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Where To Vacation East Coast


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Cathy Peebles



Welcome to the East Coast, a region of the United States that offers an incredible range of vacation options. Whether you’re seeking sun-soaked beaches, cultural landmarks, outdoor adventures, or metropolitan escapes, the East Coast has it all. From legendary cities steeped in history to picturesque coastal towns, this diverse region promises a holiday experience tailored to every traveler’s tastes.


Stretching from Maine to Florida, the East Coast boasts a rich tapestry of landscapes and attractions. In this article, we will explore some of the top destinations and experiences that await you in this captivating region.


For beach lovers, the East Coast offers an extensive array of coastal retreats. From the pristine shores of Cape Cod in Massachusetts to the vibrant beaches of Miami in Florida, you’ll find endless opportunities to soak up the sun and dip your toes in the Atlantic Ocean. Whether you prefer the solitude of a secluded beach or the bustling atmosphere of a lively boardwalk, the East Coast has beaches to suit every preference and budget.


If history and culture are your passions, the East Coast is home to numerous historical landmarks and world-renowned museums. Immerse yourself in the rich history of cities like Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., as you explore iconic sites such as the Freedom Trail, Independence Hall, and the National Mall. Step back in time at colonial Williamsburg or visit the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg, where the echoes of the Civil War still resonate.


If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, the East Coast offers a diverse range of national parks to satisfy your cravings for adventure. Explore the stunning Acadia National Park in Maine, where rugged coastline and dense forests converge. Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina, or hike through the marshlands and swamps of the Everglades National Park in Florida.


Beach Destinations

The East Coast is renowned for its stunning beaches, offering a haven for relaxation, water sports, and natural beauty. Here are some top beach destinations to consider for your coastal getaway:

  1. Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Known for its picturesque towns, lighthouses, and pristine sandy beaches, Cape Cod provides a quintessential New England beach experience. Enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing in the calm waters of Cape Cod Bay or explore the vibrant art scene and charming shops in Provincetown.
  2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: With its wide, sandy shores and lively boardwalk, Myrtle Beach is a popular destination for families and beach enthusiasts. Take a stroll along the iconic Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, enjoy thrilling water sports, or indulge in the area’s renowned seafood cuisine.
  3. Miami Beach, Florida: Known for its vibrant nightlife and iconic Art Deco architecture, Miami Beach offers a unique blend of relaxation and excitement. Spend your days lounging on the white sands of South Beach, browsing upscale boutiques on Lincoln Road, or exploring the diverse culinary scene.
  4. Outer Banks, North Carolina: Stretching over 200 miles, the Outer Banks boasts charming beach towns and natural wonders. Explore the towering sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, visit the historic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, or embark on a deep-sea fishing adventure.
  5. Clearwater Beach, Florida: Known for its crystal-clear waters, Clearwater Beach is a tropical paradise on the Gulf Coast. Relax on the soft, white sands, take a dolphin-watching cruise, or visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home to Winter the dolphin.
  6. Hamptons, New York: A playground for the rich and famous, the Hamptons offers pristine beaches, upscale shopping, and luxurious resorts. Enjoy the upscale ambiance of Southampton and East Hampton, or explore the quaint villages and charming B&Bs in Montauk.

No matter which beach destination you choose, the East Coast offers a diverse range of coastal getaways that cater to every taste and preference. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a vibrant social scene, these beach destinations promise an unforgettable vacation experience.


Historical Landmarks

The East Coast is steeped in history, offering a wealth of significant landmarks that provide a glimpse into the nation’s past. Here are some must-visit historical sites on the East Coast:

  1. Freedom Trail, Boston, Massachusetts: Follow the red-brick trail through the heart of Boston and discover 16 historically significant sites that played a vital role in the American Revolution. From the Massachusetts State House to the Paul Revere House, the Freedom Trail offers a captivating journey into the nation’s early history.
  2. Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Immerse yourself in the birthplace of American democracy at Independence National Historical Park. Explore Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and signed. Visit the Liberty Bell, an enduring symbol of freedom, and stroll through the picturesque cobblestone streets of Old City.
  3. Mount Vernon, Virginia: Step into the world of America’s first president, George Washington, at his beautifully preserved estate, Mount Vernon. Tour the historic mansion, walk through the lush gardens, and learn about Washington’s contributions to the nation’s founding.
  4. Washington, D.C. National Mall, Washington, D.C.: The National Mall is home to iconic landmarks that showcase American history and culture. Marvel at the grandeur of the U.S. Capitol, explore the world-class museums of the Smithsonian Institution, and pay your respects at the solemn Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Lincoln Memorial.
  5. Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia: Step back in time to the 18th century at Colonial Williamsburg. This living history museum allows visitors to immerse themselves in the daily life of the colonial era. Explore meticulously restored buildings, interact with costumed interpreters, and learn about the struggles and triumphs of early American settlers.
  6. Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania: Stand on the hallowed ground where one of the deadliest battles of the Civil War took place. Gettysburg National Military Park preserves the battlefield and offers guided tours that provide insight into this pivotal moment in American history. Visit the Gettysburg National Cemetery to pay homage to the soldiers who lost their lives in the battle.

These historical landmarks on the East Coast offer a captivating glimpse into the nation’s past and provide an opportunity to learn about the events and figures that shaped the United States. Whether you have a passion for American history or simply appreciate the significance of these landmarks, exploring these sites will leave you with a deeper understanding of the country’s rich heritage.


National Parks

The East Coast of the United States is blessed with a variety of breathtaking national parks, each showcasing the region’s natural beauty and offering opportunities for outdoor adventures. Here are some must-visit national parks on the East Coast:

  1. Acadia National Park, Maine: Located on Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park offers stunning coastal scenery, rugged mountains, and pristine forests. Explore the park’s extensive network of hiking and biking trails, take in panoramic views from Cadillac Mountain, or enjoy a scenic drive along the Park Loop Road.
  2. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia: Spanning the crest of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Hike along the famous Appalachian Trail, marvel at picturesque waterfalls, or drive along the scenic Skyline Drive to soak in the breathtaking vistas.
  3. Everglades National Park, Florida: Journey to the southern tip of Florida to discover the unique ecosystem of the Everglades. Take a thrilling airboat ride through the marshlands, spot alligators and manatees, and immerse yourself in the unmatched beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  4. Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina: Stretching along the Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a haven for beach enthusiasts and nature lovers. Enjoy swimming, surfing, and fishing on the pristine beaches, explore iconic lighthouses, and marvel at the barrier islands’ diverse wildlife.
  5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina: As the most visited national park in the United States, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a stunning landscape of rolling mountains and lush forests. Explore over 800 miles of hiking trails, take in panoramic vistas from Clingmans Dome, and immerse yourself in the region’s rich Appalachian culture.

These national parks on the East Coast provide endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to connect with nature, explore diverse ecosystems, and embark on unforgettable adventures. Whether you’re hiking, camping, wildlife watching, or simply enjoying the scenic beauty, these national parks will leave you in awe of the natural wonders the East Coast has to offer.


Urban Getaways

If you’re seeking the hustle and bustle of city life, the East Coast is home to vibrant urban centers that offer a plethora of cultural attractions, world-class dining, and unparalleled shopping experiences. Here are some top urban getaways on the East Coast:

  1. New York City, New York: Known as “The Big Apple,” New York City is a global hub of arts, entertainment, and commerce. Explore iconic landmarks such as Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and Central Park. Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene of Chelsea, indulge in world-class cuisine, and shop ’til you drop on Fifth Avenue.
  2. Boston, Massachusetts: With its rich history and vibrant academic atmosphere, Boston is a city that effortlessly blends old-world charm with modern innovation. Walk the cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill, visit the prestigious campuses of Harvard and MIT, and explore the renowned Museum of Fine Arts. Don’t forget to indulge in the city’s famous seafood at Quincy Market!
  3. Washington, D.C.: The nation’s capital is a treasure trove of history, culture, and political significance. Visit the iconic landmarks of the National Mall, including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, and the Smithsonian museums. Explore the trendy neighborhoods of Georgetown and Dupont Circle, and delve into the city’s vibrant food scene.
  4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Known as the birthplace of American independence, Philadelphia offers a wealth of historical and cultural attractions. Visit the iconic Liberty Bell and explore the exhibits at the Independence National Historical Park. Take a stroll along charming streets lined with colonial-era buildings, and don’t forget to sample a famous Philly cheesesteak!
  5. Miami, Florida: This vibrant city on the southeastern coast of Florida offers a unique blend of sun, art, and culture. Relax on the beautiful beaches of South Beach, explore the colorful Art Deco District, and indulge in diverse culinary delights. Experience the lively nightlife of Miami’s famous clubs and soak up the Latin American influences that shape the city.

These urban getaways on the East Coast offer a myriad of attractions and experiences that will satisfy even the most discerning traveler. From world-class museums and theaters to eclectic neighborhoods and culinary delights, these cities invite you to immerse yourself in their vibrant energy and unique charm.


Family-Friendly Vacation Spots

The East Coast of the United States is a fantastic destination for family vacations, offering an array of family-friendly attractions, outdoor adventures, and educational experiences. Here are some top family-friendly vacation spots on the East Coast:

  1. Orlando, Florida: Known as the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” Orlando is a dream come true for families. Explore the magical world of Walt Disney World, visit Universal Orlando Resort for thrilling rides and attractions, and cool off at one of the city’s many water parks.
  2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: With its wide sandy beaches, amusement parks, and family-friendly attractions, Myrtle Beach is an ideal destination for a memorable family vacation. Enjoy thrilling rides at Family Kingdom Amusement Park, visit Ripley’s Aquarium, or take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk.
  3. Williamsburg, Virginia: Step back in time at Colonial Williamsburg and immerse your family in the history of the American Revolution. Explore reconstructed colonial buildings, interact with costumed interpreters, and even participate in hands-on activities like candle making or blacksmithing.
  4. Washington, D.C.: A visit to the nation’s capital is not only educational but also entertaining for the whole family. Explore the Smithsonian museums, visit the National Zoo, and take a boat tour along the Potomac River for stunning views of iconic landmarks.
  5. Outer Banks, North Carolina: The Outer Banks is a great choice for a relaxing and adventurous family vacation. Spend your days building sandcastles on the pristine beaches, visit the North Carolina Aquarium, and climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for panoramic views.
  6. Charleston, South Carolina: Immerse your family in the charm of historic Charleston. Take a carriage ride through the cobblestone streets, visit the South Carolina Aquarium, and embark on a boat tour to spot dolphins and explore nearby barrier islands.

These family-friendly vacation spots on the East Coast offer something for every member of the family, ensuring a fun-filled and memorable trip. From thrilling theme parks and outdoor adventures to historical sites and cultural experiences, these destinations provide wonderful opportunities for creating lifelong memories with your loved ones.


Outdoor Activities

The East Coast of the United States is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of outdoor activities for all ages and interests. From scenic hikes and thrilling water sports to wildlife encounters and serene nature walks, here are some top outdoor activities to enjoy on the East Coast:

  1. Hiking the Appalachian Trail, Multiple States: Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a section of the legendary Appalachian Trail, which stretches over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine. Marvel at breathtaking vistas, traverse forested mountains, and experience the beauty of nature up close.
  2. Kayaking in the Everglades, Florida: Explore the unique ecosystem of the Everglades National Park by kayak. Glide through mangrove tunnels, spot wildlife such as alligators and manatees, and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of this untouched wilderness.
  3. Whale Watching in Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Hop aboard a whale-watching excursion in Cape Cod and witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. From humpback whales to finback whales, this experience offers a chance to observe marine life up close while enjoying the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.
  4. Cycling along the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina and Virginia: Take a scenic ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a picturesque road that winds through the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains. Enjoy panoramic views, stop at overlooks for photo opportunities, and experience the beauty of this scenic byway.
  5. Surfing in Outer Banks, North Carolina: With its consistent waves and sandy beaches, Outer Banks is a paradise for surfers of all levels. Grab a board and catch a wave, or take surf lessons if you’re new to the sport. The warm waters and beautiful coastline make it an ideal surfing destination.
  6. Rock Climbing in Acadia National Park, Maine: Challenge yourself with rock climbing adventures in Acadia National Park. The park offers a variety of cliffs and boulders suitable for climbers of different skill levels. Enjoy stunning views from atop the cliffs as you conquer the vertical challenges.

These outdoor activities on the East Coast allow you to connect with nature, experience thrilling adventures, and appreciate the natural landscapes that make this region so remarkable. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping experiences or tranquil nature walks, the East Coast has something for everyone who loves the great outdoors.


Food and Drink Experiences

The East Coast of the United States is a haven for foodies, offering a culinary journey filled with diverse flavors, regional specialties, and vibrant dining scenes. From fresh seafood to farm-to-table delights, here are some top food and drink experiences to savor on the East Coast:

  1. Lobster Feast in Maine: Indulge in a classic New England experience by feasting on fresh lobster in Maine. From lobster rolls and lobster bisque to boiled lobster with melted butter, immerse yourself in the succulent flavors of this coastal delicacy.
  2. Food Markets in Philadelphia: Explore the vibrant food scene in Philadelphia by visiting the famous Reading Terminal Market. Discover an array of mouthwatering delights, from Philly cheesesteaks and soft pretzels to Pennsylvania Dutch treats and international cuisines.
  3. Seafood in Charleston, South Carolina: Head to Charleston for a delectable seafood experience. Feast on Lowcountry specialties like shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and fresh oysters. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the renowned Charleston-style shrimp boil.
  4. Florida Key Lime Pie in Key West: Treat your taste buds to a slice of tangy and creamy Key Lime Pie in the southernmost tip of the United States. Made with the juice of the native Key limes, this iconic dessert is a must-try when visiting Key West.
  5. Food Trucks in New York City: Experience the world of culinary diversity in the Big Apple by sampling the delicious offerings from food trucks. From artisanal tacos and gourmet burgers to international cuisines and decadent desserts, the food truck scene in New York City has something for every palate.
  6. Brewery Tours in Portland, Maine: Discover the booming craft beer scene in Portland, Maine, by embarking on a brewery tour. Visit local breweries, sample a variety of handcrafted beers, and learn about the brewing process while experiencing the city’s lively beer culture.

These food and drink experiences on the East Coast are just a taste of the delicious offerings that await you. From iconic regional dishes to innovative culinary creations, the East Coast provides a gastronomic adventure that will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.


Shopping Destinations

The East Coast of the United States is a shopper’s paradise, offering an abundance of shopping destinations that cater to all tastes and budgets. From upscale boutiques to bustling markets, here are some top shopping destinations on the East Coast:

  1. Fifth Avenue, New York City, New York: Indulge in a luxury shopping experience on Fifth Avenue, home to iconic department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and flagship stores of world-renowned brands. Explore luxury boutiques, designer stores, and jewelers along this famous shopping street.
  2. Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts: Stroll along Newbury Street in Boston’s historic Back Bay neighborhood, where you’ll find a mix of upscale shops, boutiques, and galleries. Browse designer brands, discover unique fashion finds, and enjoy a relaxing shopping experience in this charming area.
  3. King Street, Charleston, South Carolina: Delve into the charming boutiques and specialty shops on King Street, Charleston’s premier shopping district. From upscale fashion brands to local artisanal products, this vibrant street offers a perfect blend of style, culture, and Southern charm.
  4. Princeton Avenue, Palm Beach, Florida: Experience the glamorous shopping scene in Palm Beach on Princeton Avenue. Explore high-end fashion boutiques, upscale jewelers, and exquisite home décor stores. Enjoy luxury shopping in the heart of this lavish coastal town.
  5. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, California: Just a short distance from the East Coast, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is an iconic shopping destination known for its luxury fashion brands and high-end shopping experience. Explore the designer boutiques and soak up the glitz and glamour of this world-famous street.
  6. Antique Row, West Palm Beach, Florida: Discover a treasure trove of antiques and vintage finds on Antique Row in West Palm Beach. Browse through galleries, art studios, and antique shops that offer a wide range of unique and collectible items.

These shopping destinations on the East Coast provide a wonderful opportunity to indulge in retail therapy, explore unique stores, and find the perfect souvenirs or luxury goods. Whether you’re seeking high fashion, one-of-a-kind antiques, or simply a delightful shopping experience, the East Coast offers something for every shopper.



The East Coast of the United States is a remarkable destination that offers an array of experiences to suit every traveler’s preferences. From sun-soaked beaches and historical landmarks to national parks and bustling cities, this diverse region has something for everyone.


Beach lovers will find their paradise on the East Coast’s sandy shores, whether it be the picturesque Cape Cod in Massachusetts or the vibrant beaches of Miami in Florida. History aficionados can immerse themselves in the captivating stories of the American Revolution in Boston or explore the iconic landmarks of Washington, D.C.


Outdoor enthusiasts can embark on thrilling adventures, such as hiking the Appalachian Trail or kayaking through the Everglades. Families can create lifelong memories at exciting theme parks in Orlando or enjoy the educational experiences offered by the numerous museums and historical sites dotted along the East Coast.


Foodies will delight in the diverse culinary scene, from savoring fresh lobster feasts in Maine to indulging in coastal seafood delights in Charleston. Shopaholics can indulge in luxury shopping experiences on iconic streets like New York City’s Fifth Avenue or explore unique boutiques in charming districts like Boston’s Newbury Street.


The East Coast truly has it all, offering a blend of natural beauty, historical significance, cultural attractions, and culinary delights. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, family fun, or a cosmopolitan experience, the East Coast will exceed your expectations.


So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey along the East Coast of the United States. Whether you explore the bustling cities, bask in the sun on picturesque beaches, or immerse yourself in the rich history and nature, the East Coast promises a vacation experience that will leave lasting memories.