The East Coast doesn’t exactly have it’s own version of the PCH, but that doesn’t mean the interstates, highways, and backroads don’t lend themselves to an awesome journey for the recreational traveler! A road trip down the “right side” of the United States has the potential to fill any itinerary imaginable, with more travel opportunities, roadside attractions, historical sites, and locations of interest then maybe anywhere else in America.
Want beaches? Check! Skiing? Check! Museums? Check again! You’ll have the opportunity to visit historic destinations, quaint little towns and hamlets, incredible national parks, wartime monuments and memorials, amazing museums, all while feasting on some of the best food you’ll find anywhere in the country.
Regardless of whether or not you are just planning a day trip for the family, or if you want to really take your time hitting the best spots through this part of America, here are a handful of destinations to consider for your itinerary!
The White Mountains in Lincoln, New Hampshire
We mentioned skiing right? Whether on skis or hiking on foot, the White Mountains region in New Hampshire is absolutely stunning from a visual standpoint, filling you with the kind of incredible outdoor experiences you just aren’t going to find anywhere else in the US. Horseback riding excursions, camping, fishing, and more are all available here – and it’s a perfect place to spend a couple of days getting lost in nature in scenic New England. Tip: try getting here in the fall for the foliage and all the events that cater to tourists during this season.
One of the larger cities in the very northernmost section of the East Coast, Portland, Maine has developed a reputation for having some of the most unique and exciting urban opportunities – incredible food, entertainment, and sports – while still maintaining a love and reverence of nature in a way that few other cities can match. Be sure to check out the Portland Head Lighthouse when you visit!
The Witch House in Salem, Massachusetts
Honestly – how long has this one been on your road trip bucket list? Salem, Massachusetts is home to the Salem Witch Trials, and when you visit the historic center of this little town you will be able to transport yourself back to the early 17th century when the trials were actually happening. The Witch House was originally the home of Jonathan Corwin, the judge who presided over these trials and sent 19 women to the gallows. Beyond the house itself, the whole freaking town is worth reserving a day or two of your travel plans.
The Newport mansions in Newport, Rhode Island
Think of the many Newport mansions located in Newport, Rhode Island as the “Downton Abbey of the United States” and you won’t have any trouble whatsoever finding room for this tourist destination on your East Coast travel itinerary. The Preservation Society of Newport County puts on tours of these beautiful homes almost every day of the year, but Christmastime is really the best time to visit if you aren’t able to in the middle of the summer.
The Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC
While Washington, DC is home to so many different attractions and hotspots for those that love history, those that love culture, and those that love everything that the capital of the US has to offer, the Smithsonian National Zoo is a must visit experience that you won’t get anywhere else – on the East Coast or otherwise.
Charleston City Market in Charleston, South Carolina
Originally established in 1807, the Charleston City Market is one of the country’s oldest public markets and has been in continuous operation for more than 200 years. You’ll find all kinds of treats, all kinds of souvenirs come all kinds of gifts, and the kinds of purchases you won’t find anywhere else right here – a great spot to visit along the East Coast for sure! If you visit in the summer be sure to book your family a couple of days at the shore. South Carolina beaches are fantastic!