8 Essential Stops on the USA’s East Coast
Published 03 June 2016
Incredibly diverse, the USA’s east coast is the perfect place for a fun-filled road trip. Luckily for us, the main ports of call are connected by the 2,000-mile Interstate 95 highway, which stretches from the beaches of Miami in the south to the remote forests of Maine in the north. So what are you waiting for? Hire a car, grab a map and a sense of adventure, and hit the road. Whether you go for a short and sweet hop from Boston to New York or a full-on Maine to Miami marathon, here’s our pick of the best stops along the way, listed from north to south.
The home of Harvard University, Boston is a leafy city filled with stately architecture, glassy skyscrapers and a patchwork of green spaces. Boasting an impressive number of classy museums too, it comes as no surprise that Boston consistently ranks in the top 10 most visited US cities. Not only that, its location in the heart of New England makes the city a good autumn destination too. Watch the leaves turn every shade of ochre in the parks, or head out into the forested countryside for a riot of fall colours.
New York City, New York
What can we say about New York that hasn’t been said already? The US’s most famous, most loved and most visited city is so full of sights even New Yorkers can’t hope to see them all. Give it your best shot though – choose from the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, shopping on Fifth Avenue and walking the High Line to name just a few. Or just munch your way around the cafés and bistros, tucking into the freshest bagels, juiciest burgers and thickest milkshakes you’ll ever taste.
As the location for the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Philadelphia has a rich history. Learn all about it at Independence Hall and the Independence National Historical Park, home to the smaller-than-you-think Liberty Bell, renowned for its mysterious crack. And you simply cannot leave town without trying a Philly cheesesteak, an indulgent sandwich filled with sliced steak and processed cheese (known as Cheez Whiz), dripping with calories and flavour.
The Capital of the United States of America, Washington DC is a must for history buffs and museum fans, with its streets home to no fewer than 17 branches of the completely free Smithsonian Museum. Choose from the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History, to name just a few. Add to that the grandness of the Lincoln Memorial, the White House and Capitol Hill, as well as an eclectic dining scene and plenty of fancy shops, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a city.
The capital of Georgia and hometown of Martin Luther King Jr, Atlanta is an instantly likeable fusion of southern charm and modern sophistication. Slightly inland from the coast, the city is often used as a travel hub for those bound for the Deep South, but it’s worth staying a couple of nights here to explore the city in its own right – take a look around Centennial Olympic Park, hike the surrounding mountains, and feast on grits (ground maize) and collard greens (a cabbage-like vegetable).
Charleston, South Carolina
Set among dreamy cotton plantations, the antebellum mansions and honeysuckle trees of Charleston give it a warm, southern charm, best appreciated on long summer evenings. To see the Civil War sights, try a horse-drawn carriage ride or spend the day strolling around the historic district. Don’t miss Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began in 1861.
A leafy city dotted with sun-dappled gardens and fountains, Savannah is an outdoorsy place that makes the most of its breezy coastal location. Spend a day checking out the pre-war architecture, relaxing on the waterfront and sampling the sizzling cuisine, or stay longer to explore the nearby swamps and marshes.
Despite what you might think, Miami isn’t all about the beach. Sure, head to the coast and you’ll spot bronzed roller skaters and bikini-clad volleyball players on the sands and surfers and body-boarders among the waves, but there’s more to Miami than that. Check out the Art Deco architecture and feast on Cuban fare in Little Havana, tour the many museums or spend a day searching for crocs and alligators in the swamps of Everglades National Park.
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