you cruise the East coast. Washington borders Maryland and Virginia.

What to do in Washington DC? With a wealth of culture, museums and monuments, there’s loads to enjoy on your visit to Washington DC. The Air and Space Museum, The Museum of African American History and the Museum of Natural History are amongst the museums offering free admission. Stroll along the National Mall and enjoy the monuments along the way including the Lincoln Memorial. Visit George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon, across the Potomac River.

Where to eat in Washington DC? In recent years, Washington DC appears to have raised the bar, becoming a culinary destination of its own. Whether you’re enjoying some seafood on the waterfront in Georgetown, entertaining cosmopolitan vibes in Penn Quarter and Chinatown, or enjoying Michelin Star fine dining on Capitol Hill, each neighbourhood has sensational restaurants.

When is the best time to visit Washington DC? Washington is truly awesome at any time of the year, however, the spring brings pastel-hued magic to the American Capital in the form of the Cherry Blossoms. The blossom’s timing tends to vary, but from March to April you’ll be sure to catch a glimpse. Summer in DC can be hot and humid, fall sees better temperatures for your adventures, whilst winter can see snowfall. 

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Washington DC…

The White House, Washington DC, East Coast USA

The White House, Washington DC, East Coast USA

5. Blue Ridge Mountains

Where are the Blue Ridge Mountains? The blue ridge mountains comprise a section of the Appalachian Mountains, spanning through 8 states. This 469 stretch of scenic road takes you through Virginia and North Carolina, linking Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Shenandoah National Park. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers up perfect views of the mountains and phenomenal scenery. Just 5 hours drive from Atlanta and 2.5 hours from Charlotte, NC, the Blue Ridge Mountains become a great part of your road trip as you explore the South.

What to do in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Drive along the ribbon of road that weaves through the mountains. Along the Blue Ridge Parkway you will find the highest waterfall east of the Rockies – Whitewater Falls, the deepest gorge east of the Grand Canyon – Linville Gorge and The oldest river in North America – New River.

Besides the Blue Ridge Parkway, there are 18 scenic drives near Asheville. You’ll be making the most of that rental car! You can even dip in the mountain swimming hole and ride down Sliding Rock before tubing down the river.

You should know before you go… Phone reception can be super spotty away from the towns. So, be prepared with your sat-nav and road maps, assume there will be no reception at all. There are no gas stations for over 50 miles. For this reason, it’s best to fill up your tank before you reach the parkway.

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore The Blue Ridge Mountains…

Balloon over the Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains USA

Blue Ridge mountains, Great Smoky Mountains

6. Catskill Mountains, New York

Just outside the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, you can drive a couple of hours into The Catskills Mountains, NY. The perfect escape into Americas’ greatest outdoors.

Where are the Catskill Mountains? 100 miles outside New York City, in Upstate New York rising from the Hudson Valley, you will find yourself in the Catskills Mountains. Rivers and forests build up this dense land full of interesting small towns and bundles of history.

The Catskills were once home to the 1969 music festival of Woodstock, and today is home to every type of music festival. The energy of the carefree festival still lives on today through locals and visitors absorbing the surrounding mountains.

What to do in the Catskills Mountains, NY? The Catskills is undeniably full of outdoor adventure! Hike to a breathtaking vista before travelling downstream on a canoe or kayak. Enjoy Zoom Flume Water Park or the world’s largest Kaleidoscope in Mount Tremper.

What is the weather like in the Catskills Mountains, NY? Winter sees the Catskills freeze, which is great for all of the outdoors winter sports! Autumn in the Catskills will display blazing colours, igniting the hillsides. Peak colours for the spectacular fall foliage will begin around mid-October. The summer can be super warm and can see highs of 25 degrees plus.

Did you know… You may recognise the Catskills as the setting for Baby and Johnny’s summer in Dirty Dancing. But, the 1987 movie wasn’t filmed in upstate New York, it was actually in Virginia.

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Catskill Mountains, New York…

Autumn in Catskill New York USA, Best Places in the East

Autumn in The Catskills, New York USA

7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Where is Philadelphia? Your East Coast road trip will likely pass through Pennsylvania’s largest city, Philadelphia. Just 2 hours drive away from New York City, 2.5 hours from Washington DC and just under three hours to Harpers Ferry, Philadelphia makes for a great stop along your road trip.

What to do on a Philadelphia Road Trip? Here you can see the Liberty Bell in the Independence National Historical Park. Get there early to avoid the queues to this popular attraction. No visit to Philadelphia is complete without a trip to the Reading Terminal Market, the city’s most famous food hub! You will find something delicious among the local produce, Freshly baked pastries, Philly cheesesteaks and ice cream to die for. 

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Philadelphia…

Historical house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Autumn in New England

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

8. Skyline Drive, Virginia

Skyline Drive marks the start of the fabulous Blue Ridge Parkway in Shenandoah National Park, and driving the 105 miles of this spectacular route may well take up your whole day. The stunning surroundings are completed by abundant wildlife well protected by the 35mph speed limit, with various resting spots that welcome you to stretch your legs on one of its many gorgeous trails.

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Skyline Drive…

Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park in the autumn, Best Places in the East

Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park

9. Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania

Known for its historical context, Gettysburg National Military Park is one of Americas most iconic destinations. The most famous small town in America.

Where is Gettysburg? You will find Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, in east of America. With big neighbours including PhiladelphiaNew York City and Washington DC, Gettysburg holds its own regarding tourism.

What to see in Gettysburg? Famously knows for three fateful days in July 1863, people travel from all over the world to visit this 6,000 acre Civil War Military Park. Here you can go on a tour of the battlefield. Segway, Horse, Bus, Car, and Walking Tours are all great ways to see the Battlefield. There is also a museum and visitors centre displaying artefacts from the Civil War.

Don’t leave without visiting the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Here you will find a memorial which marks the site of Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Gettysburg Address.

What is the weather like in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania? Spring and summer see the park warm up and reach 28 degrees. The heat cools in the autumn, where it feels a crisp 0-13 degrees and in winter can drop to lows of -4 degrees.

Where to eat in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania? Big on the field to fork culture, Gettysburg offers great food experiences.  The ‘Savor Gettysburg Food Tour’ offers a new way to explore the city, eat your way along, or take a Walking Wine Tour! Afterwards, wash it all down with some cider brewed locally. 

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Gettysburg National Park…

General Gouverneur Warren overlooking Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

10. Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls is often at the top of peoples bucket lists! You will feel and hear the mighty rumble of this natural wonder before you see it, with a mighty mist that rises to fill the air between Canada and New York.

Where is Niagara Falls? One of the best places to visit in the East of the USA. Made up of three powerful waterfalls, Niagara Falls is divided over the Canada-America border. Two of the three falls are on the American side and ‘Horseshoe Falls’ is in Canada. You can view Niagara Falls from either side of the river, and with your passport, you can cross the border and witness another view of the falls.

What to do at Niagara Falls? On the American side, walkways and the observation tower reach out for a real feel and great glimpse of the falls. The Maid of the Mist takes passenger onboard ferry rides right into the heart of the waterfall and is the only way to experience the mist this way! 

A great way to see the falls is at night. Each night the falls are illuminated by bright lights and the water glows, for special occasions, the lights will change in colour for the occasion, it’s one not to be missed! On the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, you take in unrestricted views of the falls. In Ontario, you can explore the arcade-like attractions which fill the streets with family-friendly restaurants and amusements. 

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Niagara Falls…

Niagara Falls, New York, Best Places in the East

Niagara Falls

11. Colonial Parkway, Virginia

Visit the Colonial Parkway, a place with a lot of historical interest given its short history. Step back in time and drive along this historic road, a scenic triangle between Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. As part of the National Park Service, there have been minimal developments and there are as few road signs as possible along the route. The Colonial Parkway is, for the most part, as it was back in the day.

How long is the Colonial Parkway? Take your Virginia Road Trip along a 23 mile stretch of National Scenic Byway. The slow paced road connects the three communities of Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown in a ‘Historic Triangle’.

What is there to do along the Colonial Parkway? As you drive along the Parkway there are pull-ins along the roadside with informative signs to read the historical context. Stop at any point and admire the three historically significant areas where America was first founded. The First stop along the Parkway is Historic Jamestown, where Englishmen settled in 1607 and began the “New World”, finding America!

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore The Colonial Parkway…

Colonial Soldier, Williamsburg, VA

Colonial Soldier, Williamsburg, VA


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