The east and west coast of the United States are both very different and extraordinary coasts, each offering something diverse that every traveler can enjoy. The east coast though, is a special region, boasting scenic drives through mountains, beaches in the south and the roots of our country’s history in the north. Planning a trip to the east? Here are 8 destinations worth checking out.
New York City, New York
Well duh! This one had to make the list…it is a true east coast essential that everyone should experience at least once in his or her lifetime. The city that never sleeps has got it all from landmarks, shopping, Broadway shows and heaps of out of this world dining choices. Just walking the streets of this fast paced metropolis will leave you with plenty to see and love.
Well,it is the home of our nation’s capital, which makes it a pretty interesting and vital east coast destination to say the least. Visit several infamous landmarks and institutions and over 180 foreign embassies. Also known as a prime dining location, you won’t be disappointed with the array of restaurants and artsy abodes.
If you want warmth, turquoise salt water and multicultural diversity, south Florida has got it all. Tropical living is at its best here and if you visit Miami, you’ll get delicious food, great shopping and rowdy nightlife. For nature lovers, sea kayaking is crucial along the Florida Keys, intercostal waterways and ocean, no tot mention the Everglades are just a jump, skip and hop away.
Blue Ridge Parkway
All you need to do is drive and have your camera ready for some of the most beautiful scenery and views in the nation. The Blue Ridge connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Any time of the year is breathtaking, but for a real treat make the drive through the fall months when the foliage is bursting with gorgeous red, gold and orange hues.
Acadia Byway, Maine
This 40-mile route is jam packed with epic detours that’ll have you experiencing scenic drives, lovely hikes, rock climbing and more. And when all those activities get your tummy growling you can dine on some of the best lobster feasts on the east coast. Enjoy the windy, rugged roadway that takes you through Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain with views that’ll warm the heart and you want more of the east.
History buffs unite, especially Civil War buffs. The Gettysburg National Military Park will give you a feel for what that monumental day of battle was like, where the now green rolling pastures were once soaked with the blood of 51,000 American soldiers. Visit the Gettysburg National Cemetery where President Lincoln once delivered the infamous Gettysburg address and enjoy the historic town filled with old pubs, hotels and Civil War reenactments.
Charleston, South Carolina
This town is also chock full of history and old south charm, but there is so much more to do and see. Rent a kayak and coast down the upper Ashley River, which guides travelers through historic underwater archeological digs and shipwreck sites as well as the remnants of rice and indigo plantations.
Asheville, North Carolina
A trip to Asheville won’t leave you disappointed. Hugged by the Great Smoky Mountains, there are plenty of hikes and outdoor exploration for nature lovers as well as white water rafting on the French Broad River. Visit the eclectic city for wonderful local cuisine and shopping. The music scene in Asheville is also top notch, with some of the biggest indie, bluegrass and folk artists frequently performing.
Courtney is a full-time writer covering soccer, travel and the outdoors. You can find her scouting out hole in the wall joints for the perfect carnitas taco, jumping in the ocean under the light of a full moon or exploring the beautiful Florida wilderness and documenting her adventures in her blog, www.localtravelgal.wordpress.com.